Updated: May 16
Written by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Nima Naghshineh, MD, FACS on July 8th, 2020.
Whether it’s for breast implant illness, breast implant associated lymphoma, or severe capsular contracture with pain, just removing the implant is may not be enough. Some studies suggests that even removing a portion of the capsule can improve symptoms. In certain instances, it may be beneficial or necessary to remove the capsule in its entirety.
Capsular contracture is a problem with the capsule shrinking, thickening and getting tighter. Breast implant associated lymphoma is often found in the capsule. And many of the leading theories on the cause of breast implant illness have to do with the capsule. Therefore, a capsulectomy (removal of part or all of the capsule) is often recommended. That capsule may be sent to a pathologist for close inspection under a microscope to rule out any abnormal cells or cancers. Any fluid around the implant as well as a piece of that capsule may also be sent for microbiology testing which will look at whether there are any organisms like bacteria colonized in the capsule.
Partial capsulectomy - Removal of part of the capsule
Total capsulectomy - Removal of all of the capsule
En Bloc capsulectomy - Generally refers to removing the specimen in one piece but...
The term en bloc technically describes a procedure for malignancy/cancer where a tumor is removed with a margin of uninvolved tissue. This term should not be used for a capsulectomy performed in the absence of malignancy/cancer.