Silicone lymphadenopathy associated with augmentation mammaplasty. Morphologic features of nine cases

Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.
American Journal of Surgical Pathology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 07/1988; 12(6):484-91.
Source: PubMed


Silicone lymphadenopathy (SL)--defined as the presence of silicone in a lymph node--is a rare side effect of mammary augmentation either by injection of liquid silicone or by placement of a bag-gel prosthesis. Nine new cases in eight patients are herein reported and compared with six previously well-documented cases. The available data showed that SL was frequently detected as an incidental finding of no clinical significance during mastectomy and nodal dissection for associated breast carcinoma (nine cases), but may present as a painful or nontender enlarged lymph node (six cases). The latter presentation was almost always associated with a history of injection of liquid silicone or rupture of the prosthesis. All or some of the following findings were present in an affected lymph node: coarse vacuoles, fine vacuoles, and multinucleated giant cells. All lymph nodes contained a variable amount of an unstained, nonbirefringent, refractile material that, in seven of our cases, was shown to contain elemental silicon by energy-dispersive x-ray elemental analysis. In 312 lymph nodes collected from 18 routine cases of breast carcinoma, coarse vacuoles probably representing fat were found in 107 lymph nodes (34%); focal fine vacuoles were found in one (0.3%), and a single multinucleated giant cell was found in one (0.3%). In conclusion, SL probably will be encountered more frequently when cancer-prone age is reached by the susceptible population. In most cases, it is an incidental finding of no clinical significance. However, the histologic diagnosis can be made by observing characteristic light-microscopic changes, which may be supplemented in doubtful cases by energy-dispersive x-ray analysis.

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    • "The explanation could be that the capsule is the first line of defence of the body against gel bleed [11, 16] and will absorb the bleed until it can no longer be contained. If the capsule is left in place during the replacement operation, it will gradually regress, leaving the bled molecules behind [2, 9, 12, 14, 15] and loosing the supreme moment to gain clearance of much of the bleed in women with complaints. Our data suggest that a simultaneous capsulectomy in patients with complaints is preferred for an optimal reduction of these complaints. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study is focused on the properties of the monobloc hydrogel (MH) breast implant, which has been around for more than 30 years, and to see how it behaves with regard to health complaints as sometimes seen in some patients who had received silicone gel (SG) breast implants. Patients responded to a questionnaire examining their experience with breast implants. Three groups were included. First, the control group (n = 34) of women without breast implants. Second, a C group of women (n = 42) who began and remained on the MH implant. Third, the B group of women who had their silicone gel implant replaced by the MH implant. In the B1 subgroup (n = 22), a capsulectomy was also performed. In the B2 subgroup (n = 13), the replacement was carried out without a capsulectomy. The C group behaved very much like the control group. The women of the B group experienced an improvement of their complaints and the improvement was even better after a capsulectomy. The only difference between the MH and SG implants is the content of the implant. The satisfaction of women with MH implants is generally high and not or hardly associated with health complaints. In women with SG implants and health complaints, these complaints can be relieved by replacement of the implants by MH implants.
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