I Have a Ruptured Silicone Breast Implant and Need to Have It Removed. Options?

My doctor thinks I have a ruptured implant, gave me a referral but she only sees patients with cancer. The symptoms are quit severe and the pain is in my armpit aswell. How do I find a doctor experienced with explantation surgery. My research makes me believe that the implant has been leaking for several years and that the silicone could also be in my breast tissue and possible heading for the lymph nodes. I fell on breast a few years ago. It has been since then problems. Can you help me?

Doctor Answers 8

Diagnosis of a ruptured gel implant

If you have a ruptured gel implant it should be removed along with a capsulectomy.  Sometimes it can be picked up on a mammogram or ultrasound other times it required an MRI.  None of the studies is 100% so you must be examined by a plastic surgeon as well to determine the risks vs. benefits of the procedure.  

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Ruptured silicone breast implant and pain. Options?

Best to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  A great place to look is the websites of the Amer. Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) and/or the Amer. Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS).  Some Plastic Surgeons may want a breast MRI to assess the situation.  Visit with him/her and together you will achieve your goals.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Should I have my ruptured silicone gel implant removed?

I would encourage you to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon sooner than later to have your implants removed or exchanged. An MRI is very useful to determine whether your implants are ruptured. I like having this imaging prior to surgery in all my patients who have older implants in place and suspect a rupture. I feel if gives me a better road map as to what I will be dealing with when I get into the OR.  The ASPS website can also direct you to the proper surgeon in your area.

Christian A. Prada, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 260 reviews


There are many experienced breast implant surgeons in your area who are well qualified to assist you.  If you need a referral you can contact the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or the American Society Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. 

Todd B. Koch, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

#Breast contouring, #BreastAugmentation, #Breastlift, #mastopexy, #Fatgraft to the breasts

Dear mararose in Oregon City, OR 

Thank you for your question.  Your symptoms may be related to a capsule around the implant or some other process.  It would be good to have an ultrasound or MRI to confirm what is happening in that breast. There are a number of options and the best plan depends on your medical and surgical history.  The ASAP's website has many qualified Plastic Surgeons in your area.

With Warm Regards,

Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Find A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

The vast majority of surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery will be able to help you. Go to the that website to find someone in your area. To definitively make the diagnosis of a ruptured implant, I recommend an MRI. Good Luck!

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Ruptured Silicone Gel Implant?

Thank you for the question.

Your physician can order an MRI if you want to make the definitive diagnosis of a ruptured silicone gel implant. Otherwise, if you are planning on having the implants exchanged anyway,  an MRI will not be necessary.  Seek consultation with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. You can check with the American  Board of Plastic Surgery  and do your due diligence visiting with surgeons who have  significant experience  with breast implant surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Implant failure

Silicone implant rupture can be

Intracapsular (Contained with in the capsule)

Extra capsular, (the capsule is also ruptured and free silicone is outside the capsule in the breast tissue)

MRI can diagnose the rupture accurately.

Expalntation need to remove the implant and capsule in total. The silicone must be cleaned completely. The capsule need to be sent to pathology.

The approach is an inframammary incision is much bigger than the one for augmentation, to remove the implant -capsule intact if possible.

The use of Harmonic scalpel decreases the perforation of the capsule and spread of silicone to contaminate the breast tissue. Thae Harmonic scalpel uses ultrasound for seperating the capsule from the breast tissue.

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