Is a capsulectomy necessary to prevent seroma and other complications in saline breast implant removal surgery?

I am 31, healthy, and have had 350cc saline implants for 8 years. I am explanting because I no longer want them (no medical reason). My surgeon recommends a capsulectomy and drains to reduce risk of seroma and other complications. However, following my breast implant surgery, I lost 80% feeling in my breasts (not just nipple) for 6 years, and now have regained 95% feeling. I am concerned that a capsulectomy is unnecessairly invasive and may cause nerve damage again. Is a capsulectomy necessary?

Doctor Answers 4

Is a capsulectomy necessary to prevent seroma and other complications in saline breast implant removal surgery?

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Generally speaking, unless the breast implant capsules have thickened and/or are otherwise symptomatic, there is no indication to have them removed. On the contrary, capsulectomy can expose you to additional risks, such as bleeding and some breast size loss.

Having said that, I often remove a small segment of capsule tissue when removing breast implants with the hope that this maneuver will help with fluid resorption (and help prevent seroma formation). I usually use drains also. Hope this, and the attached link, helps.


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Personally, I never do a capsulectomy and never use drains with explantation and I haven't had any problems, but that is only my experience. If a seroma were to result it can always be tapped.

Breast Implant Removal

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In the vast majority of cases, removal of saline implants is easily done, with no need for drains or capsule removal.  Seek a second opinion prior to your surgery.  Best wishes!

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

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Capsulectomy after explantation

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Capsulectomy & placement of a drain is not necessarily needed after explantation of a breast implant. The reason for capsulectomy would be that you had a capsule that is hard,firm and/or calcified. The removal of the capsule will produce a seroma so a drain needs be placed.

Earl Stephenson, Jr,MD, DDS,FACS

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.