Is it safe for those with autoimmune diseases to get breast augmentation?

I'm 25. I've been dx with left-sided UC since 18. I'm concerned the foreign body "implant" could cause a flare or reaction. What are my risks? I've read that even though the breast implants itself do not cause autoimmune disease the silicone shell or cohesive gel, leaking or sweating through a textured implant, etc, could cause irritation to tissues and lymph nodes and other oragns within the body.

Doctor Answers 10

Autoimmune disease and breast augmentation

Any cosmetic procedure, including breast augmentation, would have to be approved in advance by the physician who is treating your UC.The greatest concerns will likely involve the medications you are taking to control the UC; for example, long-term steroids or immune inhibitors can create problems with thinning tissue, increased susceptibility to infections, et cetera.

Palm Springs Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Auto Immune Disease and Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your inquiry.Your breast augmentation surgery would actually have to be cleared with the physician who is treating your UC.The problem with the UC is the medication you take.For instance, if you are on long-term steroids or immune inhibitors this can cause problems with thinning of the tissues, more susceptibility to infections, and so forth.In order to proceed with breast augmentation, the doctor who is treating your UC has to be comfortable with the decision because he/she would be the one to continue to follow you after the surgery.I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck with your decision.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Braest implants and autoimmune diseases

There is no scientific evidence that the two are related. A ruptured implant may cause the development of scar tissue called a capsular contracture. To feel confident going into your procedure, obtain clearance from your family physician or rheumatologist.

Gustavo E. Galante, MD
Schererville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Good question.

Thank you for your question. Most of us as plastic surgeons practice within the Western or "conventional" medicine model, that looks at the scientific basis for disease, and for treatments. Based on the overwhelming scientific evidence, breast implants are "inert", meaning that they are unlikely to either cause, or augment an existing autoimmune response. That being said, the holistic medical model would imply that nay foreign body can cause an imbalance. For you this is a risk benefit ratio decision that asks you to weigh the lifestyle and psychological advantages of being augmented, versus leaving your body as "unoperated" and "natural" as possible. No one except you can answer this question for yourself. Again, the overwhelming evidence is that even in the setting of autoimmune disease such as UC, it is probably safe to proceed with breast augmentation, but there is little question that your potential risk of complications is a bit higher, in terms of wound healing, infection, etc. A board certified plastic surgeon should be able to provide you with a relative risk assessment, and your decision to undergo surgery can be coordinated and discussed with your internist or rheumatologist. Best of luck to you. 

Ram Kalus, MD
Mount Pleasant Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Autoimmune diseases and implants

 The science that is out there at present would suggest that there is no relationship between silicone gel implants and any immunologic disease. Having said that, in our practice, for patients with established rheumatologic conditions, I think it wise to get clearance from their rheumatologist. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Is it safe for those with autoimmune diseases to get breast augmentation?

There is no definitive proof that implants cause worsening of immune diseases. Silicone is an inert substance highly unlikely to precipitate a biologic response. Best advice is to get an opinion of your Specialist in immunology. Most Plastic Surgeons will require that clearance.

Thomas Trevisani, Sr., MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Is it safe for those with autoimmune diseases to get breast augmentation?

Thank you for your question.  Yes it is possible.  We require medical clearance from your doctor in order to make sure autoimmune disease is controlled as best as possible.

Rigo Mendoza, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 39 reviews


It is always best to inform your other doctors about a planned surgery. It is safe to perform this procedure as long as you are properly managed and prepared medically. Your doctor my require a medical clearance from your rheumatologist. Good luck.

Timothy Fee, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Is it safe for those with autoimmune diseases to get breast augmentation?

YES! With a full medical written clearance from your doctor taking care of the auto immune issues>>>>>>>>

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Is it safe for those with autoimmune diseases to get breast augmentation?

Thank you for your excellent question.  UC does not prevent a woman from having a breast augmentation but as with any medical condition it is best to have your UC medically optimized prior to surgery with clearance required from your GI doctor.  Silicone implants have been deemed safe for use and with today's highly cohesive gel implants the silicone remains in the implant pocket, even in cases of rupture.  See a board certified surgeon for an in-person evaluation. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 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.