Explant Breast Implants

A timely and proper explant of your breast implants and capsule tissue that grows around the breast implant is the most crucial step to your recovery from breast implant illness. As soon as the implants and capsule tissue are thoroughly removed you will likely notice a reduction of some of your symptoms;  however some symptoms may linger or reappear until your body has completed a detox and healing process which generally unfolds over a year.  Most women who were symptomatic and had proper explants feel that they recovered their health within one or two years after removal of implants; however, some women heal faster than a year and some take longer than two years to heal. Unfortunately, there are some women who do not recover their full health due to silicone ruptures and some women who develop deadly diseases due to silicone.  

Choose a Surgeon Committed to
En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy

No matter what you read or are advised by a plastic surgeon about explant of breast implants, if you are symptomatic all breast implants should be removed EN BLOC if possible and always with a TOTAL CAPSULECTOMY no matter the type of implant. En Bloc is an explant technique developed in France, which prevents contamination from the contents inside the capsule (textures, silicone, silicone chemicals and heavy metals and microorganisms known to grow in capsules and on implants). En Bloc technique means the surgeon leaves the capsule intact on the breast implant and dissects around the intact capsule and implant unit without disrupting the capsule so as to prevent contamination of the patient.  Here is Dr Lu Jean Feng of Ohio, USA demonstrating En Bloc  / Total Capsulectomy explant: 

If you are symptomatic it should be obvious to you and your surgeon that the capsule around your implant is contaminated and an En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy explant is necessary. Proper removal of your breast implants is your best chance at recovering your health. Even if you are not symptomatic and you have silicone or textured implants an En Bloc/Total Capsulectomy explant should be done for your utmost health because there will likely be contamination in the capsule. If you are not symptomatic and you have smooth saline implants then Total Capsulectomy may suffice, which means the surgeon will remove the breast implants and then go back in and remove all capsule tissue. In all cases of explanting, all capsule tissue if possible should be removed from the chest which is called Total Capsulectomy.

In addition to breast implant illness, there are many other reasons that a Total Capsulectomy is recommended when removing or replacing breast implants. Leaving capsule tissue in the chest can cause pain, inflammation, calcification, infections, interference with radiology, swollen lymph nodes, continuation of symptoms and continuation of autoimmune responses and toxicity. Many women in our community have had to undergo second surgeries to remove left over capsule tissue that was not removed when they explanted their breast implants in order to finally get well. Please ensure that your explant is En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy so you are able to heal fully and don’t have to endure a second surgery.  

In the case that your implants are only a few weeks old, an En Bloc removal may not be necessary as there would be very little opportunity for capsule tissue built by your body in the couple weeks of having implants however any capsule tissue that is there should be removed by your surgeon and it is possible that capsule tissue can grow within a few months.  

Do not drain your implants before explanting. Draining saline implants before explanting is relatively new and being suggested by some plastic surgeons and we highly advise against this. Silicone chemicals and particulate from the shell and biofilms of bacteria/fungus from the capsule and inside the implant may be washed through the capsule into your body and may cause a serious health decline. Several woman in the group have noted a marked health decline right after draining implants prior to explanting. There is no benefit to you whatsoever in draining your implants prior to a proper En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy explant. Please be safe and don’t drain your implants prior to explantation.  

Reasons Plastic Surgeons Avoid En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy

Some plastic surgeons argue against En Bloc/Total Capsulectomy removal saying it is unnecessary as they do not believe implants cause illness, or unnecessary due to thin capsules or it carries undue risk to the patient. Again, if you’ve had your implants for two months or longer you will have capsule tissue and if you are symptomatic, it should be obvious that an En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy explant is necessary.

