Silicone Breast Implants Done in 1972. Recent MRI Completed - Remove or Leave Alone?

MRI:Rt Breast-small zone of posterior contained intracapsular implant rupture,subcentimeter area.No evidence for parenchymal silicone or gel bleed.Medial capsular contracture & water density infiltration but no rupture.Left Breast-Definite positive keyhole findings of contained intracapsular implant rupture w/out evidence for parenchymal silicone deposition. Both-No evidence for implant collapse.What is potential of en-Bloc removal w/no breakage,fully clean area&replace w/new silicone implants?

Doctor Answers 24

Is it possible to remove a ruptured silicone implant which is confined to the capsule without silicone contamination of tissues.

I have removed many old silicone implants without contaminating the tissues. If one can make a large enough incision, it is easier to remove the capsule and the implant without opening the capsule. If I try to remove the implant through the insertion scar, I separate most of the capsule from the tissues then pack a pad around it to prevent contamination, open the capsule, remove the implant material and finally remove the capsule.

Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Silicone implant failure

Failure of the implant is an indication to have it removed and replaced.  For extracapsular rupture, this is a more pressing issue.  Intracapsular rupture can cause capsular contracture, breast distortion, and can progress to extracapsular rupture.  Removing all of the implant material requires careful capsulectomy.  The capsule is removed with the implant and material contained within the capsule. 

Read my blog post below for more details on silicone implant rupture.

Dr. York Yates - Utah.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 183 reviews

Intracapular rupture of silicone implants

Although an intracapsular silicone implant rupture will not necessarily result in silicone leaking through out your body, it is recognized that silicone rupture will result in silicone molecules in the capsule promoting capsule thickness that will eventually deform your breast. It is a good idea to remove any ruptured implants as soon as possible.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Old ruptured silicone gel implants

It is advisable to have the implants removed, and replaced if desired, if they are ruptured.  old implants were of poorer quality and often had liquid silicone inside them rather than the semi-cohesive silicone now used.

Often, if women have gained weight over the years and their breast size is larger, it is possible to remove the implants completely and perform a breast lift.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Ruptured Silicone Implants

The potential for en-bloc removal of the implants is higher if they were placed above the muscle. Nonetheless, whether or not en bloc removal is possible, if there is a diagnosis of silicone implant rupture you should have the implants removed.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Dr. Babak Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Silicone Breast Implants Done in 1972. Recent MRI Completed - Remove or Leave Alone En bloc

In simple terms the possiblity of removing the vast majority (but not 100%) of the silicone remains an option. However, please realize that a ruptured implant should be identiifed and removed.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Breast augmentation implant rupture

With your MRI result I would recomend an enBloc removal and probable replacement with a new implant.  Leaving the implant out will lead to excessive sagging of the skin.  Size of implant chosen may differ depending on the measurements of chest diameter, which may have changed after all of these years.  

Wishing you all the best

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Bilateral Implant Ruptures

Dear Roses7,

Silicon gel implants that have ruptured, should be surgically removed once the problem is identified.

The goal is to always remove both the failed implant(s), and also as much of the tissue capsule that surrounds the implant- this is termed a capsulectomy.  The goal in this procedure is to remove the tissue, and the failed implant with the least amount of spillage of the silicone gel as is technically possible. The smaller the incision that is made the more difficult the procedure becomes. 

I hope this helped,

Sergio Pasquale Maggi, M.D., F.A.C.S.

MRI findings shows breast implant rupture

Given your MRI findings I would recommend implant exchange with capsule removal.  En bloc would be the goal but it is very difficult not to break the capsule.  That, however, is not a reason to worry or delay the surgery.

The implants are old, they have a rupture, and you do have a capsular contracture.  Exchange for new implants that should last long(er) now will give you a piece of mind that you do not have a leaking implant.  It will also give you the opportunity to have the capsular contracture corrected.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 469 reviews

Likelihood of intact implant and capsule removal


The likelihood of en bloc intact removal of your implants and capsules together is not great.  However, since the implants are both leaking, they should be removed.  Violation of the capsule during removal doesn't exclude immediate replacement.  New implants can indeed be placed at the time of removal even if some silicone spills out.  Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 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.