Systemic inflammatory disorder related to fibrous breast capsules after silicone implant removal

Plast Reconstr Surg. 1993 Nov;92(6):1179-81. doi: 10.1097/00006534-199311000-00030.


Silicone breast implants have been associated with connective-tissue inflammatory syndromes such as systemic sclerosis, and as with other artificial breast prostheses, fibrous capsules tend to form around the implants. The capsular tissue is generally considered inert and typically is left in situ when the prostheses are explanted. We report a patient who formed symptomatic bilateral submammary cysts associated with pain, swelling, arthralgia, fever, axillary lymphadenopathy, accelerated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and antinuclear antibody following removal of intact silicone breast implants without capsulectomy. Clinical improvement followed removal of the capsules, which histologically displayed fragments of silicone, fibrous tissue, and inflammatory cells. Our experience suggests that when silicone breast implants are thought to be the cause of a clinical inflammatory syndrome characterized by mammary pain, swelling, arthralgia, or serologic abnormalities, consideration should be given to removing the capsules entirely so that the chance of a perpetuating reaction will be reduced.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis / etiology
  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast Diseases / etiology*
  • Breast Diseases / pathology
  • Breast Diseases / surgery
  • Connective Tissue Diseases / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects*
  • Reoperation
  • Silicones*


  • Silicones