How Do I Find a Trustworthy Doctor for Breast Explantation?

I need to get an explantation, but don't have any idea how to find a surgeon. How do I find a trustworthy doctor to do the procedure? My GP couldn't help me with this question. I live in Florida.

Doctor Answers (36)

Credentials, then questions


Once you have checked the credentials of the doctor (board certified in plastic surgery, hospital affiliations, where did they go to school, ASAPS, ASPS, years in practice, experience, etc.), you may want to ask questions during your consultation with the doctor.

A straightforward explantation of a breast implant is a technically easy procedure.

However, will all the scar tissue be removed? Does it all need to be removed? What will the breasts look like afterward? Is a lift required? Will there be sagging skin? A plastic surgeon experienced with breast surgery will be able to anticipate these problems ahead of time. This could prevent the heartache and expense of having to have revision breast surgery when a predictable problem occurs.

You should get reasonable answers from these questions and feel comfortable with your surgeon before proceeding.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

How to Find the Most Trustworthy Plastic Surgeon

Picking the Best and most Trustworthy Plastic Surgeon: The most critical decision to be made in achieving the best plastic surgical result is picking the most experienced and talented, that is the best, plastic surgeon possible. Too often, patients choose a physician based on a catchy ad, the brand name of a technique, the basis of one or two before and after photos, or their web site’s search engine ranking. These criteria will not find the most experienced and talented plastic surgeon.
My Background

I have been a practicing plastic surgeon for more than 25 years, having trained scores of plastic surgeons as a tenured professor of plastic surgery at USC, and I have had a private practice in Orange County since 1993. Speaking from all this experience, here is my advice and the criteria I would use to find the best plastic surgeon in Orange County, Los Angeles, California, or anywhere in the United States. These are the criteria I would use to select a plastic surgeon for my friends, my family, or myself.
First, I want to stress some general observations I have found to be true over the years.

Caveat Emptor: Buyer BewareThe longer a surgeon trains at his craft, the finer his skills and the better his judgment become. Board certification in Plastic Surgery (see below) is a bare minimum. Board certification in an additional surgical field recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, or for that matter “triple-board certified,” attests to a doctor’s advanced training and skill and judgment. It also means that they have attained Chief Resident Status in more than one field during their training which means they essentially ran a large departmental service and had senior decision-making and independent operating responsibilities. It is this step that is most maturing for a surgeon.
The institution where the surgeon trained is also important. More renowned schools usually attract the best faculty.
You can use the internet to research the background of a prospective plastic surgeon quickly. Please do this prior to making an appointment. “Just because you wear a baseball cap it doesn’t mean you are a good ball player.” The same applies to anyone wearing a white coat—it doesn’t make you a plastic surgeon, much less a great one.
Caveat Emptor in Latin means “Buyer Beware.” In most states, including California, any physician with a medical school diploma and state license is viewed as a doctor and a surgeon—even without any formal surgical training. In some cases even doctors who have completed only the minimal requirements (medical school, licensing examination, and a one-year internship that need not include surgical training) are touting themselves as “cosmetic surgical experts.” They make these claims of expertise despite the fact that they are only formally trained as family practitioners, OB/Gyns, emergency physicians, dermatologists, or ear-nose-throat specialists. Even physician assistants and nurses have made such claims. See the below link for suggestions on how to find the most trustworthy plastic surgeon for your procedure.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Some basic questions to ask


There are some basic questions that patients can ask to better understand the surgeon, the breast explantation procedure, and the practice.
Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
Are you a Fellow of American or International College of Surgeons?
Are you a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery?
Were you trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery?
Will you be performing the breast explantation procedure in a hospital or private setting?
Do you have hospital privileges to perform breast explantation ?
Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency?
What do I need to do as the patient to get the best results?
How will you perform the breast explantation procedure?
What surgical technique is recommended for me?
How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
What are the risks and complications associated with the breast explantation procedure?
How are complications handled?
What results are reasonable for me?
What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of the breast explantation ?
Do you have before-and-after photos that I can look at for breast explantation ?

