Is It Necessary to a Remove the Scar Capsule when Replacing an Implant?

I want to replace very old textured saline implants for smooth silicone ones (under the muscle). If don't have capsular contraction is it better to leave the scar tissue capsule from the saline implants intact verses removing it? Does not removing lead ultimately to more scar tissue (and potentially more problems) when my body produces scar tissue in response to the new silicone implants?

Doctor Answers 8

Scar Capsule removal for revision

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is not always necessary to remove the scar capsule present around an implant as long as it has remained soft thin and supple.  Removing a capsule of scar tissue if it has not contracted and is thin, may lead to more problems than it is worth in terms of damaging adjacent and adherent muscle or nerves causing weakness and/or numbness. 

If your silicone implants are larger than the old saline- and you lack a capsular contraction, a capsulotomy, or release or scoring of the old capsule may be all that is needed to allow placement of your new silicone implant.

Is It Necessary to a Remove the Scar Capsule when Replacing an Implant?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

      It is not necessary to remove the capsule if you do not have capsular contracture and if the capsule is thin and pliable. 



Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Breast Implant Revision

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

As long as you don't have capsular contracture or other problems with your current implants it should be a relatively simple operation to switch from saline to silicone implants as long as the implant dimensions of the new implants are relatively similar to the old ones. If the pocket needs to be adjusted a small amount of capsule may need to be removed for the best results. See a board certified plastic surgeon in your area with an expertise in aesthetic breast surgery for more information. Good luck!

Removing the capsule is not routine

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

when replacing implants.  Your surgeon will use their best judgment during the procedure but as long as you did not have a contracture pre-operatively, it is not mandatory to remove.

No need to remove a normal implant capsule when replacing implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you do not have a capsular contracture and you did not use old styled gel implants then there is no reason to remove the capsule.  It is of no benefit to remove it but may increase your risk of complications such as post operative bleeding.  

Capsule Management and Breast Implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you are going to have an implant exchange and you do not have a capsular contracture I do not recommend removing the capsule.  The normal soft capsule is easily removed naturally be the body.

Dr. ES

No need to remove capsule during revision breast augmentation if breasts are soft.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


This is particularly true with saline breast implants, since you don't have to worry that a little bit of silicone might have migrated into the capsule.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Removing scar capsule

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If your breasts are soft your scar capsule is likely thin and there is no need to remove it. If the implant you plan on placing is larger than the current one the scar capsule may have to be opened up. Hope this helps!

Marcel Daniels, MD
Long Beach Plastic 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.