Breast Implant Removal Recovery

Recovery? Pain? I was told by my surgeon that he could remove them under straight local. They are not ruptured. Is this true? I'm 30 years old. I had silicone 400cc breast implants placed 3 years ago. I was a fuller A cup and went up to a DD (against my wishes, I wanted a C) I'm a very active person and have hated them ever since. I do not wish to have them replaced in fear of future surgery, problems, etc. It was an unfortunate circumstance that I just want erased from my history.

Doctor Answers 31

Implant Removal Can Be Done With Local Anesthesia

Yes, you can remove implants with just local anesthesia, and return to work immediately.

Expert opinion does vary on the need for removing the capsule (capsulectomy) at the time of implant removal (explantation). Capsulectomy s done to make sure the space created for the implant will seal closed after removal.  If it does not, fluid (serum) can accumulate in the space, creating breast fullness, asymmetry, and even the feeling of fluid moving in the pocket.

Capsulectomy would better be performed with sedation (or general anesthesia) for your comfort.  The use of drains for about a week is common with capsulectomy.  Your return to work depends on your surgeon's counsel in this regard.


Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Explantation

The peer reviewed literature in plastic surgery recommends removal of the entire capsule in order to avoid problems such as infection, fluid collection, and problems with cancer detection.  Also the pocket of scar tissue does not dissolve over time (it may shrink in size but is there years after implant removal). 

Susan Kolb, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Take this surgery seriously

Removal of breast implants is a surgery that can be very successful in returning your breasts to a size and contour that is more comfortable for you.  The procedure may seem less significant than placing implants because there is often less discomfort and a quicker recovery.  However, this is still a real operation and should be treated as such.  I would not do an implant removal outside of the operating room, regardless of the type of anesthesia utilized for your comfort.

Recovery time after breast implant removal

The recovery after a breast implant removal procedure is very quick.  Most women can return to work in 3 days.  Any type of anesthesia can be utilized, whatever you and your surgeon are most comfortable using, local, local with sedation or general anesthesia.

Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Implant removal under local

 Whether the implant should be removed under low class Asia depends entirely upon you and your comfort level. I have done it both under sedation anesthesia and under local anesthesia. Both methods work well, although I would give the advantage to local anesthesia due to the lower cost and the lack of the need for recovery from sedation anesthesia.  In either case, the recovery is extremely minimal if we don't remove the capsule.  I find in the vast majority of cases capsule does not need to be removed. The reason some surgeons remove it is a fear that the fluid pocket (seroma) will develop. This is extremely rare and can be easily treated in the rare instances that this occurs.

Ben Lee, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Explantation recovery

Breast implants can be removed under local anesthesia, but in my practice, I find that patients are more comfortable with IV sedation as well. Your overall recovery should be relatively rapid, with a return to work within a week on average, and a return to normal activities within approximately one month.

Lara Devgan, MD, MPH
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Local

It might be difficult to remove silicone under local.  If they were saline, the implants could be intentionally ruptured fro removal.  Either way, straight local does not seem to be the most sensible option.  Very little can be done with this technique.

Recovery Following Implant Removal

                  Occasionally women are dissatisfied with their breast implants and elect to have them removed.  In the absence of severe capsule formation this is often a relatively simple procedure.  The procedure usually involves re-opening the incision, extracting the implant and closing the wound.  This can often be accomplished with local anesthesia alone.

                  The procedure is associated with minimal pain and short recoveries.  Since the muscle is undisturbed there’s minimal amounts of pain following the procedure.  Patients usually don’t require narcotics for longer than 24 hours and are able to return to work the following day as long as no heavy lifting is involved. 

                  If you’re considering this option, consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate.  This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that’s specific for your situation.  

Removing implants under local anesthesia

Saline implants with very little scar tissue around them can easily be removed under local anesthesia.  If you have minimal scar tissue around your implants, they can be removed under local anesthesia.  Under local anesthesia, your surgeon will probably not be able to reshape or lift your breasts, just remove the implants. You will probably have minimal pain with just the removal.

 

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast Implant Removal

Although implant removal can be performed safely under local, I find that I can do a better job with sedation or anesthesia.

I find that by scoring the capsule (capsulotomy), i can get the breast tissue to lay back down on the chest wall more naturally with less possibility of creases or contour irregularity.   I also find the scoring of the capsule to help the capsule adhere to the chest wall, which decreases the chance of seroma (fluid collection) formation.

I wish you a safe recovery.

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.