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Dr. Linder's Blog

Rupture Silicone Breast Implant Information 

Posted On: November 14, 2023 Author: The Office of Dr. Stuart Linder Posted In: Ruptured Implant

Silicone gel implants come in different shapes and sizes. Rupture of silicone implants is not uncommon in my practice. I see it every week. I’ve been performing breast revision surgery with ruptured implants for over 25 years. That’s a quarter of a century. The older silicone implants by Allergan, Mentor were very loose, very thin shelled, and very soft silicone. And therefore, when they ruptured, the silicone spread everywhere, intracapsular and as well as outside the capsule, through the capsule, and into different parts of the body, lymph nodes, et cetera.

So the old silicone ruptures were more significant than the newer ones that are gummy bear implants. These are called style 10, 15 and 20, low-profile silicone by Allergan. And the old Mentors were shown to rupture and leak throughout the body, because the silicone, again, was so viscous and it was so liquidy. The newer implants are cohesive. Mentor and Allergan are gummy bear-like. They have cohesive silicone gel, and if it does rupture, the crack will usually still prevent the silicone from leaking out because the silicone is cross-linked and very cohesive. That’s why they’re called gummy bears. So they’re safer.

But ruptured silicone implants can occur at any time. Usually, they say 10 to 15 years after your original surgery. We’ve seen them after just a couple of years after. It can be associated with trauma. It can be associated with a defect within the shell of the implant. We don’t know specifically. But I always try to examine the implants in the operating room after I remove them to determine what exactly is occurring. And then we send the implants back to Allergan or Mentor so that they can review, investigate, and determine the cause or the etiology of the ruptured silicone. Again, the silicone of the older days, they were looser, they were softer. The newer ones are more cohesive and there’s much less issues with silicone migration, what we call extracapsular silicone migration.

Now, how do we determine if your implant has ruptured silicone? An MRI is your number-one test. It’s recommended by the FDA three years after your original surgery, and then every two years after that in order to determine the shell and whether there’s a, what we call a linguini sign, which is a tear within the shell of the silicone which would be associated with a ruptured silicone implant. If you find that you have a ruptured silicone implant, it’s very important to see your board-certified plastic surgeon as soon as possible so that it can be treated, cleaned out. And if scar tissue has formed, that can be removed and a new implant can be replaced at that time.

For more information regarding ruptured breast implants or a consultation with Dr. Linder in Beverly Hills, California, give us a call at (310) 275-4513 or feel free to contact us via email.