Free silicone breast injections

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 10 Nov 2023

Free silicone breast injections (silicone mastopathy) are an alternative form of breast augmentation to breast implants, although they have serious adverse effects and are banned in many countries. 

There are similar features to that of free silicone from breast implant rupture, although there will be no implant or fibrous capsule.

  • extremely dense lobulated masses +/- rim calcification

  • extremely dense lymph nodes may be present

  • "snowstorm appearance" of echogenic foci with posterior shadowing obscuring the posterior breast 3

Signal characteristics of silicone:

  • T1 FS: low signal

  • T2 water suppressed: high signal 

Free silicone injections were the precursor to breast prosthesis implantation and were banned in the United States in the 1990s 1,2. However, they are still performed in South America and Asia. 

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