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To Your Health Dear Dr. Roach: I’m 73 and had silicone implants put in when I was 29. Other than getting firm, I’ve never had a problem with them. I have had a mammogram every year since I was 45 and all has been well except for this year, when the right implant showed up as ruptured. This was five months ago. I’ve had three opinions, two from plastic surgeons and one from my primary doctor, that I should replace. Please convince me that I need to do this when I have no pain and they are so encapsulated that the silicone is going nowhere. Also, it’s expensive, I’m a senior and I don’t want to go through all that it would entail for me to do so. — V.C. Dear V.C.: As your doctors have told you, removal is the standard recommendation for a woman with a ruptured silicone implant. There are three major reasons why: cosmetic result, symptoms and possibility of developing medical problems from the ruptured silicone. If you are satisfied with the cosmetic result and have no symptoms, then your concern should be about development of medical illness, and this is a controversial area. Some studies have shown an increase in risk of problems, while others have not. One concern is anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare cancer (approximately 10 people per year), for which breast implants are a risk factor, particularly when the breast implant is “textured.” The risk for this cancer is low, […]