Safest Way to Remove Saline Breast Implants

What is safest way to remove saline breast implants? Can it be done with sedation? Approximately how much would it  cost?

Doctor Answers 7

There is more than one safe way

There are multiple safe anesthetic options for removal of breast implants. The key is that it should be treated as any other operation:

A Board Certified Plastic surgeon should perform the procedure

It should be done in an accredited facility (Hospital OR, Ambulatory surgery center, or office-based surgicenter that is properly certified)

A properly trained anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist with up-to-date certification and credentials should administer the anesthetic, be it conscious sedation or a general anesthetic

Remember, it's your body-- treat your procedure with the same care as any other procedure, and you will have the best chance at a good result!

Dr. S

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Implant removal

Breast implants can be removed under local with sedation. However the capsule need to be removed and that is the complex part of the surgery. If the capsule is not removed fluid can accumulate in the capsule. I've seen this happen, or the capsule scored or cauterized to allow it to stick together.

If you are not removing the capsule then the saline implant can be removed under local anesthesia alone. I recommend removing the capsule to avoid future problems.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Removing breast implants

Breast implants can be removed under sedation. I prefer to remove them thought the same incision that was used to place them under most circumstances. I will have to say that if there is a problem like a hematoma or capsule going through a transaxillary approach is probably not acceptable.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast implants can be removed with sedation.


1) It is very easy to remove saline breast implants, and it cancertainly be done under sedation.

2) It is important to remove or curette the capsule (the lining) around the implants. It is also very important to put a suction drain in for one week to prevent fluid collections (seromas).

3) Costs vary too wildly for me to be able to give you a useful estimate. Costs are higher in Manhattan than in the rest of the country.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

No Pain if No Gain

Unlike a primary Breast Augmentation where there is a modicum of pain because of the more-extensive surgical dissection required to create the pockets for the implants (pain with "gain"), implant removal is a much less-traumatic procedure which typically is almost painless by comparison.

Saline breast implants can safely be removed with sedation and local anesthesia. If the implants are sub-glandular, there is likely to be little or no pain, as compared to sub-muscular, where there may be slightly more pain if the muscle is retracted. Since they are saline-filled, the implants can be partially or fully deflated before they are removed, so they can be taken out through a smaller incision than what was used to place them.

Your plastic surgeon can give you a cost for this procedure, which will include the operating room and anesthesia. It should be substantially less than the cost of the breast augmentation.

Athleo Louis Cambre, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Removing saline implants is very simple

Saline implants can be safely removed under local anesthesia if you are a calm type of person. The incision you have (if it is around the areola or in the crease under the breast) is numbed and opened, the implant is either removed intact or is deflated and then removed and the incision is closed.

Sedation can also be administered by a physician anesthesiologist or if you are extremely anxious, a safe, brief general anesthetic can be performed.

Costs are dependent on your doctor and their fee schedule but generally are low especially if nothing other than implant removal is done.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Saline breast implant removal

The saline in the implants could be removed under local, however it's safer to have the shell removed entirely. This can be done under general or local. Pricing depends on the surgeon.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 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.