What is Breast Implant Removal?
Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime. Just like other products, they have their recommended lifespan. If you have breast implants, you need to undergo a procedure called breast implant removal (explant) at some point in your life. Usually, your surgeon will recommend you to have the procedure within 7 to 10 years after your primary breast augmentation. Breast implant removal removes your current implants to allow replacement or to correct complications associated with breast augmentation.
Breast Implant Removal or Explantation is a surgical procedure for patients who are experiencing post-surgical complications with their breast implants such as a rupture, capsular contracture (when breast implants become misshapen or firm) or for those patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their current breast implants.
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and Top Melbourne Breast Expert for removing implants, partial and total capsulectomy or enbloc implant removal.
The reasons for Removal of Breast Implants and Revision Breast Surgery can vary. You may be concerned about the impact your Breast Implants will have on your ability to breastfeed, or in more serious cases, a problem may have developed with your breast implants, such as your breast implant ‘bottoming out’, or a ruptured/deflated breast implant. You may also be concerned about BII or risks of textured implants and BIA-ALCL, or it may simply be that you no longer feel your breast implants fit your physique or lifestyle.
Not all implants are the same; they can be smooth or textured and saline or silicone.
What are the Benefits of Removing Breast Implants?
There are times when people who get Breast Implant Surgery aren’t happy with their results in the medium to longer term. Others are concerned about their type of implants.
Breast Implant Removal Surgery can help with:
- Breast Implant Complications like implant malposition, double bubble, rupture, capsular contracture.
- Life events and other lifestyle changes such as weight loss may make you want a change in your bra cup size.
- Concerns about breastfeeding with implants.
- Continually Feeling Ill, having Allergies or unusual symptoms relating to the implant or BII.
- Feeling your breast implants no longer suit your body shape or lifestyle.
Am I A Good Candidate for Breast Implant Removal?
During your consultation, Dr Briggs will assess your current health condition as well as aesthetic goals to determine the need for the surgery. In general, you are a good candidate for a breast implant removal if:
- You are bothered by the appearance of your current breast implants.
- You are experiencing pain or discomfort due to damaged breast implants.
- You are mentally prepared for the procedure and the outcome
- You are willing to adhere to your surgeon’s instructions after the procedure.
- You do not have a history of clotting or bleeding disorders.
- You do not smoke.
- You feel that your breasts are heavier than usual.
- You have realistic expectations regarding the procedure.
- You want to change your breast size or the type of your implant.
- Your breasts feel harder or tighter due to the formation of scar tissue.
- Your magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) detects the presence of ruptured or leaking breast implants.
Breast Augmentation Before and After Photos
Taking a look at previous breast implant removal procedures speaks volumes about the expertise of a specific surgeon, and Dr Briggs is not an exception. Want to see more ‘real patient’ Breast Implant Removal before and after surgery photographs, performed in Accredited Melbourne Hospitals by Dr Briggs, a highly experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon? See before and after photos here.
What happens during a Breast Implant Removal?
There are multiple surgical options when planning for Breast Implant Removal. The surgical approach is based on the extent and cause of the problem as well as the patients desired outcome.
Dr Patrick Briggs will advise a surgical approach that aims to solve your individual symptoms or breast appearance problems. You must keep in mind there is variability in surgical approaches and outcomes that may differ slightly.
Medications and General Anaesthesia are there for your comfort during Breast Implant Removal surgery.
The procedure is usually done under general anaesthesia to prevent any discomfort. Depending on your reason for the procedure and your cosmetic goals, Dr Briggs will perform different implant removal surgery techniques. During your consultation, he will discuss the following options for you to be able to come up with a decision on how to improve your breast appearance following breast implant removal:
- Breast implant removal only: An incision is created in the same place where your breast implant was inserted. If you have capsular contracture, the hardened capsules or scar tissue inside your breasts will be removed to prevent complications and speed up your recovery process. The breast implants are then removed and the incisions are closed with sutures.
- Combination of breast implant removal and breast lift: During the procedure excess skin and fat from your breast will be removed to tighten sagging breast tissue. The position of your areola will be adjusted as well as the surrounding breast area to achieve firmer, younger-looking skin.
You may choose to remove your Breast Implants due to Rupturing, Rippling, Capsular Contracture, Double Bubble, or simply because you no longer like the look or size of your breast enhancement
This is surgery to remove existing implants not to replace them with new ones. The process of your surgery, as well as the types of incisions, will depend on the type of issue you are correcting.
Download a free guide
The procedure guide helps navigate your patient journey, explains what to expect, and offers much-needed and supportive guidance you need. Click here for a FREE breast augmentation procedure guide download.
Take advantage of our free eBook guides that include resources for plastic surgery patients. They’ll assist with your journey from thinking about having plastic surgery to aftercare and recovery.
If you’d like more information about a particular surgery, please call our surgical support team on (03) 8849 1444 between 9am – 5am weekdays.
Recovery from Breast Implant Removal
The length of your recovery following Breast Implant Removal will be dependent on your procedure and other health & lifestyle factors. Recovery times can vary from person to person.
Immediately after your surgery, you may feel discomfort and soreness at the surgical site. You may be prescribed pain medications and anti-inflammatories to manage any discomfort and you may need to wear a support bra or surgical garment to reduce swelling. A surgical drain may be present in your breast area to prevent the build-up of blood and fluids in your incision site. Before discharge, you will be provided detailed instructions regarding how to care for your surgical wound, medications to be taken, signs and symptoms to watch out for, and when to return for follow-up.
Typically the general rule is that you should allow 4-6 weeks for initial recovery following your Breast Implant Removal surgery. Scar maturation often takes longer, up to a year or more and Dr Patrick Briggs will prescribe massage and ointments to aid in the process. Be sure you wear your garment as instructed and take advantage of the aftercare we provide to assist you during your healing and recovery. You must consult with Dr Briggs before returning to daily activities such as driving, lifting and exercise.
You will be provided with a post-operative garment at the time op your surgery and it is imperative that you wear the post-operative garments for the designated time frames. Optimum results depend on a collaborative approach and a healthy lifestyle. Follow instructions given to you by Dr Briggs and attend all post-operative appointments as instructed.
How much is a Breast Implant Removal (Explant Surgery)?
All breast surgery is customised and Dr Briggs will provide a written estimate for surgery depending on the type of procedure you are having, the hospital you attend and the length of your stay.
At your initial consultation, you are given a detailed quote. This will include a Surgeon’s fee, Anesthetist fee, Surgical Assistant fee and the hospital fees.
We will also provide information on Private Health Insurance and different methods of payment.
Risks and Complications
Breast Implant Removal surgery incurs risks and complications like all invasive surgery. Dr Patrick Briggs will make you aware of potential complications during your consultation.
This includes general anaesthesia, bleeding (Haematoma), infection, wound healing, deep vein thrombosis, scarring and numbness. Always stay informed and healthy, do not smoke before or after your procedure.
Dr Briggs will provide you with literature to read and help you understand your risks.
Does Breast Implant Removal Correct Complications Associated with Previous Breast Surgery?
Evidence suggests that breast implant removal is safe and effective in correcting complications associated with breast augmentation.
In a 2017 study assessing the effects of breast implant removal in patients who had breast augmentation, researchers found an improvement in silicone-related complaints in 75 % of the subjects.