Rupture of silicone gel filled testicular prosthesis: causes, diagnostic modalities and treatment of a rare event

J Urol. 1999 Feb;161(2):467-71. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(01)61925-6.


Purpose: Rupture of the envelope of silicone gel filled testicular prostheses is rare and alleged to be unlikely without intraoperative needle puncture. We observed that it may be caused by chronic intermittent trauma or a single acute increase of pressure, and report diagnostic and therapeutic modalities.

Materials and methods: Four cases treated by us during the last 10 years are presented. One patient had testicular implants for Klinefelter's syndrome, whereas the other 3 had been treated for female-to-male transsexualism. Diagnosis was confirmed by ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging. The fibrous capsule surrounding the ruptured prosthesis was left intact to allow en bloc surgical extirpation. Histological evaluation of the resected specimen was performed.

Results: Rupture of silicone gel filled testicular implants may be caused by acute or chronic pressure without intraoperative needle puncture.

Conclusions: Magnetic resonance imaging offers superior diagnostic accuracy and should be regarded the gold standard in the evaluation of implant rupture. Ultrasonography is an acceptable alternative. In cases when gross symptoms of scrotal inflammation are lacking replacement of implants is facilitated by the fibrous capsule that forms around any prosthesis. Transcapsular migration of silicone particles was observed even when the fibrous capsule was intact.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy*
  • Pressure
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Prosthesis Failure*
  • Silicone Gels*
  • Testis*


  • Silicone Gels