Ruptured Silicon Implant, What Am I to Do?

Im from the UK, I moved to the UNITED STATES 5 years ago. I received a letter saying that the implants that i had been given and many more were in a word faulty, the cause of multiple leaks,mine was confirmed to have a rupture. To my horror they told me that they are only willing to remove the implants, if I fly back to the uk for surgery and again later for follow ups and i would still have to pay them to put something back in. I do not have the money nor any way back to the UK. what am I to do

Doctor Answers 6

Ruptured silicone implants

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If you are experiencing a ruptured silicone implant then first you should contact your plastic surgeon and come on in for a consultation and evaluation.  If your previous plastic surgeon is not available then you should be able to seek a board certified plastic surgeon for consultation.  If you know the manufacturing company of the implant then it will be very importance to determine what type of implants that you have, either it is Mentor implant or Allergan.  Then you should also determine whether or not you have a warranty behind the ruptured implant.  In general, the Allergan company as well as the Mentor company, do have a warranty for ruptured implant, so this should be discussed with your plastic surgeon to determine the warranty and with the consultations with your plastic surgeon, you should take into consideration for removal of the silicone gel implant and either remove it completely or exchanging it to another silicone gel implant or saline implant and this has to be determined during your consultations with your plastic surgeon.

Portland Plastic Surgeon

PIP silicone breast implants

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There is not considered to be an urgent or immediate threat to your health but it is recommended that the implants be removed whether they are intact or not. Replacing them with other implants is a cosmetic decision and not medically necessary. 

The least expensive alternative in the US would be a simple removal (not necessarily removing the capsule around the implant) which can be done under local anesthesia with IV sedation by plastic surgeons that have accredited facilities for this. As mentioned in one response, it might be possible to have this done at a reduced cost to you at a university facility that has a plastic surgery division. 

At a later date if you feel you want to replace the implants and you have the funding for an elective, cosmetic procedure, then you could have new implants placed or consider other options available at that time. Currently I cannot recommend fat-grafting to the breast for cosmetic purposes as this could possibly result in a situation down the line as with PIP implants in regard to breast cancer risk or detection as there is currently not enough long term data to prove that breast cancer risk and detection of cancer is not a problem. We saw this problem of accusations made against all silicone breast implants back in the early '90's. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Faulty French Implants (PIP)

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Hi there-

It sounds like you may have received a notice from the NHS about PIP implants... These are silicone implants manufactured in France and that were used commonly in the UK until it was recently discovered that the silicone being used to fill the implants by that particular manufacturer was of a very low grade and impure silicone- causing significant health concerns.

I would recommend that even if you cannot afford to have implants replaced at this time, that you have the implants removed at your earliest convenience, according to the notice you received.


Implants ruptured

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If your implants are ruptured it is best to have them removed and probably replaced.  But it is your choice when to have them done.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Ruptured implant done in UK

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You are in no immediate harm and urgent surgery is not needed so, you have time to look into your options here in Texas.  But, at some point, you will need the implants removed +/- then replaced.  I would advise you to seek a board certified plastic surgeon for an evaluation and determine the costs and financing information.  There are ways to trim some costs.  Soem surgeons order their own implants or do surgery within their own offices (but make sure the facility is still accredited).  However, these things typically only trim a few hundred dollars off of what the general community of plastic surgeons in your area would charge.  An option already mentioned is inquiring into the academic program, UT Southwestern and their senior resident surgeon cosmetic clinic.  These doctors are close to graduating but are supervised by their attending surgeons who are board certified plastic surgeons.  Your surgery will probably be fairly simple if it is truly just an exchange of implants and the cost savings may be worth it to you to look into that option.  I have provided the web link for them.  Remember to get your operative note or implant information prior to a clinic consultation so that they know what size implant you currently have in place.  Good luck to you!

Ruptured Silicon Implant,

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I think you know your choices--go back to the UK where they will be partially funded, or see a surgeon here where it will not be funded. You might try the plastic surgery department at the UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas where there might be a less pricey alternative.

Sorry for your predicament. Thanks for the question, and best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.