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Should I Replace or Remove My Breast Implants?

Posted August 25, 2020 By: The Office of Birmingham Specialists

Breast Augmentation, Breast Revision

3 Minute Read: 

Breast implants have always been popular. But standards around size and materials have been changing. Many women are opting to swap out, revise, or remove their implants altogether. There are many reasons to consult with a plastic surgeon regarding adjustments to existing breast implants. While some relate to health, most are entirely personal and particular to the individual.

Stack of silicone breast implants on a blue backing.

What Are the Benefits of Replacing Breast Implants?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, most women seeking breast implant revision are looking to reposition or re-size implants for improved appearance and comfort. 

Breast tissue can relax over time, and implants may shift or migrate. Women may want to try larger or smaller implants or switch from saline to silicone—a personal preference. 

Breast revision can be performed alone or done in conjunction with other procedures, such as a breast lift. When you replace your breast implants, you are still able to reap the benefits of an enhanced breast appearance.

What About Removing Breast Implants Permanently?

Removing breast implants permanently is also a consideration for many women. They may become unhappy with the shape, comfort level, or personal preference of their implants—life is not static, and what works in your 20s and 30s may not seem appropriate in your 40s and 50s.

While not as common, some women choose to remove their implants for health concerns. Recently, specific lines of textured implants have a low risk of breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a rare type of cancer that develops in the scar tissue surrounding the implants, treated by removal of the implant and capsule. 

Other women have been citing the idea that breast implants have caused breast implant illness (BII), a speculative condition thought by women to result in side effects like muscle aches, joint pain, fatigue, and brain fog. Even though this correlation has never been shown to exist in large international clinical research trials, some women may choose to remove their implants anyway.

Be sure to discuss all your options with your surgeon thoroughly.

What Should I Expect From My Recovery?

Because secondary breast surgery is a customized procedure with a number of variables, you will need time to heal. Since your operation occurs on an outpatient basis, be sure to have someone drive you home and help out for a day or two. Swelling may persist for a few weeks, and you are not advised to resume your normal exercise routine for at least six weeks. Even after dressings and sutures are gone and swelling has subsided, your healing may continue for up to a year. 

Interested in Learning More?

If you live in the greater Birmingham area and have questions about breast implant revision, give the knowledgeable staff at Plastic Surgery Specialists of Birmingham, Alabama, a call at 205-298-8660 or fill out our online contact form. They can outline the pros and cons of each procedure and book you for a one-on-one consultation with their board-certified plastic surgeons.