I would like to remove my large saline implants after 13 years without a lift. Will I need to remove the capsule? (photo)

I've had no trouble with rippling or hardening. They haven't bottomed out. Thanks for any advice.

Doctor Answers 3

I would like to remove my large saline implants

You probably won't need a lift and unless there is some problem with the capsule, it is not necessary to remove it. But a common practice now for patients with your concern, is to deflate the implant with a needle and allow the skin and capsule to shrink over 6 weeks or so before removing the implant. That will tell you if yoou want or need a lift, too.

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Consult your local plastic surgeon

Unfortunately, larger implants tend to stretch the skin and when they're removed you'll be left with a deflated appearing breast that may or may not need a lift. I'd recommend you visit your local plastic surgeon for a consultation so he/she can evaluate your skin/soft tissue thickness and breast measurements to determine if you'll truely need a lift. Regarding removing the capsule, most surgeons will remove the capsule to allow the space that surrounded the implant to seal together. Good luck.

Matthew Blanton, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Removing the capsule when removing the breast implant

I would agree with Dr. DeMars' response.

Intentionally deflating the implant voids the warranty and commits the patient to removal or replacement, but it's an easy solution to the issue of seeing what the breast will look like without the implant volume. 

It would appear that the implants you have were properly sized and positioned and therefore removing them should leave your breasts looking the way they would have looked if the implant had never been there. You may have sagged a bit over 13 years but putting implants in does not lift breasts and taking them out does not make them sag. The issue of sagging after removal is an illusion because of the lost volume and upper pole fill. 

There is no medical reason to remove normal capsule tissue around saline-filled implants. Removing saline implants with a capsulectomy can be done under local anesthesia in the office as a walk-in and walk-out procedure for minimal cost, particularly if the original incisional scar is in the inframammary crease. The risk of fluid collection after removing the implants is vastly overrated and can be easily dealt with if it occurs.

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

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.