- What It Is: Breast implant removal takes breast implants out of the body after breast augmentation or breast reconstruction.
- Reasons Why: Capsular contracture, implant rupture, to replace old implants, or personal preference
- Procedure: Outpatient
- Anesthesia: General
- Duration of Procedure: 1-3 hours
- Initial Recovery Phase: About 10 days
- Results: Varies by patient and whether implants are replaced
Some women may choose or require breast implant removal surgery (breast explant) months or years after breast augmentation or breast reconstruction. The procedure is often necessary to address implant complications, such as leaks or ruptures, hardened scar tissue, or calcium buildup around the implant. Whether you’re no longer satisfied with your breast implants or are experiencing an issue with the implants, Dr. Sean Maguire can deliver natural-looking results with breast explant surgery.
Why Have Breast Implant Removal Surgery?
The most common reasons for removing breast implants include:
The scar tissue that forms around the implants after breast augmentation or breast reconstruction should be soft, but sometimes this scar capsule hardens and constricts around the implants, causing discomfort. Capsular contracture is one of the most common complications and reasons for breast implant removal or replacement. The procedure removes the implants and scar capsule.
Replace Old Implants
Breast implants are FDA-approved medical devices, but they are not meant to last a lifetime. Women should exchange their implants every 10 to 15 years. Some patients may have a replacement procedure before or after that window, depending on their preference and comfort. Some women may choose to remove the implants to avoid future surgeries.
The outer silicone shell of saline or silicone implants can break down and leak into the scar capsule surrounding the breast implant. The saline (sterile saltwater solution) is absorbed by the body, creating visible differences in the breasts, but silicone implant ruptures may require an MRI to confirm the leak.
Natural aging, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight fluctuations can alter the shape of the breasts with or without implants. Some women may want their breast implants removed due to these changes, while others want them replaced to address their new breast concerns.
Breast implants may move or shift in the breasts and require revision or removal. Calcium buildup around the implant or breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) are other reasons the procedure may be necessary. A phenomenon called breast implant illness may cause some women to seek breast implant surgery.
Is Breast Implant Removal Right for Me?
Dr. Maguire customizes breast explant surgery to each patient because of the many different reasons women may desire or require that their breast implants be removed. Candidates for the procedure should be in good physical health and at a stable weight with realistic expectations because the surgery will alter the breasts’ appearance.
If a woman is bothered by their implants, feel they are too heavy, or experience one of the complications listed above, she may choose to have breast implant removal.
What Does the Procedure Entail?
General anesthesia is required for breast implant removal. Dr. Maguire makes an incision in the breast crease (inframammary fold) under the breasts or below or around the nipple-areolar complex. The procedure details depend on the circumstances. Dr. Maguire may remove the breast implants and scar capsules or just the implants. One method is the en bloc capsulectomy, which removes the scar tissue and implant as a solitary mass. Dr. Maguire may reshape the remaining breast tissue, or insert new implants, or both of these procedures at the same time.
If breast implants are removed and are not replaced, the breasts may appear flatter or sag more than before, because the skin has been stretched with the previous implants. The breasts may have indentations or tissue irregularities depending on the amount of tissue removal. Some women may have breast lift simultaneously with breast explant. If a breast lift is performed without the placement of a new implant, it’s likely that the breasts will be smaller and, although the nipple may be lifted, there may be a lack of upper fullness of the breast.
What Is Recovery Like?
Dr. Sean Maguire will provide post-operative recovery instructions after your breast implant removal, as he does for all plastic surgeries he performs. These directions will include how to care for the surgical site, what kind of garment you should wear after surgery, medication instructions, physical restrictions, and your follow-up appointment schedule. Make sure you understand how to change dressings or bandages and how long to wear your compression garment. Most women can bathe or shower a few days after surgery but should avoid vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for six weeks or longer.