Q: Dr. Eppley. I have a rhinoplasty with a silicone implant several years ago. It has had to undergo several subsequent revisions where it was shaved down to get it to look right. I am now at the point with it that I just want to get rid of it. Iwas told that it would be very difficult if not impossible to remove now by surgery because it would be ingrown into the surrounding nasal tissues. Is it possible to remove the remaining silicone implant by melting it?
A: The answer to your question is no…nor would you want to. As a chemical element at 14 on the periodic table, it has a very high melting point at around 1400 C. That number is when it is in a very solid form. As a facial implant, silicone is not as well polymerized so its melting point is lower. But regardless of its melting temperature, it is far too high and your own tissues would be burned long before the silicone melted. I do not believe there is any validity to the idea that it can not be surgically removed if it is a solid implant, regardless of how much whittling had been done to it. However, if it was a ‘rhinoplasty’ done by injected silicone, that is a different story. There is no way to remove silicone oil particles, short of wide excision of tissues which on the nose would cause a lot of scarring and deformity.
Dr. Barry Eppley