Silicone Implant Removal for 88 Year Old?

My mother is 88, in good health except for a late diagnosis type 1 Diabetes and 2 small breast tumors in the last 3 years that are being treated with surgery plus baloon mamocyte or hormone blocking medication. We recently learned that her 33 year old silicone, post mastectomy, implant has a slow leak. She has no symptoms except puffiness at the breast. For someone her age, do the risks of silicone out weigh the risks of surgery? She would probably want another implant if this one is removed

Doctor Answers 5

Silicone Implant Removal for 88 Year Old?

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Thank you for your question. If she is in good health, remove the implant, and put another one in if she wants one. If one lives to 88, and can still make decisions, they deserve to get what they want. The surgery is fast, and should be minimal risk, provided she is medically cleared. The procedure can usually be done under local or sedation provided there is no massive leak, and it is contained in the capsule. If it is out of the capsule, then the whole picture changes.  I hope this helps.

Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Risks of Silicone vs Removal of Implants in 88 year old

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     I would not rush to have the implants removed due to the presence of silicone leakage.  If she is deemed healthy enough to have surgery, removal or removal and replacement could be performed.

Silicone Implant Removal for 88 Year Old

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If your mother is healthy, removing the implant is relatively low risk. But the risks of problems from the leak are awfully small. I do think it is worthwhile for her to see a surgeon to review the pros and cons and together, make a decision.


Thanks, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

88 year old with leaking implant

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I think that the most important thing to deal with is her medical condition. If she is healthy and can undergo surgery, it is a matter of removing the leaking implant and either replacing it or not.  It is  her choice.

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

88 Years Young and Silicone Breast Implant Leaking?

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Thank you for the great question.

If I were seeing your mother in consultation,   I would make recommendations after a careful review of her past medical history. If, after this review ( and a medical clearance from her internist),  we find that she is an  acceptable surgical candidate, I would probably recommend that she have the breast implants removed/replaced.

 This recommendation will be made after careful consideration and discussion of potential risk/complications. My reasoning would be that a healthy 88-year-old female may have a  longevity of an additional 10 years ( hopefully more);  it would be nice not to have to worry about what the older silicone gel substance is or is not doing…

 I hope this helps.  Ultimately,  this will be a decision only your mother will be able to make;  don't be surprised if you have a different opinion from every plastic surgeon you consult with.

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.