Silicon granulomas and dermatomyositis-like changes associated with chronic eyelid edema after silicone breast implant

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998 May;14(3):182-8. doi: 10.1097/00002341-199805000-00007.


Silicone medical products may be associated with various complications. Recent attention has focused particularly on health risks associated with silicone breast implants. The authors present the clinical and histopathological findings in a 71-year-old woman who had previously undergone breast reconstruction with a silicone gel-filled elastomer envelope-type breast implant and who developed severe chronic eyelid edema and inflammation. Extensive systemic evaluation and serologic studies were unrevealing, prompting biopsy of the eyelids. Histopathologic evaluation of the upper eyelids revealed scattered noncaseating granulomas throughout the dermis, an atrophying interface dermatitis with a sparse perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate, and focal perivascular and interstitial lymphocytic infiltrates of the muscles. Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated particles of material within the granulomas, which were revealed by electron probe x-ray microanalysis to contain silicon. The presence of silicon-containing material within areas of eyelid inflammation supports a role for silicon in the pathogenesis of this patient's condition. In the absence of other predisposing conditions, migration of silicone breast implant material must be considered.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Implants / adverse effects*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dermatomyositis / etiology*
  • Dermatomyositis / pathology
  • Edema / etiology*
  • Edema / pathology
  • Electron Probe Microanalysis
  • Eyelid Diseases / etiology*
  • Eyelid Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Granuloma, Foreign-Body / etiology*
  • Granuloma, Foreign-Body / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mammaplasty
  • Silicone Elastomers / adverse effects*
  • Silicone Elastomers / analysis


  • Silicone Elastomers