Breast Implant Removal
*Individual results may vary
Though breast augmentation has been one of the leading cosmetic procedures for several years and typically has a high rate of patient satisfaction, there are situations in which some women wish to or need to have implants removed. If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of breast implants or are experiencing complications, you may be interested in breast implant removal.
Can I have my breast implants removed?
Breast implant removal is possible and may be warranted for a number of reasons. Circumstances for this procedure include:
- Breast implants have ruptured or are leaking
- Capsular contracture (scar tissue) has occurred
- There is a desire to return to a completely natural state
- There is a desire to change implant type or size
If I have my implants removed, will I need a breast lift?
When breast implants are removed, there is a potential for the skin and superficial tissue to be too loose to “bounce back.” In such a situation, removal without a breast lift could result in significant drooping. By lifting the breasts, volume and height can be improved using natural tissue alone.
Can I have my breast implants removed and replaced in one procedure?
Some women wish to have adjustments made to their breast shape or size after an augmentation procedure. Dr. Epstein has years of experience treating patients who need breast implant revision of one kind or another. Breast implants may be switched from saline to silicone or from one type or size to another. There are several options for revision and also multiple techniques that may be employed during the replacement surgery. The preferred incision location for revision surgery in most cases is the crease below the breast.
If I am unhappy with my breast size, can I get larger implants through revision breast augmentation?
Revision is often requested to further augment breast size. Like revisional surgery to replace a leaking or deflated implant, this technique may be performed through the original incision, but may be better accomplished using a new incision in the lower breast crease. This is best discussed during the consultation. To insert a larger implant, Dr. Epstein may need to create more space in the pocket to accommodate the new, larger size. This step may reduce the risk of capsular contracture and also support the best position of the breasts on the chest wall once tissues have healed.
Are there any risks to having breast implants removed?
Breast implant removal carries some of the same risks that are present in breast augmentation. These include bleeding, infection, anesthesia risks, diminished nipple sensation, and poor scarring. If new implants are also being installed, the risk for capsular contracture also exists. During your consultation, Dr. Epstein will discuss potential risks based on the details of your case.
Breast Implant Removal Surgery
Dr. Epstein conducts a thorough consultation and examination to determine the best surgical procedure to achieve the desired outcome. The surgical procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and may involve local and twilight anesthesia or general anesthesia. Details regarding anesthesia and surgical techniques are discussed well before the day of surgery.
If capsular contracture has occurred, the capsule, or layer of scar tissue around the implant, usually needs to be removed. This is referred to as a capsulectomy. Any additional tissue removal or adjustment is conducted through the same incisions as implant removal or replacement. If a breast lift is needed to refine shape after implant removal, an additional incision may be made from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease and around the areola (“Lollipop scar”). Tissue and skin are adjusted through this incision to relocate the breast to a higher position on the chest wall.
Usually drains are not needed for most revision surgery. If required, drains are secured into place to facilitate fluid drainage from the surgical site. These may be removed within a few days to a week after surgery.
If I have my implants removed, can I get implants again at a later date?
Breast implant surgery may occur at any point after implant removal. When breast implants are removed due to infection or capsular contracture, there may be an increased risk of tissue hardening after the revision procedure. However, most implant revisions are straightforward and successful when conducted by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.