Breast Implant Removal
Patients choose to have breast implants removed for a variety of reasons ranging from implant malfunction to dissatisfaction with results. If the implant is not being replaced during a removal surgery, it is common for a breast lift to be done at the same time to address any excess skin caused by stretching.
Breast Implant Removal
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
The decision to have breast implants removed can be triggered by a number of factors. For individuals that have experienced negative side effects in the wake of augmentation surgery such as capsular contraction, removal can happen soon after the implants have been inserted. For others, the reason to remove their implants may include dissatisfaction with the implants size, projection, or asymmetry during healing. Mothers who have had augmentation surgery before having children may experience breast sagging and volume loss after pregnancy and desire implant removal to then replace with an implant that better suits their postpartum body. No matter the reason, or whether or not the implant will be replaced, removal surgery can help patients feel more confident in their own bodies. During the procedure, the surgery will begin by reopening the same incision by which the implant was originally inserted, making it so no new scars will result by removing the implant. The implant will be carefully removed and scar tissue will be excised, if needed. Any scar tissue that is left behind will deflate and collapse upon itself during the healing process. Incisions will be closed and drains will be inserted to collect blood and fluids from the surgical site. The chest will be wrapped in a compressive garment postoperatively and should be worn constantly for at least 1 week.
The goal of breast implant removal is to remove the implant usually following a complication or dissatisfaction with the implant.
What to Expect
Patients choose to have breast implants removed for a variety of reasons ranging from implant malfunction to dissatisfaction with results. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a breast implant removal procedure.
- Stop taking blood thinning medications for 2 weeks
- Stop smoking 4 weeks before and after surgery
- No alcohol 1 week prior
- Incision made where implant was originally inserted
- Implant is removed and scar tissue may be excised
- New implant inserted if desired by patient
- Incisions will be closed and drains will be inserted
- Chest will be wrapped in a compressive garment
While healing, it is common to experience numbness, soreness, tightness, swelling, and bruising in the breasts and nipples. Maximum discomfort will occur in the first few days after surgery. Drainage is common and to be expected during recovery. Nipples and breasts may be sensitive to stimulation for several weeks after surgery.
The ideal candidate for breast implant removal is dissatisfied with their breast implants or have incurred complications such as capsular contracture, implant shifting, wrinkling, rupture, deflation or asymmetry. Other reasons for breast implant removal may include anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) or a breast cancer diagnosis.
Not Recommended For
Breast implant removal surgery is not recommended for patients who have had an augmentation procedure in the last 1-6 months who are not experiencing complications and are initially unsatisfied with their results.
Removing an implant can cause a significant decrease in breast volume as well as sagging skin. Removing the implant can also cause loss of sensation to the nipple.