PIP Silicone Implants Have Ruptured and I'm 8 Weeks Pregnant, What Should I do?

I had PIP silicone implants put in over 10 years ago. I've had then checked every two years to make sure they were OK. We found out last week that we were pregnant, and I went in today for a review scan and they discovered that both of them were ruptured, extracapsular and instracapsular with a partial collapse on one side. I'm really worried as I don't know what can be done and the nearest appointment with my plastic surgeon is at the end of April! Please guide me on what to do.

Doctor Answers 5

Ruptured 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 154 reviews

Ruptured Silicone Implants

First of all, don't panic.  Your body is not going to do anything with the silicone and it will not affect your pregnancy.  Some questions first.  The only PIP implants used in this country were filled with saline and had a high deflation rate.  The ones filled with silicone were only used in Europe so I have to wonder where you had your surgery that you have PIP implants filled with silicone.  There has been a "recall" on those implants because industrial grade silicone gel was used in them, but to my knowledge no actual cases of medical problems related to the silicone have been reported.  If your implants were put in here in the US then you probably don't have PIP and the silicone in your implants is of medical grade.  Most, if not all, of the silicone will be contained within the capsule surrounding your implants where it can remain for years and years without causing harm.  My advice would be to wait until you have delivered your child then have your implants replaced.  I often see women with 20-30 year old implants that have probably been ruptured for years.  So relax and don't worry about your implants.  They are not putting you or your baby in harm's way.  First things first.  Baby, then breasts.  Best of luck and congratulations.

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

Surgery while pregnant

I agree with the other doctors who have already posted. The implant rupture should not be an immediate health danger, while anesthesia very well could be an issue especially this eary in your pregnancy. If it were me I would plan removal and replacement after you deliver.

Mahlon Kerr, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 216 reviews

Pregnant with ruptured PIP silicone implants.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Ruptured silicone implants are contained within the scar capsule your body formed around your implants when they were surgically implanted 10 years ago. You should know that even with the recent information about some PIP implants containing industrial-grade silicone rather than medical-grade silicone, there is little or no evidence that this might have any negative impact on your developing fetus.

Anesthesia for surgery, on the other hand, could indeed have undesirable effects on your baby, especially in the first two trimesters.

While surgery will be necessary to remove and replace the ruptured implants (as well as the surrounding capsule in most cases), this is best delayed until after delivery. Many women have had ruptured silicone implants in place for prolonged periods (years in some cases) before surgical replacement. Virtually all of the scientific studies over the past 20 years have shown that silicone implants have NO cause-and-effect relationship with breast cancer, autoimmune disorders (arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, etc.), or other systemic illness, including problems with pregnancy or breast-feeding.

For now, try not to be worried, follow your gynecologist's advice, and see your plastic surgeon in April. Trust in their advice and expertise; seek second opinions if that makes you feel better. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Ruptured Silicone Breast Implants during Pregnancy?

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

Unfortunately,  it is very likely that you will receive a variety of different responses from online consultants. This will probably only lead to further confusion/anxiety.

In my opinion, it would be in your best interests, to avoid any non-emergent surgical procedure until after you have delivered. This opinion is based on a consideration of the risk/reward equation.  Personally, I think that the risks of surgery/anesthesia to your fetus is greater than the risks of keeping the ruptured silicone gel breast implants in place for an additional 7 months. 

I would suggest that you consult local physicians in whom you have faith/trust.

I hope this helps.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 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.