Breast Implant Replacements and History of Pneumothorax

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in breast implant replacements surgery. I had three spontaneous lung collapses and video assisted lung surgery followed by talc pleurodesis to correct the issues about a year ago. I have breast implants placed yeas before these lung problems and now I want to go bigger. Do any of my lung surgeries prevent me from having another breast implant surgery? 

A: Your description describes a pleurodesis procedure which by your description was done with your current breast implants in place. While on the surface there does not seem to be a contraindication for replacing your breast implants, the following would be the appropriate questions to preoperatively consider. (in essence will breast implant replacements cause recurrent lung collapse)

1) What was the origin of your original lung collapses? 

2) Where is the incision site for the previous lung surgery?

3) What does your pulmonologist say about having a general anesthetic and the breast implant surgery?

With an established breast implant capsule, replacing breast implants is far less traumatic than making the initial implant pockets. If necessary it may be possible to do your breast implant replacements under a local anesthetic if your pulmonologist is apprehensive about a general anesthetic.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana