Will the New Silicone Implants Make Me Sick? The Old Ones Did...

I had silicone breast implants put in 1985. I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr and Fibromyalgia about a year later. It was not until 1995-I decided to have them removed. I was getting married and wanted children. My plastic surgeon,at that time, who I hold in high regard, suggested that I try the mentor saline implant. I did. I hated the way they felt and he removed them, free of charge, 5 months later. It is now 12 years later. I feel that I want implants. I prefer silicone. I will stay small due to my preference. In 1995, my surgeon said that 50 percent of women's immune systems will attack the foriegn body and through osmosis, the silicone can get into your body, without rupture.

My present plastic surgeon, who was partners with my old surgeon, said that the mentor implant has improved the casing and the silicone gel is formulated differently, so that if it does leak, it will not have the effects that it may have had in the past. I want silicone implants. Small. Yes. Am I crazy to consider another implantation after all the health problems that I cannot assume were caused to silicone. A lot of people were getting ill with similar symptoms without implants? Am I at risk? Should I just live with a very small chest? I am not unhappy the way I look, but, I am so small, I am doing it for myself.

Doctor Answers 7

Silicone breast implants are entirely safe.


I have been a breast implant investigator, and I hope you believe me.  Your old implants did not cause your fibromyalgia.  Of course, silicone breast implants have gotten better,  But the important point is that silicone -old or new - has never been shown to cause any disease.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Silicone Implants, Fibromyalgia, EBV: No Scientific Relationship Known

The extensive research into the serious conditions you mention have failed to establish a scientifically- or statistically valid relationship.

As doctors, we can never guarantee an outcome, but we do our best to have a good scientific basis for the recommendations we make to our patients.

Sometimes, we have our own prejudices or biases: opinions based on our own experiences or "philosophy" that are not founded in scientific facts or statistical validity: we are human and hopefully are ultimately motivated by wanting the best for our patients!

The science and statistics tell us there is no relationship between silicone gel implants and fibromyalgia or EBV.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Breast Implants are safe

Breast implants have been studied extensively from 1990 to 2006 by the FDA. By 2006 the FDA deemed that the silicone breast implants are safeand there is no association with any immune disease.

However, if you are not comfortable with silicone implants DO NOT DO IT.


Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast implants and fibromyalgia

Studies performed over the last 15 -20 years in regards to silicone breast implants do not show any association of siliocne implants and collagen vascular disorders or fibromyalgia.

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

Silicone breast implants have been extensively studied

Sorry that you had a rough time with your diagnosis. However, the silicone breast implants have been extensively studied and they are safe and have not been linked to any disease process - specifically autoimmune illnesses. Surgery itself does have risks and should be taken seriously. Feel comfortable that if you are a candidate after evaluation by a board certified plastic surgeon, you should do well and enjoy the results. Make sure you review the risks involved and understand your options.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

No association of silicone gel implants with autoimmune diseases

Many studies have been done on the association of silicone gel implants with autoimmune diseases. The association is just not there. This does not rule out the possibility that there is a very small small group of women who do have autoimmune problems from silicone gel implants. Still, many doctors would advise not to put silicone gel implants in women with autoimmune conditions. It may be possible in your case to use moderately sized saline implants, placed under the muscle, to achieve the optimal result without having to put in silicone gel implants.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

EBV has nothing to do with silicone

The EBV has nothing to do with silicone, so that is a red herring. Regarding the concerns about fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases, silicone has been shown not to play a part. In fact, as you are probably aware, the implants were removed from the market from 1992 to 2006 to get data. In Dec 2006 the FDA cleared the silicone gel filled breast implant for implantation in humans. They are considered "safe and effective".

Fibromyalgia is an interesting disease. If you want to be 100% assured that the silicone implants won't affect you, don't get them.

I agree with your ps, the implant fill has been improved so that it is less likely toget out into the body. Mentor has its version of the cohesive gel, and Inamed will be coming out with another gummy bear type of implant that you may want to investigate.

Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 106 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.