Pathologic findings in primary capsulectomy specimens: Analysis of 2531 patients

Oren Lapid, Eline C. Noels, Sybren L. Meijer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: After breast augmentation, additional operations are often needed for revision or explantation. Although the surgeon may elect to leave the capsule in situ during these procedures, excised capsule tissue may be examined histopathologically for cancer cells. Objectives: The authors assessed pathologic findings from breast implant capsules submitted for histopathologic examination and evaluated whether it is oncologically safe to leave capsule tissue in situ. Methods: The authors searched PALGA, the nationwide histopathology and cytopathology data network and registry in the Netherlands, for primary capsulectomy specimens excised between 2003 and 2012. The authors applied a sensitive search strategy with low specificity that included female and breast as the sex and anatomic location keywords, and wildcards were used to detect different spellings. Cases were excluded if previous examinations showed compatibility with a history of breast cancer, prophylactic mastectomy, or prophylactic oophorectomy. The pathologic reports were manually reviewed for relevance, and each case s diagnosis was registered. A total of 6803 reports were available, representing 4948 patients; 2574 reports from 2531 patients were included in this study. The median age of patients was 51.2 ± 12.0 years (range, 15-88 years). Results: Invasive carcinoma was detected in 4 patients (0.16%). Four patients (0.16%) had ductal carcinoma in situ, and 1 patient (0.04%) had lobular carcinoma in situ. Metaplasia was noted in 51 patients (2.0%), calcifications in 375 (14.6%), and silicone in 701 (27.2%). Conclusions: The incidence of occult invasive or in situ carcinoma in capsulectomy specimens of patients with no previous breast pathology is low. Therefore, it appears oncologically safe to leave capsule tissue in situ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-718
Number of pages5
JournalAesthetic Surgery Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • augmentation
  • breast neoplasms
  • capsule
  • capsulectomy
  • foreign body
  • implant
  • implant capsular contracture
  • mammaplasty
  • oncology
  • pathology
  • rupture
  • silicone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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