Is It Possible to Be Allergic to Silicone?

I am scheduled to have breast augmentation next Friday, April 3rd. I opted for the silicone gel implants. However, I had a terrible reaction to a pair of contact lenses that contained silicone and I was told by a cornea specialist that I am allergic to silicone. Is this possible and will my body reject the implants? Please advise.

Doctor Answers 7

Probably not...

True allergic reactions to silicone would be very rare. In most cases when someone had their implants removed because of "rejection" or an "allergy," it was actually either an infection or capsular contracture. Your surgeon will take steps to reduce the likelihood of either of those happening too. I'm not sure what happened with your contacts, but an allergy to the actual lens would also be very rare and more likely that it was an infection or just an ill-fitting lens. Allergy testing would answer the question, but I don't think it's necessary. Good luck!


Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

No

To AZ Chic,

Hi! I have been an implant investigator, and I can tell you that hundreds of studies show that silicone does not cause any allergic reactions or any diseases. In my personal practice, I have not seen any silicone reactions in many hundreds of cases over more than 20 years.

So I think you can feel reassured.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

No silicone allergy

The silicone molecule is unable to stimulate the body to form antibodies. If your body does not attack the silicone with antibodies then you will not get an allergic reaction.

Your body does recognize the silicone as a foreign body and it does react to this foreign substance by placing a capsule around it. Your body will create a capsule around all foreign bodies such as pacemakers and injection ports.

The contact lenses on the surface of your corneas and silicone implants would have not resemblance to each other as to how they respond. I see no reason to fear using silicone breast implants. Best Wishes.

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Anything is possible....

An allergy to silicone would be extremely rare but anything is possible. You could certainly see an allergist and be tested for this. Otherwise you may have a problem with the shell of saline implants even if you switched to saline. If you have been told this by another physician you should check with your plastic surgeon and perhaps see an allergist for clearance.

Evan Sorokin, MD
Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

It Is Not Possible to Be Allergic to Silicone

The short answer is, No.

There are complications associated with breast augmentation surgery. Allergy or implant rejection is not one of them. Studies have shown that this type of response does not happen to either silicone or saline implants.

The best studies we have are pre-market approval studies, which were done from 1992 to 2006. These studies provide the best available evidence for implants and associated complications. None of these studies has ever demonstrated that this is a potential complication. Therefore, there is no evidence to support that an allergic reaction to the silicone implant will occur.

I hope that answers your question on silicone allergy. It’s great that you’re doing this research. I always say that the best patients are informed patients.

You might also want to research your options for breast implants. Choosing the right implant is the number one concern among women considering breast augmentation. Did you know, there’s actually a way to select a implant shape, size, and profile that is perfect for you?

A term that I use with my patients for the perfect implant is the “Pony Implant”.

So what do I mean by “perfect”? Well, a Pony Implant has three qualities to it. First, the implant meets your beauty goals. For example, you want to your breasts to look fuller while still appearing natural.

Second, when you chose your Pony Implant, you walk out of your consultation 100% confident that you’ve chosen the right shape and size for you. In other words, you won’t be second guessing your decision, and you won’t be afraid of having gone too big or too small.

And third, after your procedure, you are thrilled with your results, and say, "I’m so happy. This is exactly what I wanted!"

That’s the Pony Implant. And the great news is that there is a simple process to go about finding yours.

This issue of selecting the right implant is so important when it comes to patient satisfaction or dissatisfaction that, again, I really encourage you to learn more about it.

Thank you for reading and best of luck on your journey!

William Rahal, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Silicone allergy

I have never heard of a silicone allergy before. It is an inert substance.   If you really want to be sure than you can be tested by an allergist.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

NO

Hi there-

Silicone allergies simply do not exist- it is an inert material (meaning that the recognition of it as foreign by your body- a necessary component of an allergic reaction) simply does not happen.

I'm not sure what may have happened with your contact lenses, but more likely it had to do with contamination of the surface of the lens or some other irritant, as at this point silicone is one of the most studied materials known (when it comes to its use in implantable devices) and no reputable scientist or physician believes you might be allergic to it.

Modern gel implants are still not perfect- no implant is, however they are very safe and for many women represent the best option for the achievement of their aesthetic goals.

Rest easy on this point- and congratulations on your new breasts!

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 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.