Is it safe to leave a silicone ruptured implant in for years? It's still encapsulated (Photo)

I went after MRI detected rupture. Have a hard lump near chest bone on right side. My PS said it could be fine for 5-10yrs. I thought it was absurd but maybe it's the new standard?? I'm just a patient. I have 350cc high profile silicone implants mentor. They were placed 13yrs ago. I have had capsular contraction since they were new but not bad not worsening. I just have read horror stories of not being able to remove silicone and it creating sm nodules or worse

Doctor Answers 6

Is it safe to leave a silicone ruptured implant in for years? It's still encapsulated.

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Although, it is possible for a patient to have an encapsulated ruptured silicone implant in for years and not develop a problem; in most cases most plastic surgeons would suggest that the implants and possibly the capsules be removed.  If the silicone gel escapes from the capsule (which is always a possibility) it can cause inflammation and/or an infection which could be difficult to treat even with surgery and antibiotics.  I would agree with Drs. Sohn and Marin, if there are no other factors which would prohibit you from having your implants removed, I believe you should at least consider implant removal.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore. 

San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

You Probably Can't Picture What Your Have

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Ruptured silicone implants are a big problem.  It may not be acutely dangerous, but you probably don't want them inside of you if you could know what they look like.  On my website I have a page devoted to leaking silicone implants that I have removed.  Be warned, It's gross!!  After you look, see if you feel comfortable leaving yours in.

Gordon Telepun, MD
Decatur, Alabama

Leaving ruptured gel implants

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is considered 'safe' but if your implant is the older styles where the fill could 'bleed' through the shell and result in particulates that could eventually work its way into your breast tissue and muscle and create granulomas which are sometimes challenging to deal with.  So yes its safe, but if the older style implants, it would be prudent to go ahead with a capsulectomy and removal of your old implant material.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Removing implants vs wait and see approach...

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In general, I recommend with a positive MRI showing implant rupture, to remove the implant, and at your discretion, replace it.  Depending on how significant the rupture is, the silicone can possibly cause more tissue inflammation, can lead to pain in the breast, and can cause irregularities in shape and issues with hardness of the scar tissue.

It is your choice, however, and if your implants are ruptured, but you are not having any signs or symptoms - a so-called "silent rupture", nobody can force you into an operation.  Some patients do prefer a "wait and see" approach, but in general, I feel the risks of leaving a ruptured implant in outweigh the benefits of having it replaced.

Also bear in mind, if you decide to leave the implants out, the overall breast shape can be affected, and additional corrective surgery may be necessary to maintain an aesthetically beautiful shape.  Regardless of your choice, best of luck with your decision!

Samuel Sohn, MD
Henderson Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Silicone implant rupture Silicone leak breast capsule

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Since you are having clinical problems (lump) and you have positive MRI findings, I would strongly suggest removal of the implant, capsulectomy, and replacement with a new silicone implant. There is no point waiting "5 to 10 years". Even if there is a breat capsule, silicone can leak. I would strongly urge you to have breast implant exchange. 
I still would suggest staying with silicone. 
If you want to change the size of your breast implants, now would be the opportune time.  Depending on the change in breast size, you may or may not need a breast lift. 
Good luck. If you have any questions, please not hesitate to contact my office. Suncerely, Dr. Katzen. 

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Ruptured #BreastImplant on MRI

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From a physicians perspective, when an implant is diagnosed as ruptured and encapsulated we normally recommend the implant be removed and replaced. The silicone can be found in the lymph nodes as your body cleans up the rupture, but this isn't normally associated with a functional issue. Mentor normally warranties these implants for life, and this should be researched as well by your doctor. 

You should see a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to get a formal opinion through an in-person consultation.
Best of luck,
Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 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.