Replacing Ruptured Silicon Implant - Pros and Cons? (photo)

I have my silicon implants for 10 years, and just discovered through MRI and Ultrasound that right one is raptured (but the silicon is contained within the implant) and left has some mild signs of rapture. I am 33 and was planning to get pregnant this year with my first child - would it be reccomended to wait until I finish my pregnancies and then replace the imlants, or better replace them now?How would pregnancy affect the newly installed implants, will I have to do another relacement? thanks!

Doctor Answers 12

Rupture Implant and Starting a Family

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You may want to consider removal of your implant now.  Start and complete your family.  Once your family is completed then you can have your breast evaluated to determine if anything needs to be done based on the changes that occurred during pregnancy.

Dr. ES

Ruptured implant(s) should be replaced, but 21% of MRI "ruptures" are false positives.

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To me, the question to be answered is "Why did you have an MRI and ultrasound in the first place?" If you had a recent trauma (like a car accident and seat belt bruise to your breasts) prompting the studies, well, fine. But if you were otherwise asymptomatic, why were these studies obtained?

Let's assume you had some sort of concern: new pain in one or both breasts, new firmness (capsular contracture), or just that one or both breasts "felt" different. Then THAT is the reason to consider re-operation--to deal with that problem or potential problem, at which time your surgeon can examine your implants under direct vision, which is significantly more accurate than 79% achievable with MRI and even less with ultrasound. If they need replacing, then that should be done.

But in the absence of symptoms or reason for concern, I am not generally in favor of operating on "tests" or "scan results." I still think it's best to avoid operation unless there is an identifiable problem (patient problem, not scan problem), and now you have those pesky scan and ultrasound reports that seem inappropriate to ignore.

SO, in this situation, I would reluctantly re-operate on both sides, and would not be surprised at all to find two perfectly intact and undamaged silicone gel implants. Since yours are 10 years old, you probably have the most recent generation of cohesive gel implants that CANNOT leak, but can RARELY rupture with severe trauma or manufacturer defect. That is why all implant companies offer lifetime replacement policies for their implants--they're that good.

Older silicone gel implants (if your surgeon was using ones from the shelf rather than newly-ordered ones 10 years ago) could indeed leak and rupture, so you should also check with your surgeon as to exactly what type and age of implants you received at your initial surgery. But I must say your photos look good with no visible distortion suggestive of capsular contracture; physical examination would be helpful.

Since you're planning a family, I too would recommend getting this resolved prior to the rigors of raising a family. Yes, you may need or want additional breast surgery when you are all done bearing and breast-feeding babies, but neither do you want to worry for the next few (very busy, very expensive, very time-and-money-short) years as you start your family! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Ruptured Silicone Implants

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    I would replace the implants prior to pregnancy as that is the usual recommendation when a rupture is diagnosed.  Pregnancy should not affect the implants, but it usually changes the shape of the breasts.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Replacing ruptured silicone implants

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Once there is evidence of rupture it is better to replace them sooner then later. Over time the silicone can potentially migrate out of the capsule and cause more problems and require more extensive surgery.  Only highly cohesive implants have shown reduced risk of bleed outside of the scar tissue, traditional cohesive implants can be associated with gel migration outside of the scar tissue.  

Replace Ruptured Silicone Implants Before Pregnancy?

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Since you have a diagnosed rupture and are currently not pregnant, I would recommend that you replace the implants sooner rather than later. Once you are pregnant you will not be able (short of some emergent condition) to have the surgery for the term of the pregnancy plus a period afterward. During this time you may experience problems and complications as a result of the untreated rupture. 

I suggest you consult directly with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who can help you to make the best decision for you.

Eugene J. Sidoti, Jr., MD
Scarsdale Plastic Surgeon

Ruptured Silicone #BreastImplant

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If you have a rupture diagnosed on MRI, the normal recommendation is to have this replaced. There is no science that this is an emergency of will have a particular negative health impact. However, when there is limited information (and potential for pregnancy) most surgeons will recommend a replacement. There is no way to predict what a future pregnancy will do to your breasts, however it is possible you will need additional surgery after your pregnancies to restore the shape of your breasts.

Best of luck,

Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Ruptured Silicone Implants

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If they have found a rupture, then the implants should be replaced.  It is not an emergency, but should be done sooner rather than later.  As for the surgery, it is usually much less involved in terms of time of surgery and also recovery when the implants are exchanged.  I would suggest talking about your options with your plastic surgeon.


Good Luck.

Implants and rupture

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I think that once a rupture is identified it is best to treat it and exchange it for a new one.  Good luck with your decision.

Silent rupture with silicone gel

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While it is true that with more cohesive gels the silicone will stay 'with' the breast implant. However once the silicone rubber shell has torn, the gel in contact with the capsule will cause irritation and eventual capsular contracture. Few would suggest that you not replace your ruptured implants now rather than later.

Replace ruptured implant before ar after pregnancy?

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This is a very interesting question and one which does not have a right or wrong answer. You will probably get several different opinions. On one hane, I generally recommend replacing an implant once it is found to be ruptured/broken/leaking since it is not performing the way it was intended. In the past women could get lumps in their breasts caused by the leaking silicone. Now that the implants are "cohesive" this is not "supposed to" happen. Though I think anything is possible. It is certainly not an emergency however, so your real question is about timing. By waiting until after your pregnancy you may want to make additional changes in your breasts if they change because of the pregnancy and/or breast feeding. The ruptured implant will not harm you or the baby, and will not prevent you from breast feeding if you so choose. You should probably be seen by a Plastic surgeon though who can better advise you after an exam. Good luck.

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.