Would I need annual MRIs done after?

I've heard that I'll need to get an MRI every year just to see if there are ruptures. Is this true?

Doctor Answers 7

MRIs to monitor silent silicone implant ruptures

hank you for your questions Annual MRIs are not needed and no one recommends that either. MRIs are recommended to diagnose implant rupture/gel leakage, however, this only applies to silicone implants. Allow me to explain further below. Research shows that silicone implants have a 1%/year chance of rupturing similar to saline implants (i.e., 10% chance after 10 years). However, the rupture in silicone implants is silent which means that you will require an MRI test to diagnose the gel leakage/rupture unlike saline implants, which cause the breasts to deflate spontaneously making you aware of the problem right away.  There is often a concern over safety and monitoring, but silicone implants have a similar complication rate compared to saline implants, and several clinical trials have shown the safety and longevity of silicone implants allowing FDA approval ever since 2006. The current FDA recommendation is to have an MRI 3 years after implantation, and subsequently every 2 years following that. Please note that today's 5th generation silicone cohesive gel implants have been proven to be very durable and safe. In the contemporary context, the more cohesive silicone gel and the higher number of shells prevent silicone’s movement, diffusion, leakage, and exposure to the surrounding breast tissue. In fact, even in the case of an implant rupture, the silicone gel remains restricted inside the shell because of its thickness – this is referred to as “gummy bear silicone”. The new silicone implants have thicker shells, wider variety of surface textures, and implant shapes, giving patients more options to meet their desired looks.  I would recommend an in-person consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon to better address your concerns and proceed with breast augmentation. Hope this helps!

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 457 reviews

Implant Surveillance

The FDA recommends patient with silicone gel implants to get an MRI three years after initial surgery, then every two years. This is not mandatory, and most of my colleagues and I don't recommend it. It is unnecessary and burdensome to patients, does not protect them from a dangerous event, and was designed to obtain data.
Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Do I need annual MRI's after silicone breast augmentation's?

 The manufacture suggest getting MRIs after silicone breast augmentations. The MRIs are anywhere from 90 to 93% sensitive for detecting a rupture of the silicone implant. I have been told by a radiologist that using a combination mammogram and ultrasound can detect up to 90% sensitivity for a silicone rupture.  Often times, MRIs are not covered by Insurance companies unless specifically warranted. Although, a mammogram and an ultrasound are common surveillance imaging devices that are approved by insurance companies.  Obviously, this varies between insurance companies.  I often tell my patients that imaging technology will improve over the course of 10 years and should not be a concern.  The rupture rates of silicone around 10 years are anywhere between 8% to 13%. You can always exchange the implants around 10-13 years following surgery since an exchange with non-ruptured implants is much easier than ruptured. Hopefully this helps. All the best!

Sean T. Lille, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Annual MRIs for implants?

Short answer is no. We used to recommend every other year after the 3rd year after surgery, but the FDA actually revoked that recommendation in 2012 because there were so many negative scans that did not justify the cost and use of resources.  

Lily Lee, MD
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

MRI to detect silicone gel breast implant ruptures

Currently, the FDA and the implant manufacturers are recommending that silicone breast implants be evaluated for rupture 3 years after the surgery and then every two years thereafter. Health insurance companies may or may not cover this MRI x-ray.

Ted Eisenberg, DO, FACOS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews


No, you do not need to get a yearly MRI to check your implants. The FDA has recommended getting an MRI after 3 years, and then every 2 years. However, you can start with a mammagram, and possible ultrasound, to get a reasonably good evaluation. A MRI can then be ordered if the radiologist feels it is needed.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

MRIs and Breast Implants

  • When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reapproved silicone breast implants in 2006, how to monitor silicone breast implants for shell ruptures was a primary concern.  Based on the technology available at the time, the FDA recommended that women with silicone breast implants have a MRI performed three years after their breast augmentation and then every two thereafter. From the moment this recommendation was made, there has been controversy if MRIs are the best method to monitor for implant rupture. One of the concerns is MRIs can over-read and indicate a rupture when none is present subjecting women to unneeded surgery. There is also the cost for the MRIs-who pays for them?

    This is why many plastic surgeons have been hesitant to fully endorse the FDA recommendation.

    One of the promising newer technologies is 3D High Definition Ultrasound which will allow the doctor to look at the implant in video and at a far lower cost.

    Please discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 83 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.