What happens if a silicone implant leaks or ruptures while placed inside the breast? Is it toxic? This is the most common question Dr. Zuckerman receives from prospective breast augmentation patients with regard to silicone breast implants. Today’s breast implants are extremely safe; the major manufacturers of breast implants are currently on the fifth generation of silicone breast implants. Leak or rupture is a very low probability event. When a breast implant of either silicone or saline is placed into the body, fibrous tissue known as a capsule forms around the implant. For a saline implant, leaks are easily reabsorbed by the body. For silicone, most often, leaks or ruptures are contained within the capsule, which is called a “silent failure” or “silent rupture”. It is possible, however, for this capsule to then become inflamed causing the patient pain, swelling, soreness, or changes in breast firmness. If this case, a patient would possibly need to have the implant replaced. Leaks or rupture can be detected via an MRI scan. (Breast implants of either type are not intended to be lifetime devices and may need replacement later in life.) In the very rare case that the silicone gel from an implant escapes the fibrous capsule, which would require a blunt force trauma to the chest of similar intensity to a car accident without seatbelt, the silicone gel has been shown to be biologically inert. It has been shown not to increase the risk of breast cancer and not to increase the risk of autoimmune disease. And, it doesn’t leach out into breast milk while breastfeeding.