This retrospective study reviews 720 patients referred for evaluation of their silicone gel-filled breast implants from December of 1992 to January of 1996. Of the 720 patients evaluated, 282 (39.2 percent) subsequently underwent explantation, and 59 of these patients (20.9 percent) had a breast contouring procedure performed at the time of explantation. Our definition of explantation is the operative removal of the implant as well as the implant capsule. The overall complication rate for explantation was 5 out of 282 patients (1.8 percent), whereas the rate of complication among the patients who underwent simultaneous breast contouring was 2 out of 59 patients (3.4 percent).
This article presents the management of the breast following explantation, implant removal, and capsulectomy. We review both the preoperative assessment of patients seeking explantation and our technique of explantation. Additionally, we address the importance of preoperative breast ptosis in technique selection and have developed a practical clinical algorithm for guiding simultaneous explantation and breast contouring. We also identify those patients who should undergo delayed breast contouring due to associated risk factors (smoking, need for >4 cm of nipple movement, and paucity of breast parenchyma).