I Had Silicon Breast Implants 3 Years Ago, Liquid Found Around Left Breast Implant. Freaking Out?

I had breast augmentation 3 years ago; 2 days after the surgery fluid build around left breast and it was immediately drained. Left breast always remained harder than right breast (thinking because this breast was invaded twice). 2 weeks ago I experienced pain on left breast and OB recommended Sonogram and Mammogram. The sonogram found liquid around the left breast implant. I am freaking out. Affraid of seroma. Want to have these removed, but affraid of post remove look of breast and lymphoma.

Doctor Answers 5

Late Fluid Formation around Silicone Gel filled Breast Implants

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New onset fluid formation around a breast implant is not "normal" and should be investigated. The best person to do it is your Plastic surgeon NOT your OBGYN or FP. Such fluid formation could mean an implant leak, infection  and in EXTREMELY RARE cases a lymphoma.  All of these entities are curable and fixable. Make an appointment to see your surgeon.

Peter A aldea, MD
Memphis, TN

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

You need to see your plastic surgeon

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Fluid around the implants should be evaluated. Your surgeon should see you and examine you. From the information (without examination and pictures) you have capsular contracture and most probably had these from beginning. You may need implant exchange and capsulectomy .

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Late seroma around breast implant should be removed and examined promptly.

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1)  Don't freak out.  You will almost certainly be fine.  The fluid needs to be aspirated by an interventional radiologist, and then looked at under the microscope.

2)  Lymphoma is extremely rare (like 1 in a million), and almost exclusively associated with implants that have an aggressively textured surface.  Most implants used are smooth walled, and then you really have nothing to worry about.

3)  It is true that late seromas tend to come back.  In that case you may need to have the tissue lining around the implant removed (capsulectomy), and a new implant inserted.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Seroma around implants

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Fluid around the implants can be evaluated by ultrasound guided aspiration.  Fluid can occur for several different reasons. An evaluation in person is first most important.

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

Seroma around implant placed 3 years ago.

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Your unilateral breast pain could have been cause by any number of random reasons, but neither tumor nor lymphoma is the most common cause of breast pain. Fluid can certainly be a finding around breast implants, but usually not in great amounts. How much was seen? Were you given a quantitative report?

If there is seroma of any significant amount, your plastic surgeon should be seen to allow evaluation, and if surgery is performed to remove the fluid, it should be sent for microscopic review just to be sure about the absence of lymphoma cells and allay your concerns, since this is so extremely rare and unlikely.

Removal is always possible, but you requested implants for a reason, and (until the breast pain, leading to the mammogram and sonogram, leading to the concern about [how much?] fluid, leading to the "freaking out" about lymphoma) you would probably look worse than you did before surgery if you were to have your implants removed, for what is most likely no reason at all.

Would it not be more likely that you simply pulled a muscle, had a tiny bit of bleeding or bruising leading to the fluid found on sonogram, and have nothing at all going on? I would advise that you take a deep breath, relax, and set up an appointment with your plastic surgeon, who can give you his or her best advice about your breast pain. I can't tell you to not worry, since you already are, but checking this out and getting answers rather than worrying about the least likely risk is the most productive course of action here.

For more information about ALCL and breast implants, click on the link below. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 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.