When patients want or need to remove the implants from their breast augmentation, Breast Implant Removal Surgery is performed to extract those implants. Besides having a shelf-life of about 10 to 15 years depending on the type, breast implants may need to be removed for a variety of reasons including complications, a change of heart or even going bigger. Whatever the case may be for breast implant removal, patients may replace their implants or remove them altogether.
Breast Implant Removal Surgery
Top Reasons to Remove Breast Implants
From medically necessary to personal preference, here are the most common reasons patients seek to remove their breast implants:
While it’s a rare complication considering all the advances in the technology and materials for breast implants, implant rupture is still a concern particularly for patients with older breast implants. It is extremely important for patients with breast implants to get them checked routinely as well as replaced because even though sometimes they may have symptoms for an implant rupture, which can be obvious like an irregularity in the shape or size of the breast, they may also have no symptoms.
It is a natural response for the body to create a scar tissue capsule around any foreign object that is inserted in the body. It instinctively builds a protective layer around the object to shield the rest of the body. This is what happens when patients get breast implants and it’s totally normal. However, with a capsular contracture, that scar tissue hardens around the breast implant applying pressure to the implant, which can cause pain and even distort the shape of the breast. Certain things like hematoma, bacterial contamination and rupturing of the implant shell and can lead to a capsular contracture.
Some patients may experience symptoms that they associate with their breast implants such as breathing or sleeping issues and fatigue, which are attributed to BIL or Breast Implant Illness. In addition, Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, can affect patients with textured breast implants. These implants of course have all been recalled and only a small percent of patients have been identified with having it. While the FDA continues their investigation on this, they do not recommend removing the implants as a preventive measure.
Replacement or Exchange
As previously mentioned, breast implants have a shelf-life, which requires them to be replaced or exchanged about every 10 to 15 years.
The body changes over time and so can your breast implants. They may look perfect at first, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stay looking perfect forever. Age, changes in weight, and other variables can affect the appearance of your breasts. What’s more, Aesthetic dissatisfaction doesn’t only relate to a change in appearance. Patients can have perfect looking breast implants, but may want a change due to their lifestyle or even an aesthetic trend.
Regret or Second Thoughts
Some patients have regret or have second thoughts about their breast augmentation. Everything related to their breast augmentation may have gone perfectly. They healed perfectly and look beautiful, but they simply change their minds. It’s not what they want anymore and that’s ok.
Who’s a good candidate for Breast Implant Removal?
You may be a good candidate for Breast Implant Removal if:
- You’re unhappy with your current implants, but still want implants
- You’re unhappy with the size of your implants
- Your body has physically changed affecting the look of your implants
- Your implants have moved
- You have a capsular contracture
- Your implant has ruptured
- You want a different type of implants
- It’s time to replace or change your implants
- You do not want implants anymore
- You feel your implants are impacting your health
During your breast implant removal consultation, Dr. Moises Salama will examine you to determine the urgency for removal and, based on your condition, discuss your surgical options with you. Both of you will come to a decision on the best method for achieving your desired results. It is Dr. Salama’s goal to make feel safe, comfortable and happy with your experience. So, he encourages you to speak freely and ask any questions regarding the procedure.
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Depending on the case, Breast Implant Removal surgery usually takes about 1 to 2 hours. Dr. Salama performs the surgery as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. During surgery, Dr. Salama removes the implants by accessing the pre-existing incisions. He will either remove just the implants or perform a capsulectomy removing the implants and capsule based on your agreed upon course of action. Finally, the implants are replaced if that’s what was decided.
Breast Implant Revision
With Breast Implant Revision surgery, Dr. Salama removes the old implants and replaces them with new ones. The new implants can be the same size, bigger or smaller. They can be a different type of implant. They can have a different shape or texture. Basically, they can be as similar or as different from your old implants. It doesn’t matter as long as your happy.
Breast Implant Removal with Breast Lift
For patients concerned with saggy breasts following breast implant removal surgery, Dr. Salama may recommend a breast lift, which repositions the nipple and areola while raising the breasts to a more youthful position.
Breast Implant Exchange with Breast Lift
Some patients may want to go smaller after breast augmentation. Patients with overly large implants that want to downsize, may not only need a lift, but also smaller size implants to compensate for the volume loss.
Breast Implant Removal with Fat Transfer
Fat Transfer after breast implant removal surgery is an option for patients that do not want to replace their implants, but will need additional volume. For this procedure, liposuction is used to take fat from another part of the patient’s body to inject into the breasts giving them a natural look and feel.
Recovery for Breast Implant Removal
Since this is not your first implant surgery, your recovery for Breast Implant Removal should be easier and take less time. Immediately after surgery, you will need to wear a support bra or garment as instructed by Dr. Salama. You can expect swelling and discomfort, which subsides with time. Pain medication will be prescribed to make your recovery more manageable. You can return to work and normal activities in about a week avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous activity for a month. Scarring should fade in about six months. Things to look out for include excessive nausea, fever, excessive bruising or bleeding, and redness, leaking fluid or puss at the incision site. Also, be aware of any movement of your implants and signs of scar tissue as you continue to heal. Be sure to get plenty of rest for a speedy recovery and to follow the FDA guidelines for MRI screenings.
You should see an immediate difference after your breast implant removal surgery with final results about six months out. Continue to monitor your implants every three years for optimal long-lasting results.
At Elite Plastic Surgery, pricing for implant removal depends on each individual case. For a quote, please contact our office for a consult.
Ready for a Change?
Let Dr. Salama recommend the best course of action for your breast implant removal with your health, happiness and satisfaction in mind.