Is it really necessary to have MRI every three years as recommended by FDA for patients who receive Silicone implants?

The reason I opted out for Saline it's because I am clusterphobic and terrified of MRI . I am a Nurse! Is it really a necessity to have MRI as recommended or one can go without? I am not liking the feeling of my Saline implants, they feel hard and unnatural. just curious if I don't like them at all and go for an exchange if I should select Silicone. Thank you

Doctor Answers 6

MRI and Silicone Gel Implants

Hello,Unfortunately, sometimes you don't get correct information from on line consultants, although most of the time you do.  The FDA made recommendations that women with silicone gel implants get MRI's at three years after surgery, and every two years thereafter.  This is for the purpose of data collection, not because your risk of a rupture is significant or that ruptured implants are dangerous.  Based on fairly good data, your risk of rupture is probably less than 10% at ten years, so most surgeons including myself agree that earlier MRI's are not necessary. Mammograms are not a good way of evaluating silicone gel breast implants. The only other technology that is as good or perhaps better than MRI is high definition ultrasound. Although not the 'gold standard', data suggests it will become so in the near future.  Finally, there is no x-ray radiation in MRI's, only benign magnetic and radio waves, the stuff we are exposed to all the time.Best of luck!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

MRI is not necessary

It is not necessary to have a MRI just because you have silicone gel implants unless you have something in your medical history outside of implants. 

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

MRI for implants

You have asked several important questions. The FDA statement about MRI is there a recommendation for follow-up. It is only a recommendation so that they will be able to gather long-term data. I do not know of a single plastic surgeon  who recommends this MRI schedule,  or any MRI schedule. Sometimes an MRI is indicated to demonstrate a rupture but quite often rupture  is seen on a mammogram and/or an ultrasound . As for your question about switching to silicone I would recommend it. I exclusively use silicone implants in my practice. They feel natural more like a breast than like a waterbed. They have fewer problems with wrinkling rippling displacement deflation and thinning of the tissues . Switching to silicone would be an excellent choice for you.  Your best option is to discuss this with a  board certified plastic surgeon experienced in breast surgery. 

Andrew Kaczynski, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews


It is not mandatory for you to  have MRI with silicone implants. If you however have any problems with implants or suspected problems (say from an automobile accident for instance) MRI is the best detection of silicone leakage.

M. Bradley Calobrace, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 39 reviews


No, you are not required to have an MRI. That is a recommendation by the FDA. I recommend to my patients to start with a mammagram, and if needed, an ultrasound. MRI's are expensive and deliver a higher radiation dosage. Insurance companies will not cover a MRI if a mammagram and ultrasound are not first done, and the MRI requested by a radiologist.  Also, MRI's are noisy and do require more time and patience to lay still.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Do Not Get an MRI for your Silicone Breast Implants

The newest silicone breast implants are so cohesive that an MRI is unnecessary, in my opinion. We show most patients a silicone implant that we purposely cut and the silicone stays within the implant shell despite the shell rupture. Remember, saline implants last at least 10 years and the shell construction on silicone implants is essentially the same. Even when your new silicone implant shell cracks (or ruptures) the cohesive gel inside will essentially stay inside. You are safe. Enjoy your new implants.Dr K

Robert M. Kachenmeister, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.