Breast Implant Removal (Breast Explant Surgery)

Implant Removal in Fayetteville, Newnan, McDonough, and LaGrange

Many patients are fully satisfied with the results of breast augmentation surgery for a long time. However, some are initially unhappy with their results. Other patients find that, over time, their breast implants no longer provide the breast appearance they desire.

Breast implant removal (explant surgery) is suitable for patients who have undergone a breast augmentation procedure and wish to restore their natural breasts.

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What Is Explant Surgery?

Breast explant surgery is a type of breast revision surgery that involves the complete removal of your breast implants. As opposed to breast revision to replace your implants, this surgical procedure takes out your implants and does not replace them with new implants.

Patients may undergo this plastic surgery procedure if they feel that their augmented breasts are too large, they desire aesthetic changes, or their breast implants have been damaged.

Common Reasons for Breast Implant Removal

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After breast augmentation, some patients are not satisfied with their new breast contours. This may occur immediately after surgery or decades later. If you no longer desire the breast contours your implants provide, you can choose to remove them without replacement.

If you choose to remove your breast implants, your doctor will help you achieve the breast contours you seek.

Some women choose not to replace their implants after a rupture or deflation. These events can be embarrassing, and they are rarely anticipated.

If your breast implants rupture or deflate, a rapid breast explant surgery becomes necessary. This operation removes damaged breast implants.

Capsular contracture is one of the more common significant side effects of breast augmentation. This condition occurs when scar tissue around the breast implant contracts and hardens. This is often painful and can be treated by removing the breast implant and surgically loosening and/or removing the scar tissue.

Some patients experience recurrent capsular contracture even after replacing their implants. They may decide to remove their implants to eliminate the risk of developing this complication again.

Advanced Aesthetics - Plastic Surgery Center

How Is Breast Implant Removal Done?

Removing the Implants

Removing the Implants

Incisions

During breast implant removal surgery, your surgeon will access the breast implant using the same incisions from your first procedure, if possible. If not, the most common breast revision incision location is along the inframammary fold along the bottom crease of the breast.

Implant Removal

Your surgeon will then remove your implants. A capsulectomy technique may also be used to remove the scar tissue capsule from around the implants.

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Capsulectomy Options for Removing Scar Tissue

Capsulectomy Options for Removing Scar Tissue

There are three capsulectomy options for breast explant surgery: partial, total, and en bloc.

Partial Capsulectomy

This involves removing the implant and some of the scar tissue around the implant. It will leave some scar tissue behind to be reabsorbed by your body. Breast implant removal leaving part of the tissue capsule in place is the simplest and safest option.

Total Capsulectomy

A total capsulectomy involves removing all of the scar tissue within the breast along with the implant. The scar tissue is extracted in sections. This is necessary in cases where the scar tissue has hardened, become infected, or been coated with silicone.

En Bloc Capsulectomy

This technique involves removing the implant and all the scar tissue around it as a single mass. This is a more difficult and complex operation, and it is rarely necessary.

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Combining Breast Lift Surgery

Combining Breast Lift Surgery

Implant removal surgery is often combined with a breast lift to ensure your breasts are restored to a more natural, youthful appearance. Breast implant removal with breast lift techniques can minimize the issue of breast sagging.

This combination is especially beneficial for patients who had large implants or implants that were in place for many years. Large implants stretch the skin and may leave behind a sagging, deflated look. The longer the implants were in place, the less likely the breasts will naturally return to a youthful, perky shape.

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What to Expect After Breast Implant Removal

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Is Recovery After Implant Removal Painful?

Breast explant surgery causes minimal discomfort due to the use of general anesthesia during surgery. We will supply you with tips and instructions on keeping yourself comfortable and safe during your recovery. 

You will require some TLC at home and a few follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your healing and any breast implant removal side effects.

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How Long Is Recovery After Implant Removal?

