Cohesive Silicone Gel - Ruptured. Replace As Soon As Possible, or Can I Wait?

I have just been advised my Cohesive Silicone Gel Implants have broken after 5 years. Is it importan to have them replaced as soon as possible or can i wait a few months?

Doctor Answers 2

Ruptured Silicone Gel Breast Implants?

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Thank you for the question.

Assuming you have a reliable source of advice available to you  (for example a well experienced board certified plastic surgeon) and there is a  reliable diagnosis of ruptured silicone gel breast implants ( for example MRI study),  then you should have the breast implants removed/replaced in the near future. Although it is not an emergency, I would advise my patients not to wait a “few months”.

Best wishes.

Are you sure you have ruptured implants?

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I don't want to sound contrary, but if you have Mentor or Allergan latest-generation cohesive silicone gel implants, it is unlikely you have implant rupture. Even if you were subjected to a sudden severe trauma to both of your breasts, the injury to you would  have been much more severe than to your implant(s). Also, it would be extremely unusual that BOTH implants would suffer the same fate.

In short, I suspect that it is much more likely that either you did suffer some blow, trauma, or injury that made you worry about your implants, underwent an MRI study, and were told that your implants were ruptured, OR had a concern that led to a study. Physical examination alone would rarely show any evidence of "broken implants." While MRI is the "best" exam we have for checking intactness of breast implants, there is still an error of up to 21% in these studies!

In other words, in over 1/5th of MRI scans where an implant is said to be ruptured, an operation is done to replace the implant(s) and a perfectly normal intact implant is found!

If you had no trauma or reason to suspect implant damage, I would not rush to surgery, especially if your breasts otherwise feel soft and unchanged. DO NOT OPERATE ON TESTS! I operate on actual patients, and only if there is something identifiable to correct or improve. In the absence of symptoms or problems, I would not be overly anxious to operate ONLY on the basis of a test or study.

More importantly, this is a discussion best held between you and your plastic surgeon, NOT your internist, family doctor, gynecologist, or radiologist. That appointment should be made soon, and that advice followed! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

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