It’s possible to be dissatisfied with breast implants for any number of reasons, some of which can be due to health concerns with others being caused by issues with the appearance of the implants. No matter the reason, it’s possible to have your implants removed with a relatively simple and straightforward breast implant removal surgery. Before you schedule this surgery, it’s important to understand more about what the procedure entails and what kinds of results you should expect.
What Is the Breast Implant Removal Surgery?
This is a type of surgery that is designed solely to reverse the results that you obtained when you received a breast augmentation surgery. The surgery can have several goals depending on what your needs are, which include removing the implants altogether, removing and replacing them, and removing and repositioning them, the latter of which is designed to be used in the event that your implants have moved out of their proper position. If you’ve had complications with your breast implants that have adversely affected your overall quality of life, it’s likely that your plastic surgeon will recommend having the implants removed completely.
When to Consider Breast Implant Removal?
If you’re thinking about having your breast implants removed, there are a wide array of reasons that you might want to consider this surgery. Some of the more common complications that can occur with this surgery include a rupture of the implant, encapsulation or hardening, visible wrinkling issues, or deflation problems, the latter of which is only possible if the implant has been filled with a saline solution. Although not quite as common, some of the additional complications that can cause an individual to consider the implant removal procedure include:
- Infection that has been caused by the presence of implants
- Silicone leakage issues
- General displacement problems
- Capsular contracture, which occurs when the scar tissue around the area where the implant was placed shrinks in size
- Asymmetry issues
It’s also common for an individual to choose to have their implants removed simply because they don’t like the appearance of them, which is entirely normal. Whether you believe that the implants have a poor shape or size to them or prefer how you used to look without them, this surgery can remove the implants without many residual issues. It’s also possible that the implants could move into the incorrect position because of weight gain, weight loss, or a pregnancy. It’s important to understand that breast implants aren’t designed to be used forever, which means that they will automatically need to be removed or replaced after a period of 10-15 years.
What the Implant Removal Procedure Entails
When you’ve elected to undergo the breast implant removal surgery, you’ll first be provided with some general anesthesia, which is designed to induce a state of unconsciousness while the procedure is being performed. The application of anesthesia means that you won’t feel any pain while the treatment is being provided. The procedure itself typically takes anywhere from 1-3 hours to be completed. In some cases, it’s possible to go home on the same day that the procedure takes place.
Once you’ve been administered with a dose of anesthesia, one of three implant removal methods will be used by your plastic surgeon. These methods include removal only, removal along with a breast lift, and deflation. The removal only procedure calls for the incisions to be placed in the exact spot where the previous incisions were, which keeps scarring at a minimum. With this method, both the implants and breast capsules will be removed, which ensures that the recovery process is a smooth one. The incisions are then closed with a combination of sutures and adhesives.
If you’ve elected to receive the implant removal with a breast lift procedure, the breast lift will be performed alongside the removal surgery. Once the incisions have been made, your plastic surgeon will improve and tighten any skin in the area that is sagging or stretching. Any excess skin around the breast will be removed. In certain situations, it’s possible that your areolas will be resized in order to better match the new shape of your breasts. The final method is referred to as a deflation technique, which is only used when your implants use a saline solution. This is the easiest procedure to undergo as it doesn’t involve any surgery. The implants are instead deflated under a milder local anesthesia.
What to Expect During Recovery for This Procedure
Once the actual breast implant removal surgery has been completed, the hard part is over. The recovery process should be mostly straightforward. However, this process can differ from person to person, which is why you should always contact your plastic surgeon if you have any questions about how the process is progressing. If you underwent the type of removal surgery that also included a breast lift, the standard recovery process involve some heaviness and tightness in the breasts for a few weeks.
The discomfort that you’ll experience after the surgery should be minimal. In most cases, it’s likely that you’ll be able to return to work in around 3-7 days. If you needed to have the implants removed because of a health complication such as capsular contracture, the recovery process will be a lengthier and slightly more uncomfortable one. If you’re wondering about the incision scars that come with breast implant removal surgery, they should dissipate almost entirely until they are only faintly visible. This process can take anywhere from 3-4 months on average. If your scars aren’t healing like they should be, it’s important that you call your plastic surgeon to inform them about the issue.
During the recovery process, make sure that you don’t exercise strenuously for at least 4-6 weeks. While most of the recovery process will be concluded after these 4-6 weeks, your breasts won’t fully settle into their new position until several months have passed. Your plastic surgeon will likely provide you with a comprehensive list of instructions on how make sure that the recovery progresses smoothly, which can include such instructions as taking specific doses of pain medications, avoiding more strenuous activities, and using compression garments around the breasts for at least a few weeks.
Potential Risks and Complications When Undergoing This Surgery
The risks and complications that you should keep in mind before scheduling this surgery include more general complications that can occur with every type of plastic surgery as well as complications that are specific to this type of surgery. The standard complications that can occur with every surgery are largely centered around the formation of blood clots. If the blood clot has developed in your leg, an area on your leg may appear to be reddened and swollen. Your plastic surgeon will know what to do if such a complication occurs.
The risks and complications that are specific to this type of surgery are almost all minimal and should dissipate without further medical attention. For one, it’s possible that your breast will feel less sensitive than it usually does, which can take as much as six months to go away. Your breasts could also become numb or may sag more than they are supposed to. Issues with poor scarring are also possible, which means that the scars around the incisions could become redder, thicker, and more painful. If these complications become too severe, don’t hesitate to contact your plastic surgeon.
Primary Results From a Breast Implant Removal Surgery
If you want the breast implant removal surgery that you obtain to be a success, it’s important that you have realistic expectations for what the results of the treatment should be. The breasts will almost always appear somewhat deflated for the first few weeks following the completion of the surgery, after which they should regain their usual volume. These deflation issues shouldn’t be a problem for anyone who has also received a breast lift during the surgery. Keep in mind that your breasts won’t go back to looking like they did before you had the initial breast augmentation. Since the tissue stretches and the rib area undergoes some slight changes with a breast augmentation, your breasts will be somewhat different in appearance than they used to be.
If your breast implants are causing issues with your health or you’re simply not satisfied with how they look, you might want to look into implant removal surgery. When you do, call our offices to book an appointment with Dr. Applebaum. They will be able to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for the treatment and can answer all of your questions.