What does removing your implants entail?

Doctor Answers 8

Breast implant removal

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Thanks for posting your question. I am happy to try and help you. It is important to remember that a board certified plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to an accurate assessment of your situation, and concerns.

For breast implant removals, as long the capsule is thin, soft and without calcium deposits, it is fine to leave them in. The body will reabsorb the thin layer over time. This is of no consequence and is entirely safe. If the capsule is thick, it should be removed.

Best wishes,

Dr. Michael J. Brown
Northern Virginia Plastic Surgeon

Can I remove my breast implants?

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Yes, breast implants can be removed at any time. You may need an uplift to reshape the breasts if you wish. This is done as an outpatient with a cost of about $3500. We do offer excellent financing options. 

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Explant surgery

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For explant surgery, it is almost always best to remove the capsule in its entirety. This will allow the space to heal. If you leave the capsule in place, it does not heal. Fluid can accumulate in the space. The situation that brings the patient to implant removal will have an affect on the decision. This is a surgery which requires discussion with the plastic surgeon about the problem, the goals, and the technical concerns. The body does not re-absorb the capsule. Revision surgery requires drains because the fluid is going to be generated when you operate on the scar capsule. If you provide a mechanism for the fluid to be removed (i.e. drains), the risks are lower. If the fluid accumulates because there were no drains, it will most certainly cause problems in the future.

Removing Breast Implants: What is Involved

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Removing breast implants can be a simple surgical procedure if the implants are intact and there is no significant scar tissue present.  If scar tissue or implant rupture is present, the scar tissue (capsule) around the implants is also removed.  I personally remove all the scar tissue in capsular contracture cases so that the breast is returned to presurgical health as much as possible.  If a patient desires to replace her implants years later, the breast is less likely to develop capsular contracture again if the scar tissue is removed.

Hope this helps!

Dr. Bresnick

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Breast implant removal

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Removing saline implants is straightforward as long as there is no hardening.  Removing silicone implants may entail dealing with an old rupture, removing any extruded silicone. In addition, if there is calcification of the capsule, removing the implant leaves an "eggshell" that distorts. In those cases capsulecotmy is indicated. You will have a much better idea once you have an in person consultation .  Best wishes. 

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

What does removing your implants entail?

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Usually, removing implants is an easier surgery than putting them in.  Often, a small incision is made in the inframmamary crease (at the bottom of your breasts), and the implant is removed.  If there is no significant problem with the capsule, then it can be left in place.  Postoperatively, you would wear an ACE bandage or tight bra to decrease fluid formation in the pocket that the implant was removed from.  

The aesthetic outcome after explantation (removal of implants) depends on your breast size, shape, and skin elasticity.  

A consult with a plastic surgeon will give you a better understanding of the postoperative expectations after your implants are removed.

Emese Kalnoki, MD
Rochester Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Breast implant removal

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Removal of breast implants can be simple or complex based on the situation.  If the implants are saline or if they are silicone implants that are intact, then a small incision is made (usually the one made to originally place the implants can be used) and the implants are simply taken out.  If however there is a rupture of the silicone implant, then not only is the implant removed, but any free silicone should also be removed.
It is best to visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who can examine you and recommend the procedure that is best in your situation.  Best wishes.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

What does removing your implants entail?

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Thank you for the question. Generally speaking, breast implant removal surgery is a very well-tolerated procedure associated with significantly less discomfort and downtime compared to the initial breast augmentation surgery.

 Physical examination would be necessary to provide you with an accurate assessment and advice.  In this regard, consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons will be in your best interest.

This physical examination will also be important in evaluating important factors such as skin elasticity, position of the nipple/areola complexes on the breast mound, the amount of native breast tissue present, and the size of breast implants present etc. These “characteristics” will be important when it comes to providing recommendations to patients considering breast implant removal. For example, determining whether a patient would benefit from breast lifting, will be dependent on many of these factors. I generally recommend removal of breast implant capsules if the implant capsules are thickened and/or symptomatic.

Generally speaking what breasts look like after explantation depends on several factors such as: the quality of skin elasticity (the better the elasticity the better the skin will bounce back), the size of the implants used (the larger the implant the more trouble you may have with redundant skin), and the amount of breast tissue present at this time (which may have changed since the time of your breast augmentation).

Life experience since your breast augmentation procedure, such as pregnancy or weight gain weight loss, will potentially influence the factors discussed above. If you take these factors into consideration and apply them to your specific circumstances you may get a good idea of what to expect after the implants are removed.

Again, consulting with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons in person will likely be helpful. I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast implant removal surgery concerns), helps. Best wishes.

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.