26 year old hard silicone Implants removed but I can not have general anesthesia. Any suggestions?

I am 56 years old and I've had silicone implants for 26 years, one has gotten very hard, I do not know for sure if it has ruptured. I need to get them removed as soon as I can however the last and only time I received general anesthesia I had a medical emergency, my BP dropped dangerously low and pulse fell low also, it was a hard recovery, I was told I should not get general again if at all possible,can this be done under local??? As far as my health I do have low blood pressure.

Doctor Answers 5

Encapsulated old gel implants - but cannot have general anesthesia

Thank you for asking about your breast implant removal.
  • Unfortunately, you need general anesthesia to have these old gel implants removed.
  • However it isn't clear why you can't have general anesthesia -
  • If you had a medical emergency, you probably had a problem that made you prone to low blood pressure -
  • For instance fluid loss, bleeding, severe infection, etc.
  • I suggest you ask your regular doctor to send you for a consultation to a cardiologist and to an anesthesiologist to determine the cause of your previous problem and the safety of general anesthesia now.
  • General anesthesia in the US today is very very safe -
  • Chances are that you are fit for general anesthesia for elective surgery.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Remove old implants

You are not alone. There are patients who do not do well with anesthesia and I am fortunate to have highly experienced board certified anesthesiologists at our North Florida Regional Medical Center who will be dedicated to your safety.
Personally, I am doing more and more of these operations as time passes on the old style of implants.You may see examples on the web reference below.ThanksDr Sadove

Richard Sadove, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews


The reason you probably had the problem with anesthesia is due to adrenal issues caused by the silicone that can be prevented with steroid prior to surgery.  You should go to a doctor that understands the problems with silicone implants that affect the endocrine system (adrenal, thyroid, sex hormone, and ADH) in order not to have these kinds of problems as they are very common.  You need total capsulectomy, antifungals, immune and endocrine support and detoxificiation in order to recover your health.  Most doctors do understand about this disease however and problems such as you  had are common is the doctor is unaware of the endocrine, metabolic, and immune issues as well as neurological problems.  Low blood pressure is due to adrenal issues and low ADH and it appears that your doctors so far have failed to diagnosis your health condition.

Susan Kolb, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

26 year old hard silicone Implants removed but I can not have general anesthesia. Any suggestions?

Based on your past surgical history, it will behoove you to obtain "medical clearance" (a thorough workup by your internist) prior to proceeding.  If possible, it would also be helpful to obtain a copy of your previous surgical/anesthesia records.  It is likely, that once his work has been completed, that you will be able to undergo the necessary breast surgery under ideal circumstances;  surgery performed by a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, under general anesthesia provided by a board-certified anesthesiologist, in a fully accredited surgery facility. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews


Discuss your concerns with your surgeon as well as the anesthesia department.  You may need medical clearance from your primary care physician prior to surgery.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 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.