American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 
Confused
one year ago
Answered

Ruptured implant

I had capsular contracture removal and new implants. The left implant was ruptured. I had to have new left implant removed after 6 months, I have a big hole in my breast there is no breast tissue, I look like I had a mastectomy. The surgeon said it was because my leaked silicon ate my breast tissue! Can the silicon from a ruptured implant destroy breast tissue ie: eat the breast tissue?

Procedure: Breast Augmentation
Type: Question

Replies 9

Gary Culbertson
ASPS Surgeon

Old silicone implants when ruptured would leak out a soft silicon gel. This gel could infiltrate into a patients body. The patients body would sometimes react to this type of gel producing a thick sometimes calcified capsule or scar around the ruptured implant. Often these heavy capsules would produce pain/ disfigurement/ etc. and can be difficult to remove. Leaving this reactive tissue inside a patient is not in their best interest. So, in a way your surgeon most likely is trying to communicate the effect on your body of a leaking old silicone breast implant. Best,

Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

More
Debra Johnson
ASPS Surgeon
Add to Favorites

You likely had smaller breasts to start with, which was why you got breast implants. The implants then tend to stretch out the breast skin envelope. Even if you hadn't had a contracture/rupture, if you had removed an intact implant your breast would look "empty" because you now have more skin and less breast tissue volume. Contracture puts pressure on the surrounding breast tissue and can thin it. It doesn't "eat" it, but can make it reduce volume-wise, kind of like how the pressure from bra straps creates dents in your shoulders by thinning the fat there. In removing a ruptured implant, as Dr. Culbertson said, sometimes some of the breast tissue contains silicone, and that must be removed. Discuss with your surgeon how your breast might be reconstructed using your own fat or perhaps another implant such as a baffled saline (Ideal is the brand name). Use the Find a Surgeon tool to locate additional ASPS member surgeons near you for a second opinion. Good luck.

More
Katerina Gallus
ASPS Surgeon
Add to Favorites

Hello and I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time with your breast surgery. Older style implants, when ruptured, could leak gel out of the capsule into the breast tissue. It is impossible to remove the gel without removing some of the breast tissue. That breast tissue is 'reactive' which is probably what your surgeon meant. I would consult with a board certified plastic surgeon and your original surgeon to discuss your options for restoring an aesthetic result. Best of luck!

More
J. Gerald Minniti
ASPS Surgeon

There is one thing I cannot tolerate, and that’s dishonesty. First, it is highly unlikely a modern silicone gel breast implant can rupture in 6 months, if it was, it was likely injured during surgery. Second, leaking implants are non-reactive, and would not ‘eat breast tissue’. Finally, you must be sure you didn’t have a implant infection, which can destroy tissue.

More
 Show more Replies  Replies 1 less
Aaron Stone
ASPS Surgeon

I don't know if you misunderstood what was said or what was said was disingenuous. Despite that a central depression following removal of a ruptured implant is due to surgical technique that could have been necessary or misguided. If a lot of scar tissue or infected tissue were removed that would be necessary. If normal tissue was removed along with the capsule or the separation of tissue to either side of a large implant was not corrected by suturing the resulting 2 pillars together that would be misguided. The good news is implant manufacturers have warranties for replacement of the implant. The bad news is a wait till the tissue softens up and a new implant with most likely fat grafting would be required to correct the problem.

More
Curtis Wong
ASPS Surgeon

The material from your ruptured implant will not eat your tissue away so you should ask your surgeon for a clarification. Old gel implants (before 2005) were not cohesive and particulates could infiltrate your surrounding tissue and create granulomas that may have been removed with your capsulectomy prior to your re-augmentation. A new gel implant will not rupture in 6 months unless there was some manufacturing issue or it was injured when inserting. Regardless, the manufacturer does provide a replacement and helps with costs of your re-do, should you choose to have one. Photos would help us appreciate more if you look like having had a mastectomy or if your description is an embellishment of what is really happening. What is your surgeon informing you of your options now?

More
Edward Domanskis

The leaked silicone does not cause the breast tissue to be "eaten away". However, cutting out the leaked silicone and capsule can decrease the breast tisuue.

Dr. Edward Jonas Domanskis is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

Newport Beach, San Francisco,Miami, EU, Anguilla

Assistant Clinical Professor of SurgeryWOS-Plastic,University of California (Irvine)

Orange County’s Physician of Excellence/America’s Top Physicians/Top Doctors

Plastic Surgery- 2005-2018

President,American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons

Organoderm Skin care/ScaRxTape

More
Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your excellent question. Ruptured silicone does not damage or eat away breast tissue, but other factors such as capsule formation and contracture may have caused the distortion in your natural breast tissue. I would recommend seeking out a second opinion at your convenience to discuss.

More
 Show more Replies  Replies 1 less
Jon Ver Halen
ASPS Surgeon
Add to Favorites

Hello and thank you for your excellent question. It would be unusual for silicone gel to "eat" your tissues. However, it is possible that silicone leakage has resulted in damage to your breast tissues that then required your surgeon to cut those tissues out. It is best to answer your question during a face-to-face evaluation, when you can discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure, and you can have a physical examination to evaluate for that procedure. I recommend that you find a board-certified, or board-eligible plastic surgeon with whom you are comfortable. Be sure to have all of your questions answered during a face-to-face meeting with your surgeon, and review before and after pictures of similar patients whom have had this procedure. If you have any questions, call our office for assistance. Good luck!

More
Logo

Patient Care Center