I am 71, had silicone implants below muscle 37 yrs ago. One is leaking. Do I need a Capsulectomy with Explant? (photos)

Doctor Answers 5

I am 71, had silicone implants below muscle 37 yrs ago. One is leaking. Do I need a Capsulectomy with Explant?

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Thank you for the question.

When breast implants,  or any other foreign body,  is inserted into the human body,  the body forms a lining around it.  This lining is referred to as the “capsule”.   This capsule is normally very thin and soft;  however, it can become  thick and hardened in a process called encapsulation or capsular  contracture.

In the process of breast implant removal,  assuming the breast implant capsules are soft and asymptomatic,  there is no reason to remove them (capsulectomy). Removal of breast  implant capsular  tissue increases  the risks of surgery (for example bleeding).   On the other hand, if the patient with a silicone gel breast implant leak, wishes or have the surrounding breast implant capsule removed, I would not argue.  In other words, I do not believe that there is any “standard of care” answer to your question.

I hope this, (dedicated to breast implant removal concerns) helps.

Implant removal plus capsule

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I would let that up to the doctor.If your implants are that old the capsule may have silicone and marked calcification ie hard and it would be best to remove that.It can be done as an outpatient with soem IV sedation.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Leaking implant.

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Thank you for your picture. If you have a leaking implant you most likely have some capsular contracture. I would recommend not only the implant being removed but the portion of the capsule being removed and placement of a drain for complete healing.

Good luck.

Earl Stephenson Jr. MD DDS FACS

Old implants

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It really depends what the capsule looks like during the surgery. It is highly likely that your capsule is calcified and can have an "egg shell" texture to it . It makes us feel better to take all of that out and get you back to your native breast. Have you made a decision about what you are going to do with the space that's left after removing the implant? Are you replacing it or leaving it out ? Either way it makes sense to do the same on both sides, even if there is no evidence that the other side is leaking.

Edward S. Gronka, MD
Fayetteville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast Implants

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Your implants are 37 years old, the capsule can be thick calcified and would need to be removed along with the leaking implant. Silicone implant leak needs surgery, the silicone is not meant to be free floating in the body.
 Year breasts would be droopy, as seen in the side of the leaking implant, you can exchange the implants for newer implants, provided you are in good general health.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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.