Tissue silicon assays were performed on 10 nonaugmented cadavers and 25 augmented women to confirm our previous cadaveric data and to establish silicon levels at local and distant sites in augmented women undergoing explant and further reconstruction. All assays were performed by inductively coupled plasma atomic emissions spectroscopy (ICP-AES). Cadaveric tissues were sampled from six sites: liver, spleen, breast, nipple, axilla (soft tissue and nodes), and subcutaneous tissue (abdominal). Augmented women undergoing explant surgery has a portion of their implant capsule, breast tissue, and, for those undergoing autogenous reconstruction, a portion of the autogenous donor site or distant tissue sampled. Twenty-four women had silicone implants; one had saline. Results revealed baseline silicone levels in all 10 non-augmented cadavers. These results were equivalent to our previous data, confirming the validity of these baseline data. Silicone tissue levels in the 25 augmented women revealed elevated levels within the implant capsule and surrounding breast tissue. However, silicon levels obtained from distant sites in augmented women were equivalent to the baseline nonaugmented cadaveric levels. There was no correlation between intact or ruptured implants and symptoms of collagen-vascular disease. In conclusion, this study validates our original data or baseline silicon levels in nonaugmented cadavers. Contrary to what some may perceive as silicone floating throughout the body, we have found elevated levels around the implant only, and levels at distant tissue sites were equivalent to the baseline cadaveric data.
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