The Ins and Outs of Breast Implant Removal
What is En Bloc Capsulectomy?
When implants are inserted into the body, scar tissue forms around them. It’s similar to the idea of a barrier that protects the body from intruders. This is the gist of the scar tissue, but in this case, the implant itself represents a foreign invader. The body deals with this as well as it can – by molding a capsule. En bloc capsulectomy is a type of breast implant removal that involves taking out not just the offending implant, but the capsule surrounding it as well.
This has advantages for the following reasons:
- By removing both capsule and implant, it’s less likely that the implant will rupture. Silicone contains chemicals that can harm the endocrine system. Imagine for a moment that an implant is pierced during surgery, releasing a sludge of silicone to be absorbed by the body. En bloc capsulectomy takes a wide berth around the implant, removing the capsule and implant in one fell swoop. Those who opted for saline implants aren’t in the clear, though. Bacteria can grow within such implants. If they puncture, all that is released into a person’s body.
- This type of operation often requires a smaller incision. This decreases recovery time. It’s counterintuitive, really: the entire capsule is removed, yet the incision is sparse. Somehow, it works.
- Whether you opt for a breast lift or not, expect full recovery to happen within months. However, many women report that they feel better immediately after their implants have been removed. These individuals likely suffered from breast implant illness, which can present itself in a variety of different symptoms.
- Often done in tandem with a breast lift, an en bloc capsulectomy allows for the forming of what is called a breast mound in women who have enough tissue. Surprise: Explant does not automatically mean that you have to say ‘sayonara’ to breasts! Some women have more tissue than others; they will have visible breasts after capsulectomy. Others can opt for fat grafting or join the ever-growing ranks of flat-chested ladies proud of their no-bra status.
- Qualifying for this surgery depends on the extent and shape of the scar tissue present. In theory, a capsule should be easily removed from the body. Some do not meet the criteria, however.
- Textured implants have been linked to anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). Those suffering from anaplastic large cell lymphoma are candidates for en bloc capsulectomy. This cancer of the immune system has been linked specifically to textured implants. After surgery, healing rates are high.
Wherever you are on your explant journey, take the time to ask questions. Your medical provider should be able to provide you with all the answers you require in order to make an informed decision. If you’re determined to undergo en bloc capsulectomy and you won’t believe the explant is a success until you view it with your own eyes, ask to see the capsule post-surgery. Remind yourself that you’ve done something good for your body. We wish you well on the road to healing!