Ruptured 27 yo Implants?

My gel implants are 27 years old. I've been coughing horrible, all day and night. There is what seems like gel coming up, are my implants ruptured? I'm taking Prednisone.

Doctor Answers 13

Are My Implants Ruptured?

Of course, implants that are 27 years old have a greater than 90%+ chance of being ruptured statistically. They should be removed. All implants have a life span of 10-15 years. Certainly, after 15 years they may be hardened or deformed. If they are ruptured, they may have granuloma formation which may interfere with the ability to do mammography. I would definitely suggest you consult with your plastic surgeon to have them removed.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Ruptured Breast Implants

Hello ~

It would be extremely unlikely that you are coughing up silicone gel from a ruptured implant.  A productive cough, regardless, warrants evaluation by a physician and I recommend you seek medical attention for this. 

Implant rupture may be detected with an MRI. 

Kindest Regards ~

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Coughing gel?

I can assure you that you are not coughing gel...but you should see your doctor for this productive cough.

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Cough unlikely related to old silicone gel implants

Your implants are likely ruptured being twenty seven years old since they were made of a different consistency of silicone gel and the implant shells were thinner back then. Although an MRI is the best test to evaluate for rupture of silicone gel implants, it is not a perfect test. It is possible your implants are ruptured and the MRI says they are fine. The implants, ruptured or not Re not likely causing your cough and it would be extremely improbable that you are coughing up silicone. You owe it to yourself to see a board certified internist and plastic surgeon to get evaluated.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Ruptured implants

Your cough is not due to your implants.  You need a internal medical doctor to evaluate the cough.  Implants that are that old may indeed be ruptured but you have a separate lung problem.  Donald R. Nunn MD   Atlanta Plastic Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Ruptured implants

You are not coughing up silicone, but it sounds scary.  Good thing you saw a doctor.  Follow their advice and get better soon.  In the meantime.........

Your implants are likely ruptured and may well have been so for years.  Don't worry, the silicone does not cause medical illnesses.  All or nearly all of the silicone is still contained within the capsule of scar tissue around the implant.  It rarely migrates very far from the breast.   After 27 years I would say your money would be better spent on having your implants replaced (or removed) than getting an MRI scan that will only show you what we can almost presume is the case without it.  I have seen a few "positive" MRI scans that went on to surgery and had intact implants but severe capsular contractures that needed surgery anyway.  No insurance company I have encountered will pay for the MRI scan and they are not cheap.  If your implants were newer and you would not have surgery if the implants were intact, it might be worth it to you.  This is not an emergency.  Wait until your cough is cured and fit it into your life.  Don't worry; just plan.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Ruptured implants and cough

It is not likely that the cough has anything to do with your implants, but you should definitely see a physician for evaluation (particularly since you are taking prednisone).  It is quite likely that 27 year old silicone implants are ruptured, so I would also recommend seeing a plastic surgeon for a physical exam, and possibly an MRI to determine definitively if the implants are still intact. 

Michelle A. Spring, MD, FACS
Missoula Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

27 years old silicone implants likely ruptured

First you should see your PCP for your productive cough.  Once you feel better, you should see a Board Certified Plastic surgeon for your 27 year old implants.  A physical exam, then a mammogram and ultrasound could give you the answer as to wether the implants are ruptured.  If needed than an MRI may be helpful.  Best wishes.

Louise Ferland, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Your implants are likely ruptured but unrelated to cough

If I were a betting man, I would say that 27 year old gel implants are likely ruptured. This is very very very unlikely to have anything to do with your cough and coughing up silicone is even more unlikely - probably impossible.  You should get an MRI to determine if the implants are ruptured and you should see your primary doctor about your productive cough.

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 326 reviews

Ruptured implants

The best way to determine if your implants are ruptured is to under go an MRI.  Ruptured silicone implants do not cause a medical problem but many patients choose to have their ruptured implants exchanged for new silicone implants.  Good luck!

Bivik Shah, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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.