Toxins in capsule tissue

I have read toxicology lists of implant content and micro leakage into the body causing immune disorders. How difficult is it to also remove the capsule. I have silicon pea sized scar covered ball in my breast. I want this stuff out of me. I also hear that people get very sick after explant because of lack of detox protocol. What is the protocol?

Doctor Answers 5

Toxins in capsule tissue

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 Thank you for the question.

As you know, there are patients who present to plastic surgeons for breast implant removal surgery hoping that removal of breast implants will alleviate a variety of medical conditions that they may be experiencing.  Given that there is no science associating the presence of breast implants with these illnesses, I cannot promise the patient's relief or improvement;  on the other hand, out of respect for the patient (and with enough medical experience to know that patients are often right about their own bodies), I do remove the breast implants (en bloc). This involves removing the breast implants and the surrounding thickened capsule "in one piece".  Given the concerns, implants and tissues are sent to microbiology and pathology. 

Recently I have become more aware of the fact that there are plastic surgeons who, instead of using good judgment and individualized patient care, are causing fear and unnecessary anxiety among patients. These patients them feel that complete capsulectomy is always necessary and undergo unnecessary surgery associated with additional morbidity and unnecessary expenses.

 I think that as time goes on, as our experience increases further, we will learn more about any possible association between breast implants and "illnesses".  I think that it is important, as physicians, to keep an open mind.

 In the meantime, I hope the plastic surgeons will individualize patients care based on good ethics and not "scare" as many patients as possible to remove breast implants and capsules, exposing patients unnecessarily, in many cases, to unnecessary risk (morbidity) and expenses.

 Thank you again for the thought-provoking question.

Toxins in capsule tissue

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Congratulations - or not- for falling down the breast implant illness rabbit hole.  I am very familiar with the massive amount of disinformation on this topic available online and via an invitation only Facebook page.  I have seen many, many women requesting really radical surgery to remove every spec of silicone from their bodies.  I recently had a patient with a normal mammogram, ultrasound and MRI request that I remove her perfectly normal underarm lymph nodes to "get every spec of silicone out" along with her intact gel implants. She picked up this idea from the breast implant illness community.  What that community did not tell her was the real and substantial risk of Iymph node removal.  I had a patient a year ago become gravely ill on some sort of unproven detox diet, again recommended by this community.  I've had patient after patient demand "en bloc" removal of implants and capsules who have no idea that "en bloc" removal is term used from cancer surgery.  Oh, and why would a patient get very sick after explant if it was the evil implant and capsule that was causing the problem?  The drum beat of the breast implant illness community defies all logic and is an affront to real medical research and knowledge.  Here this loud and clear - there is no such thing as breast implant illness. 

That being said - I feel a lot better getting that off my chest - breast implants can make a real mess of the breast with hardening, rupture, malposition, etc. Sometimes old implants make a middle aged lady look fat. I will remove breast implants for any reason if the patient is healthy enough to have surgery.  It's their body.  If they want their implants out, I'll take 'em out but I won't buy into all of the bat guano crazy stuff out there about breast implant illness. 

I recommend you see a board certified plastic surgeon who can remove your unwanted implants, remove the capsule (it is a routine but sometimes challenging procedure), remove the small pea sized silicone granuloma and provide you, if desired, with non implant options for your breasts after implant removal.  

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Toxins in implant capsules

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Thank you for asking about your breast implant removal.

  • Please do not rely on non-medical 'information' about breast implants on-line. It is misleading.
  • Extensive international studies in the 1990s found no link between auto-immune disease and silicone.
  • If you have free silicone in your breast, it should be removed if possible.
  • How do you know that the 'pea sized ball' in your breast is silicone?
  • To diagnose the lump, you need an exam by your plastic surgeon, an ultrasound and a biopsy or removal of the lump.
  • It is possible the 'lump' is simply the harmless edge of your implant.
  • Extensive studies have shown that silicone implants themselves are tolerated by the body and not toxic.
  • However we do know that bacteria can settle on implants and make people sick.
  • The usual signs start with aching in the chest and muscle pains - 
  • If this happens, the symptoms subside when implants are removed.
  • If you have saline implants and the saline was injected in an open system (today, it is almost always with a closed system) you can get infections in the saline and need the implant removed.
  • :Please see a plastic surgeon to discuss your concerns and what should be done.
  • Please stop searching on-line for non-medical implant information as it will make you crazy - I have read truly wild nonsense written by people who are very well-meaning but do not understand the issues.
  • All that said, if you do not want your implants - of course you can have them removed!
  • Let your plastic surgeon know if that is your final decision and here's hoping all goes well.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD

Toxicology of Breast Implant Capsule

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I do not know where you have gotten your information, but it all appears to be wrong. The only time silicone has ever been shown to cause an immune response is in infants receiving a silicone brain shunt before their immune system has developed. Removing the capsule at the time of implant removal is a relatively simple procedure, though it does add significant time to the procedure. In over 35 years of practice, I  have never heard of anyone getting sick after implant removal and there is no detox protocol. Whatever immune disorder you have will not be helped by removing the silicone, capsule or implant. See a board certified plastic surgeon with significant experience in dealing with breast implants. If they started practice before 1990, it will also help.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon


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I have been in practice 30 plus years and I am still waiting to see my first patient cured of immune disorders after implant removal.  None of my patients have become ill after implant explant, either.  Based on the information you have shared, you should have an explant with the capsule removed.  Hopefully, this will help you.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 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.