What Happens to Scar Tissue That's Left in the Body After Implants Have Been Removed?

I had a re-do operation 1.5 yrs ago because of symmastia and the doctor fixed it by moving the implants from under the muscle to over the muscle. Because I have so little breast tissue I actually would like to have them placed under the muscle again with a smaller implant. The doctor said she removed the old implants and left the scar tissue where it was. What has happened to this scar tissue and does it need to be removed if I have my implants put in the same place (under the muscle) again?

Doctor Answers 4

Breast implant capsule

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Once breast implants are removed, the capsule (the scar tisue that formed around the implant) can be left or removed.  When left behind, this tissues can undergo one of several changes.  It can develop a seroma and remain a fluid filled pocket for virtually forever.  It can close/fuse and just become a layer of tissue.  Or the body can slowly resorb it so that only some scar tissue is left behind.  

1.5 years after your surgery you should be safe to undergo placement into the same area again.  Although probably unlikely, an ultrasound could help to take a look before surgery to see what's left behind, to see if you have a seroma pocket or if it collapsed.

I would most likely plan to go ahead with the surgery without any special investigations and I would be prepared to either remove or close off any capsule cavity that is left behind if I find any, and place the implant into a fresh submuscular space.


Martin Jugenburg, MD

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 520 reviews

What Happens to Scar Tissue That's Left in the Body After Implants Have Been Removed?

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Every surgery results in scar tissue. Scar creation is the body's way of healing. The removal of scar from around implants (Capsulectomy) be it "complete", "partial" or none at all would depend on how much scar, the type of implants / reason for removal and location of the scar. The vast majority of surgeons do NOT remove the capsule in thin women because doing so CAN be associated with further thinning of the breast and potential entry into the chest.

When soft scar tissue is left behind it is slowly remodeled and does not appear to cause a problem as long as the opening into the old implant pocket is closed.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Breast Revision

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See a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and usually, they make the decision in surgery and will remove what is required for you to have a good pocket for the new implants

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast augmentation revision

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No, the previous scar tissue, if asymptomatic and soft, does not have to be removed. Actually, given your history of symmastia repair preserving the scar tissue (capsule) is important.

Hope this helps. Best wishes.

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.