Silicone Breast Implant Concerns

Breast implants in hand

Breast implants are not lifelong devices. The FDA recommends you get an ultrasound or MRI after a few years to check if they are intact. Mammograms alone do not evaluate implants well. If you have had your implants in longer than a few years, you should make an appointment to see us. We can do an ultrasound of the implant in the office to evaluate your implants*. Any changes to your breasts should be reported as soon as noticed.

There are 2 cancers that have been associated with certain breast implants: BIA-ALCL and BIA_SCC. These are both quite rare and they are NOT breast cancers in the usual sense. They are a cancer of the capsule that normally forms around an implant.

The first sign is often a collection of fluid around the implant which occurs more than a year after initial surgery. This is called a “late seroma.” If you have any changes to your breasts, you should come see us. We can see if you have a seroma with ultrasound and come up with a plan.

Many women are also expressing concern about other health problems related to their implants, called Breast Implant Illness (BII). Dr. Rosenthal believes that some women’s bodies do struggle with breast implants. And this can be either a silicone or a saline-filled implant. Although removal doesn’t guarantee to alleviate the symptoms, many women experience relief and comfort in their removal. Dr. Rosenthal strongly supports these women in this decision and they work together as a team to develop a surgical plan. There are often options to remove implants and maintain a good appearance to the breasts.


  • Everyone with implants more than a few years old should come in for an evaluation.
  • Any changes to the breasts, particularly one getting suddenly larger or a change in shape, need to be checked. Cancer caused by an implant is rare and it is NOT a traditional breast cancer.
  • Many women with breast implants are complaining of health concerns and worried their implants may be involved. If this is you, come talk with us to see if removing your implants is right for you.

*We are NOT evaluating the breast for cancer and this screening is not a substitute for mammogram or other breast cancer screening including a breast ultrasound performed by a radiologist.

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