Leaking PIP Implant and 15 Weeks Pregnant, What is the Best Option for Me?

I have PIP implants that were put in 4.5 years ago, and the right implant is leaking. I am 15 weeks pregnant with our first child. Breast feeding is incredibly important to me. Could leaving the implants in with this 'non-medical grade' silicon leaking effect my child in utero and during breast feeding? Could the surgery to have them removed reduced my ability breast feed? What is the best decision for the health of my child? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 8

PIP Implants and Pregnancy

PIP Implants Strategy if you are pregnant:
You are correct that PIP breast implants need to be replaced as it is an inferior product that was recalled as they did not use medical grade silicone and manufacturing processes of the shell. If you are pregnant then it might be  better to wait until  after the delivery and breast feeding is finished as the risks may out weigh the benefit especially during the first trimester.To make the best  decision you should consult with your Obstetrician and a Plastic Surgeon. If you are concerned about specific risks you can also consult with a geneticist.

Re: breast feeding: although theoretically possible breast feeding will probably not have little or no amounts of silicone  that are harmful. Use of a periareolar incision may result in inability to breast feed in some women.


This time go to a board certified plastic surgeon (Few if any used PIP implants in the United States).

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

PIP implants

If you ahd PIP implants in the US , then they should be saline. Unless you are having an infection or major complication with the implants now, you should wait until after your child is born to get treatment for the deflated implant.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Pregnant with leaking implants

Sorry to hear about your problem.  However, unfortunately, I would not operate on a pregnant patient for anything other than a malignant or infectious condition.  You will need to wait until after giving birth to undergo the surgery.  If you had a breast augmentation in the US, then, unless the implants were off-shore goods brought in illegally, they should be saline.  I recommend that you contact your plastic surgeon to discuss this and to ascertain precisely what implants you have had.  The implants should, of course, be removed.  I would not perform a procedure, even under local anesthesia, on a pregnant patient, without clearance from the obstetrician.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Did you have silicone or saline PIP implants

The PIP implants that were used in U.S were saline and silicone were used in rest of the world. If you have saline implants,then the option is to leave the implants alone and replace them after pregnancy. If you have silicone implants,you need to see your surgeon for evaluation.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Breast implant leaking, and pregnant

The best option for both of you is to delay implant removal/replacement until after delivery. You might even consider a delay several months longer if you plan to breast feed. The harm from the PIP implant will be hard to quantify but numbers suggest the risk will be very small for most.

Best of luck, peterejohnsonmd.com

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast implants, PIP implants

This is a very difficult question to answer.  You have to weigh the risk of surgery during a pregnancy with the risk of leaving your PIP implants in until after you deliver and finish breast feeding.  At this point, no one really knows what the potential risks are for using mechanical grade silicone gel in the PIP implants as opposed to medical grade silicone gel.  With that in mind, I would think that the risk to your child (and to you) for having surgery to remove them before you deliver would be greater than the risk of keeping the implants in place for now and removing them later.


Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Ruptured Silicone Breast Implant during Pregnancy?

I'm sorry to hear about the stressful situation you are in.

I'm also sorry to give you different advice than was provided by my colleague earlier.  This can be confusing.

I think you would be best off not having surgical intervention until after you have delivered. After delivery, you can have the breast implant,  free silicone,  and the  surrounding capsule removed.  This operation could possibly be coordinated during the same time when you are in the hospital for delivery.

I would suggest that you run these options by your OB/GYN in coordination with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon in your area.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

What to do with leakin PIP implants?

The present position of the American Society of Plastic Surgery is that if the implants are ruptured, they should be removed.  This will remove all of the non-medical grade silicone that is possible.  Microscopic amounts of the silicone will remain.  There are studies showing silicone in mothers breast milk but I'm not sure as there is firm evidence to say this causes any problems. If no rupture is present, implants can be taken out under local anesthesia without the risk of silicone spillage.  Your right implant is ruptured and to minimize the risk of silicone spillage, you should have a total removal of the capsule around the implant.  This would required general anesthesia.  How much risk this posses to your child could be answered by an anesthesiologist, but it's probably fairly low.  I doubt the surgery would affect your ability to breast feed although it does depend on your anatomy and the position of the implants (over or under the muscle).  If the surgery would be safe for you and your child, removal of the implants would prevent any ongoing leakage and at least give you peace of mind that they are gone.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 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.