Can I Continue Breast Feeding As I've Just Discovered my Silicone Implants Have Ruptured?

I originally had the implants in 2001, and then in 2010 had my son i had the implants checked ( by surgeon not a scan) whilst pregnant and was told that they were fine and could breast feed,which we have done successfully for 2 years.with the recent pip scare I went to see my gp who advised me to pay for a ultra sound scan. This showed both implants have ruptured, I am now waiting a MRI to see how badly. Can I feed and do I need to get implants out immediately or can I let my son self wean??

Doctor Answers 3

Ruptured Silicone Implants and Breast Feeding - Recommendations

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The short answer is that I think it is safe to breast feed/and let your son wean. Ruptured silicone breast implants are NOT an emergency or an urgent matter. I would recommend waiting at least 6 months after breast feeding until your breasts return to its baseline then have them replaced with a capsulectomy to remove traces of silicone. 

Re: the potential for silicone toxicity: Our current state of knowledge is that Silicone Implants are Safe for Breast Feeding Silicone Implants Are Safe in general. Despite three decades of safety testing and monitoring of silicone breast implants, there is still a public perception that silicone breast implants are more toxic or dangerous than saline implants. The truth is that there has no known toxicity from silicone gel breast implants. In fact, silicone is one of the most common materials used in medical devices and implants. There is no known toxicity from silicone gel breast implants. It has been studied by the FDA for more than three decades to establish its safety. Silicone is the most common material used in medical devices/implants. Examples include shunts that go from the brain to the abdomen (for hydrocephalus) which are left in for a lifetime, artificial finger joints, syringes, IVs, catheters (including ones that go next to the heart), surrounding pacemakers, and even oral anti-gas tablets.
The one possible exception may by the PIP implant made in France (generally not available in the USA). Most of the concerns about the PIP implant were about the use of non-medical silicone and manufacturing problems, and do not relate to implants used in the United States by board-certified plastic surgeons. This is not to say that breast implants, like any implant, can have problems; they may have to be removed and are not meant to last a life time. Common reasons for replacement include: capsular contracture, rupture, infection, change in breast size, and pain—but not for toxicity.
To answer the perceived toxicity of Silicone by the general public—this is quite a different matter.
Breast implants have been around since the 1960s. About 15 years ago Connie Chung ran an exposé, Face to Face with Connie Chung, claiming silicone implants were responsible for different health problems. This led to lawsuits, a huge windfall for lawyers, and the subsequent ban on silicone implants for first-time breast augmentation patients went into effect. They were always available for breast reconstruction (e.g. after mastectomy) and replacement of existing silicone breasts. Also, please note that saline implants are still covered by a silicone envelope.
Soon after, a ban on silicone implant use became worldwide. This lasted for years until more than 100 clinical studies showed that breast implants aren’t related to cancer, lupus, scleroderma, other connective tissue diseases, or the host of other problems they were accused of causing.
June 1999, The Institute of Medicine released a 400-page report prepared by an independent committee of 13 scientists. They concluded that although silicone breast implants may be responsible for localized problems such as hardening or scarring of breast tissue, implants do not cause any major diseases such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
The Institute of Medicine is part of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s most prestigious scientific organization.
Eventually, a federal judge dismissed/rejected the lawsuits, declaring them junk science and ended for the most part the barrage of lawsuits. This led to the present reintroduction of silicone implants years ago and their approval by the FDA. Interestingly enough, most of the rest of the world reintroduced them many years prior to the United States

Breast feeding and ruptured silicone gel implants

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If your implants are ruptured, they may have been for a long time...if they are under the muscle, there is less chance of silicone getting into your breast milk...the amounts are p rob ably negligible unless the capsule has ruptured as well...there is no scientifically proven answer without analyzing the amount of silicone in your be safe, you should probably wean him.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon

Breast Feeding with Ruptured Silicone Breast Implants?

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I'm sorry to hear about the complication you have experienced;  it must be especially stressful given that you are currently breast-feeding. Theoretically, if the breast implant ruptures are contained within the breast implant capsules,  there should be no silicone in the milk ducts. However, personally speaking I would probably suggest that you do not breast-feed until you have at least been evaluated ( and have had your MRIs reviewed)  by a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.  If in doubt, I would suggest not breast-feeding  in your situation.

Best wishes.

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.