The real reason some plastic surgeons avoid En Bloc/Total Capsulectomy explant is because it takes a high level of surgical skill, attention to detail, more time and requires a general anesthetic which carries more risk than a local anesthetic. Your placing plastic surgeon will not make much money from the removal of your implants and so they prefer to do as little as possible such as a short 20 minute procedure, in their office, under a local anesthetic simply cutting you and pulling out the implants leaving the contaminated capsules inside your body. Easy for them but  bad for you! Leaving the capsules in your body whether thin or thick means all the contamination within the capsules will be left behind and eventually taken up into your body which results in a longer and more severe illness for you and even substantially hampering your recovery. Some plastic surgeons even rupture the implant while removing it causing additional contamination. Some surgeons suggest draining your implants a few weeks prior to surgery which will also cause contamination to you. Some plastic surgeons will argue that an En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy explant could result in disfigurement of your breast but this is mostly untrue. A skilled and experienced explant surgeon will be able to avoid further disfigurement than the disfigurement already caused by implantation.

If your plastic surgeon does not acknowledge breast implant illness, silicone toxicity, argues against a Total Capsulectomy or cannot prove their En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy skills and experience to you via photographs of En Bloc removed implants and intact capsules, we suggest not using him/her for your explant.

Explant Surgery Contract

Have your surgeon explain to you in step-by-step detail exactly how the explant procedure will be done and then record the details in writing for you so you both can sign off on it. Ensure that you both sign off on the correct procedure using the words Total Capsulectomy on your contract. Most surgeons do not use the term En Bloc as it cannot be guaranteed but they should state Total Capsulectomy on the contract.

Find an Explant Surgeon

Finding a good explant surgeon should not be difficult so we compiled a list of Explant Surgeons used by the over 100,000 ladies of our Facebook group Breast Implant Illness and Healing By Nicole. Come to the facebook group where you can chat with these ladies who have been through the same symptoms, finding a surgeon, surgery, recovery, detoxification and healing.

Other Important Things to Know in Regards to Explant

Other Important Things to Know
in Regards to Explant

Ready Your Body Before Surgery – You can prepare your body by nourishing yourself as well as you can, fueling with extra high quality vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support healing.  Your surgeon may request that all supplements be stopped at least two weeks prior to your surgery so as not to affect the actual surgery itself.

Obtain a Copy of Your Implantation Operative Report – If possible obtain a copy of your implant operative report from your implanting plastic surgeon which will help your explant surgeon.  

Obtain a Copy of Your Explantation Operative Report – Obtain a copy of the explant operative report for your explant from the explanting plastic surgeon. The operative report will explain in detail exactly what the surgeon did during your explant.

Obtain Warranty Information and Serial Numbers of Your Implants From the Placing Surgeon – Breast implants have serial numbers because they are implanted medical devices.  The serial number is on the breast implant itself and should be recorded in your implanting surgeon’s files.  Breast implants usually have a warranty of ten years and the manufacturer may cover some expenses of surgery due to a ruptured, leaking or defective implant.  However, please be aware that you may have to sign away your right to future legal proceedings if you accept warranty reimbursement.  We suggest getting legal advice to protect your rights before considering signing anything from implant manufacturers.

Insist on Pictures of the Explantation – Good surgeons will video tape their explant procedure or take various photos of implants once removed with the capsule tissue still on to prove they were removed En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy including your name and surgery date.  Ensure there are side photos showing the posterior of the capsule is also removed.  If the capsule comes out in pieces make sure all pieces are included in the photo so you discern if all the capsule is removed. Secondly, a set of photos of the implants themself without the capsule tissue on the implant.   We have several pictures now of moldy and colonized implants taken right at the time of explant as well as silicone cohesive gel implants that are puddles of silicone. 

Pathology – Discuss pathology with your surgeon, the costs and what you both feel is necessary or not. Ideally, if you have textured implants and any symptoms of BIA-ALCL you should be tested for BIA-ALCL using a CD-30 test.  A CD-30 test will include your surgeon capturing fluid from inside your capsules if it is present and sending the fluid samples and representative pieces of your capsule to pathology to be tested for BIA-ALCL.  Further, and aside from BIA-ALCL, your capsules and implants should be sent to pathology where the state of your implants should be carefully documented and recorded (are they ruptured, leaking, are there shell or patch defects, are they discoloured or colonized) by the pathologist and your capsules should be carefully examined for textures/silicone which may have leaked or be present in the capsule.  Then the pathologist will study your capsules and the cells of your capsules noting the tissue types and cell types, cell characteristics and any cell pathologies that may occur in capsule tissue.  Then, pieces of your capsule should be cultured using sensitive broth cultures to see if any infections grow out that you may need treatment for.   Bacterial infections grow out sooner than fungal infections.  Your surgeon will order your pathology and so you need to discuss all of this with him and which of these tests you want and the costs, some of this may be very expensive and even unnecessary depending on your circumstances and what your surgeon sees during explant and so that will be a factor in your decision. Whether you get your implants back or not is up to you, some want to see them, if you are pursing legal check with your lawyer about how your implants should be handled in order to preserve your case.

