Breast Implant Removal with Total Capsulectomy
There are many reasons patients seek removal of their current breast implants. Some of them are personal, such as no longer wanting large breast size and preferring to return to their natural aesthetic. Others are medical and include implant malfunction, which includes rupture, leaking, or capsular contracture (formation of scar tissue around the implant). No matter what your reason for wanting your breast implants removed, the talented surgeons at HKB can help. We recommend a treatment plan based on your aesthetic goals and expectations.
To learn more about your options for implant removal, contact our office today and schedule a consultation.
What is En Bloc Capsulectomy?
Understanding en bloc capsulectomy, or total capsulectomy, procedure requires familiarity with a capsule, which is the scar tissue that forms around an implant. This is a natural reaction of the body and, in most cases, will not change in the way your implants look or feels. When removing breast implants, the capsule must always be taken into consideration.
If the breast implants are being removed permanently, a total capsulectomy can facilitate ideal healing and tissue recovery. In an enbloc capsulectomy procedure, the entire capsule is removed with the implant in one intact piece. The implant stays within the capsule during the entire procedure. Our surgeons remove the old capsule via en bloc capsulectomy when it is safe and appropriate for the patient.
When is En Bloc Capsulectomy Not Advised?
There are some instances where an en bloc capsulectomy procedure is not possible or not the best decision. If the capsule is too thin and delicate to remove in one piece your surgeon will remove as much of the capsule as possible with the implant and then carefully remove the remaining scar tissue. Another situation that could prevent en bloc with total capsulectomy is if the capsule is adhering to vital tissues. For example, if scar tissue is tightly attached to the rib cage, removing the tissue could risk injuring the lungs. This sometimes means that portions of the capsule will remain in place; our surgeons take all steps possible to allow proper healing including sterilizing the remaining capsule. In most cases, the leftover capsule does not pose any problems to the patient.
The Implant Removal Process
Breast implant removal surgery is performed in the outpatient setting at our accredited surgical facility. The surgery requires general anesthesia and takes approximately two hours. Typically, this procedure can be done using your previous breast augmentation incision sites. In some cases, your surgeon may need to make an additional incision to ensure complete removal of the capsule. Your surgeon will gently extract the entire capsule that has formed around the implant and remove it as one unit. Once both capsules have been removed, the incisions will be closed, and you will be placed in a compression bra.
Removing breast implants restore patients’ natural aesthetics but may create some changes to soft tissue. Due to skin stretching to accommodate the implant, sagging or drooping is common after implant removal. If the patient does not want new implants, there are other options to address this issue. The first is a breast lift, which involves removing excess skin and repositioning the nipple and areola to create a perkier breast. The second is to use fat grafting to create more volume in the breast, partially replacing what was created by the implant, but with a subtler and more natural effect.
Recovering from Implant Removal
If you are in good health, at a stable weight, and are a non-smoker, you will likely heal quickly and only need a week of downtime. Normal daily activities like showering, eating and light activity such as walking can be resumed within 24 hours after surgery. Some postoperative discomfort is to be expected following surgery and you will be given prescription medications to ensure a comfortable recovery. Some postoperative swelling is normal and generally resolves within the first 4 weeks after surgery. During the recovery period, you will have follow-ups with your surgeon and will be guided back to your usual activities.
Scheduling Your Implant Removal with HKB
There is only one way to know if an implant removal with total capsulectomy is right for you: scheduling a consultation with one of the talented and experienced surgeons at HKB. During your consultation, our surgeons will perform a physical examination and discuss your concerns. It’s important for our surgeons to understand why you want to have your implants removed and if you need additional procedures to match your expectations. If you are not having your implants replaced, our surgeons will most likely advise a total capsulectomy en bloc. However, they will not know definitively until you are in surgery and they can examine the capsule to see if it can be removed with the implant.
Having breast implants removed is a personal decision. If you have decided you want your implants removed and do not want them replaced with other implants, you could be a candidate for a total capsulectomy en bloc. Talk with your surgeon during your consultation to find out if you are a good candidate and to see what can be done to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
En bloc is the removal of breast implants and capsule that has formed around the implant. The goal is to remove the entire capsule safely and maintain the anatomy of the breasts.
If a patient feels that the breast implants have potentially attributed to medical issues, the breast implants are sent back to the appropriate manufacturer. A claim is then filed with the manufacturer. The implants are then sent to the manufacturer’s lab for further testing. If a patient does not wish to have further testing on the implants then the implants are sent to biohazard waste.
No, unfortunately we are not permitted to give them back to patients. However, photographs are taken of the implants and any surrounding tissue at the time of surgery. Please ask any clinical member to let you view these photos. Videos are not taken during surgery.
We would be happy to take pictures of the implants/capsules if you desire. And they are generally posted to your TouchMD private portal account.
The practice is not affiliated or contracted with any insurance companies. You are able to file insurance but will have to be done on your own.
For <5 pages $30, >5 pages $50. Please allow at least 72 hours to prepare records.
HKB will send all appropriate specimens to Carolina Med Lab. This will potentially include capsules, other tissue, urine, bloodwork and/or cultures. The cost for testing is the patient’s responsibility. You will receive a bill shortly after surgery. Cost may vary from patient to patient and is determined by the lab; not our office. If you would like to use your insurance please bring a copy the day of surgery and it will be sent along with the specimen. Otherwise, you may file on your own after you receive the bill by calling the lab to supply them with your insurance information. The testing is medically necessary to test for abnormalities once removed from the body.