PIP Victim is Sub Muscular Implant AND Capsule Removal my Best Option?

I am 38 have had PIP submuscular implants I think 220 for 6 years I want them removed and not replaced I have read a lot about the capsule and would like advice. Should I insist on capsule removal because of the possible contamination through the faulty toxic implants that may have been absorbed into the protective capsule? I am concerned that even if I have the implants removed I will still be at risk from the industrial silicon.

Doctor Answers 6

Removing PIP implants

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I would add that I don't think it's possible to "clear" your tissues of microscopic silicone whether the implants are intact or not and whether the implant is intact or not. It's certainly not possible to know that all silicone and risk is removed although there's no solid evidence to support the supposed specific risk of the "industrial silicone". Removing the capsule if it is normal looking involves a bigger operation with more risk of bleeding and scarring and no assurance that this will remove all risk or all microscopic silicone. However, if the patient is properly informed as to the increased risks and costs of removing the capsule as well as the inability to completely clear all silicone from the tissues even with the capsulectomy, I would feel that the patient could make this choice. 

Boulder Plastic Surgeon

PIP Implant and capsule

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I think tit would be ideal to remove the implant and if possible the entire capsule.  Sometimes removing the entire capsule is not possible.

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

PIP implant removal

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I am sorry to hear you are in the middle of this PIP implant mess.  As long as the implant is not ruptured, it is unlikely that there would be any difference with simple implant removal or complete capsulectomy.  However, the quality of these implants has been proven to be inferior with a higher risk of rupture and leak.  For piece of mind, I would recommend capsulectomy to be sure.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 189 reviews

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PIP Implant Removal

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It is very unfortunate that so many woman have suffered with the PIP industrial silicone debacle.  The good news is that assuming your implant are intact (the outer shell is not disrupted) there is little need for a complete capsulectomy.   Simple removal of the intact implants should completely eliminate any potential problem and should allow you to have some peace of mind.  If the implants have ruptured, however, it is best to remove the capsule along with any spilled silicone.  If you are considering removal and not replacing your implants, then there may also be an argument for removing a portion of the capsule to allow for the space that was created by the implants to collapse down.  Best of luck with your future surgery.  

Max Lehfeldt, MD, FACS
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon

My Guidelines for Capsulectomy for PIP implants

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Capsulectomy recommendations with PIP implant removal
In general I would follow these recommendations - If there is no evidence of rupture of your silicone gel implants and your breasts are soft  then I do not recommend capsulectomy to my patients. However if there is a rupture or what is called "silicone bleed" where there is visible sticky silicone on the outer capsule, especially with PIP implants then I recommend capsulectomy to rid your body of traces of free silicone

PIP implant removal

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In general, when I remove implants, I remove the implant and surrounding scar capsule.  The reasoning for the capsule removal is to create a raw surface such that the implant cavity can heal down.  The cavity would then no longer exist.  The scar capsule is typically a very smooth surface which might persist unless it is removed.  I would not worry much (if at all) about the potential toxicity associated with the capsule or even the PIP implant itself.  There is actually no data to suggest that it will harm you although the company was using unauthorized silicone.  However, the recommendation remains that the implants should be removed.  If you do not replace the implants, then you may notice a drooping quality to your breasts in addition to the loss of volume.

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.