I Am Having an Explant, Capsulectomy, and Lift Soon. Should Things Be Sent to a Pathologist?

The PS I'm seeing doesn't send things to a pathologist unless the patient requests it. Should the implants, capsules, and/or any tissue be sent to a pathologist? If so, what is a ballpark cost for this as I am paying out of pocket? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 6

Tissue to pathology?

Typically, if there are no other signs/symptoms/concerns, it is not typical to send the tissue for pathology.  Certainly if anything found abnormal during the procedure, it may be sent.  If you desire this be done regardless, discuss with your surgeon who can give you a pathology cost, which will likely be $200-1000.  Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Sending tissue off to pathology

Unless there is a suspicion or suspicious tissue the breast implant/capsule does not necessarily have to be sent to pathology.  Discuss this with your doctor.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Pathological exam of implants, capsules, or tissue

The only reason to send an implant, capsule, or tissue to pathology and incur a charge is if there is something abnormal or unexpected and a diagnosis is needed. 

I would add that although there is a difference of opinion on this, there is no good reason to remove a normal capsule when removing an implant and it adds cost, time, and risk to the procedure. There is also no reason a lift must be done when an implant is removed. Implants do not lift breasts and removing them does not make them actually sag. There is only the illusion of lift or sag. Whether a patient would benefit from a lift has to do with where the nipple sits in relation to the inframammary crease behind it. 

There are certainly exceptions, but the simplest and least costly procedure is to remove the implant alone under local anesthesia or IV sedation/local anesthesia. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review


unless there is a family history or personal history of malignancy there is no need for this. if you are requesting this then paying the fee is also appropriate.

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Send Capsule/Tissue to Pathology after Breast Implant Removal?

Thank you for the question.

Generally speaking, unless there is an abnormality on imaging studies and/or found during the surgical procedure, I do not routinely send breast implants, capsules, or tissue to pathology for evaluation. If you choose to have this performed, patholgy costs may vary from one institution to another ( probably ranging from $500-$1000).

 Best wishes with your upcoming procedures.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Capsulectomy, and Lift Soon. Should Things Be Sent to a Pathologist?

It is quite unlikely that anything will come out from the path report that is of any use, and the cost is about $500. Unless there is some abnormality on a mammogram or MRI, I generally do not send capsule tissue to the lab. 

Thanks, and best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.