Implant Removal questions.

1)Is it fairly common when removing a breast implant and capsule, if difficult to remove, break the implant? 2) Is there a chance when removing the capsule and detaching it from the breast tissue (over the muscle) having problems with bleeding? I just can't picture how it can be done and visualized through a small incision . Thank you !!

Doctor Answers 8

Implant removal

Great question :) The implant can be broken if it is not handled with care, but if it is not already broken/ruptured, it comes out pretty easily as it went in. Yes, when detaching/removing or cutting the capsule from the muscle some bleeding can occur, and this is because the muscle has a rich supply of blood vessels and bleeds very easily when injured. With care, patience, attention to detail and skill this can be done through your original incision, but usually one slightly larger to help visualize key aspects of what is needed to be done.   Best wishes,

Benjamin J. Cousins MD

Miami Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Breast implant removal

Breast implants can become injured during removal if you're not careful. If the capsule is very thick, it likelyl will need to be removed as well. There tends to be more bleeding when removing a capsule that is under the muscle compared to a capsule that is over the muscle. Drains usually need to be left in place for a few days to prevent a fluid collection under the breast (seroma). The incision site is fairly small (4cm) and with good lighting and retractors can be done quite well. Consult with a few experienced plastic surgeons in person if this is a procedure you are considering.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 377 reviews

Implant Removal

Those are some very good questions.  I approach and remove breast implants the same whether they are above or below the muscle.  Depending on how old the implant is the integrity of the shell may be more compromised and could possibly rupture, however the possibility of this happening is not very likely.  A small incision can be created because the skin and tissue will stretch out enough to allow for the removal of the implant.  There are different grades of capsular contracture.  Depending on how severe the contracture is can determine whether the implant and capsule will be removed as one (such as an en bloc procedure) or separately.  The risk of bleeding would be the same whether they are above or below the muscle.  I would suggest a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss the best plan for your specific case.

Steven H. Warnock, MD
Draper Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Implant Removal questions.

It is difficult to generalize when it comes to breast implant removal surgery details. For example, patients who are wishing to undergo en block breast implant removal surgery generally require a longer incision,  usually placed in the inframammary fold area. En bloc removal surgery cannot be performed through a small incision.

 On the other hand, patients undergoing breast implant removal plus/minus removal (not en bloc)  Can have the breast implant removal surgery gone through a relatively small incision. Well experienced plastic surgeons are used to working through small incisions.

 My best advice:  select your classic surgeon carefully.  Working together you will come up with a good plan to safely achieve your objective. Best wishes.

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

Implant removal is easy`

Implants can be removed easily and even without any anesthesia. Patients can have their implants removed in the office with local anesthetic only using a small incision. No reason to be worried.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Implant Removal

I can understand how it may be hard to visualize the surgery. Surgeons do not purposely break the shell of a silicone implant, but it is not uncommon to deflate a saline implant before removing it as this is easily done through the implant's fill valve without spillage and the incision can therefore be smaller. And yes, there is bleeding as the implant is removed and we carefully cauterize each bleeding area as we come to it so there is no significant blood loss. You should worry about finding a good surgeon and let the surgeon worry about the surgical procedure. 

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


The removal intensity is different from textured and saline implants. Normally the implants do not need to be deflated and removal through small incision is quite straight forward. Best of luck

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Questions about implant removal

1)  The implant often does break on removal IF it is very old, such as 20-40 years; this is mostly because during that time period the implants that were placed had a very thin shell.  If the implant breaks, it is rather easy to clean up the silicone that leaks out.   

2)  Bleeding always occurs during removal of the capsule, but not any more than any surgery.  It is easily controlled with the cautery that we all use during surgery.  It is very uncommon to have problems with bleeding after the surgery, and it is not a difficult procedure to do through a small incision.  

Allen M. Doezie, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 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.