Are there any labs that will test breastmilk for silicone leakage after torn cohesive gel implants?

Doctor Answers 9

Silicone Breast Implants

If you are that concerned and have ruptured implants, you should remove your implants regardless of what a lab tells you. At the end of the day you need to be comfortable and based on the current evidence there is negligible/ no evidence of silicone in the milk in patient with intact implants.  As a matter of fact, the medication given to treat baby colic has more silica gel which it is made of than anything they have ever noted in breast milk. But if you have leaking implants they should be removed whether you are or are not breast feeding.

On-line searches

should help you find a lab that can do this for you.  The question I have is why are you so concerned about this?  Truly cohesive implants should not allow particulates to migrate into your breast tissue as did the old generation implants.  And with those older implants, silicone is inert and non-reactive so it shouldn't be harmful except for the local reactions they created such as granulomas.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Testing milk

Breast milk can be tested for the presence of silicone... but one study showed the amount of silicone in in formula is 10,000x more than that in breast milk with silicone implants.

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Failed silicone gel implants will not corrupt breast milk.

You can have the breast milk sent to a pathology lab to look for refractory particles consistent with silicone. They will not be found and even if so they would be harmless.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Silicone in breast milk

Hello, I am not aware of routinely available tests for silicone in breast milk.  Previous scientific studies tested for silica, an element found in silicone, and did not find elevated levels of silica in breast milk of patients with implants.

Cohesive gel implants would not be expected to leak into breast milk if torn

There are no commonly used tests that detect silicone in breast milk.  Several scientific studies have been done in the past, looking at even the older generations of silicone gel implants, and even those were not shown to have detectable levels of silicone in breast milk.  Furthermore, studies done on infants drinking milk with silicone or using silicone pacifiers, or even eating baby food which sometimes has some silicone in it as a result of lubricating processing equipment,  show no adverse effects on the baby.  Thus, we have not felt a great need to actively pursue such a study because its usefulness is questionable in most people's minds.

The second point I would like to make, which is probably more important than the first, is that cohesive gel implants don't leak.  They are essentially a solid piece of silicone gel contained within a silicone rubber shell, and even if the shell is completely cut in half, the cohesive gel maintains its form and will not leak like a liquid.  Therefore, we should all get the mental picture of a ruptured or torn implant leaking its gel all over into the body out of our minds.  If you have a concern about your implant, the best thing to do is visit your surgeon so that a proper evaluation can be performed and you can be properly advised about what to do from there.  Good luck.

Testing for silicone implant ruptures

Thanks for your question about breast implant rupture.

To my knowledge there is not a test to determine leakage of silicone from breast milk.  I recommend that you follow up with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to determine your next best steps.  In many cases an ultrasound study can inform you of the integrity of your implant and whether or not it is ruptured.  An MRI could also be performed and is a more sensitive test.

Best Wishes

Steven M. Camp, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Testing Breast Milk for Silicone

I am not aware of any test in a lab that can be performed. You should see you surgeon to better determine whether you implant is suspect to be ruptured. 

Continue to follow up with your surgeon to ensure that you progress as planned. Best of luck, Vincent Marin, MD

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Question about ruptured breast implant

Thank you for sharing your question about ruptured silicone gel breast implants.  I would consider consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon in your geographic area to help be your guide.  I hope this has been helpful and I wish you all the best.
Brian S. Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 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.