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With the recent news regarding the link between textured breast implants and breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), I have seen a growing fear of breast implant illness.

As patients consider the risks of their implants against the rewards, an increasing number of women are curious about what breast implant removal options are available to them.

Various techniques can be used to remove damaged or unwanted implants. One of these is known as a total capsulectomy.

What Is a Total Capsulectomy?

A total capsulectomy is the process of removing the implant and the capsular tissue. The capsular tissue refers to the scar tissue that forms around an implant after it has been placed.

This formation is the body’s natural response to the implant and is not something that can be prevented. While this scar tissue is usually harmless, it can cause complications that require breast implant removal.

Why Would Women Consider a Total Capsulectomy?

To Repair a Complication

The most common complication that requires breast implant removal is capsular contracture. This condition is caused by the scar tissue and develops when the scar tissue starts to tighten around the implant.

The squeezing of the implant causes discomfort and aesthetic distortion, and the only way to remedy this is to remove both the implant and tissue capsule. A total capsulectomy allows for simultaneous removal.

Another complication that benefits from the total capsulectomy method is implant rupture. Implant rupture occurs when the silicone shell tears and allows the inner contents to escape into the body.

There are two types of ruptures: the first occurs when the contents travel out of the capsule into the surrounding tissue, the second occurs when the contents remain inside the capsule.

When the materials are contained within the capsule, a total capsulectomy allows me to remove the loose silicone before it has a chance to spill into the body.

To Change Implant Size or Material

Many patients are interested in changing the size, shape, or material of their implants. While it is not necessary to always remove the scar tissue, doing so can prove beneficial in some situations.

Concern for Their Health

BIA-ALCL is a widespread concern among women with breast implants, especially textured implants.

This disease is a cancer of the immune system, and it develops in the scar tissue. By performing a total capsulectomy, you can feel confident that all of the scar tissue that could potentially cause problems is removed from the breast.

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How Is a Total Capsulectomy Performed?

The incisions for your total capsulectomy usually match your breast augmentation incisions (if those incisions were made along the breast crease).

The total capsulectomy incision may be longer to get both the implant and scar tissue out. This may result in a longer scar, but this scar typically heals well and is barely visible after enough healing time.

Drains after your explant procedure may be required following your surgery.

Combination Procedures

Breast implant removal, regardless of whether or not a total capsulectomy is used, may result in premature sagging.

Breast lift surgery can be performed to restore aesthetics and correct breast ptosis.

To learn more about a total capsulectomy, contact Dr. Reichner by calling our Orange office at (714) 997-5200, or by filling out our online contact form.