Idiosyncratic Allergic Reaction: A Rare Complication of Augmentation Mammoplasty

Publication/Presentation Date



In both free injectable and device form, silicone has been used widely throughout the world. As an implantable biomaterial, silicone was considered a privileged inert substance, the complications of which were heretofore considered limited and acceptable. Among the possible complications of silicone gel breast implants are several reports of allergic reactions. These allergic reactions are discussed as well as the author’s case of an allergic reaction to the silicone shell of a saline implant. The human immune system is a very highly refined mechanism of defense. Although charged with mounting an antibody response to any unrecognized antigen threat, it must also possess enough checks and balances to not cause unwarranted host-versus-host reactions. Silicone exists naturally in all mammals. One should consider an idiosyncratic reaction as a diagnosis of exclusion in a differential diagnosis for an individual with a history of a bioimplantable device and an unusual allergic response beginning after device implantation. Appropriate confirmatory evaluation, including patch testing, is recommended.


Medicine and Health Sciences


Department of Surgery

Document Type

Book Chapter