Breast Implant Removal
Breast implant removal is performed when women are no longer satisfied with their implants or when they have experienced complications that require surgical intervention. Breast implant removal can restore physical and emotional comfort.
Breast Implant Removal Candidates
Breast implant removal eliminates a damaged or unwanted implant. There are several reasons to consider breast implant removal. These include:
- Capsular contracture: This complication develops when the scar tissue capsule tightens around the implant.
- Implant rupture: Saline and silicone implants can rupture when the outer shell weakens and develops a tear.
- Implant displacement: Implants should remain in their designated breast pocket, but may occasionally move outside of it, creating an unnatural aesthetic.
- Changes in aesthetic desire: Some women decide that they are no longer pleased with the appearance of their augmented breasts. Implant removal restores a natural look.
- Fear of breast implant illness: Breast implant illness is a self-diagnosed disease that is thought to present side effects like joint pain, muscle weakness, brain fog, and fatigue.
- Concern about breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma: BIA-ALCL is a very rare cancer of the lymphatic system that can develop in the scar tissue around an implant. It is very treatable when diagnosed early.
Candidates for breast implant removal do not smoke, are in good general health, and experience dissatisfaction with their breast implants.
Breast Implant Removal Procedure
Breast implant removal is performed with general anesthesia, but you will be able to return home the night of the operation.
An incision is usually made along the breast crease (inframammary fold)—breast implant removal is often performed using your initial breast augmentation incision. The damaged or unwanted implant is removed as well as any loose silicone gel or damaging scar tissue. A capsulectomy is performed if the entire scar tissue capsule needs to be removed.
The breast pocket is tightened, and the incisions are closed. Additional procedures like a breast lift or an implant replacement can be performed before this final step.
Your breast tissue degrades, and your breasts sag naturally with age and weight fluctuations. When your implants are removed permanently, your breasts suddenly lose volume and weight, which causes breast sagging to be more noticeable. Some women choose a breast lift along with their implant removal to counteract the effects of the weakened tissue.
Breast lift surgery manipulates and tightens the glandular tissue and breast skin so that your breasts are elevated and the nipples are returned to their proper placement.
Implant Revision and Replacement
Some women who experience complications or dissatisfaction with their implants do not want to say goodbye to their enhanced breasts for good. Implant revision with replacement removes the damaged or unwanted implant and inserts a new, healthy implant. Women can personalize these new implants to their specific wishes, regardless of their initial implants.
Recovery and Results
Breast implant removal is performed under anesthesia, and you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you to assist you. You do not want to stretch over your head initially—this will cause pain and put you at risk for widening the incision, and therefore, worsening the resulting scar.
Your breasts will be wrapped in a compression garment that will ensure the breasts heal in the proper position, reduce swelling, and promote healthy circulation. You will be instructed on how long to wear this garment and when you can return to a regular bra.
Swelling and bruising are expected following your implant removal that will cause discomfort and can obscure your results. Prescription or over-the-counter pain medication will lessen this discomfort, and most of the swelling should subside after a few weeks or months.
Your final results will become apparent once all residual swelling has dissipated. These results will be lasting as long as there is no significant fluctuation in weight. The breast tissues will continue to age naturally.