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A female asked:

My wife had silicone injections directly into her breasts as a young teenager in south korea during the 70's. what can be done to ensure her well being?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Kyllo
Plastic Surgery 40 years experience
Ther : Ther are several issues to consider in your wife's case. The silicone itself is not necessarily a problem. Sometimes, though, there can be a reaction to the silicone which can cause redness, swelling, and sometimes the silicone can actually leak out through the skin. Other times it can migrate or move around on the chest causing lumps on the chest or under the arms. The biggest problem is that the silicone makes breast cancer detection nearly impossible. For this reason, some women will consider and undergo removal of the breast tissue and reconstruction. I would recommend that you seek a consultation with a plastic surgeon to review your options. This is not something to ignore.
Dr. Otto Placik
Dr. Otto Placik commented
Plastic Surgery 34 years experience
Excellent answer to a difficult subject
Jul 21, 2013
Dr. David Levens
Plastic Surgery 39 years experience
Unfortunately, : Unfortunately, there is little to do at this point. The practice was not uncommon then and may still be performed in some places, but not considered proper at this time. Medical grade silicone is a standard filler inside of "silicone gel" breast implants and very safe, but when free in the tissues, there can be hardening, migration and extrusion of the silicone which can be very difficulty to treat. Hopefully your wife is not having any symptoms such as pain or noting any lumps, deformities or drainage. She should be having routine mammography and breast examinations and should seek consultation with a breast general surgeon and/or plastic surgeon for advice if she is experiencing any such problems.
Dr. Bryan McIntosh
Plastic Surgery 19 years experience
I : I would have to agree with dr. Kyllo. Free silicone injections often cause no harm, but I have seen a case where a severe inflammatory reaction occurred in one breast (the other was fine, but had also been injected years ago) that was incredibly painful for the patient. There was an infection which occurred as well. Resolution of this issue required an operation which allowed all of the infection and silicone to drain out. In theory, silicone injection should be a great idea to augment various areas of the body. In reality, the likelihood of migration and the possibility of severe inflammatory reactions are too great for me to support this type of treatment. In addition, there is no way to adequately screen for breast cancer in the setting of a breast injected with silicone.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016

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