Complications related to retained breast implant capsules

Plast Reconstr Surg. 1995 Feb;95(2):364-71. doi: 10.1097/00006534-199502000-00017.


Citing evidence that breast implant-related capsules resolve uneventfully, surgeons have elected to leave the capsules in place when implants are removed because capsulectomy adds both morbidity and expense to the procedure. However, recent clinical and histopathologic evidence suggests that uneventful resolution is not always the case, and several potential problems may arise from retained capsules after removal of the implant. Retained implant capsules may result in a spiculated mass suspicious for carcinoma, dense calcifications that obscure neighboring breast tissue on subsequent imaging studies, and cystic masses due to persistent serous effusion, expansile hematoma, or encapsulated silicone filled cysts. Furthermore, retained capsules are a reservoir of implant-related foreign material in the case of silicone gel-filled implants and textured implants promoting tissue ingrowth. To avoid complications from retained capsules, total capsulectomy or postoperative surveillance should be offered to patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast Diseases / diagnosis
  • Breast Implants / adverse effects*
  • Connective Tissue / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / diagnosis
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / etiology*
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / pathology
  • Granulation Tissue / pathology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Silicones
  • Time Factors


  • Silicones