Lymph Nodes – At this time the following quote and research by Dr. Lu Jean Feng is the best research on the subject of breast implants and lymph nodes:  “I have done extensive research on silicone lymphadenopathy over the last 20 years as a result of breast augmentation. As a result, I have published a peer-reviewed paper with scientists from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. as well as from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Silicone in the lymph nodes can be diagnosed by ultrasound and by needle localization for precise removal. The polyurethane covered gel filled breast implants are associated with extensive silicone lymphadenopathy in the axilla, retropectoral, internal mammary, and sometimes neck nodes, but never in nodes below the diaphragm. The saline implants are never associated with silicone lymphadenopathy. Ruptured gel implants are only sometimes associated with silicone lymphadenopathy.  Silicone-laden lymph nodes, if they need to be removed, should only be removed after needle localization by a radiologist experienced with the technique. I have removed many silicone laden lymph nodes after needle localization in the past, but I have stopped due to the fact that the removal makes little difference in patient’s recovery from implant illness. In addition, there are always risks of lymphedema of the arm, numbness in the arm, and seroma in the axilla. I am not aware of any medical literature showing benefit of lymph node removal in implant illness.” http://www.fengclinic.com/files/2014/10/PathologyofLymphNodesimpants.pdf

Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma – Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the cells of the immune system that can be caused by breast implants.  The main symptoms of BIA-ALCL are persistent swelling or pain in the vicinity of the breast implant, seroma, breast mass, capsular contracture and usually are associated with textured implants.  These symptoms may appear after the implant surgical incision has healed and often years after implant placement.  If you have swelling, seroma, breast mass, or capsular contracture and especially if you have textured implants please push hard for BIA-ALCL testing.  Surgeons should consider the possibility of ALCL when they have a patient with late onset, persistent fluid around the implant (peri-implant seroma) before and during explant or exhibit symptom after explant.  When testing for ALCL at the time of explant, surgeons should collect fresh seroma fluid and representative portions of the capsule and send for pathology tests.  The test is called CD-30 and few surgeons are knowledgeable about BIA-ALCL at this point so it will be up to you to educate your surgeon and persist in getting the test if you have any symptoms and/or textured implants.

Ensure That Your Implants are Returned to you If You Want Them – You paid for your implants and by law they belong to you and should be returned to you directly after explant or after pathology if you want them.  Don’t let your plastic surgeon keep them, dispose of them or tell you they cannot be returned to you because of testing or hospital rules.  Plastic surgeons are rewarded for returning breast implants to manufacturers so they make up all kinds of excuses that implants cannot be returned to you.  My implants smelled strongly of chemicals and that was how I realized I was being toxed by them.  You may need your breast implants for future legal proceedings.  If you are interested in legal then please seek advice from your lawyer on how they recommend your implants be handled by your surgeon and pathology after explant in order to preserve your legal case.

Contact the Implant Manufacturer for Warranty and Expense Reimbursement – If you obtained your implant information from the placing plastic surgeon or if you received your implants after explantation you will be able to determine the manufacturer.  If you do not have an interest in legal action, contact the manufacturer to see what is available to you in regard to warranty or reimbursement for surgeon fees.  Again, please be careful talking with and signing anything from the implant manufacturer so you do not sign your rights away.  In general manufacturers make you give up the implants and your rights to legal proceedings in return for a little money.

Please join our Facebook group of over 100,000 women for support through your healing journey.

We look forward to your comments, feedback and personal stories about your symptoms due to breast implants. Please see the comment form below. Thank you.

This Post Has 53 Comments

  1. Karen

    Anyone besides me having difficulty with the Explant Surgeon link? Not on FB, does it only work through FB?

