Can a Leaking Silicone Implant Cause Chest / Rib Pain?

my left implant showed leakage into the breast cavity around a year ago,i have chest/rib pain now that doc thinks is muscle strain..could a leak in the silicone give this type of pain in this area?it hurts all round the rib cage but more in the center,i can't even lift a half full wash basket or stretch to hang washing without it hurting,somtimes even walking for half hour will trigger it,and it hurts mostly when i lay down causing me lack of sleep. please advise.

Doctor Answers 10

Silicone leakage, breast implants, pain, capsular contracture

Just a leaky implant will not cause pain and many are silent and only discovered on mammography. However, if it is accompanied by capsular contracture due to loss of the integrity of the implant, or chondritis due to inflammatory changes, or siliconomas, then you should have those implants removed and treat the inflammation. In any case discuss it with your doctor who will explain to you whether your leak is intracapsular or extracapsular and other details. That may explain to you better why you have the pain. HC

New York Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Can a Leaking Silicone Implant Cause Chest / Rib Pain?

It is possible but best to exchange the "leaking" implant ASAP! What are you waiting for? From MIAMI Dr. Darryl J. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Remove leaking silicone implants.

You need to have the ruptured implants removed asap.  Leaving the silicone to leak longer will be more difficult for the surgeon to complete the surgery. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

You need to remove leaking implants

If you have leak from your implants ,they need to be removed. The leakage of the silicone can cause capsular contracture and local inflammation and pain.

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

Chest & Rib Pain Not Likely Due to Leaking Implant

Although you can never say never in medicine, it is extremely unlikely that the pain you describe is due to leaking of your silicone implant if the silicone remains in the periprosthetic capsule.  When silicone extravasates from the capsule it can sometimes cause an inflammatory reaction which can be accompanied by pain and discomfort (but this would be unusual).

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Can a Leaking Silicone Implant Cause Chest / Rib Pain?

A leaking silicone breast implant can have no symptoms, vague symptoms or in rare cases be associated with discomfort. Your presentation is NOT typical of a leaking silicone gel implant.

In my opinion it is time for some tests starting with a regular chest film looking for more common chest and rib conditions which would explain the pain and moving on to a MRI which will most likely show any leaking.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Pain around Breast Implant

There are several questions here. First is how do you know the implant has leaked? Frequently a radiologist will see a “bump” on the side of an implant on a mammogram and call it a leak. Usually there is no leak, just a weakness in the scar capsule around the implant with bulging of the implant through the weakness. This rarely causes pain. In fact, a leaking implant rarely causes pain. The second question is, exactly where is the pain. The usual cause of the pain is the breast tissue itself. If this is the case, it can be treated with diet and/or vitamin supplements or medications. This is also frequently self-limited and is almost never affected by anything you do to the implant. If the pain is actually coming from the implant or its capsule, then one has to decide why and how to treat it. Occasionally the pain comes from the muscle or the rib. To determine exactly why you have the pain you need a thorough evaluation by whomever did your augmentation or another Plastic Surgeon.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Rib pain and silicone?

It is unlikely that the silicone itself is causing rib pain. More likely priro surgery with possible removal of involved tissue ro capsule may be the cause. But you should review this with your doctor.

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


Depending on the type of implant you have the consequences of a rupture will be different but I would say yes you could get any type of pain after a rupture

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Ruptured silicone implants unlikely to cause rib pain.

A ruptured gel implant is unlikely to cause rib pain. Regardless, a ruptured implant should be replaced. I recommend finding a plastic surgeon in your area for evaluation.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 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.