I Am Going to Have my Saline Implants Removed. Should I Remove the Capsules?

I am going to have my 10 year old saline breast implants removed. Should I also have the capsules removed, I have been having minimal discomfort in the left breast, under the armpit and around the chest area. My doctor told me the capsule and scar tissue will absorb into my body so I could use a local anesthesia and remove only the implants. Is this the wisest?

Doctor Answers 13

Removal of capsule depends on many factors!

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After only ten years most capsules might not need to be removed. If the capsules are calcified or very symptomatic then removal should be considered. You need to dicuss this thoroughly with your surgeon.

Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Removing breast implants

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It all depends on how the capsule is now.  If it's hard and/or painful, you'll most likey need that removed as well.  It's hard to tell you about your anesthesia options without actually seeing you.

Capsules do not need to be removed

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In the majority of cases the capsule around a saline implant does not need to be removed when the implant is removed.  It will be absorbed by the body.  This makes removal of saline implants a procedure which can be done under local anesthesia.  If the implants are very old and the capsule is calcified and hard, then I would recommend removal to prevent this from being felt after the implant is out.

Removing the breast capsule with breast implant removal

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It is usually not necessary to remove the breast capsule if there is minimal thickening and few symptoms.  It will atrophy with time if left intact.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Saline breast implant removal

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I certainly agree with your doctor that your old saline breast implants can be removed alone without need for the removal of the capsule itself. The deep space where the prosthesis were placed will reabsorb and this can certainly be done under local anesthesia. I would certainly not perform any sort of capsule removal under local anesthesia but this should not be necessary in your case.

Removal of Saline Breast Implants

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It is certainly not unreasonable to deflate saline implants and remove them under local anesthesia.  If your capsule is soft by exam it is very reasonable to leave the capsule and allow the body to absorb the capsule.  Removing a soft capsule should not be done under local anesthesia and only leads to unnecessary potential injury to the breasts.

Dr. ES

Breast implant removal

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In my practice, When expalnting for any reason, the capsule is removed.

The capsule does NOT absorb all the time. Some times if they are left in they can accumolate ffuid, (I have see this in my practice).

Implant capsules should be sent for pathology to be examined , there had been some problems associated.

The capsulectomy can be time consuming and bloody, need to drain after capsulectomy.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Implant removal and capsules

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The implants themselves can be removed and depending upon the thickness of the tissues and the capsule will determine if it can be removed or should be removed.

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

I am going to have my saline implants removed. Should I remove the capsules?

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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 capule 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 rutptured implant vs pain vs simple pocket adjustment, etc).  

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 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. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Capsulectomy questions

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If the capsule is removed it increases the risk of bleeding.  If a silicone gel implant has ruptured then removal of the capsule would be recommended otherwise I would leave it alone unless it was calcified.  If there is distortion of the breast after implant removal may also be a reason to remove the capsule.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 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.