  2. Janet Anderson

    HELP, I HAVE OVER 35 YEAR OLD IMPLANTS & HAVE HAD S/S FOR 20 YEARS!!! I THOUGHT I WAS GOING CRAZY!!! I live in the Kansas City, metro area. It doesn’t seem you have any surgeons near here. I am unable to walk from my MBR to my kitchen without being breathless. PSY issues and physical, esp Thyroid ones, I am what my daughter calls a hot mess!!!
    She brought the illness up to me, & said “Mom THIS IS YOU!!! GET THOSE THINGS OUT!!!” I have not felt like ‘myself ‘ in over 10+ years, even felt like I am dying. Where do I start now!!!

    1. Kristin

      You can check with plastic surgeons near you and they should do explants. You don’t necessarily have to go to an explant surgeon listed. Im explanting in 17 days and my surgeon does augmentations as well as explants. Just shop around and do some consults until you find one that will do what you need.

    2. Dianna Martin

      Dr Brad Storm in Lenexa is on the implant doctors list. I have explant with him Nov 24.

    3. Deborah

      I’ve had mine in for about 20years. I too am a hot mess. Some days I can’t even get out of bed. I been too 8 different rhumetogist and finally the last one sai he coulnhelp me because I don’t have ra or lupus. I’ve been taking medication for 20 years and now to be told this. I’ve scheduled to have them remove but not too sure about the doctor..im in Tennessee…you can email me at [email protected] if you would like to talk. I’ll give you my phone number through email. Thanks i pray you feel better.. i know how you feel.

  3. cindy l buck

    Can I have my own fat put in and do a lift in the same surgery as the explant?

    1. Lucy

      You can. I’m doing this.

  4. Claudia

    Hi I am in arizona. I am looking for a doctor here who does total capsulatomy

  5. J

    Hi there
    has anyone had explant surgery with a high bmi/overweight?
    My ability to loose weight seems to have vanished over the last year! I have lost weight successfully after three babies but now with inflammation and don’t know what else going on I seem to be fighting my weight!
    My explant surgeon has requested a loss of 14 pounds to try and make surgery as safe as possible which initially I was thinking “ok let’s get that done” but it’s just not happening!
    My BMI is sitting at like 32 and surgeons prefer under 30
    I have started the couch to 5k app hoping perhaps if I can prove I can run 30mins straight I am fit to some extent fro surgery?
    Any advice on loosing weight while dealing with Breast Implant Illness?
    Many thanks, J

  6. Erika Guzmán

    Hola buenos Dias como están mi nombre es ERIKA GUZMAN soy del al ciudad de Bogotá Colombia , mira estoy en el proceso de retirarme mis implantes y eh leído que la mejor manera es el retiro total en block que debe ser retirada el bloque completo con Capsulectomía total ya que hay este grupo de apoyo en Colombia ciudad de Bogota que cirujano me recomiendan para todo este proceso gracias quedo atenta Gracias

  7. S

    I had mentor saline implants put in in 2007, and my health issues began after that. I had them removed in 2012, and the surgeon just did a local and pulled them out. My health problems continued to get worse. I have not gotten any better. I read about how the capsule needs to be removed. It’s been 8yrs…is there still a capsule even in there or has it all broken down my now? I don’t want to have anymore surgeries. I have 3 kids and i just want to feel better!

    1. Nicole

      Hi S,
      Research shows that capsules do not dissolve or disappear on their own and if you are still struggling you may have to consider a surgery to remove left over capsules. Whenever a woman has symptoms from her breast implants, the capsules should always be removed because it correlates with healing from breast implant symptoms.

  8. June Trusty

    My implants are approximately 31 yrs old. My surgeon has passed. I have no idea where my records are. I am having problems with my right implant. Is there a way to find out the info on my current implants

  9. Karen Turner

    Why would one doctor be so much less expensive when they are recommended and state they do the same thing?

