To begin, “en bloc” is defined by the medical dictionary in a lump; as a whole. The en bloc removal, also known as a “capsulectomy” then, is a surgical procedure performed to remove the implant and capsule as a whole without breaking the capsule. This way, the surgeon avoids any silicone leaking into the body cavity.
Why is the procedure done this way?
As we’ve mentioned in an earlier post, there have been only a few studies done to explore silicone’s effects on the body and how harmful it may be. Most notably, a study from this year at the Annals of Surgery at the University of Texas ties silicone implants with “Sjogren’s Syndrome, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, stillbirth, and melanoma.” These effects and more can be grouped into symptoms of a widely growing illness known as Breast Implant Illness. Though scientists at the FDA and doctors alike agree there needs to be more research done to study the effects silicone has on the body, at the Executive plastic and hand surgery center, Dr. Khan takes this correlation seriously. That’s why he performs en bloc removal meticulously and expertly to ensure the capsule does not burst or leak into your body cavity when removing the implant. When attempting to avoid a potentially harmful substance entering your body, why take the risk?
How does the En Bloc procedure work?
The doctor will cut an incision along the breast and remove the capsule and implant without harming the capsule casing. This scar tissue will come out at the same time as the implant. What can make this procedure difficult is that the surgeon will not know if the en bloc technique is possible until they have begun. Though a surgeon may go into surgery planning to do an en bloc procedure, if once they open up your chest they find too little or flimsy of scar tissue, they may not be able to take both the capsule and implant out at once.
If this is the case, the doctor will perform a “Total Capsulectomy.” In this procedure, instead of removing the two parts “en bloc,” the surgeon may have to cut into the capsule to remove the implant first, then go back in to cut out all the scar tissue and remaining capsule. While these two procedures are very similar, the “en bloc” approach is favored to avoid any unwanted silicone in the body. However, it is not always possible, so be sure to discuss with your doctor to understand the two procedures better and your desired plan.
In order to perform an En Bloc removal, the doctor will have to make a larger incision than other removals to prevent leakage and confirm none has occurred. This may take some time to heal and leave a large scar. But with proper after-surgery care, the swelling and scarring should subside.
After removing the implants, the skin may be stretched and take time to heal. There will be some sagging because the skin had made room for the implants over time. To remedy this sagging, some patients choose to have a breast lift or get new implants in the place of those removed. This decision varies from patient to patient and is up to you. Always be sure to discuss your options with your doctor and make sure your desires and needs align with your plan. Just as with any surgery, en bloc removal is a big decision, and you should trust that your doctor will prioritize your safety and desires.
Are you considering removing your breast implants? Come set up a consultation today with Dr. Khan! Dr. Khan provides free in-office consultations in which he will answer any and all questions that you may have. While you chat about your needs, be sure to express concerns and goals. Our responsibility at each of our offices is to make our patients feel comfortable and safe. Call Dr. Khan to discuss your implant removal options and goals today: 734-419-1615.