What is the procedure for implant removal if I want the implant and capsule removed?

How long does the surgery take? How long are drains in? How long before stitches are removed ? Should you wear a compression bra afterwards ?

Doctor Answers 4

Removing breast implants and capsule

For your consideration: There is no medical reason to remove the capsule around a breast implant unless it is demonstrably abnormal (calcified, thickened, deforming). The capsule is a normal layer of scar tissue that is the way the body heals around something it cannot heal into. If you remove it, a new layer of scar tissue will be formed although it won't be called a capsule. To remove capsules around implants adds time, cost, complexity, and risk to implant removal. The recovery from a simple explant of implants is mainly healing the incision while recovery from a capsulectomy is more similar to the procedure to put the implants in. 

Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review


You have several questions that can best be answered after an examination. Some capsules are fairly easily removed, and others, especially with ruptured gel implants, take longer. I personally almost never use drains, but some surgeons do. I use dissolving sutures, with tapes and glue on the skin. Every surgeon has his/her preference of sutures, dressings, and bras. All this can be discussed during the consultation. I would suggest meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon and discussing all your concerns.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

What is the procedure for implant removal if I want the implant and capsule removed?

Thank you for the question. Breast implant removal recovery surgery is usually almost painless and associated with a faster return to activities compared to the breast augmentation procedure.  The procedure can be done under local or general anesthesia depending on the circumstances of the specific patient. Surgery time: 1-2 hours. Drains typically 3-7 days. Stitches usually absorbable. Bra recommendations vary from one practice to another. Personally, I like the use of relatively snug fitting bra over compressive dressings immediately after surgery..  I think that this compression is helpful when it comes to avoidance of fluid accumulation in the space where the breast implants  were removed from.  Afterwards, a formfitting sports bra may be helpful when it comes to the support  provided during the skin “bounce back” process. What your breasts will look like after explantation  depends on several factors such as: the quality of skin elasticity (the better the elasticity the better the skin will bounce back),  the size of the implants used (the larger the implant the more trouble you may have with redundant skin), and the amount of breast tissue present at this time (which may have changed since the time of your breast augmentation).  Life experience since your breast augmentation procedure, such as pregnancy or weight gain weight loss, will  potentially influence the factors discussed above. If you take these factors into consideration and apply them  to your specific circumstances you may get a good idea of what to expect after the implants are removed.
Patience is definitely indicated after removal of breast implants; it will take many months for the skin to “bounce back” and for you to see the final appearance of the breasts.
Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

What is the procedure for implant removal if I want the implant and capsule removed?

Thank you for your question.  Surgery will take roughly 1.5-2 hours to perform and if drains are placed they can often be removed within a week.  Sutures used are typically absorbable and would not need to be removed but use of a compression garment in the first few weeks after surgery is recommended.  Hope that this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 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.