  10. Jacqueline

    I regret I didn’t read this before, 5 month ago I had my surgery to explantation but then I started to feel very bad, right now I’m suffering I can’t sleep and have a rash in my right arm, my swollen is irritated, in the arm skin a dermatologist told me is fungus than appears more and I feel lost because in my country doctors don’t know about this, my surgeon don’t believe in this and I feel even worst but I want to recover my health, please someone can help me where to go what to do if there’s something still can do

  11. Mary

    I’m due to have my textured silicone implants out tomorrow and I’m having second thoughts. The surgeon won’t be taking out the capsule, he said it’s not necessary and that it may result in some breast tissue loss. Can you please advise.

  12. Ray

    Hi
    I have been having loads of symptoms due to these toxic implants on my last scan the doctor told me I had a large lymph node on my left breast but said it’s nothing to worry about should I have this removed before or during my surgery or leave it alone? Also the scan showed I have no rupture but do I still need to explant? Or have normal removal? 🙏🏽

    1. Nicole

      Hi Ray,
      If you have silicone or textured implants, we we suggest that an En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy explant is most ideal for your highest and best recovery from the symptoms of breast implant illness. As for the lymph node, if it is badly contaminated with silicone it may need to be removed, discuss with your surgeon.

  13. G

    Hi,
    I am hoping to get my implants out by en bloc total capsulectomy without a lift etc. i cant afford to get lift im at limit. Im terrified as i am worried ill be in even more permanent pain but adamant im getting them out as ive got one thing after another since getting them in. Is there vitimans and supplements i should take before surgery?

    1. Nicole

      Hi G,
      Vitamins, antioxidants and extra nutrition are always good for healing.

  14. Patricia Guerrero

    Hi, i need a surgey that remove implants in Ecuador.

  15. Marilyn

    I had my implants removed. I’m just coming out of the fog of it all. Im praying for the moment I can say, I’m going to be ok. Mine were put in in 1978 and had been ruptured at least 10 years but the cost to remove them was more than I could pay. The surgeon encouraged me to leave them in because there had been zero studies to prove they were dangerous. This was 10 years ago. Since that, I’ve lost hair, had abnormal blood work and so much more. My daughter asked me to join. This is the day I had finally found the doctor and had already started the ball rolling. So I will keep everybody posted. I have the pictures but won’t gross you out.

  16. Jessica Gonzales

    I need to removed my implants. I live in Oklahoma city. Any surgeons in this area doing explant?
    Please help me
    Thank you

    1. Nicole

      Hi Gabriela,
      He is on our radar as a possible add to the list but so far I have only seen one set of En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy photos from him in our group and we are waiting for a couple more sets to show up before adding him.

  17. Banu

    hi, I am Banu,
    In 2004, the first saline breast silicone implanted in 2009 was replaced with silicone implant. I have complaints for years. Joint pain, morning stiffness, night sweats, dry eye, dry skin, hair loss, constant allergy, constant infection, bowel problems, depression, constant fatigue, swelling of my eyes, insomnia, headaches, memory loss, inability to focus, weakening and thinning of my muscles , rapid aging, sagging on my body and face, 2 times ectopic pregnancy. I’ve been doing blood tests for years. They said fibromyalgia, doctors. They said it could be rheumatoid arthritis or shögren. It’s undiagnosed, but I know it’s all because of silicone implants. I want you to help me, please. I’m afraid I’m Turkish. I live in Turkey. Nobody knows about silicone breast disease. I search the Internet myself. I do not explant my country de dr. How do I detox before and after explant? What medication should I take? Please help🙏🏻

  18. Carey B

    Can anyone tell me why a lift cannot or should not be done while explanting. I was set up to have my recalled implants removed and replaced but being I am extremely symptomatic decided not to replace but wanted to go ahead with the lift while explanting and my dr is doing a full capsulectomy/enbloc and said he won’t do the lift until at least 6 mos later . I’m terrified of my breasts looking deformed. I know it sounds completely vain but I can’t imagine how I can live with my skin sagging and deflated. Can anyone give me any words of hope . I’m just distraught over this .

    1. Nicole

      Hi Carey,
      Some surgeons do lifts with explant and some do not and prefer to do them later.

      1. Patty

        Hi Nicole, are there any surgeons in houston texas that do explant and lift at the same time? I am concerned also about my sking being saggy and deformed after removing the implants. Thanks

  19. Milo

    My girl friend has implants and she have all this symptoms but she refused to give up her boobs
    Can some one help me how to convince her to do the detox treatments
    Thank you !!

