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 18

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

3720 Fourth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103-4203

Implant infection

If the implant needs to be removed because it is infected, there is obvious much more that can be done at the time of surgery if the patient is asleep. 

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

525 Oak Centre Drive
San Antonio, TX 78258

Local Vs General Anesthesia for Implant Removal

Patients occasionally require removal of their breast implants for a variety of reasons.  When this situation arises the procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia.  It’s important to realize that under the appropriate circumstances explantation can be easily performed under local anesthesia.  In most cases, local anesthesia is supplemented with I.V. sedation.

                  Local anesthesia is an excellent option in patients who are anxious about general anesthesia or whose health prohibits the use of general anesthesia.  Under these circumstances, the area beneath the inframmary fold is numbed and a small incision is made to remove the breast implants.

                  Breast implants can easily be removed under local anesthesia, but when extensive capsular work is anticipated, general anesthesia is still the best option.

                  If you’re considering removal of implants under local anesthesia, it’s important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon.  Your surgeon should be able to help you formulate an appropriate treatment plan.  

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

8900 West Dodge Road
Omaha, NE 68114

Breast Implant Removal Under Local Anesthesia?

Thank you for the question.
If all that is being done is removal of the implants ( no capsule work)  then they may be safely and comfortably removed under local anesthesia for  a relatively calm patient. I generally individualize the type of anesthesia to be used based on the specific patient's  personality and  situation.
Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,054 reviews

8851 Center Drive
San Diego, CA 91942

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.

For more information, please go to my website at:

Garrett A. Wirth, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

400 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Infected implants

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

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

1049 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10028

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. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

804 7th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403

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. 

Jeffrey Roth, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

9280 W. Sunset Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89148

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.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

365 East Paces Ferry Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

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.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

360 San Miguel Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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.