Is anesthesia always required during breast implant removal...?

I visited my original plastic surgeon today to discuss a removal of my C cup silicone breast implants unders I have had for about 4 months because I just dont think they fit my lifestyle... He informed me that removal was more in depth than I had anticipated. Requiring anesthesia and removal of capsule so muscle can adhere to chest wall to prevent fluid collection and "wants to do everything right"..... Well I second that notion, but also wanted to go a more cost efficient route....

Doctor Answers 14

Is anesthesia always required during breast implant removal...?

Thank you very much for your email enquiry. The type of anaesthetic that is normally required for it.
If your surgeon is considering removing the whole capsule a general anaesthetic would be required as this is a significant procedure. In many cases this is not always necessary to remove the whole capsule and if you’ve had your implant for only 4 months and on inspection the capsule is normal during the anaesthetic I and many other plastic surgeons leave the capsule. The capsule will slowly resolve and disappear with body tone in subsequent years. I think it would perhaps be worthwhile seeking a 2nd opinion from another surgeon as to the pros and cons of removing the capsule. AR

London Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

Is anesthesia always required during breast implant removal...?

In most cases, that is how breast implant removal b=needs to be done. If you leave the capsule in, then there can be complications from that. On the other hand, there are many whose implants have been removed without addressing the capsules. Those folks will have the risks of intracapsular fluid build ups. Good luck!

Steven M. Gitt, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

General Anesthesia for Removal of Implants and Capsulectomy

Great Question.  When it comes to your health and what is most safe, never let cost be a factor.  You should follow the plan of care given to you by your board certified plastic surgeon.  I would recommend general anesthesia for your case due to the capsulectomy needed after the removal of the implants. Good of luck in making your choice....  

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast Implant Removal and Anesthesia


Implant  removal  under local anesthesia is often well tolerated by patients.
If further surgery on the capsule is planned, additional sedation is recommended.
It's best to decide on the optimal course by discussing the proposed surgery with your surgeon.

Dr. Pedy Ganchi
Village Plastic Surgery

Pedy Ganchi, MD
Ridgewood Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Implant Removal

Even though you have only had implants for 4 months, you should have general anesthesia as your surgeon recommends.  Do this the right way.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews


You should have general anesthesia for this procedure to be comfortable and let the surgeon do what is necessary to complete your process. There are no shortcuts here! You just have to do what is right!

Michael S. Beckenstein, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Anesthesia for implant removal

You will be best served in the long run if you go ahead and have your implants removed in the operating room under sterile conditions with good anesthesia.

What is the correct type of anesthesia? It is possible to use just local anesthesia and yes that would be less expensive in an office setting but as the other surgeons have mentioned you may require a bit more work than expected. If so you will be far more comfortable under the care of an experienced anesthesia provider. 


Dr C

Thomas Crabtree, MD, FACS
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Is anesthesia always required during breast implant removal...?

Thank you for the question.
Generally speaking, removing breast implants (saline or silicone), assuming no additional work is necessary on the breast implant capsules or skin, is well tolerated by most patients. However, if patients feel that they would be more comfortable (with less anxiety) they may be better off having the breast implants removed with additional anesthesia on board. The majority of breast implants removed in our practice are done under general anesthesia.
Discuss your concerns and anxiety level with your plastic surgeon to determine the best course of action for your individual case.
Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,502 reviews


The peer reviewed literature in plastic surgery recommends total capsulectomy in order to avoid complications later including problems with cancer detection and seroma and infection.  The capsule forms within the first few weeks so it is myth that it is not present.

Susan Kolb, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Depends on the size of the implant.

I have been in  practice nearly 2 decades and have frequently removed implants with a local anesthetic, easily, with minimal charge.  This is easier is the implants are relatively small (less than 400cc) and especially with saline implants.  If your implants have only been in 4 months you should have a good result without removing the capsule.  Jane

Jane M. Rowley, MD
Lubbock Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 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.