liposuction patient
liposuction patient

Procedures

Breast Implant Removal

Read Ann's Patient Journey

Aesthetics change. Fads come and go, and not everyone wants to have the same appearance they did when they were in their 20s or 30s. Whether it is for professional, personal or medical reasons, it is perfectly normal for someone to decide they no longer want implants as they move into the next phase of their lives.

For that reason, breast implant removal is a fairly standard procedure with more than 36,000 performed throughout 2020, according to a report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

What Is a Breast Implant Removal?

The name more or less explains the procedure — breast implant removal is the name of routine surgery that physically removes a breast implant from a person’s breast tissue. During this procedure, as much of the scar tissue from the breast augmentation is removed as possible. The goal of this is to clean up the appearance of the breasts. During this procedure, the breast implant is removed from the pocket, or scar tissue, and the body built around it, called a capsule. As long as the capsule appears clinically normal, and the patient does not appear to have capsular contracture, there is no medical reason to remove the capsule.

Breast implant removal can be performed regardless of what type of implants were used and at any time period after the procedure has been conducted. Speak with one of our many expert surgeons about whether breast implant removal is the right move for your goals.

Why Do We Need Breast Implant Removal?

There are three primary reasons that people decide to have breast implant removal performed: personal, activity, or medical reasons. All three are entirely valid, and you should never feel guilty that your aesthetic preferences have changed over the years.

Activity Changes

As some people move into later years of their lives or switch interests, they may find that a large bust is no longer something they desire. While unfortunate, a sizeable bust can inhibit some more physically demanding activities, and a woman who decided she wanted implants when she was in her twenties might change her mind in her thirties, forties, or fifties.

Personal

You don’t still wear the same type of clothes you wore in high school or college, so it isn’t unreasonable to think that your ideal body contour would change as well. If you simply decide you prefer a different appearance with a smaller bust, it is normal for some people to want to undo the increased size that a breast augmentation provides.

Medical

1. Rupture

Capsular contracture (If a patient develops capsular contracture with breast implants, she may choose to have them removed or replaced. A patient may choose to have them removed because there is an increased risk of the capsular contracture recurring with replacement and   they do not want to undergo future revisional surgery. Sometimes people are diagnosed with conditions that may be incompatible with their breast implants or that person may also experience trauma that damages their implants. Capsular contracture, a condition in

In those rare cases, it might be necessary to remove the implants before any complications arise. If you are concerned about these cases, speak with one of our medical professionals to know if you are at risk or if it is something you should concern yourself with.

2. Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)

If you are looking for information about the Allergan BIOCELL implant recall, download our informational document about BIOCELL® textured implants (including those originally manufactured under the brands MCGHAN, INAMED, or ALLERGAN NATRELLE®)

More information about the BIOCELL® recall and the BIOCELL® Replacement Warranty is available at www.allergan.com.

3. Breast Implant Illness

Some people experience a sudden onset of symptoms after having breast augmentation with implants. While there has been no reliable data to support the causation of breast implant illness diagnosis, some of the most common symptoms patients report are chronic fatigue, aches after implant surgery, and brain fog.

Am I a Candidate for Breast Implant Removal?

If you would like to have your breast implants removed, then you are likely going to be a candidate for breast implant removal surgery. As a general rule, the best candidates are those who:

  • Are physically healthy
  • At a stable weight
  • Do not smoke
  • Have realistic expectations

If you fall into this category, then you should schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons to learn more about how this procedure can help you achieve your new aesthetic goals.

How Should I Prepare for Breast Implant Removal?

Preparation for breast implant removal is very similar to preparation for breast augmentation. You may need to have additional blood work done or even a new medical evaluation. In some cases, you may even need to adjust the medications you are on, and you should always stop smoking before your procedure.

Anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and other herbal supplements could also be problematic since they can increase bleeding during your procedure. Make sure to let your physician know about everything relevant to your medical conditions prior to the procedure. This will ensure your treatment is as effective and safe as possible.