  20. Patricia K CHRISTENSEN

    LOOKING FOR A LIST OF SURGEONS WHO REMOVE THEM SAFELY?

  21. Stephanie L.

    I’m going today to see a Dr Black in Metairie, recommendation from here, and I’m so scared, I have had all kinds of testing the last week and half and my silicone implant on left they sat is ruptured and well, it’s basically spread all over from the Dr / radiologist that was doing an ultrasound… and the other Has some fluid around the implant with a capsular contracture ..I’m so nervous….this implant I really believe got ruptured by them doing the mammogram, squeezing the life out of me, and I say that because the boob itself felt totally different before and after that mammogram….does this happen like this, and how can I know if they did it, even though I was having them out and doing the explant, I sure didn’t want the silicone smashed all over in me, all this along with mine are the RECALLED implants from ALLERGAN, and I have ALL THE symptoms.. Can you PLEASE tell me is this stuff leaking all in my body, I was specifically told the type silicone I got can be cut in half and it stays put, doesn’t leak out like saline….was I just totally lied to? HELP I’m also trying to join the Facebook page and I can’t get any reply or message back idk what I am doing wrong with that. I’m 48 and I got these implants 1-1-2009==== it’s going to be 11 years this January 2020

    1. Nicole

      Hi Stephanie,
      Mammograms do rupture breast implants all the time and we have hundreds of reports from women whose implants were ruptured during mammogram. You are in good hands with Dr. Black so please relax. Once the implants and capusule tissue are removed all of this will be behind you. If you cannot get into the group, reach out to me on facebook please, Nicole Daruda with the flower logo.

  22. Miriam Hayde

    Hi Nicole. Thank you for all that info above I will be using it soon. I have just been told I have a ruptured implant. Does that mean the silicone if leaking out… I’m really scared Is there info on site regarding Ruptured implant please

    1. Nicole

      Hi Miriam,
      It does not necessarily mean the silicone leaked out. Some ruptures are contained in the capsule and some leak past the capsule. If you have a rupture, it’s important that you are explanted by a surgeon that does good En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy so that any leaking silicone does not contaminate your chest / body.

  23. Kendra Meekin

    How do I submit a surgeon for consideration to be added to your recommedation list?

    1. Nicole

      Hi Kendra,
      If you are in the facebook group you can message me directly (Nicole Daruda with the flower logo as my photo) or if not, you can email me at [email protected] with photos of your En Bloc / Total Capsulectomy explanted capsules and implants. That is what we need to establish that surgeon has the skills to remove breast implants properly. Looking forward to hear from you.

  24. Grace

    Looking for a good surgeon in the Chicago area, recommendations please!

  25. Lisa Black

    Please. I am looking for a surgeon in Las Vegas, Nevada for an explant. I have ruptured silicone 20 yr. old implants.

  26. Michele Bats

    Holy cow! I am getting explant surgery in two days and I am just learning about this! Yikes! Much gratitude for educating us about this-saving life-saving women from pain and suffering.

  27. Karen Constantine

    My MENTER silicone implants were put in me in 1994. I didn’t know nor told that FDA banned all silicone use except for cancer victims in 1992.

    No symptoms until December 13,2018. A lot of covering up done . I have implants. Since upon having implants years later and my first emergency surgery to explant was February 1, 2019, second February 20,219. I had no time to interview the dr explanting but have photos and the dr that did the removal told me something strange I’m just realizing , the removed implants I’ve the photos of, but dr said the silicone was spilled all over me inside. How do I know she knows what she’s doing or did correctly and that all of the spilled silicone was removed? The dr did some false paperwork about me , I assume to protect herself? But what if all the bacteria infection wasn’t removed? Will it grow back? I was on antibiotics for many months and had drains in as well. Please contact me I am afraid something isn’t right and can document all I say.
    Thank you
    Karen Constantine
    I need the correct legal assistance, I’m getting the run around. Surgery of implants in was west Palm Beach fl , explant palm beach gardens Florida
    561 801-3128

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