The “PIP Problem”: Clinical and Histologic Characteristics


Implants from Poly Implant Prothése (PIP), the French manufacturer, showed increased risk of implant rupture and silicone leakage through the shell. Concerns also exist about the potential irritant behavior of silicone gel filler in these implants. This report presents the clinical, histologic, and microbiologic characteristics of a capsule and a siliconoma from a patient with a ruptured PIP implant. A 41-year-old woman submitted to breast augmentation in 2005 with PIP silicone gel implants presented with a recent history of progressive asymmetric breast enlargement and an enlarged lymph node on her right axilla. No capsular contracture was observed. A breast ultrasonography showed intra- and extracapsular ruptures of the right implant. The woman underwent explantation. Histologic analysis of the breast capsules showed a thin capsule with a chronic, mild inflammatory response. Microbiologic analysis showed no bacterial agent. The irritant behavior of the PIP silicone gel previously described was not able to produce capsular contracture or an exuberant inflammatory reaction. Studies to evaluate the potential risks of the silicone gel and to define the hazards for women implanted with those prostheses are urgently needed.

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Correspondence to Inês Correia-Sá.

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Movie 1. Surgical procedure. A large volume of yellow-colored turbid effusion is present inside the capsule. (MOV 1831 kb)

Movie 1. Surgical procedure. A large volume of yellow-colored turbid effusion is present inside the capsule. (MOV 1831 kb)

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Correia-Sá, I., Rodrigues-Pereira, P. & Marques, M. The “PIP Problem”: Clinical and Histologic Characteristics. Aesth Plast Surg 37, 936–940 (2013) doi:10.1007/s00266-013-0196-z

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  • Poly Implant Prothése
  • PIP
  • Breast
  • Implant