What Should I Expect from a Breast Implant Removal Procedure?

The procedure can be broken up into four steps: anesthesia, incision, operation and incision closure.

Anesthesia

Breast implant removal is performed under local anesthesia, IV sedation or general anesthesia. or IV sedation. Your surgeon will tell you ahead of time which option is best for you so that you are prepared for everything on the day of your procedure. This step makes sure you are as comfortable as possible during the length of your surgery.

Incision

Typically, these incisions will be made beneath the inframammary fold on the bottom of your breast where it meets the chest or around the areola. Whenever possible, the incisions will be made at the same location where your breast augmentation was performed to minimize the total amount of scarring.

Operation

One of our expert surgeons will then use the opening to remove the breast implant. As the implant began to set, a capsule of scar tissue surrounded it, making it more secure within the breast tissue. During an implant removal, your surgeon may decide to remove this capsule as well, but it is not always a necessary step. 

If the implant removal will cause the leftover skin to sag, then it is also often removed to avoid breast ptosis. Then your surgeon will discuss with you doing a lift at the same time to remove it versus waiting over the course of six months to a year to allow the skin to tighten. The degree of excess skin and the amount of your own breast tissue that you have will influence your surgeon’s opinion. This helps those who undergo this procedure to achieve their preferred aesthetic with only one procedure.

Incision Closure

Once all the necessary material has been removed, the surgeon will then close your incisions with some combination of skin adhesives, stitches and sutures. Your breasts will also be wrapped in a compression garment, and they might even insert a small tube to let the excess fluid drain.

This is all done to minimize swelling after surgery, which helps to increase the odds of having a complication-free recovery process.  

What Should I Expect During Breast Implant Removal Recovery?

It is normal to experience mild pain, discomfort, swelling, soreness, tenderness, bruising and other discoloration near your surgery site. These side effects are usually the worst around the 24- to 48-hour mark, but they will drastically reduce as you move through the first two weeks of your procedure.

During that time, you will need to avoid all strenuous activities and make sure you are getting as much rest as possible. Make a recovery station for yourself that is stocked with all the essentials, and ask a trusted friend or loved one to help around the house when necessary.

Most patients are able to cope with the pain with over-the-counter medication, but prescription pain medication can be prescribed when necessary by your surgeon. After the first two weeks, you can work with your surgeon to determine which activities are safe to do. It is vital that you do not push through those benchmarks prematurely, or you will risk damaging your incisions or causing excess fluid to develop and, ultimately, your results.

Can I Combine My Breast Implant Removal with Other Procedures?

Many people choose to combine certain procedures with their breast implant removal. A popular procedure is natural breast augmentation, also known as breast fat grafting. You can take fat from one part of your body and move it into your breast tissue. This helps mitigate some of the volume loss that occurs from your implant removal in a natural way. This will not replace your implant as the fat transfer is unable to provide more than half a cup to a cup full of volume and also does not provide the same core projection that an implant provides. Therefore, you will have a more natural teardrop breast shape without automatic upper pole fullness.

Breast revision is another popular breast procedure. It involves changing your implant for an alternative one, possibly to achieve better placement within the breast tissue, achieve a better shape or even adjust the implant size.

Many body procedures, like a body lift, Brazilian Butt Lift, liposuction, thigh lift, or even a tummy tuck, are often combined to help the patient achieve a more holistic, preferred body contour.

How Much Does Breast Implant Removal Cost?

You can expect to pay an average of $3,049 for a breast implant removal, according to a 2020 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This is for surgeon fees and does not include anesthesia or facility fees. Keep in mind this number can change significantly based on your specific needs, combination procedures, geographic location and the skill and expertise of your surgeon.

Ready to Achieve Your New Ideal Appearance?

If you would like to learn more about how breast implant removal can give you the appearance you now prefer, give our office a call at 612-688-3177. You can also fill out our online contact form to have a member of our team give you a call at a time more suitable for you. We can’t wait to be your trusted partner throughout this entire process.

Schedule A Consultation