The Fate of the Fibrous Capsule After Saline Implant Removal

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After removal of a silicone breast implant, if a capsulectomy is not performed, the residual capsule may persist, become calcified, and appear on routine mammograms. The fate of the capsule around saline implants is less clear. The purpose of this study was to determine the fate of the capsule around saline-filled implants in an animal model. Rats were implanted with 6-ml tissue expanders, which were left in place for 4 months. The implants were then removed and the capsules around the injection port (smooth surface) and tissue expander (textured surface) were examined sequentially. The capsules contracted and dissipated gradually over a year in association with a pericapsular vascular proliferation. It may not be necessary to perform a capsulectomy at the time of saline implant removal.

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