Breast implants

I just had my implants replaced. When the Doctor got in there one had leaked and the other one had ruptured. He cleaned things out and replaced with new implants. Do I need to worry about not getting all the silicone out of my body? 

Doctor Answers 9

Ruptured Silicone Breast Implants?

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Thank you for the question.

No, you do not need to worry once the great bulk of the silicone material has been removed.  Silicone has been well studied and has not been found to be associated with any health issues/disease processes.

Best wishes.

Breast implants

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As your doctor did, when we find broken silicone gel implants we do all we can to clean out the capsule and really try not to leave any visible silicone behind and it has never been shown that any non-visible silicone left behind causes any problem, so no real worry!

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Ruptured silicone implants and possible issues

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I agree with my colleagues responses below.  Once the implants are removed, a minute amount of silicone, if any, may or may not remain. However, you do not need to be concerned with any health issues as many studies have concluded that implants are not linked to human diseases. 

Removal Of Ruptured Silicone Gel Breast Implants

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Removal of ruptured silicone implants will get rid of the overwhelming majority of any free silicone that has left the original implant shell. The miniscule amount that may be left behind, if any, is contained inside the breast implant capsule or is part of it thus preventing any silicone from leaving the breast space. This combined with substantial scientific evidence that silicone causes no human disease, should make you feel comfortable that your ruptured silicone implants pose you no medical harm.

Leaking implants

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If your surgeon removed the capsule, then you probably had 99.9 percent of the silicone removed.  With cleaning out the pocket you had probably 99 percent of the silicone removed.  Wearing lipstick and licking your lips places silicone in your system.  Since there is silicone used to lubricate syringes, diabetics inject an entire implant over their lifetime into their bodies.  There have been more studies on breast implants than any other medical device in history and to this day there is not any evidence that they cause any illness or disease.  You should sleep well.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Leaking breast implants

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The evidence suggests that there is really no need to worry about leaked silicone.  Once the bulk has been removed during implant exchange the local tissues usually settle down nicely.  As long as your breasts stay soft you shouldn't worry.

Leaking Silicone Gel

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Leaking silicone gel is not dangerous, and in small amounts it does not harm the tissue. Plastic surgery studies have shown it is not associated with any diseases.

Rondi Kathleen Walker, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon

Leaking silicone gel is not dangerous.

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I would not worry.  A small amount of gel in the tissues does no harm.  That's why implants are safe.  Silicone gel does not cause any diseases.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Leaking Silicone Breast Implants

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Just like all man-made devices (and man / woman themselves) they all eventually fail. Few of us own and drive the first car they ever own. Eventually age, wear and tear win and things break down. When the silicone envelope / shell / bag of the breast implant fails it leads to an opening (which you may call leak / rupture / tear etc) through which the fill of the implants (either salt water (salined) or silicone gel) may escape leading to deflation of the implant and overlying breast. While the saline is rapidly absorbed rapidly, the silicone gel moves very little and a leaking silicone gel filled implant may not appear to have leaked (and often requires a MRI to diagnose it).

In replacing leaking / failed implant , especially silicone gel filled, much of the normal scar tissue around the implant is removed along with the implant and "free" silicone gel. The pocket is always copiously irrigated with antibiotic solution to remove all matter. Finally, it has been shown in MULTIPLE studies that the microscopic amounts of silicone that MAY be left behind pose NO health threats. (As a matter of fact, diabetics who use Insulin shots daily have much more "free" silicone in their bodies because of the tiny amounts of silicone used to lubricate and allow the gliding of the piston in insulin syringes).

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.