Investigations into the effects of prior silicone exposure on subsequent capsule formation around silicone implants assume particular relevance in light of the exponential increase in the medical application of polymers such as silicone. The inert nature of silicone has been in question with regard to its effects on the immune system, specifically whether or not it may act as a hapten or antigen. The present study analyzes the effects of prior silicone exposure on subsequent capsule formation, histological consistency, and pressures when an animal is reexposed to a silicone implant. Twelve female Lewis rats (body weight 250 g) were randomly divided into two groups. Group 1 (n = 6) rats were subcutaneously injected with 2.5 ml of Freund's Complete Adjuvant, Group 2 (n = 6) rats were injected with an equal volume of adjuvant sonicated with silicone gel. At 4 weeks a gel-filled silicone implant was placed subcutaneously in each animal. Capsule pressures were obtained at 4 months and the capsules from 3 rats from Group 2 were excised and examined microscopically. Pressures were measured again at 8 months and all remaining capsules were excised and examined. No statistically significant differences were noted when comparing two profiles over time between silicone-exposed and nonexposed animals in regard to capsule thickness or capsule pressure. However, capsule pressures were significantly lower at 8 months than at 4 months in both groups (p less than 0.034). In this model, significant reductions in capsule pressure were noted in both groups over time, but prior exposure to silicone did not appear to alter capsule histology, thickness, or pressure.