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Breast Implant Removal Surgeon in Chicago, IL

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Straka is known as one of the top breast surgeons in the country, being one of only a small number of surgeons who have been performing en bloc breast implant removal surgery for over 25 years.

Explant Questions and Answers
Explant Before and After Photos

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Straka

Dr. Philip Straka

Dr. Straka is a member of The Aesthetic Society, which is recognized as the world’s leading professional organization of ABPS board-certified plastic surgeons who are solely dedicated to the art, science, and safe practice of aesthetic surgery and medicine.


Dedicated to complete capsulectomy and en bloc removal.


Compassionate care and experience with patients who have Breast Implant Illness (BII).


Knowledge of the latest research in Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).


Sends capsules for pathology and any other studies needed.

Model breast implant removal

Breast Explant in Chicago, IL

Breast explant with capsulectomy involves removing the implant with its surrounding capsule. The implants and surrounding capsules are removed as a unit, with no holes or breaks in the capsules. This is referred to as an en bloc removal. En bloc is the goal for every explant procedure. If there are any other foreign bodies (sutures) or any evidence of a silicone rupture or leak, this is thoroughly cleaned and washed before the incision is closed. If the pectoralis muscle needs to be repaired, it is done at the time of the procedure. Breast lift surgery can also be performed at the same time as explant.

Breast Implant Removal Surgical Details

  • Procedure Length: 2 – 2½ hours (3½ – 4 hours with a simultaneous breast lift)
  • Anesthesia: General – completely asleep. Performed by an experienced, board-certified M.D. anesthesiologist
  • Incision: Near the breast fold. Other scars present if a simultaneous breast lift is performed
  • Implants: Returned to the patient
  • Capsules: Sent to pathology per patient request (additional testing for CD30 and cultures for mold/bacteria can be done as well)
  • Muscle Repair: Performed at the same time as explant if needed
  • Breast Lift/Mastopexy: Can be performed at the same time as explant
  • Photos of Implants and Capsules: Provided to patient
  • Drains: One drain in each breast
  • Dressings: Ace wrap for 48 hours. OR dressing removed on the second day after surgery and the patient can shower on the second day after surgery.
  • Recovery: No heavy lifting greater than 10 pounds for the first several weeks. Full recovery without restrictions at 8 weeks.

What to Expect When Having Breast Implant Removal Surgery

On the day of your surgery, you will arrive 30 to 60 minutes before your scheduled procedure. After your procedure, you will typically recover for 30 to 45 minutes and then you will be discharged home. Dr. Straka has an on-call answering service and Dr. Straka is reachable at any time should there be any questions or concerns after hours following your procedure. The first follow-up appointment is typically at around day 5-7 for routine checkups and drain removal.

Doctor holding implants


Questions To Ask Your Explant Surgeon

  • Are you a board-certified plastic surgeon?

    It is important to know not only if your surgeon is board-certified, but that they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Straka is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has been certified since 1999.

  • Are you a member of the Aesthetic Society of plastic surgery?

    Dr. Straka is a member of The Aesthetic Society which is recognized as the world’s leading professional organization of ABPS board-certified plastic surgeons who are solely dedicated to the art, science, and safe practice of aesthetic surgery and medicine. The Aesthetic Society is a selective and highly-qualified group of aesthetic plastic surgeons, representing the best in the aesthetic specialty. The Aesthetic Society membership represents the gold-standard of innovation and expertise in aesthetics around the world. ASAPS membership is a valued and respected privilege for a select group of board-certified plastic surgeons. Only about one-quarter of all board-certified plastic surgeons have met the requirements to be included as a member of the Aesthetic Society.

  • Do you have hospital privileges?

    This means that if there is a problem, either during or after surgery, the doctor can admit you to a nearby hospital for any care you need. This is important because it shows that your surgeon has met all the hospital requirements that would demonstrate they are a safe and ethical surgeon. Dr. Straka has hospital privileges at Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital which is nearby his surgical center if needed.

  • Where do you perform these operations?

    It is critical that your operation be performed in a safe environment with experienced, trusted personnel. Dr. Straka performs his procedures in his AAAASF fully accredited surgical center in his office. This accreditation means his operating room meets the same strict requirements as any hospital operating room but is much more private and convenient for his patients. Dr. Straka’s OR team is very experienced as the two nurses that work with him in the OR have been working in this field for over twenty years and his team of anesthesiologists are all experienced, board-certified M.D.s, not nurse anesthetists like many other surgeons use.

