I had silicone implants put in around 1989, and I think one has ruptured. What should I do?

Doctor Answers 11

I had silicone implants put in around 1989, and I think one has ruptured. What should I do?

See a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for evaluation. You did not say what makes you think that one implant is ruptured. An MRI exam can determine if one is leaking, but at the age of your implants, I would recommend that you just go ahead and have them changed. If you have developed capsular contracture, you will need to have this corrected at the time of implant replacement.

Posible ruptured implants from 25 years ago

See a board certified PS for a physical exam. They may refer you for an MRI if there is any question about rupture.

For the age of these implants, I would recommend removal and/or replacement. If you have a rupture of this older generation of implant, you may need to have a capsulotomy or possibly a capsulectomy procedure in addition to the revision to open and clear the breast pocket of gel. You PS should be able to determine the extent of surgery required and quote you accordingly.

Check with you PS and ask about their experience with #revisionaugmentation.

Jack Peterson, MD
Topeka Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

You should have leaked implant removed

1989 implants are best removed and replaced at this time with or without rupture.  However, with rupture they need to be removed ASAP.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Ruptured implant?

The only way to know for sure would be to obtain a breast MRI.  If it is indeed ruptured, then you should see a board certified plastic surgeon to remove the damaged implant (would do both sides) and replace with new ones.

Earl E. Ferguson III, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

I had silicone implants put in around 1989, and I think one has ruptured. What should I do?

Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear of your implant issues. I would recommend finding a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to have a consultation performed.  Once a rupture is found it is advisable to have the silicone gel material and implant removed.  Depending on your desires the decision can then be made regarding any ancillary procedures such as replacement or lifting that may be needed. I am attaching a link below that should aid in finding a surgeon local to you. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast Implants / Breast Augmentation/ Cohesive Gel Implants / Silicone Implants / Revision Breast Surgery

I appreciate your question.

I would recommend that you follow up with your surgeon so he/she can examine you and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan at this time.  If your surgeon is no longer practicing, I recommend that you schedule an appointment with another board certified plastic surgeon in your area.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute
#RealSelf100Surgeon

27 Year Old Implants

See your surgeon.  I would recommend you have them removed.  Since you have noticed a change, it is likely they are ruptured.

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

27 year old silicone gel implants

It is highly likely that your 27 years old implants are ruptured simply based on age and the fact that you've noticed a difference. The answer to "What should I do" is see your plastic surgeon.

Your plastic surgeon will first want to confirm that the abnormality you are experiencing is not a sign or symptom of something unrelated to your implant such as a lump. This is done by simply examining you and checking your most recent mammogram (or ordering a mammogram if you haven't had one recently).

Once your plastic surgeon determines the abnormality is related to your implant you may be offered several options:
1) Do nothing. This is not a good option because if your implant is ruptured it should be removed or replaced.
or
2) Get a test such as a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI to look for a rupture.None of these tests are 100% accurate with mammogram being the least accurate and MRI the most accurate. If the study suggests a rupture, you must then decide between having them removed or replaced with new ones.
or
3) Go straight to surgery. Examining the implant in surgery is the only 100% accurate way to diagnose a rupture. You and your surgeon need to discuss whether you want them removed or replaced and what to do if they are found to be not ruptured during surgery (I would recommend still removing or replacing them due to their age and the fact that you are having a problem)

Because your implants are well beyond the typical lifespan, my opinion is that they are most likely ruptured and should be removed or replaced. If you were my patient with 27 year old implants suspected of rupturing, I would suggest going to straight to surgery. If the patient wanted to get a mammogram/ultrasound/MRI, I would order the study and still recommend surgery even if the study says no rupture (because they are not 100% accurate).

Armin Moshyedi, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Implant rupture

Sorry that this is happening! Unfortunately, implant ruptures even with silicone can happen. Often times, this can be diagnosed with an MRI and even sometimes with an ultrasound. It is important to see advice from a board certified plastic surgeon so that she/he can examine you and make recommendations about the next steps that may be necessary. Best of luck! MMT

Ruptured silicone implant

My recommendation for you would be to seek out a plastic surgeon with experience in cosmetic breast surgery. My patients would have an in office ultrasound which we have found to be quite easy and inexpensive compared to an MRI. The standard of care to rule out a ruptured silicone gel implant would be an MRI. Should it be ruptured, then both sides should be removed and replaced with new implants if that's what you want or not replaced at all. If there's capsular contracture as well that's a whole another discussion based on where the first implant was placed. Sometimes we need to do a lift as well as these breasts have maybe drooped as well. Good luck in your search for a plastic surgeon.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 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.