Residual silicone detection using mri following previous breast implant removal: Case reports


The current controversy surrounding the safety of silicone gel breast implants has resulted in an increasing number being removed. Although previous reports have suggested that remnants of the implant capsule are reabsorbed after explantation surgery, the persistence of the capsule in fact may be associated with implant fragments and silicone gel leakage. In this study we have used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify residual silicone gel and silicone granulomas following the removal of silicone gel breast implants. Four representative clinical case reports are presented. These patients, who had residual silicone present in their bodies, presented to us with breast pain, palpable masses, or abnormal calcific mass densities apparent on a mammogram. High-resolution MRI images were found to be helpful in identifying local and remote collections of silicone gel, silicone granulomas, and residual capsules that were incompletely removed from previous explantation surgery. MRI breast images demonstrated high resolution and provided the accurate anatomical locations of residual silicone gel and silicone granulomas in all the regions of breast parenchyma, chest wall muscles, and axillae. Patients with persistent local symptoms following explantation surgery may benefit from an evaluation of the breast using MRI.

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Correspondence to Christina Y Ahn M.D..

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Ahn, C.Y., Shaw, W.W., Narayanan, K. et al. Residual silicone detection using mri following previous breast implant removal: Case reports. Aesth. Plast. Surg. 19, 361–367 (1995).

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Key words

  • Breast implants
  • Silicone gel
  • Implant Removal
  • Silicone Granulomas
  • MRI studies