Breast implants are not meant to last a lifetime. Indeed, if you have breast implants, you will likely need to get them removed/replaced at some point for your well-being. This means that you can exchange them or get them removed permanently.
Here is what you should know about breast implant removal surgery.
What Is Breast Implant Removal?
Breast implant removal, also known as breast implant explant, is a surgical procedure that seeks to remove breast implants from a breast augmentation patient. It may be done to eliminate breast discomfort and other complications caused by implants. Since the implants are not meant to serve you for a lifetime, it may be necessary to replace them after a decade or so, even if you haven’t experienced any previous complications.
Why Is Breast Implant Removal Done?
Breast implant removal or replacement may be recommended due several reasons, some of the most common ones being:
- Implant migration
- Implant rupture
- Updating implant style, size, and type
- Capsular contracture (restriction)
Even without any complications, you may opt to get your breast implants removed if you do not wish to keep them any longer for whatever reason.
The Ideal Candidate for Breast Implant Removal
Generally, the ideal candidates for breast implant removal should be healthy patients who are not happy with their breast implants or would like to improve the appearance, size, and symmetry of their breasts with new implants. Some qualities of a good candidate for the procedure include:
- Mentally and physically healthy with a stable weight
- A non-smoker
- Currently not breastfeeding
- Have a positive outlook and realistic goals
- Understands the risks associated with breast implants removal
- Prepared to follow the instructions given by their surgeon before and after the procedure
During your initial appointment with your surgeon, the surgeon will assess your suitability as a candidate for the procedure and advise you accordingly. Although some experts recommend replacing the implants after 10 to 20 years, your surgeon may advise you to keep them, especially if you are not facing any complications.
What Does Breast Implant Removal Entail?
This surgical procedure will be done under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. This is meant to ensure that you will not feel any pain during the procedure. The incisions will then be made along the lower inframammary folds. Alternatively, the incisions may be made below or around the areola. Your surgeon will then remove the breast capsules and implants using a combination of techniques. Once the implants have been removed, the skin incisions will be closed using skin adhesives, sutures, tapes, or clips.
The Risks of Breast Implant Removal
Like any other surgical procedure, breast implant removal is associated with several risks. Some possible risks you should be aware of as you prepare for the procedure include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Fluid accumulation
- Poor healing
- Persistent pain
- Unfavorable Scarring
- Looseness of skin
- Anesthesia risks
- Suboptimal aesthetic results
- Surgical site infection
Before your consent, your surgeon will help you understand these risks. It is important for you to address any questions you may have to your surgeon.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Implant Removal
Will I need a breast lift after breast implant removal?
This depends on your objectives. If you would like to keep your breaks looking fuller and younger after breast implant removal surgery, having a breast lift may be recommended. You need to work closely with your plastic surgeon to come up with a customized treatment plan to address all your concerns and achieve your specific objectives.
How long does breast implant removal take?
The procedure usually takes about 1 to 2 hours. However, it may take up to three hours if a further rejuvenation procedure is needed. You may also need more time to recover from anesthesia before you can be allowed to go home.
How is the recovery after breast implant removal?
After the surgery, you will be required to wear a surgical garment or a support bra. A compression garment may also be necessary to minimize swelling. Your surgeon will give your instruction on the medications you will need to take to manage pain and minimize the risk of infection.
Unless there is a serious complication arising from the procedure, you will be allowed to go home the same day. However, due to the anesthesia effect, you will need someone to drive you home. You may be advised to avoid some strenuous activities for several weeks.
Can breast implants be removed during pregnancy?
Unless there is a complication making breast removal a matter of emergency, it is not recommended to go through the procedure during pregnancy. Therefore, you may have to wait until you have delivered and are done with breastfeeding.
When will I see the results after the procedure?
After the procedure, your breasts might look deflated. However, with time, their volume and shape will improve. You may have to wait up to a year to see the full results.