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Finding a good plastic surgeon for breast surgery


This is always challenging but the good news is that there are many ways. First, search the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website for a surgeon in your area, These are all board certified plastic surgeons and is a good place to start. You should only have surgery with a surgeon Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Find out in your community the name of a general surgeon who specializes in breast cancer. You can find out about this by asking your local hospital, gynecologist, friends and family. Call this person's office and find out what plastic surgeon they work with. Ask friends, collegues, dermatologists, everyone you come across who they recommend.

After a while one or two names will probably surface repeatedly. Call the plastic surgeons office and ask the staff what is the doctor's favorite procedure, etc. This will give you a feel for what the surgeon specializes in. Once you find one or two plastic surgeons, ask for references so you can call some patients and find out about their experience with the doctor. It sounds like a lot of work, but in the end it is worth it. If I knew what area of Florida you are in, I could give you some names. Hope this helps.

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Removing saline or silicone implants


Explantation of silicone or saline implants is not technically challenging and should only be done by a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. The key question arises with the remaining breast tissue. Find a surgeon with enough experience and good bedside manner who can discuss the consequences and goals of treatment after explantation.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Board Certification is key


The key to well trained experts in plastic surgery is board certification. Do your research and be sure to find a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

In addition be sure to find out if your plastic surgeon has experience in explantation and revision breast augmentation.

In our San Francisco area practice we spend significant amounts of time with patients unhappy with their breast implants to discuss all options and likely outcomes.

I hope this helps!

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Check with friends, your MD, and the ASPS web site


What you want is an American Board of Plastic Surgery certified surgeon who has a significant experience in breast implant and explant surgery. The recommendations of the other doctors here as to how to research this are excellent.

Explantation of saline is simple, gel can be more complex if it is ruptured and anticipating what you will look like after explantation is something that comes from experience in doing this. Some patients need nothing, some might need lifting. These should be issues a qualified plastic surgeon should review with you.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Reviews and credentials

Forums like this one are excellent ways to determine who is a respected and experienced plastic surgeon.  Reviews are helpful.  Check the surgeon's credentials at the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Surgeon's Training, Certification & Experience Are Important Factors for Cosmetic Surgery


                  It’s important for patients to be comfortable with their choice of plastic surgeon before proceeding with any type of cosmetic surgery.  When choosing a surgeon, several issues should be considered.  These include the surgeons training, certification and experience.

                  Completion of a plastic surgery residency is an essential requirement when picking a surgeon.  Although it seems obvious that cosmetic breast surgery should be performed by someone trained in plastic surgery, this isn’t always the case.  There are many physicians who perform cosmetic breast surgery who haven’t completed plastic surgery training.  They frequently refer to themselves as cosmetic surgeons and have trained in a variety of other areas.

                  Board certification is also extremely important.  This means that your surgeon has undergone testing and peer review.  He has satisfied certain criteria that are associated with surgical excellence. 

                  One of the most important factors is your surgeon’s level of experience.  Surgeons who have extensive experience with cosmetic breast surgery tend to have higher success rates.  Equally important is your comfort level with your plastic surgeon.  Your plastic surgeon should be someone that you’re comfortable talking to.  It’s also a good idea to have consultations with multiple surgeons, so you have a basis for comparison.

                  Take your time with this very important decision.  If you have questions, doubts or anxiety regarding this issue don’t proceed until they’re resolved.  Remember, breast explantation is an elective procedure and you shouldn’t proceed unless you’re prepared in every way.  Picking the right plastic surgeon is one of the most important types of preparation.  

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Find a good doctor

I would first ask your family practice or gynecologist for a referral.  If they don't recommend anyone, you might ask your friends and family.  Someone you know has seen a plastic surgeon or knows of one.  Also, look on-line or in the yellow pages for a board certified plastic surgeon.  You can also go to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and look up names of physicians in your area.  There are many great surgeons in Florida.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.