EXPLANT BREAST IMPLANT REMOVAL
A timely and proper explant (removal) of your breast implants is the most crucial step to your recovery from breast implant illness. As soon as the implants are properly removed, you will likely notice a reduction or clearing of some of your SYMPTOMS. However, some symptoms will linger and even return until your body has completed a DETOXIFICATION process and had a chance to heal. A number of women who were symptomatic and had proper, timely explants feel that they recovered their health within one or two years after removal of implants but some women take longer to heal as well. Unfortunately, there are other women who do not ever fully recover their health or quality of life due to breast implants and some women who develop deadly disease and die prematurely due to breast implants.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SURGEON WHO IS COMMITTED TO GETTING ALL THE CAPSULE OUT AND EXPERIENCED AT TOTAL CAPSULECTOMY AND EN BLOC
No matter what you read or are told from your plastic surgeon about explants of breast implants, if you are symptomatic ALL BREAST IMPLANTS SHOULD BE REMOVED EN BLOC WITH A TOTAL CAPSULECTOMY NO MATTER THE TYPE OF IMPLANT. En Bloc is a breast implant removal procedure first developed in France to deal with the earlier versions of liquid silicone breast implants when ruptured and leaking silicone. En Bloc removal means the surgeon removes the surrounding scar tissue capsule and the implant together, intact, as one unit, without disrupting either capsule or implant to avoid silicone contamination of the body. If you are symptomatic it should be obvious to you and your doctor that the tissue capsule around your implant is contaminated and a Total Capsulectomy with an En Bloc style removal 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 saline implants a Total Capsulectomy should be done for your utmost health because there will be contamination in the capsule tissue.
In addition to breast implant illness, there are other reasons that a Total Capsulectomy is recommended in the majority of cases when removing or replacing breast implants and this is well known in the surgery, plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery industries. I have a copy of the Guidelines and Indications for Breast Implant Capsulectomy published in September 1998 by the Washington University School of Medicine which details the numerous reasons why a Total Capsulectomy is highly recommended. If you would like a copy, please contact me and I will email it to you.
Recently, I have been hearing from many women who just got implants and are reacting immediately with severe illness and having them removed. In the case that your implants are only a few weeks or a few months old, a Total Capsulectomy with En Bloc style removal would not be necessary as there would be very little capsule tissue built by your body in the first few months of having implants.
THE REAL REASON PLASTIC SURGEON’S AVOID TOTAL CAPSULECTOMY AND EN-BLOC EXPLANTS
Some plastic surgeons argue against a Total Capsulectomy and En Bloc style 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 twelve months or longer you will have capsule tissue and if you are symptomatic, it should be obvious that your breast implants have contaminated the surrounding tissue capsule and a Total Capsulectomy with En Bloc style removal is necessary. The real reason some plastic surgeons avoid Total Capsulectomy and En Bloc style removal 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 a short 20 minute procedure, in their office, under a local anesthetic simply cutting you and pulling out the implants leaving the contaminated capsules in your body. Easy for them. 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 plastic surgeons will argue that a Total Capsulectomy with En Bloc style removal could result in disfigurement of your breast but this is mostly untrue. A skilled and experienced 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 skill and experience to you, we suggest not using him/her for your explant. There are stories of women who thought they were getting a proper explant but did not because their surgeon decided it was not needed, lied or they were confused by the terms Total Capsulectomy, Capsulectomy and Capsulotomy.
DON’T BE CONFUSED BY THE DIFFERENT TERMS CAPSULECTOMY AND CAPSULOTOMY
I read a brief piece on someone’s personal site that said some surgeons may refer to the French En Bloc removal procedure as “Total Capsulectomy” in North America and it may be essentially the same procedure but I would not count on this. 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. Keep a copy of signed document for your records. Do not get confused by the terms En Bloc, Total Capsulectomy, Capsulectomy and Capsulotomy:
En Bloc – is the French term that references the proper procedure developed in France for removing silicone breast implants that are leaking and the capsule tissue surrounding the implant in a manner to avoid further contamination.
Total Capsulectomy – may be your surgeon’s reference for an En-bloc style implant and capsule removal but not necessarily. You must find out exactly what he means by the term Total Capsulectomy ensuring that all capsule tissue will be removed in a En-bloc style manner that does not contaminate you further.
Capsulectomy – is a procedure in which the capsule of tissue surrounding a breast implant is surgically removed and this procedure is generally used to fix capsular constracture.
Capsulotomy – there are two types of Capsulotomy: Open Capsulotomy is a procedure in which the capsule is surgically released and/or partially removed through an incision within the breast area. Closed Capsulotomy refers to a procedure where the surgeon breaks down capsule tissue while leaving the implant in place using vigorous compression. Closed Capsulotomy is not recommended due to risk of rupture of the implant and voids the warranty on most breast implants.