  • How long have you been performing en bloc capsulectomy?

    It is important that your surgeon has a vast amount of experience and expertise in the proper techniques in breast implant removal. Dr. Straka typically performs explant surgery 3-4 days per week and has been performing successful en bloc capsulectomy since the original silicone breast implant controversy in the 1990’s. Relatively few surgeons have been performing this technique for as long as Dr. Straka.

  • How long will the surgery take and will I be completely asleep?

    To properly remove the capsule from the muscle and chest wall takes time. To remove both capsules completely will take approximately 2-2.5 hours. An explant with a lift will take approximately 4 hours. Dr. Straka performs these procedures under general anesthesia with the patient completely asleep and cared for by a board certified M.D. anesthesiologist.

  • Are you familiar with Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma?

    BIA-ALCL is a type of lymphoma associated with breast implants. Typically, these cases will present with a large fluid collection around the implant (seroma). If this occurs, it is recommended to get the seroma drained first and tested for CD30 to rule out ALCL. That should happen prior to the capsulectomy. If you have a textured implant and your surgeon finds a lot of fluid around the implant or a mass on the capsule it should be tested for CD30 to rule out ALCL. Dr. Straka is very familiar with BIA-ALCL and its treatment. Dr. Straka does offer CD30 testing of any fluid around the implant or the capsules themselves.

  • What type of anesthesia is used and does it change if I have an MTHFR gene mutation?

    You will be put asleep with a combination of Propofol and gas anesthetic. With the MTHFR gene it is recommended to avoid Nitrous Oxide. Dr. Straka does not use Nitrous Oxide for any cases.

  • What kind of testing is done to the implants/capsules?

    Dr. Straka offers to test every capsule removed for breast cancer. For patients concerned about breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), the capsules can be tested for CD30 as well. CD30 is a test performed by an outside lab to look for signs of BIA-ALCL. Some patients want the implant tested for other microorganisms such as mold or fungus. Dr. Straka can test the breast implant pocket spaces and/or fluid within the saline implants for these microorganisms. He will have a discussion with every patient to determine if those tests should be ordered.

  • What is done with the implants after surgery?

    The implants will be returned to the patient if they desire. Otherwise, they are disposed of as per Dr. Straka’s usual surgery center protocol.

  • Will surgical drains be used?

    Dr. Straka always uses drains for these procedures. Once the capsule is removed there is normal body fluid that enters the space from where the breast implants had been removed. Dr. Straka prefers all that fluid to come out of the breast pocket to allow for quicker healing of that space. The drains will typically stay in place between 3-7 days. Typically less for implants above the muscle and longer for patients who have had several breast procedures or are breast reconstruction patients. The drains are removed once they are no longer draining much fluid.

  • Will you file under insurance for removal of my implants?

    Dr. Straka is not contracted with any insurance plans and therefore, our office does not submit insurance claims for this procedure. If the patient desires to file it by themselves Dr. Straka’s office will provide all the clinical notes, operative report, and codes used for the procedure.

  • Where will the scar be located?

    Typically for removal of the implants, the scar will be in or near the breast crease. If you have an existing scar in this location Dr. Straka will use this incision and cut out the old scar.

  • What supplements and medications do I need to avoid during surgery?

    Dr. Straka will give you a list of supplements to avoid including but not limited to Aspirin, Motrin, Aleve, and any other medications that could increase your bleeding risk.

  • What is recovery like and how often will I see my doctor?

    Dr. Straka will typically see you between day 3-7 to take the drains out and remove any stitches (they are all dissolvable) and then 2 weeks after that. Then you will follow up as needed. The big limitation is no heavy lifting for several weeks. The breasts will go through a lot of changes over the first 4-6 weeks. Creases and wrinkles tend to smooth out during this time. Most patients are back to full activity without any restrictions between 6-8 weeks.

  • Are you committed to a complete capsulectomy?

    Dr. Straka understands the importance of removal of the capsules. He knows that is one of the reasons patients travel from all over the United States, Canada and other countries to come and see him. He promises each patient he will spend the time and energy to try to accomplish the goal of a complete capsulectomy at minimum and en bloc removal of the implant when at all possible.

  • Do you take photos of the implants and capsules?

    Dr. Straka provides his patients with photos of the implants and capsules.

operation breast implant removal

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samples of breast implant removals back & front

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Our Office Location
10400 W. Higgins Rd., Ste. 100
Rosemont, IL 60018
Phone: (281) 540-8044

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