Breast Implant Removal is performed for about 1% of all Breast Augmentation patients during their lifetime. There are many reasons for wanting Breast Implants removed including:
- The breasts have become too large
- Symptoms of macromastia – neck, back and shoulder pain
- The desire to have children and wanting to mitigate the overstretching caused during pregnancy
- Problems with the Breast Implants like infection or exposure
- No longer desire Breast Augmentation
Breast Implant Removal is also the first step for Breast Implant Replacement. The most common reason for Breast Implant Replacement is to change sizes, but deflation and capsular contracture are also common reasons.
Breast Implant Removal Before and After Photos
Breast Implant Removal Surgery
Removal of an intact Breast Implant is technically simple and has a relatively short recovery period. Most patients do not require the use of narcotic pain medicine and they feel well in a few days. It may take longer for the breasts to take their final shape after Breast Implant Removal. Breast Implants provide volume and support to the breast tissue and skin. They also compress the breast tissue against the skin, compacting it.
The loss of volume after the breast implant is removed may cause sagging or breast ptosis. The initial change is not your final result, and the breast normally improves its contours over the months after your procedure as the breast tissue decompresses and the skin recoils.
Predicting The Results Of Breast Implant Removal
It is hard to predict the future, and with surgery there can be no guarantees. However, there are some indicators before surgery than can help predict the results of your breast implant removal surgery. Better results are seen with:
- Larger amounts of natural breast tissue
- Excellent elasticity of the skin
- No skin redundancy or sagging before surgery
- The removal of smaller breast implants
The more breast tissue you have, the more elasticity in your skin and the smaller the volume removed from the breasts, the more likely that the breast will retain an aesthetic look. On the other hand, if your breasts sag before Breast Implant Removal, there is a good chance that they will appear more saggy and deflated afterward.
Sometimes a Breast Lift is recommended after implant removal, to help restore the breasts’ shape. It all depends on how you feel about your breasts. Removing breast implants can be more challenging psychologically than physically, and if this is the case, counseling may be helpful. With careful preoperative consultation, and perioperative care, most patients will do well after Breast Implant Removal, and rapidly return to their normal daily activities.
Breast Implant Removal With a Breast Lift
Breast Implant Removal is similar to Breast Reduction Surgery. Both procedures remove volume from the breast. On the other hand, Breast Reduction surgery has a Breast Lift built into it, so Breast Reductions also lift the breasts. Removal of a Breast Implant decreases volume, but from time to time the Breast Implant Removal Surgery may benefit from a Breast Lift, concurrently. Breast Implant Removal decreases the volume of the breast, and removes support from the breast skin. The result can be deflating.
The medical term for Breast Sagging is Breast Ptosis, and the solution for Breast Ptosis is the Breast Lift. A Breast Lift is not always necessary, nor is it always desired, because a properly performed Breast Lift (Mastopexy) leaves scars. Breast Ptosis is a naturally occurring phenomena, and does not strictly require correction; it’s elective. Whether to combine a Breast Lift with Breast Implant Removal, is something that needs to be discussed with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Another option is to wait 6 to 12 months, until after the breasts have healed. The opportunity to do a lift in the future is not compromised by waiting. In fact, by waiting you may find that you do not need a lift at all. If you do still want a lift, a smaller lift may be possible after the skin has time to recoil maximally.
When considering Breast Implant Removal, saline breast implants provide a unique opportunity. Saline Breast Implants can be deflated preoperatively with a small needle and a little local anesthetic. Deflating the breast implants before the day of your surgery allows you to preview your new look while considering a Breast Lift. Deflation is normally done in the office, before your Breast Implant Removal date. Deflated saline breast implants cannot be left in place indefinitely and will need to be removed. Here’s why:
Deflating the implant without surgery seems simple, and being able to preview your empty breasts’ appearance before making the decision to have a lift seems great. Unfortunately, it is not without risks. If a deflated saline breast implant is left in place too long, it can become uncomfortable, exposed and infected. The implant shell is thin but strong and can fold unpredictably, leading to irregularities in the breast shape. Without the internal support of the saline, the implant collapses. The capsule that normally supports it begins to contract, further squeezing and folding the empty shell. As the folds become more pointed, they poke the skin, causing discomfort and possibly eroding through the breast skin. An exposed breast implant requires urgent removal, delays the breast implant replacement by months and increases your lifetime risk of future breast implant infections. These are a few reasons why not all Plastic Surgeons are comfortable with preoperative deflation.
Schedule Your Breast Implant Removal Consultation
The decision to have your Breast Implants removed is a personal one. To schedule a consultation appointment, call us at (925) 943-6353. We are conveniently located in Walnut Creek, CA, across the street from John Muir Medical Center’s Walnut Creek campus. You may also contact us with any questions through the form available below.