If your implants are placed sub-muscularly and are stuck to your ribs in any area then a small part of the capsule may have to be left behind. This was true in my case. I had cohesive gel implants which were stuck to my rib in one spot which is not uncommon and my surgeon left approximately 5 per cent of the capsule tissue on one side because removing it may have damaged the rib.
WORD OF MOUTH REFERRALS FOR GOOD EXPLANT SURGEONS
A good way to find a surgeon for explant is by word of mouth referrals from explanted ladies. Here is a list of world wide EXPLANT SURGEONS which I gathered from other explant sites and from ladies recommending their surgeon to us. Thousands and thousands of ladies have breast implant illness and as such we created a Facebook group called Breast Implant Illness and Healing By Nicole where you can chat with many other ladies who have been through the same journey of finding a surgeon and surgery. To go to the Facebook group, you can click on the Facebook button at the end of any page of this website or go directly here to the the SUPPORT GROUP.
OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW IN REGARD TO EXPLANT
READY YOUR BODY BEFORE SURGERY – Depending on the time frame before your explant, you can prepare your body by nourishing yourself as well as you can, fueling with extra high quality vitamins and minerals to support healing and improving your gut health through an organic, wholefoods diet and lots of soil based probiotics. Do not stimulate detoxification until about a month after explant as you do not want to spread anymore toxins than necessary through your system and organs. 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 – Obtain a copy of the operative report for your implantation from the placing plastic surgeon. The operative report will help the explant surgeon and will be helpful if you decide to get your implants analyzed and or explore legal avenues.
OBTAIN A COPY OF YOUR EXPLANTATION OPERATIVE REPORT – Obtain a copy of the operative report for your explant from the explanting plastic surgeon. The operative report will help analysis and may also be required down the road for legal proceedings.
OBTAIN WARRANTY INFORMATION AND SERIAL NUMBERS OF YOUR IMPLANTS FROM THE PLACING SURGEON – All breast implants have serial numbers so they can be tracked because they are classed as medical devices. The serial number is on the breast implant itself and should be recorded in your placing 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. I suggest getting legal advice to protect your rights before signing anything from implant manufacturers.
INSIST ON PICTURES OF THE EXPLANTATION – Good surgeons will video tape their explant procedure or take pictures of your implants once removed with the capsule tissue still on to prove they were removed En Bloc. Secondly, another set of pictures of the implants them self without the capsule tissue. We have several pictures now of moldy and microbial colonized implants taken right at the time of removal.
INFECTIONS AND PATHOLOGY – Your chest pockets should be swabbed for bacterial, fungal/mold or other microbial infections. Capsular contraction is known to be associated with bacterial or microbial biofilms. Please note that fungus/mold is hard to culture and so fungus may be present even if a swab comes back negative so test for it but don’t use test results to rule out fungus/mold in the chest and the need to take antifungals. Pathology should be done on your implants and capsule tissue to look for atypical cells leading to cancer. Yes, breast implants do cause breast cancer and lymphoma. Saline fluid may be able to be cultured to check for mold and microbes. Please ensure you get your implants and capsule tissue returned to you after pathology if you want to pursue a lawsuit. Saline fluid can be sent out to the U.S. lab Mycometrics to test for contamination by fungus and or other microbes. All these tests may cost extra over and above your surgery so please inquire about their cost.
LYMPH NODES – With ruptured silicone implants, lymph nodes may be contaminated. Silicone mapping through ultasound may be available for testing. It is controversial removing lymph nodes but our current understanding in the breast implant communities is that highly contaminated lymph nodes should be removed for your best recovery. Please research this aspect carefully and understand the consequences to you. Not all plastic surgeons remove lymph nodes.
ENSURE THAT YOUR IMPLANTS ARE RETURNED TO YOU IMMEDIATELY AFTER REMOVAL – You paid for your implants and by law they belong to you and should be returned to you directly after explant. Don’t let your plastic surgeon keep them, dispose of them or tell you they cannot be returned to you because of testing. In Canada, some of the capsule tissue does have to go to pathology for cancer testing. You will want to inspect your breast implants yourself after their removal. Mine smelled strongly of chemicals similar to wet silicone caulking. You may want to send your implants to Dr. Pierre Blais of Innoval Consulting, under RESOURCES, for analysis to understand why your breast implant failed and caused you symptoms and illness. You may need your breast implants for future legal proceedings.
ENSURE THAT YOUR CAPSULE TISSUE IS RETURNED TO YOU – If you are planning on having your implants analyzed by Dr. Blais request your capsule tissue back after pathology is done testing it for cancer. Capsule tissue will be able to tell Dr. Blais the story of what happened in your body in regard to the implants and illness.
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. Contact the manufacturer to see what is available to you in regard to warranty or reimbursement for surgeon fees. Again, please be careful signing anything from the implant manufacturer so you do not sign your rights away.
I wish you the very best in a speedy explant and full recovery of your health. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us below.