Severe migratory granulomatous reactions to silicone gel in 3 patients

Suzanne S. Teuber, Debra A. Reilly, Lydia Howell, Christopher Oide, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


In humans implanted with silicone gel breast prostheses, a mild foreign body response results in the formation of a collagenous capsule around the prosthesis. Although many such patients may show evidence of a microscopic granulomatous foreign body reaction upon examination of capsular material at explantation of a prosthesis, it is unusual to have large, palpable granulomas, even in the presence of rupture or leakage. Rare patients have had severe local inflammation and complications resulting from silicone migration to the axilla, arm, or abdominal wall. We describe 3 patients who had deforming granulomas after implant rupture, along with other consequences of silicone gel migrating down the upper extremity. Silicone gel, once it leaves the implant, is not biologically inert and in some persons can elicit profound pathologic responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-704
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Breast implants
  • Foreign body reaction
  • Granulomas
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Silicone gel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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