Breast Implant Removal

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in breast implant removal. If I have complete removal do you take out the capsule?  Do you check for fungal or bacterial infection? With breast lift create risks of deformities?  How many removals have you done? If the implants are not removed is there a concern of future surgery at my age. My primary care Dr will contact you for a consultation. Thank you.

A: In answer to your questions:

1) There is no compelling medical reason to remove the capsules. They will shrink away on their own with time. It can be done if the patient wants.

2) Without evidence of an active or chronic infection, there is no reason to do bacterial or fungal cultures.

3) Concurrent breast lifts will create their own aesthetic deformities known as scars. How extensive they would be depends on the type of breast lift needed.

4) While breast implant removals without replacement are fairly rare, I have done dozens of them over the years. About half the time a breast lift is needed with their removal.

5) If you replace the implant with silicone devices that would be the most assured approach to keeping implants and have the lowest risk of of any future implant-related problems.

It is not necessary to have your primary care doctor arrange for a consultation. These are not procedures that would be covered by insurance unless there original placement was for breast reconstruction due to cancer. Otherwise this is a cosmetic procedure.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana