Breast Implant Removal
Conveniently located to serve Newport Beach & all areas of Orange County
There are many women who have breast implants that present with a broad array systemic complaints reported such as: joint pain, hair loss, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction (brain fog, memory loss), aching muscles, dryness throughout the body, skin rashes, recurring infections, gastrointestinal and digestive issues, problems with the thyroid and adrenals. This constellation of symptoms and the presence of breast implants has been described as breast implant illness (BII). To date there is no specific test that can be performed to diagnose breast implant illness. An excellent review on this topic can be found on the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery website (https://www.surgery.org/sites/default/files/downloads/BII-Talking-Points-FINAL-1.15.19.pdf). For many patients with the combination of these symptoms and breast implants removal of the implants and the complete capsule around the implants.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is an en-bloc capsulectomy?
An en-bloc capsulectomy essentially involves the removal of the capsule and breast implant intact in an effort to remove all of the silicone material without any further exposure to the body.
Can an en-bloc capsulectomy always be performed?
The simple answer is not always. Patients need to understand some there are some technical limitations in the abilty to perform an en-bloc capsulectomy. In order to completely remove the implant without opening the capsule a wide exposure is required. This means that likely a larger incision will be required to remove the implant and capsule than was necessary to place the implant. If the initial implant was through an incision around the areola or in the axilla (armpit) an en-bloc capsulectomy will likely not be able to be performed using the initial incision. There are other technical considerations where the capsule is adherent to nerves or where the capsule is adherent to the chest wall with possible collapse of the lung and in such cases a segment of the capsule may have to be left behind.
Do you perform an en-bloc capsulectomy procedure?
We absolutely perform an en-bloc capsulectomy as shown above. The implant on the right shows the capsule opened with the implant within the capsule. Dr. Sundine has been performing breast implant removal with total capsulectomy since 1992.
Will the procedure be covered by my insurance?
We have had cases where there was a documented breast implant rupture (by MR scan, ultrasound, or mammogram) associated with a capsular contracture where the procedure was covered by the patient’s insurance. This coverage varies widely and you can check with your insurance company whether the procedure will be covered.
Where whould the procedure be performed?
My procedures are performed at either an outpatient surgery center or a hospital.
Will I receive antibiotics?
Patients get one dose of intravenous antibiotics preoperatively. Postoperative antibiotics are typically not given.
Do you use drains?
In the vast majority of cases a drain is not used. In rare instances a drain may be used.
Will I need to have sutures removed?
Dr. Sundine uses absorbable sutures and they will not need to be removed.
What type of anesthesia will be used?
We typically perform the procedures under general anesthesia although it could be performed using local anesthesia with sedation. We only use board certified anesthesiogists.
Will I need other procedures besides the en-bloc capsulectomy?
Following removal of the implant and capsulectomy your breasts will be deflated and the skin may be loose. May patients will require a mastopexy (breast lift) to lift the nipple-areola complex and also to tighten the skin. Some patients may want to improve the projection and we perform this using a circum-mammary ligament repair along with the addition of fat grafting to the breast.