Small Leak in 5 Year Old Silicone Breast Implant

I have a small leak in one of my silicon breast implants - done 5 years back. There is small amount of extracapsular fluid in relation to the upper outer aspect of the right breast measuring 4* 21mm.{noted on a ultra sound examination} The breast does look slightly smaller on close observation. do i have to replace the implant with a new one? will my breast get noticeably smaller with time? if so how urgent is the surgery? Many thanxs.

Doctor Answers 8

Replace ruptured implants

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If you silicone implant is leaking, then it's best to have them replaced as soon as possible with new implants.

Ruptures in silicone implants are detectable with MRIs.

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Ruptures are difficult to diagnose accurately with ultrasounds and usually require MRIs. First, gather or obtain your old records and seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the options.

Implant leaking

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If your implant is leaking., it is a good idea to have them exchanged as soon as it can be coordinated.

Leaking implant

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The fact that you have a leaking implant is not an emergency.would i replace it?Sure that would be the best thing to do and MAYBE REPLACE THE OTHER ONE AS IT AN EMERGENCY,NO IT IS NOT.

Breast implants and seromas

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I would call your ultrasound inconclusive for rupture so you will need an MRI to prove the imlant is ruptured. It could be a seroma. I assume you are having some symptoms and that is why you had the ultrasound. If the MRI is negative and you are not having symptoms I would not do anything. You can get a small amount of fluid in the capsule for many reasons including friction irritation between a textured implant and the walls of a breast implant space.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Silicone Breast Implant Leak Requires More Exact Tests

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Based on your description of the ultrasound, you may not actually have a problem with your silicone breast implant.  You may simply have a little fluid around it.  A MRI should be able to give you a definitive answer.

As you're probably aware, the newer silicone breast implants after the FDA re-approval should actually not leak-  the inner silicone material is very sticky and cohesive.  So, technically, you shouldn't have a "leak" from your silicone breast implant, assuming it was done only 5 years, since only the newere silicone breast implants were in use then.

Roy Kim, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Small Leaks in Silicone Implants Are Difficult To Test For

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Ultrasound, MRI, and other testing modalities have a significant failure rate on either side of the truth.  In other words, some patients get a diagnosis of a leak, when there isn't one, while others get a diagnosis of an intact implant, when in fact it is leaking.  That always creates anxiety in patients, who worry that something bad will happen if they don't do something right away.   All the good studies done to date do not show any serious systemic ill effects from silicone, so that should set your mind at ease.   The best thing to do is to see your surgeon and have an examination done and get some advice specific to your situation.  Bottom line though, the only way to know for sure if an implant is broken or not is to have your surgeon look at it in the OR.  You should see your doctor for an opinion.

Claudio DeLorenzi, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

Breast implant leaking

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Based on your description of the ultrasound- its not clear that you have a leak. I don't have the report in front of me, but a little extra-capsular fluid is not diagnostic of a failed breast implant. A breast MRI would be my recommendation for further work up. 

A failed implant should be removed. Failure of implants is often progressive. Based on what we know about silicone breast implants, your health is not at risk from the presence of leaking silicone implant. This question has been extensively studied by the Institute of Medicine here in the USA in the late 1990s.

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.