Is Saline breast implants under the muscle removed in-office procedure w/o harming the chest muscles possible?

I have had saline breast implants under the chest muscle for over 22 years. I have recently started some physical activities that have ended in injury to my shoulder because of "tight" chest muscles.

Doctor Answers 8

Saline implant removal

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Saline implants can be removed fairly easily in the office. They can be deflated first, then removed through a small incision, under local anesthesia in the office. If the implant capsule is soft and thin, it doesn't need to be removed. If, however, the capsule is thickened or hard, it may be better to remove most of or all of the capsule, and that would need to be done with an anesthetic in the operating room. The implants can be deflated and removed without any damage t the muscle. If you choose or need removal of the capsule, this can be a lot more surgery and causes more trauma to the muscle.

I hope that helps-

Saline Breast Implant Removal

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Saline implants are very simple to deflate in-office under a local anesthetic. Placement above or beneath the muscle makes no difference.  I encourage my patients to wait approximately one month post deflation to decide whether or not to remove the deflated implants or simply leave them in.

Gilbert Lee, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Removing saline implants

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Thank you for asking about your saline breast implant removal.

  • Yes, it is quite easy to remove smooth saline implants, above or below the muscle in the office with local anesthesia. I have done it many times and patients have found it easy.
  • If your breasts are soft, the capsule is not likely to need removal.
  • If your breasts are hard, the capsule will probably need to be removed and I do not think this can be done properly in the office.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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Breast implant removal

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Thanks for your question.

Yes, implants can be removed ealsily under local (or IV sedation) in an office setting without damaging the pectoralis muscle.  

I am surprised that you injured your shoulder because of tight chest muscles due to the implants.  In 24 years of placing implants, I have never heard this described by one of my patients.

Hope everything goes well with your procedure.  Seek out a board certified Plastic Surgeon.

Dr T

Douglas Taranow, DO, FACOS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Saline Implant Removal

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Your saline implants can be removed in an office-type operating suite.  You can choose local only or with oral sedation for your comfort. If your capsule though is hardened, a capsulectomy or removal of the capsule may be suggested which is more efficiently done an operating room with anesthesia. The approach could be determined after consultation with a board-certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes. 

Erica Anderson, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews


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Hello, Typically yes, the saline implant can be removed without significant risk to the chest muscle. The only thing to consider is if you may need to have your implant capsule removed in addition to the implant. Discuss this with your PS. 



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Yes, these can be removed in an office Operating Room under General Anesthesia or sedation, not local anesthesia.

I recommend an in-office examination as well as a detailed discussion with a surgeon who you are comfortable with and who is a Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Best wishes!

Dr. Desai

Implant removal

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I would not recommend straight local to remove implants.  With 20 year old implants the capsules may need to be removed as well.  

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