Saline Breast Implant Removal with Local Anesthetic, Painful?

I've had 340cc saline breast implants under the muscle for ~4 years, they were placed through the armpit. My PS is going to remove them through same site under local anesthetic, but I am terrified. It is only a little more expensive to go to a hospital and undergo general anesthesia...but I know that has a greater recovery time and has more risks. Before I schedule my surgery I just wanted to ask for feedback re: this procedure. Also, he did not mention anything about capsulary removal? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 11

Removal Breast Implants With Capsule Under Muscle Requires General Anesthesia

Thank you for your question. Most Plastic Surgeons would agree that the capsule should be removed as well as the implants. This would be difficult if not impossible to do through an axillary incision and capsule removal in particular is best done through an inframammary incision under the breast.

This is somewhat difficult time consuming surgery and I would not attempt under local anesthesia.

Saline breast implant removal

Implants above the muscle can surely be removed using local anesthesia.  However, if your implants are under the muscle and any dissection is required or scar tissue needs to be addressed, I would not recommend that you have the surgery without at least intravenous sedation.The capsule should be removed.  General anesthesia and IV sedation are not the same and I would encourage you to explore both options with your surgeon prior to making a decision.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Saline breast implant removal

Thank you for the question. The implants can be removed under local anesthesia. However, if more work needs to be done such as capsulectomy, then additional form of anesthesia is required.  You need to communicate your concern with your plastic surgeon. Intravenous or general anesthesia are safe and the recovery is quick.If you feel that is what you are comfortable with then have it done under sedation or general anesthetic.







Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast Augmentation, micro fat grafting to the breast, breast implants, #beauty #cosmeticsurgery

Thank you for your question


Implants can be removed "comfortably" under LOCAL anesthetic.  It is not always necessary to remove the capsule- as it will resolve over time. 


With Warm Regards,

Trevor M Born MD

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Implant removal under local

I would suggest having them removed under at least sedation. Why should you be at all uncomfortable during the procedure?

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Implant removal?

Thank you for your question! Depending on your and your plastic surgeon's comfort level with surgical procedures via local anesthesia, it certainly is a safe procedure and can be done via local only or a little sedation. It is difficult to answer about the appearance of your breasts without a photo or examination. Removal of your implants alone will create a smaller breast with somewhat similar shape. Discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon and the possibility for a breast lift, either at the same time or at a later date, if deemed necessary. Many times drains are placed as well as compression garments used postoperatively. Cost varies among surgeons as well as geographic location. Best wishes!

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

Implant removal under local

Thank you for your question.  While it very feasible to remove the implant under local, if you are terrified and there is little difference in cost to go to the hospital, then I would do the latter.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Saline breast implant removal under local

Saline breast implants can be easily removed under local anesthesia.   However, it would be wise to remove at least a portion of the capsule to allow it to heal properly.  There are risks if this is not done.  The capsule will not absorb if it is left in place.  A capsulectomy would be more comfortable under at least sedation anesthesia and will probably require a periareolar or inframammary fold incision.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Removal of Breast Implants under Local Anesthesia?

Generally speaking, removing breast implants ( assuming no additional work is necessary on the breast implant capsules or skin) is well tolerated by most patients. However, based on your description of anxiety level (“terrified”) you may be better off having the breast implants removed with additional anesthesia on board. Discuss your concerns and anxiety level with your plastic surgeon to determine the best course of action for your individual case. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Saline Breast Implant Removal with Local Anesthetic,

If breast implants are soft ,especially saline implants it is usually not necessary to remove the capsule

The procedure is more difficult through the axilla.It is easier to remove through the infra -mammary fold.Usually only a small incision is necessary

Hilton Becker, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 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.