Pain After Breast Implant Removal

I had DC 23.5 year old submuscular, ruptured silicone breast implants removed on Jan. 28, 2010. I believe the implants were removed first and then the capsulectomy was done. Severe pain and bleeding post-op.

3 weeks later, I am still experiencing pain. It is located in the breast under the arm; it is quite hard. Hard to sleep on my side, and it feels hard inside. Is this muscular pain, do I need PTherapy, and how long will it last?

Doctor Answers 7

Lingering Pain after Removal of old Breast Implants and Scar

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Removal of old gel implants and the surrounding capsule is always a challenge. To ease the task we always try as much as possible to stay just outside the scar capsule and separate / peel the implant capsule unit from the adjacent breast and chest tissues. Although this works sometimes, in many cases the scar in entered and we need to remove the implant and liquid silicone gel separately, wash the pocket and then complete the removal of the hard capsule, if needed. Drains are usually used because the pockets continue draining fluid until everything adheres together. Although there is post-operative pain - 3 weeks is out of the ordinary and there MAY be something else going on. I suggest you see your surgeon and have him/her evaluate you.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Pain after explantation

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In my experience, this pain is due to infection and we always get bacterial capsule cultures for this reason at the time of explantation, as this is very common due to the large number of positive cultures in ruptured implant capsules.  The pain in your axilla in probably an infected lymph node.  I would also recommend antifungals such as Diflucan and Nystatin oral solution with the antibiotics, as without them, your are at a very high risk of Candidiasis with fatigue, muscle aches and mental clouding.   PT is not the answer.

Susan Kolb, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Pain after Breast Implant Removal

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You should consider other more serious causes of chest pain. If you are in good health and have no other causes of pain like heart related pain, reflux, costochondritis, or peptic ulcer disease, you may have pain related to irritation of your nerves. Neuropathic pain or nerve related pain maybe caused by irritation or scar tissue or maybe a pressure related phenomenon. Rest assure, there are several treatments for pain due to breast implants. If you do have pain, begin massage to the area of pain to help desensitize the area. If at least 6 months and preferably 12 months have passed after your breast implant surgery, some modalities that may help resolve your pain are:

1. Local Steroid injection to area of pinpoint pain

2. Flector transdermal NSAID patch

3. Intercostal nerve block

You should consult with your plastic surgeon to determine what is most appropriate for you and your particular signs and symptoms. Good Luck, Ankit Desai, MD - Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon

Ankit Desai, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon

Pain after implant removal

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Pain after implant and capsule removal can occur post-op and some have the pain longer than others. Without an exam I can not be certain what is the etiology of your pain, see your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Pain after breast implant removal

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It is difficult to tell without knowing more about the surgery. You may have a small hematoma or nerve pain secondary to entrapment.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Breast Implant Removal

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Sounds like you had a difficult surgery done. It is not uncommon to have some discomfort under the arm area after such procedures. If you feel a mass then I would suggest seeing your plastic surgeon to see what the problem is, otherwise what you are feeling will likely resolve in the next month or two.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Pain after implant removal

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It is possible to have some lingering pain if you bled post- operatively. This should however continue to subside over the course of the next 3-4 weeks. Also PT, massaging and warm pads should help. You may also want to discuss this with your surgeon.

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.