Recovery Time - Implant Removal and Capsulectomy?

I just scheduled my surgery for implant removal and capsulectomy for 12/21. I had my 380/360cc smooth saline implants put in 11 years ago submuscular. I missed 1 week of work, but only needed pain meds for the first two days (then switched to OTC and did just fine). Can I expect a similar recovery or will it be worse? Want to make sure I'm able to participate in Christmas activities.

Doctor Answers 8

Breast implant removal and capsulectomy

I would agree with Dr. DeMars response and emphasize that there is no functional reason to perform a capsulectomy when removing most implants unless there is an abnormality in the capsule. Smooth surface saline breast implants can be removed through an old or new inframammary crease incision under local anesthesia with or without sedation and there is essentially no recovery except for the incision healing. Capsulectomy adds cost, risk, anesthesia requirements and still results in a scar tissue layer left where the implant was. The recovery would not be as involved as putting the implants in but would be much more involved than a simple removal. 

Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Recovery: Minimal, 24 Hours.

Occasionally, women are dissatisfied with their breast implants and elect to have them removed.In the absence of severe capsule formation, this is often a relatively simple procedure.The procedure usually involves reopening the incision, extracting the implant, and closing the wound.This could easily be accomplished with local anesthesia without significant discomfort.

The procedure is associated with minimal pain and short recoveries.Since the muscle is undisturbed, there’s minimal amounts of pain following the procedure.Patient’s usually don’t require narcotics for longer than 24 hours and are able to return to work the following day as long as no heavy lifting is involved.

If you’re considering this option, consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate.This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that’s specific for your situation.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Recovery after Breast Implant Removal?

Most  patients who undergo breast implant removal surgery experience minimal discomfort compared to the initial operation. Barring complications, you should be able to participate in  non-strenuous Christmas activities.
 Best wishes with your upcoming procedure and Merry Christmas!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Discomfort should be les


Thank you for the question.  Most of the pain associated with a submuscular augmentation is from the muscle as you can imagine.  Implant removal and capsulectomy will not or at least should not involve the cutting of the muscle and therefore your discomfort should be much less.  Your activity restriction will be similar since too much activity can predispose you to hematoma formation or seroma formation .

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta 

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Recovery Time

Usually what hurts most in breast surgery is creating the submuscular pocket. Removing the implants should be considerably less uncomfortable. A capsulectomy would add some to the minimal discomfort of simple removal of the implants. Often this is not necessary.

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Recovery after implant replacement and capsulectomy

yes you can theoretically expect a similar time frame for this recovery but you need to discuss that with your surgeon. he is in the best position to give you a good estimate about your recovery.

Antoine A. Hallak, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Recovery Time - Implant Removal and Capsulectomy?

Unless there is some pathology of your capsule, it would be unusual to do a capsectomy with saline implants. There is no problem caused by leaving the capsules in your body, it is simply scar tissue. Rarely a patient may have a small collection of fluid that has to be drained through a needle, but that risk is even higher with the capsulectomy. Your recovery should be a day or two if you only remove the implants.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Recovery Time - Implant Removal and Capsulectomy?

Hello! Thank you for your question! It is a matter of surgeon preference as well as what is seen during your procedure that will determine whether or not a complete capsulectomy is performed. If significant capsule formation is seen intraoperatively, a full capsule removal may be warranted with a drain in order to completely remove all of the tissue and allow better adherence of your breast back to its normal anatomic position down on your chest wall. If minimal contracture is seen, it may be possible to leave the capsule, or place cuts within the capsule to allow better adherence. It truly is dependent on what is seen with your capsule and the issues that may be causing you to have such a procedure (e.g., contracture from ruptured implant vs pain vs simple pocket adjustment, etc). Implants may or may not be replaced depending on your discussion and reason for capsulectomy.

Without knowing your issues and without an examination, it is difficult to tell you what may be the best thing for you. I tend to favor performing capsulectomies (in an en bloc fashion) in order to create a fresh pocket, reshape the pocket, allow better shape and adherence of the overlying breast. I would discuss your issues with your plastic surgeon who will assist you in determining the right modality for you. Most patients tolerate this procedure very well with minimal downtime. It is typically an outpatient procedure with most being able to resume activities within a few days along with restrictions for a week or so. Many surgeons will recommend a postoperative garment for several weeks postop as well. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 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.