Many women choose to have breast implant surgery and many do so for a wide range of reasons. You might have chosen to improve the shape or size of your breasts, you may have had reconstructive surgery after breast cancer, or you may have wanted to improve your breasts after pregnancy, breastfeeding or a big loss in weight. Many women are permanently happy with their choice to have implants but others may change their minds about having implants or they may have a physical condition that requires that their breast implants be taken out.
Breast implant removal surgery is exactly what it sounds like. For women who are unhappy with prior breast implant surgery or those with new physical changes or changes to the implants, they may consider taking out their silicone or saline breast implants. The surgery to remove implants will reverse the prior breast augmentation surgery or prior reconstruction surgery.
There is no other way to remove breast implants except to do so during a breast removal surgery. Though in certain cases, your doctor may be able to deflate your saline implants. Your plastic surgeon will discuss the benefits and risks of having breast implant removal surgery and what that will mean for your specific body shape.
If you’ve had breast implants and are no longer happy with them or have a physical reason they need to be removed, then you are definitely a candidate for breast removal surgery.
There are several reasons why you might want to remove your breast implants.
Leakage or Rupture: Today’s implants are more durable and can last longer than ever before, but there are cases where a breast implant will begin to leak fluid or rupture and become deflated. If this happens, you might decide you just want your implants to be removed.
A Big Shift: Breast implants might move out of place and cause a distorted shape. Instead of opting for a breast implant exchange, you might want them to be removed altogether.
Size Adjustment: After having breast implants for a few decades, you might be ready for a smaller size that allows for easier movement. You might decide to take your breast implants out for this reason.
Physical Changes: Losing and gaining weight or having a pregnancy or breastfeeding can cause your body to change and your breasts to look different than before. You may opt for breast removal surgery because of these changes.
Scar Tissue: Known as capsular contraction, scar tissue can form after your breast surgery and cause your implants to become hard and painful. If you’re feeling these changes, you may want a breast removal surgery that also helps remove your scar tissue.
A New Diagnosis: As the years pass, your body changes and you can have new physical ailments that pop up and cause you to need to take out your implants so that you can have treatment for other issues.Sometimes when you remove breast implants, you might be left with sagging or drooping of the breasts. If this is the case, your doctor may recommend giving you a breast lift during your removal surgery to regain firmness and height. Your surgeon will also most likely restructure your areolas and nipples to give the correct look.
Don’t be nervous about telling your surgeon that you no longer want to have implants. You won’t get a lecture about having a breast implant exchange or other procedures. Your surgeon will just listen to your concerns and do all they can to explain what you’ll look like after surgery – since that can be one of the scarier ideas of removing your implants. You’ll see pictures of what you can expect. Bring a list of questions with you to your consultation because you might forget important things you wanted to ask.
Your surgery will be much like your augmentation surgery but may take a shorter amount of time depending on how much lifting and tightening is required. You will have your procedure in an outpatient surgery center. You’ll be given general anesthesia so that you won’t feel any pain during the procedure.
During the procedure, your surgeon will remove the implants and reconstruct the breasts to their former state. If you have severe sagging, your doctor will perform a breast lift and tighten and place the areolas.
You’ll wake up in the recovery room and be monitored before going home. You’ll want someone to drive you home from your procedure.
You may feel worried about your results right after surgery because your breasts will look deflated compared to what you are used to. Know that it can take up to 3 months for you to heal all the way. Your breasts will settle into their final look around that time. Scarring is generally minimal after breast implant removal but the scars from your previous surgery may still be noticeable. You may be sore for the first six weeks following surgery and you should avoid lifting heavy options or exercising. Make sure to keep all follow-up appointments to check on your healing.
The outcome of your breast implant removal surgery is generally considered good, with little risk of infection and bleeding. It will take about five days to recover from the surgery, so you should avoid resuming day-to-day activities until after at least one week of recovery. If you have stitches, your doctor will remove them and check on how well you’re healing. Your doctor will give you exact instructions for rest and recovery time, as well as, the proper instructions for taking care of your breasts in the weeks and months after.
Though breast removal surgery comes with fewer risks than your first augmentation surgery, you’ll still want to monitor for any signs of infection or excessive bleeding after surgery. Other symptoms to look for include: