The goal of breast implant removal surgery is to remove breast implants from breast augmentation or breast reconstruction patients. During these procedures, the surgeon may also remove silicone material from implant leaks and the breast capsule, which is the scar tissue that forms after the placement of a breast implant.
Often, the scar tissue that forms after the placement of an implant is soft and does not need to be removed, but it may harden, causing pain and discomfort. This is often a reason to have the implants and scar tissue removed.
Breast implants are not lifelong devices and it is important to have them exchanged or removed approximately every 10-15 years. This decision is typically based on the individual and the patient's needs and desires.
In some cases, the outside shell of the implant breaks down causing silicone to leak and the scar tissue around the implant to harden. It is important to understand that your implants should be removed for this reason.
En bloc removal is when the surgeon removes the scar tissue (or capsule) and implant at the same time, with the implant still inside the intact scar tissue capsule. En bloc removal allows the silicone and other chemicals to stay inside the intact scar tissue capsule as it is removed.
En bloc removal is also sometimes referred to as a total capsulectomy, but they are not exactly the same. A total capsulectomy is not always performed using the specific en bloc technique. A total capsulectomy is the removal of the breast implants and all the scar tissue, or capsule, that forms around a breast implant. However, during a total capsulectomy, the implant is not necessarily removed while still inside the intact scar capsule (en bloc method). Most surgeons use the term total capsulectomy to mean that they will cut the scar tissue capsule, remove the implants first, and then go back and remove all of the scar tissue capsule.
There are women with breast implants who self-identify and present with various systemic symptoms and believe that these are related to their breast implants. They refer to these symptoms as Breast Implant Illness (BII). Breast Implant Illness (BII) is a term used by women who have breast implants and who self-identify and describe a variety of symptoms including (but not limited to) fatigue, chest pain, hair loss, headaches, chills, photosensitivity, chronic pain, rash, body odor, anxiety, brain fog, sleep disturbance, depression, neurologic issues and hormonal issues that they feel are directly connected to their saline or silicone, textured or smooth breast implants. The recent increase in patients reporting Breast Implant Illness (BII) symptoms appears to be related to social media. There is one Facebook group alone with more than 50,000 members, all of whom report Breast Implant Illness (BII) symptoms. This is not to say that social media is the cause of Breast Implant Illness (BII) however, it may account for the rapid increases in patient reporting. BII is not an official medical diagnosis.
Learn more about explanting breast implants in this article written by Dr. Morimoto published in The Spokesman-Review