Will I Need Drains with Capsulectomy and No Replacement? (photo)

I have to remove 28 year old textured, Silicone implants above the muscle, including capsulectomy. I don't like drains. Are they used with this procedure at all? Can I avoid them? I don't smoke, am in great health, but I am 55. Right breast recently developed some hardness on the bottom against the chest wall, and implant has raised up a bit. Implants are small, went from an A to a B. Now, I have gained weight and gotten older, and they are D's. I will have new incision under breast, not areola.

Doctor Answers 7


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Typically, I do not use drains for capsulectomies. If however, there is excessive bleeding I might need to use a drain. In your case I would doubt you would need insertion of any drains. In the end, it completely depends on what your plastic surgeons technique and comfort level. Good luck. Sincerely Dr.Katzen

Drains after implant removal

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Using drains after removal of your implants depend upon how extensive the surgery is and how raw the surfaces are inside that may produce fluid collections.


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If you are having a capsulectomy and removal of the implant the use of drains really depends upon the preference of the surgeon and how "wet" your cases. The removal of an implant is basically a straightforward operation, especially if implants are not replaced. For your information, we have just filmed and implant removal that was required because the patient had the French implant PIP and needed to be removed. This video will be appearing on YouTube in the next week or so. Good luck with your operation.

Drains after capsulectomy

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Most plastic surgeons will use drains after implant removal and capsulectomy  to avoid the collection of fluid in the pocket while healing is occurring.  If new implants are placed, drains may be avoided, but the use of drains without new implants may prevent the need to aspirate any fluid before things have healed.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon

Drains after Capsulectomy?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Your plastic surgeon may or may not use drains;  you will find that different plastic surgeons have different thoughts about the need for drains  after this type of surgery. I personally do use drains most of the time after capsulectomy.

Best wishes.

Need for drains depends on variety of factors.

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The postoperative management following breast implant removal varies from patient to patient and depends upon a multitude of variables.In most cases, the decision to use a compressive support bra and drains is dependent upon intraoperative factors.When removal of implants is associated with more extensive dissections and capsulectomies, both drains and compression may be indicated.This is a decision that is usually based upon intraoperative factors.

For this reason, it’s important to discuss this issue thoroughly with your surgeon.Although your surgeon has formulated a treatment plan that will address your anatomic findings and hopefully achieve your aesthetic goals, this decision occasionally needs to be modified in the operating room based on clinical findings.When this approach is taken, clinical results are usually excellent and patient satisfaction rates are high.

Will I Need Drains with Capsulectomy and No Replacement?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! It is a matter of surgeon preference as well as what is seen during your procedure that will determine whether or not a complete capsulectomy is performed. If significant capsule formation is seen intraoperatively, a full capsule removal may be warranted with a drain in order to completely remove all of the tissue and allow better adherence of your breast back to its normal anatomic position down on your chest wall. If minimal contracture is seen, it may be possible to leave the capsule, or place cuts within the capsule to allow better adherence. It truly is dependent on what is seen with your capsule and the issues that may be causing you to have such a procedure (e.g., contracture from rutptured implant vs pain vs simple pocket adjustment, etc).  Most likely drains will be required.

Without knowing your issues and without an examination, it is difficult to tell you what may be the best thing for you. I tend to favor performing capsulectomies (in an en bloc fashion) in order to create a fresh pocket, reshape the pocket, allow better shape and adherence of the overlying breast. I would discuss your issues with your plastic surgeon who will assist you in determining the right modality for you. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

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.