Can I get breast augmentation after minimally invasive heart surgery? If so, how long should I wait?

I am scheduled to have minimally invasive heart surgery soon, specifically right thoracotomy procedure. I currently have breast implants that have some hardening & capsulation. I have a feeling that they will have to remove my right breast implant to get access during surgery. Q: 1) should I ask them to leave the implant out if they have to remove? 2) How long do I have to wait after heart surgery to get BA? 3) Do insurances pay for replacement breast aug surgery due to my circumstances?

Doctor Answers 8

Breast Augmentation after Heart Surgery

Hello and thank you for your questions! I would suggest waiting a year or until you get medical clearance from your cardiac surgeon. If your implants have been removed during surgery, you probably will not be covered by your insurance when you proceed with your elective surgery. I wish you the best of luck with your surgery!

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Breast surgery after heart surgery

I have had this situation many times, and yes you can have breast surgery after your heart surgery.  BUT, you should definitely have your Plastic Surgeon coordinate with your Cardiac Surgeon as to incisions, implant, etc.

Malcolm A. Lesavoy, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast augmentation and heart surgery.

I have actually come across this situation in the past. There is no medical issue with removing your implant, capsulectomy or replacing an implant concommitant with your cardiac surgery. The biggest problem with moving the implant out of the way and then replacing the implant again will actually be coordinating a plastic surgeon's and cardiac surgeon's schedules. 

Insurance companies will pay for removal of an implant and capsulectomy, but unless the augmentation was for reconstructive reasons, it is extremely unlikely that insurance will pay for a replacement breast augmentation. 

Lily Lee, MD
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Thoracotomy with Breast Implants


It is unlikely that your breast implant needs to be removed for your planned thoracotomy.  However, if it did need to be removed, you would be informed of such by your heart surgeon, as he would utilize a plastic surgeon, someone you would meet before your surgical procedure. If your implant was removed, insurance would unlikely pay for its replacement. Your heart surgeon will tell you when  you can have breast implant surgery afterwards, but my guess is 2 to 3 months. Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Can I get breast augmentation after minimally invasive heart surgery? If so, how long should I wait?

Hopefully your cardiac surgeon will be able to perform the thoracotomy without need to enter the capsule and remove your breast implant.  Once the implant were to be removed it would be very difficult to replace it for a cardiac surgeon since the capsular pocket will shrink immediately.  This is especially true if you had capsule contracture.

Allow for complete healing of your first procedure and once approved by your cardiologist you can contemplate capsulectomies and placement of new implants.  If you are having a valve replacement you want to be sure that your cardiac function is excellent and that you are well healed before proceeding with an elective breast surgery. Best wishes to you and good luck

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Heart surgery and elective surgery

You should wait a good year following heart surgery to undergo elective surgery; you should also prepare well in advance as you will need clearance by your cardiologist which takes time to get.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Can I get breast augmentation after minimally invasive heart surgery?

Thank you for the question. The specific answer to your question will depend on exactly what the diagnosis is and what procedures is being performed.  Therefore, your cardiologist and surgeon will need to provide you with "clearance" prior to undergoing elective breast surgery.

 Your  cardiac surgeon should be able to provide you with more specifics when it comes to potential exposure of breast implant and/or need for removal during the cardiac procedure.  Otherwise, online consultants will only be speculating.

 I think it is unlikely that insurance companies will help with breast augmentation surgery even under these circumstances.

 Best wishes for a successful (and complication free) surgery.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews


You will need cardiac clearance for breast surgery, and may need to wait at least 6 months depending upon your cardiac condition. I doubt you will find a cardiac surgeon that will remove your implant, especially if it is an old gel implant. No, insurance does not cover elective cosmetic procedures on the breast.

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