Is it safe to remove silicone implants (sub-muscular) using only a local anaesthetic and sedation?

Will this procedure take long to complete and can scar tissue be removed at the same time. Also will the recovery be quicker as there is no general anaesthetic to recover from. One implant may be ruptured so will this still be okay to use sedation only and will the patient be aware of the procedure being carried out? Thank you kindly for you help

Doctor Answers 5

Implant removal under local

The short answer to your question is yes, the implants can be removed under local. However this is only in the simplest case where the implants are intact and can easily be removed . Once an implant is ruptured the silicone needs to be removed which is free in the cavity. This is usually done by a process of vacuuming and irrigation  . However there may be silicone that has gone into the tissues.  This brings the surgery up a notch and would best be done under a general anesthetic due to issues with extreme discomfort and or bleeding. 

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Is it safe to remove silicone implants (sub-muscular) using only a local anaesthetic and sedation?

I would suggest you have the implants removed in an outpatient setting with general anesthesia.  In the event there is bleeding, it is much easier to control this with you under anesthesia.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Removing gel breast implants

Thank you for asking about your  gel  breast implants

  • Gel implants can be safely removed with local anesthesia with sedation - in some circumstances.
  • It is not a good approach if the capsule needs to be removed.
  • If there is any question of silicone gel being spread about the tissues - as will older implants - general anesthesia is preferable.
  • Although your recovery may be faster, general anesthesia is safer than iv sedation so be sure you understand the pros and cons before having it done.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Removing breast implants with local anesthesia and sedation

Yes, this can be done, but much depends on the surgeon's skill and comfort level with this type of anesthesia. The risk with local anesthesia is a pneumothorax or collapsed lung in addition to not being numb enough where you feel too much. If only implants are to be removed with no work on the capsule, this type of anethesia may be sufficient. If capsule work is required, more anesthesia may be necessary. Discuss the options with your surgeon.

Gustavo E. Galante, MD
Schererville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Implant removal

Yes it is safe.  The amount of sedation used will determine how much you are aware during the procedure and how much recovery it will take that day.  After the first few days, the recovery will be the same whether you had general or IV sedation.  Just removing implants is quick, however, if you have a rupture and are also getting the entire capsule removed, this could take a few hours.  Because the capsule is on the underside of the muscle, you will feel this more and have more postoperative pain. 

Tyler C. Street, MD
Napa Plastic Surgeon

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.