What Are Symptoms of Silicone Poisoning from Breast Implants?

I got silicone breast implants over a decade ago, and I have recently become very sick.  The only doctor I've seen so far took a blood sample and found silicone in my system.  Could it be that I have silicone poisoning from my breast implants?  What are the symptoms?

Doctor Answers 20

Silicone toxicity

Women ill from silicone defective implants have three types of toxicity.  Silicone causes a autoimmune reaction in patients with certain HLA types (this is reported in the peer reviewed literature in plastic surgery, specifically HLA DR 53 and B 27) and may be a problem in other patients, chemical toxicity occurs from chemicals from the defective implants, such as Raynaud's syndrome depleting arginine and thereby causing a decrease in nitric oxide, and biotoxicity from mold and yeast due to an immune deficiency involving T cells.  I know this because I am a plastic surgeon who got silicone toxicity due to a leaking left silicone breast implant and I actually reviewed the literature (the FDA partially paid for a study that was published in The Journal of Rhematology in 2001 showing that patients with ruptured silicone implants had a high rate of fibromyalgia).  To understand how to treat this illness, I was one of the founding diplomats of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine as only functional medicine is used for detoxification and wrote a book on the subject called The Naked Truth About Breast Implants.  Since the book came out, there are other clinical studies coming out of Europe that describe the disease that I report, but to my knowledge, no other clinic has a comprehensive treatment program for the immune and endocrine problems as well as treatment of coinfections (mycoplasma and other intracellular infections are common) as well as the important detoxification protocols.  Many patients with defective silicone implants (leakage as shown on weight analysis post explant) have MTHFR and other genetic defects of the detoxification (methylation) pathways.  As seen from this blog, most plastic surgeons are unaware of this information and do not have any experience in the treatment of defective implants.  Also, with saline implants, many patients have a HLA type that does not detox biotoxins, so they get a form of sick building syndrome, from defective saline implants, that require total capsulectomy, antifungals, and biotoxin detox in order to regain their health.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Silicone Poisoning

The use of liquid silicone implants was the source of tremendous controversy approximately fifteen years ago. This subject has been studied extensively and the FDA has ruled that silicone breast implants are safe for breast augmentation. Silicone poisoning as a distinct entity has not been described. It’s also important to know that silicone is found everywhere in our environment. It’s even found in tooth paste. 

Are your implants silicone gel?


Do you know if your implants are silicone gel filled? Gel filled implants were not available in the U.S. for first time breast augmentation patients ten years ago. They were re-approved for this use by the FDA in 2006 after 14 years of research confirming that essentially there is no such thing as silicone poisoning and no cause and effect between silicone gel implants and disease. Pursue the issue further with your doctor, who may refer you on to a rheumatologist for further work up. Good luck!

Silicone breast implants do not cause silicone poisoning

Silicone breast implants do not cause silicone "poisoning". Silicone in various forms are ubiquitous, being present in foods, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, etc. and is found in trace amounts in our bodies.

You should, however, always be vigilant about the possibility of rupture or leakage of your implants implanted for more than 10 years even though this by itself may not and usually does not cause systemic illnesses.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Breast augmentation

The implants and been studied extensively and released in the United States again.  I have used them without reservation in Cancer patients over a number of years.  The implants are safe.

Do Silicone Implants cause poisoning ?

Despite three decades of safety testing and monitoring of silicone breast implants, there is still a public perception that silicone breast implants are more toxic or dangerous than saline implants. The truth is that there has no known toxicity from silicone gel breast implants. In fact, silicone is one of the most common materials used in medical devices and implants.  There is no known toxicity from silicone gel breast implants. It has been studied by the FDA for more than three decades to establish its safety. Silicone is the most common material used in medical devices/implants. Examples include shunts that go from the brain to the abdomen (for hydrocephalus) which are left in for a lifetime, artificial finger joints, syringes, IVs, catheters (including ones that go next to the heart), surrounding pacemakers, and even oral anti-gas tablets.
The one possible exception may by the PIP implant made in France (generally not available in the USA). Most of the concerns about the PIP implant were about the use of non-medical silicone and manufacturing problems, and do not relate to implants used in the United States by board-certified plastic surgeons. This is not to say that breast implants, like any implant, can have problems; they may have to be removed and are not meant to last a life time. Common reasons for replacement include: capsular contracture, rupture, infection, change in breast size, and pain—but not for toxicity.
To answer the perceived toxicity of Silicone by the general public—this is quite a different matter.
Breast implants have been around since the 1960s. About 15 years ago Connie Chung ran an exposé, Face to Face with Connie Chung, claiming silicone implants were responsible for different health problems. This led to lawsuits, a huge windfall for lawyers, and the subsequent ban on silicone implants for first-time breast augmentation patients went into effect. They were always available for breast reconstruction (e.g. after mastectomy) and replacement of existing silicone breasts. Also, please note that saline implants are still covered by a silicone envelope.
Soon after, a ban on silicone implant use became worldwide. This lasted for years until more than 100 clinical studies showed that breast implants aren’t related to cancer, lupus, scleroderma, other connective tissue diseases, or the host of other problems they were accused of causing.
June 1999, The Institute of Medicine released a 400-page report prepared by an independent committee of 13 scientists. They concluded that although silicone breast implants may be responsible for localized problems such as hardening or scarring of breast tissue, implants do not cause any major diseases such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
The Institute of Medicine is part of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s most prestigious scientific organization.
Eventually, a federal judge dismissed/rejected the lawsuits, declaring them junk science and ended for the most part the barrage of lawsuits. This led to the present reintroduction of silicone implants years ago and their approval by the FDA. Interestingly enough, most of the rest of the world reintroduced them many years prior to the United States.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

What Are Symptoms of Silicone Poisoning from Breast Implants?

Silicone poisoning does not exist as a disease entity.  There has been no study that shows that silicone from implants leak into the bloodstream.  Many different medical devices contain silicone.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Silicone Poisoning

It is extremely unlikely that the silicone found in your system is from old breast implants.  I would explore other possibilities for silicone getting into your system.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Facticious Disorder

To date, there is no proof of anything called silicone poisoning from breast implants. If silicone was found in your blood, it got there through another route. Older implants should be changed though since they have something called a "bleed" which is an oily fluid that comes out of them. The newer implants do not have this.

Really no such thing as "poisoning" from silicone

There is really no such thing as “poisoning” from silicone. Over the years there have been extensive studies and research done by respectable universities that show medical grade silicone is nontoxic. This was following intense debate on the risks associated with silicone and silicone implants, and as a result the topic has been thoroughly examined and the fears proven to be unfounded.

Another thing to remember is that silicone is actually found in the body in small amounts, and it abounds in modern day products such as foods and lotions, just to name a few.

However it is possible that if silicone leaks, the body can react to the silicone and get inflamed in the region where the silicone has leaked. This inflammation is not common but is possible, and seems to be more common with older implants. If there are any questions about silicone leaks in your implants, or you fear the possibility see your doctor.

Scott W. Mosser, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 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.