Breast Implant Removal Under Local Anesthesia?

I just had implant removal and replacement with breast lift 7 days ago. My left breast is red swollen and tender. If it is infected and i need it removed, can it be done under a local? I do not want to undergo general again this soon.

Doctor Answers (15)

Breast implant removal under local is ideal for the patient who is not frightened


If implant removal does not frighten a patient, I do not see any reason to use general anesthesia.

A little sedation and little lidocaine would more than suffice the surgery, which should take less than 16 minutes per side.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breast Implant Removal Under Local Anesthesia?

In short, yes, a breast implant can be removed under local anesthesia.  Sometimes other medications are used to reduce anxiety, etc. for patients.  On the negative side, if the tissue is infected, the local anesthetics generally don't work as well.
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Infected implants


If you have an infected implant, local anesthetics will not work in an infected environment and you would probably need general.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Infected implant removal under local anesthesia


Implant removal can easily be performed under local but the problem is that lacal anesthetics do not work well in INFECTED tissues. Furthermore I am confused if you are talking about implant replacement in an infected field which is highly controversial

Web reference:

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Salvaging an infected breast implant


Immediate breast implant removal can be performed under local anesthesia if there is a contraindication to anesthesia.  There are options for infected implant salvage with intravenous antibiotics that are worth discussing. 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast implant removal under local anesthesia.


While it may be possible to remove the implant under local anesthesia, the main question is why is the implant being removed? (i.e.; infection, wound breakdown, etc)  It all depends on what is being done.  Most patients are more comfortable under sedation or general anesthesia.

Talk to your board certified plastic surgeon and discuss your treatment options, including anesthesia options. 

Web reference:

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

An implant can be removed under local anesthesia.


If you have an infection, you situation is a bit complicated.  Although removal of an implant is easy under local anesthesia, you might need a little more than just removal for treatment.  Nevertheless, my guess is that you can have the implant removed and the infection treated with local anesthesia alone.

Web reference:,13-atlanta-breast-augmentation.htm

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Choice of anesthesia for implant removal


In great majority of patients that require simple breast implant removal, there is no need for general anesthesia.  Local anesthesia with light sedation, too make the patient comfortable, can be readily used to achieve the desired results.  Make sure your surgeon does not skimp on performing all the necessary steps during your surgery, just because you are having local anesthesia.  In many patients at least partial capsule removal is needed, as well as placement of some tacking sutures to obtain the desired result.  In my hands that can readily be done with proper technique and local anesthesia.

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Implant removal under local is possible, but not ideal.


In cases where breast implants need to be removed due to infection, it is possible to perform this operation using only local anesthesia. However, for maximum patient comfort it is probably best to perform this operation under sedation or general anesthesia. Further, if any breast tissue requires cleaning up (debridement) or if any capsule needs to be removed, it is much safer to be doing these under general anesthesia.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Do not receive a breast implant removal under local anesthesia alone


For your comfort and safety is best advised to receive a breast implant removal either under sedation or general anesthesia. The majority of breast implants are placed underneath the muscle. When performing an implant removal, an incision is made at the previous site and the surgeon must dissect through tissue until they find the capsule, open the capsule and remove the implant. If they do not wish to save the implant and it is a saline implant this may be easily evacuated of fluid and removed. However if this is a silicone implant, your surgeon will want to remove it intact. For your comfort and safety, this is a little too much surgery to perform under just local anesthesia. Also keep in mind that neither you nor your surgeon knows exactly what he will find once he opens your breast. You may need some debridement or an additional procedure that could be quite uncomfortable.

Think twice if this is offered to you.

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 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.

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