I Have Ruptured PIP Implants and Am 4 Weeks Pregnant. Risks to my Baby?

Hi, I found out just before Christmas that my PIPs silicone implants have ruptured and would need to be removed. Then on Christmas day, I found out l was pregnant. What are the risks to my baby? Some advice is have them removed while pregnant, as the gel can cross the placenta, other advice is to wait. Thoughts please, doctors! Thanks so much.

Doctor Answers 4

Ruptured PIP implant

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This is a difficult question to answer since we now know that PIP used non-medical grade silicone to fill their implants.  I would consider waiting until your second trimester and have the implant removed under local anesthesia.  

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

PIP breast implants and breast feeding

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This is a very difficult question. It is quite natural that you will be concerned about your pregnancy and the fact that you have ruptured PIP implants. As you will be aware, the silicone used in the majority of PIP implants was a non medical grade silicone. To date, there have been no tests or studies that have shown that the silicone used in PIP breast implants is detrimental to health. Two studies in humans have found no increased risk of birth defects in children born to mothers who have had breast implant surgery (these studies looked at silicone implants in general - Not PIP implants).

Silicon is widely present in the environment and avoiding ingestion is difficult. Silicone drops have been used for years in Europe and the USA for colic.

Is the silicone within implants (including PIP implants) safe?

The American Regulator, the FDA, after conducting extensive studies and trials, reintroduced silicone gel implants in 2006 after a temporary ban that lasted 15 years. The UK Regulator (MHRA) commissioned toxicity testing on the unapproved silicone gel used to fill PIP implants including genotoxicity (the ability to damage DNA within cells) and chemical toxicity. The results of these tests have been discussed with relevant experts and the conclusion is that there are no safety issues relating to this filler material. The French Regulator confirmed these conclusions.
The MHRA consulted with experts to discuss whether there was any danger to ladies who breast fed with these implants. It was concluded that there were no safety issues.

Having said all of this, no one can know for certain that there will be no harm to your baby but it is highly unlikely. You have to weigh up the risks of having a general anaesthetic (including the risk to your baby of an anaesthetic) and the risk of leaving the implants in. Anaesthesia during pregnancy is safest in the third trimester of pregnancy. If your implants were not ruptured, I would have had no hesitation is recommending that you wait until after your pregnancy to have them removed/ replaced. Ultimately, you will have to make the decision with your prospective surgeon and anaesthetist. 

Awf Quaba, MB, ChB, FRCS
Edinburgh Plastic Surgeon

Leaking PIP Silicone Gel Implants and Am 4 Weeks Pregnant. Risks to my Baby?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Poly Implant Prothese, PIP,  implants fall into a different category than other saline and silicone gel implants. Although the scientific jury is out on the health consequences, it APPEARS that the PIP company, a French company which is bankrupt and whose officers are in litigation, may have violated French and European production standards in the production of their implants. It has been decisively disproven many years ago that infants born to mothers with silicone breast implants suffer any more diseases or birth defects than those to women without such implants. PIP silicone implants were not sold in the US and I would therefore refer you to the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons which can refer you to several of its members for the most current information.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

PIP Breast Implants and Pregnancy

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

PIP Implants Strategy if you are pregnant.

You are correct that PIP breast implants need to be replaced as it is an inferior product that was recalled as they did not use medical grade silicone and manufacturing processes of the shell. If you are pregnant then it might be  better to wait until  after the delivery and breast feeding is finished as the risks may out weigh the benefit especially during the first trimester.To make the best  decision you should consult with your Obstetrician and a Plastic Surgeon.

This time go to a board certified plastic surgeon (Few if any used PIP implants in the United States).

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.