- 1 What is Breast Implant Removal Surgery?
- 2 Why Remove Breast Implants?
- 3 Consultation
- 4 Preparing for Your Implant Removal Surgery
- 5 Removal Techniques
- 6 What are the Next Steps?
- 7 Recovery
- 8 Why Not Remove Breast Implants?
- 9 Cost
What is Breast Implant Removal Surgery?
Large technological advancements have been made in the medical space; however, breast implants are still considered a medical device and they are not meant to remain in the body indefinitely. When the lifespan of your implant has been met, some patients choose to replace them, while others opt to remain implant-free. Other unforeseen factors can lead to the necessity of implant removal, such as implant rupture or capsular contracture. There are numerous reasons why one may want to remove their implants; no matter the case, breast implant removal is surgery specially designed to removal implants that were placed in a previous breast augmentation surgery.
Why Remove Breast Implants?
There are different reasons why women may choose to remove their breast implants. Below are some of the more commonly seen factors:
- Breast implant rupture is rare but possible. Women who have had old silicone implants are at a much higher risk for silicone breast implant rupture. Depending on the extent of the rupture, physical signs can be obvious or completely inconspicuous. Therefore, they might elect to have their old silicone breast implants removed.
- Even if it hasn’t happened, some women don’t want to constantly worry about if their silicone breast implants have ruptured, but they don’t know about it. Removal of silicone breast implants eliminates the need to have yearly silicone breast implant surveillance with MRI scans.
- Wanting to go natural and not worry about having to monitor their breast implants with mammogram.
- Woman with very glandular or lumpy breasts often have a hard time with breast cancer self examination. Having breasts implants might make it more difficult for these women to examine their breasts for breast lumps or possible breast cancer.
- Breast implant hardening (capsular contraction) can be very painful. Capsulectomy or removal of hardened breast capsule along with replacement of breast implants is the treatment of choice. Unfortunately, there are women who develop recurrent breast implant hardening and finally decide just to have their breast implants removed.
- Women with very thin breast skin can often feel their implants, or even see breast implant ripples. This bothers some women who then decide to have their breast implants removed or replaced.
- Breasts often enlarge with weight gain. Women who have experienced significant breast enlargement with weight gain decide to have their breast implants removed in order to make the size of their breasts more manageable.
- Replacement of breast implants with a bigger or smaller size as well as different profiles and material is the most common reason why women decide to have their original breast implant removed.
- Some women may simply desire an aesthetic change and want their natural bust size back after having undergone breast augmentation.
An initial consultation with breast implant removal specialist Dr. Sean Younai is important to determine which removal technique is right for you. At this time he will perform an exam and determined the underlying condition and reasoning for removal of the implants (if not an aesthetic concern.) Please ask all questions you may have in mind; Dr. Younai wants to ensure your comfort with your decision to undergo this surgery. He will explain the process in full, including preparatory and recovery tips for a smooth and comfortable surgical experience. Pricing can be discussed at this time, but please consult with your insurance provider prior to your consultation as some may cover this surgery.
Preparing for Your Implant Removal Surgery
Before your breast implant removal surgery, please make sure you have a ride home; we highly recommend this person stay overnight with you.
You should request at least three to five days off from work to ensure ample rest time for optimal healing. All patients need to stop smoking and taking anti-inflammatory meds three weeks in advance. Please mention any routine medications you take at your consultation as Dr. Younai may adjust your intake.
Removal of breast implants that have not ruptured or have not formed hardened capsules is rather simple. Under sedation or general anesthesia the old incision scar is removed, breast implants localized, and then removed. After washing the breast implant pocket some plastic surgeons induce internal scarring in order to collapse the capsule, and then close the surgical incision. Recovery after breast implant removal can be as short as one day and as long as one week if it is combined with capsulectomy or breast reconstruction.
Capsulectomy is a removal process when the plastic surgeon meticulously removes most or parts of a hardened breast capsule and reconstructs the remaining pocket. This is only performed when a patient experiences a hardened breast capsule, or capsular contracture. The body creates this natural barrier around the implant as a way to protect the body from the foreign object (the implant); this is a normal occurrence. However, in some instances the the natural barrier can shrink and harden, causing potential pain and/or implant rupture. There are four levels of capsular contracture ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 4. The lower grades might not present visible change while the higher grades can result in deflation of the breast with the ruptured implant.
Reconstructive/Cosmetic Implant Revision
While some patients are content remaining implant-free, others may decide to replace their implants with larger, smaller, or same size implants. When implants are removed, the capsule has to be removed as well. This means that the pocket they were once in is now enlarged, so a larger implant may be required to fill it. If you desire a smaller implant, a breast lift can be performed to create a youthful, proportional bust. Implant removal without replacement is not usually recommended for patients with very large breasts as the breasts can become droopy and deflated. This may require a breast lift performed in conjunction.
What are the Next Steps?
Breast implant removal surgery can be paired with complementing surgeries to enhance the appearance of your newly sized breasts.
Breast lift is a popular procedure performed in conjunction with implant removal since once the implant is removed from the breast, breasts may sag depending on your natural size. If this is the case, a breast lift can remove lax skin to create an elevated bust. Nipple repositioning and resizing can also be accomplished with the same incisions.
Fat transfer is another option women can opt to undergo after breast implant removal. It is great for women who desire a slight increase in breast size but do not want breast implants again. Fat transfer works best on naturally smaller breast sizes, since implant removal can make the breast sag for naturally larger-breasted women. Fat is harvested via liposuction, which can be performed on just about any areas on the body, and once the fat graft is thoroughly cleansed it is injected into the breasts.
After you spend some time in our comfortable recovery room, your designated driver will transport you home. The surgical support bra you will be placed in after your procedure must remain on at all times until Dr. Younai instructs otherwise. You can return to work in roughly four days, depending on the extent of your individual case and whether you underwent other procedures. Avoid all strenuous activity and heavy lifting for four to six weeks so the breast area is not strained while healing. Any resulting scarring is minimal since incisions typically trace the old breast augmentation incision locations; these will fade with time.
Why Not Remove Breast Implants?
Once a breast implant has been in place for more than one to two months the breast skin has stretched significantly and the body has formed a capsule around the implants. Removal of breast implants, especially large ones, can lead to breast sagging and possibly deformity. In these circumstances, it is often necessary to also perform a breast lift surgery and place additional scars on the breast!
The decision to undergo breast implant removal, exchange, or revision in Beverly Hills is a very complex one. There are many important factors to be considered depending on your breast size, shape, and your overall figure. Dr. Younai is Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with many years of experience and expertise in the field of breast enhancement surgery. Dr. Sean Younai receives patients at the California Center for Plastic Surgery from the Northern as well as the Southern California region for procedures such as breast augmentation revision, capsulectomy, breast implant removal or exchange, breast lift, breast reconstruction, and correction of complex breast deformities. He receives patients from many surrounding cities include Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and Bakersfield.
The cost of breast implant removal surgery varies per individual case. This procedure in some cases may be covered by insurance, but implant replacement is majority of the time out of pocket (with the possible exception of breast cancer patients.) Please discuss this with your provider prior to scheduling a consultation so Dr. Younai can provide you with an accurate quote.