Most patients can return to their normal daily activities in about one week. They may resume full activity, including exercise, in three to six weeks.

Patients will usually have drains placed to reduce fluid buildup as they heal. These are generally removed a few to several weeks after surgery.

However, every patient’s breast implant removal recovery time is different depending on the extent of their surgery. Your Advanced Aesthetics surgeon will discuss what to expect from your breast implant removal recovery in more detail as you prepare for your procedure.

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When Will I See My Explant Surgery Results?

Most patients will see immediate results after their implants are removed. However, swelling will occur for two to four weeks, which may conceal the new breast contours. Around the six-week mark, most patients’ breast tissue will settle into their new contours.

Advanced Aesthetics - Plastic Surgery Center

Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Implant Removal

The cost of breast implant removal will vary somewhat because each surgery is customized to address unique concerns. Combining breast implant removal and lift procedures and other techniques like tissue grafts will also affect the cost of explant surgery.

In addition, the operation’s costs will be affected by the complexity of the procedure and the fees associated with the anesthesiologist. Your plastic surgeon will ensure you understand the cost of your explant surgery before your operation.

Most medical plans will not have breast implant removal insurance coverage included. This means the procedure is usually out of pocket. However, in cases where removing a breast implant is a medical necessity, some insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost. Consult your health insurance provider to determine what is covered by your insurance plan.

Breast explant candidates should be fully healed from their initial surgery before undergoing the implant extraction surgery.

We typically ask that patients wait six months post-op to allow their breast tissue and implants to settle into place before removing them. Exceptions may be made for patients experiencing complications such as capsular contracture or implant rupture.

If your saline breast implant deflates, the results will likely be immediate and obvious. You should notice immediate breast tissue sagging. Patients will often see a concave depression in their breasts where the implant was supporting the breast tissue.

This should be dealt with quickly but is merely uncomfortable, not dangerous.

Silicone implant ruptures are usually more subtle. While some silicone ruptures may look similar to saline implant deflation, most silicone ruptures are not immediately apparent.

The best way to check for a ruptured silicone breast implant is an MRI. The FDA recommends patients undergo MRI exams every two years following breast augmentation surgery to check for ruptures or leaks. Yearly mammograms are also a great way to keep an eye on your implants.

If a rupture is detected, breast revision surgery is almost always necessary.

Breast implant removal may take two to six hours depending on the complexity of the operation. If patients combine their breast implant removal with another breast procedure, that may lengthen the duration of their surgical operation.

When you meet with one of the board-certified plastic surgeons at Advanced Aesthetics, they will ask you about your previous breast surgery and examine your physical condition. They will also ask you about your aesthetic goals and explain what breast implant removal can do for you. Finally, they will recommend a treatment plan and answer any questions you have about your upcoming operation.

If you are dissatisfied with your breast augmentation results, the best way to find out if you can benefit from breast implant removal is to meet with an experienced plastic surgeon. Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation and evaluation.

While all surgery carries a degree of risk, breast implant removal is quite safe. Breast implant removal complications can occur on rare occasions.

These complications may include:

  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Unfavorable breast contours
  • Capsular contracture
  • Excess bleeding

Recently, some patients have been more interested in breast implant removal due to news about anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). This is a type of cancer that can develop within the scar tissue around textured breast implants.

If you are worried about developing symptoms, you may feel that you do not want the risk of having implants in your body. Breast explant surgery is an option in these cases.

We want to reassure patients that smooth breast implants are not currently a cause for concern. Only textured implants are associated with ALCL. In addition, the FDA has not yet made a recommendation that asymptomatic patients with textured breast implants have them removed.

As always, though, our primary concern is the safety of our patients. We no longer use textured implants, and we would be happy to discuss concerns about such devices with you.

We ask any of our patients or any new patients to call us with any questions. We will provide you with the latest updates on textured implants. We would also ask you to consider making an appointment to discuss any specific concerns in more detail.

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Advanced Aesthetics