Thirty-eight patients underwent surgical removal of their smooth silicone gel breast implants. In 22 cases the implants had been inserted for aesthetic augmentation, and in 16 for reconstruction. Twelve of the reconstructed patients had a simple mastectomy, four had a modified radical mastectomy with latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction. The time between implantation and removal was from three months to 18 years, with a mean of 8.75. Sixty-two implants were removed of which 33 were intact, 17 leaking, and 12 ruptured. Fifteen intact implants were removed in the first five years and 18 from five to ten years; no implant had been in place for more than ten years. In those implants where there was leakage ( n =17), two were removed in the first five years, four from five to ten years, and 11 after ten years. None of the implants removed during the first five years of implantation were ruptured. Nevertheless, rupture was detected in three implants removed from five to ten years, and in nine removed after ten years. Thus, the 20 implants removed after 10 or more years of implantation showed some form of damage to their outer shell. These findings suggest that a thorough follow-up is mandatory in patients having silicone gel breast implants for more than five years.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 1997
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