Do saline/silicone implants cause fungus or mold inside the body?

I've been seeing a lot lf controversy about this and I had never thought about the fact that that was a possibility. I've seen some reviews from women who are getting their implants removed due to the mold and infections they are getting . Is this common ?

Doctor Answers 6

Infections can occur with any surgery

Surgical infections can occur with any surgery, and they are not exclusive to breast implants: it can happen with orthopedic, cardiac and any type of surgery.

Generally, the implant becomes contaminated AT THE TIME OF SURGERY. The contaminated implant can rest peacefully for months to years before any overt signs of infection manifest.

Once an implant is infected, it is obligatory to remove it and wait for 6 months or so before putting a new one in its place. This allows the body to 'clean up' the infected breast tissue before adding the replacement implant.

Having said all this, I should emphasize that implant infections are EXTREMELY rare. I have had one infection in 15 years, and in this case the patient neglected to take her antibiotics.

I hope this helps!

Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Mold in Saline Implants

Having mold/fungus grow inside of saline implants is highly unlikely and very rare. I have never seen a case in my practice but it can happen. There are two ways that saline is put into implants. This first method is an open fill system where sterile saline is poured in a sterile container on the surgical field and is exposed to air. It is then drawn up via a syringe and injected into the implants. Even though the solution and field are sterile, it is the exposure to air that can lead to mold formation in the implant. The second and more common method is to use a close filling system where the saline goes directly from a closed IV bottle into the implant through connected tubing. This method is more sterile since the saline is not exposed to the air, highly minimizing the risk of mold formation. If the implant is placed correctly and using sterile technique the risk of mold formation is extremely rare. Make sure that you have procedures completed by a board certified plastic surgeon to further minimize this risk.

Michael L. Workman, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Mold in implants

I have heard of the concern of mold forming in saline implants, but I have never actually seen it nor have I heard about it from another surgeon.  It must be extremely rare and the risk quite low.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breast implant infections

The short answer is extremely rare and the reasons are:
1) breast implants are manufactured under the highest sterile standards and our regulated/monitored by Governmental agency's.  They have/are under constant monitoring.
2)Board Certified Plastic Surgeons have gone through extensive infection prevention training. Most Plastic Surgeons will give peri operative antibiotics and intra operatively, prior to insertion of the implants, rinse out the pocket with a solution that contains several antibiotics.
 3)Accredited/certified Surgical Operating rooms have to meet very high standards to attain accreditation are required to perform rigorous and continuous  sterility checks and monitor surgical outcomes as they relate to infections. 

For more detailed information please go to the manufactures websites:,, and

Lastly,  make sure your Plastic Surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and he/she operates in a accredited operating room.

Robert A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Riverside Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Implants do not cause mold in your body

and you may be referring to some case reports where old saline implants were removed and had organisms growing in the saline.  At this point, surgeons used closed systems to fill saline implants and gel implants are manufactured under the most stringent of conditions.  So implants do not harbor molds or fungus anymore.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast implants and fungus/mold

The answer is NO.  Breast implants are the most studied medical devices in the history of humanity.  Provided they are used as they were designed to be used by appropriately certified surgeons in appropriately accredited facilities, they are safe, and unassociated with micro-organisms of any type.  That being said, we humans live in a world of micro-organisms, including those that make their homes in our gastro-intestinal tract, under our fingernails, in our respiratory tract, inside our sebaceous glands, and even inside the lactiferous ducts of our breasts.  When implants are associated with microbes, the source is most often the host.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 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.