Breast implant removal or explant surgery is a common surgical procedure to either remove breast implants or revise their shape and size.
After a certain time, patients who have undergone breast augmentation surgery may feel like they no longer want their implants. They may experience medical complications that require them to be removed or their preferences may have changed, and now desire their breasts to be a different shape and size. For patients who want to undergo breast implant removal surgery, there are a variety of factors to consider and multiple breast removal surgery options.
Why undergo breast implant removal surgery?
There are a number of reasons why a patient may decide they no longer want their current breast implants. They may feel like they have achieved the right look or desired results in different ways, or they may wish to simply return to a more natural looking body figure. Every patient is unique, and there can often be more than one reason at play. Common factors that affect a patient’s decision to remove their breast implants include:
Overall health – although a relatively routine procedure, getting breast implants can result in medical complications down the track. For example, silicone implants can rupture or become damaged, or the implant can become hardened and distorted. In these cases, the patient will need to have the implants removed and replaced. This is also an opportunity to consider how to achieve a new look. Patients can also develop other health problems, such as breast cancer, which requires the implant to be removed to receive effective treatment.
Breast implant illness – some patients who have received breast implants have described experiencing illness and other negative symptoms they attribute to their implants. For example, this includes feelings of anxiety, fatigue, and other autoimmune challenges. While there is limited scientific evidence, the number of anecdotal cases has increased in recent years and the removal of the implants is often associated with these patients feeling healthier.
Lifestyle or preference changes – one of the most common factors behind breast removal surgery is a change in the patient’s personal preference. They may seek a change for purely cosmetic reasons and want a different shape or size, or after a certain period of time, they may desire to return to a more natural look. This is particularly common as women get older, with natural changes to the body from things like pregnancy or changes in weight, affecting the look and feel of their implants.
If you’re experiencing any of these factors, then breast removal surgery may be an appropriate treatment for you. There are a number of options that can be undertaken.
Types of Breast Implant Removal Surgery
Breast implant revision
Revision surgery is otherwise known as breast implant replacement, with the patient replacing their old implants with new ones. This procedure can be done to correct any issues following the initial implant surgery, or after a number of years to replace defective implants. During this procedure, the implant pocket can be reshaped or repositioned depending on the patient’s preferences.
This surgery is also known as a mastopexy, and involves removing the implant completely and then adjusting breast tissue to reshape and contour the breast area. When implants are removed, the remaining tissue can often be left with a stretched or droopy appearance. This cosmetic surgery can result in breasts with a firmer, more raised appearance. Apart from the removal of the breast implants, this procedure does not affect the overall size of a patient’s breast.
This procedure involves removing the artificial breast implants and instead replacing them with fat drawn from other areas of the body. Using a similar technique to liposuction, fat is removed from the thighs, hips or abdomen and transferred to augment the breast tissue. While fat transfer procedures are not new, there remains some debate as to whether this is appropriate in otherwise healthy breasts.
When a patient receives breast implants, the body’s natural defence system creates an internal scarring effect that surrounds the implant with a “capsule”. En bloc essentially means “as one”, with the scar tissue capsule removed with the implant attached inside. This reduces the risk of rupturing the implant and avoiding spillage of any contaminating materials during the removal procedure. This is a common procedure for patients who want all traces of the implant and any affected tissue removed. This can be an invasive procedure and carries risks, and may only be appropriate for certain patients.
Recovering from breast implant removal surgery
The recovery process is different for each patient and will depend on the type of removal surgery undertaken. Nevertheless, recovery time for breast implant removal can often be faster than the initial surgery. After the surgery, you will most likely be required to spend at least one night in the hospital under supervision, before resting at home. Most patients return to work within one to two weeks, and are able to return to their regular routine, including exercise, within a month.
Dr David Morgan is a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon and the team at David Morgan are passionate about providing the highest quality of plastic surgery for our patients.
If you have any further questions about breast implant removal surgery, or want to have a discussion about removing your breast implants, don’t hesitate to contact us today to book a consultation.