Will a Breast MRI Always Find Silicone Rupture or Extracapsular Towards Armpit?

Published on August 28, 2012

Q: I have had my silicone implants for 9 years. They are behind the muscle. There have been some subtle changes in the sizes and shapes of both breasts, but I put this down to childbearing. In the last year, I have had some intermittent pain, redness and swelling to the right breast, especially in the armpit. I was referred for an ultrasound and it apparently showed silicone high in the armpit. The MRI with coils came out clear, but would this type of MRI definitely show that area?

A: I have had patients with ruptured silicone breast implants that have had negative MRI studies. The MRI is the most accurate diagnostic test , but it has to be used in conjunction with clinical and historical evaluation to be helpful in the decision making process.

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