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Breast Implant Removal - What to Expect

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What to Expect With Breast Implant Removal

Breast augmentation and breast lift cosmetic procedures are two of the most common plastic surgeries today. Although they are popular, there are times when breast implants may need to be removed.

Breast implant removal surgery involves the surgeon taking out the implants and possibly replacing them. As with any cosmetic procedure, you must understand what will happen and the possible risks before moving forward.

Please keep reading to learn more about breast implant removal.

When You May Need Breast Implant Removal

Breast implants do not have an expiration date, but most will need replacing eventually. According to The American Society Of Plastic Surgeons, most need to be exchanged every 10 or 20 years.

One of the most frequent reasons breast implants must be removed is that scar tissue can get hard around the implants. This may cause discomfort and pain and alter the breast’s appearance; this issue is called capsular contracture.

You also may need your implants removed because of:

  • Leaking saline or silicone from the implant
  • Calcium deposit buildup
  • Autoimmune response
  • Tissue death around the implant
  • Persistent pain
  • Movement of the implant

However, some patients have their breast implants removed for personal reasons. For example, a woman may decide that she doesn’t want to have larger breasts as she gets older. Or, she may find that the implants sag as she ages.

Others may decide to have smaller implants as attitudes about breast augmentation change.

Breast Implant Removal Procedure

A board-certified plastic surgeon usually performs this procedure at a hospital or surgery center.

First, you’ll have a consultation with the surgeon to talk about why you want your implants taken out or replaced. Next, they will ask about any medical issues you have or medications you take.

Your surgeon also will:

  • Examine the breasts and take pictures
  • Offer recommendations and options based upon what you say
  • Check your health and review risks and possible complications

Before your breast implant removal procedure, you will get instructions about getting ready for the surgery. For example, your surgeon may advise that you do not eat or drink for 12 hours before surgery.

They also may tell you how to bathe before and after surgery and what to wear when you arrive for your procedure.

Typical steps in breast implant removal are:

  • General anesthesia
  • Skin cleaning and preparation for incision
  • Making incision
  • Removal of the implant and scar tissue
  • Closure of incision
  • Recovery

Breast Implant Removal Recovery

Your surgeon or healthcare provider will give you instructions for your recovery. You will learn how to care for your incisions, how to bathe, and what you can do about any pain or swelling.

Your doctor also will advise you when you should call if you have a complication and how long to wait before you start exercising or return to work.

You can expect several weeks of recovery from any breast-related plastic surgery, so be sure to take it easy during this time. This means you shouldn’t engage in vigorous exercise or lift anything heavy for at least a month as your body heals.

Breast Implant Removal Risks

Breast implant removal is almost always safe when performed by a skilled surgeon, but there are risks. Therefore, it’s vital that your plastic surgeon talks to you about risks so you can decide if you want to proceed.

While rare, the following are possible risks of breast implant removal:

  • Excessive bleeding from incisions
  • Infection
  • Persistent pain
  • Scarring
  • Skin discoloration
  • Fluid accumulation that requires draining
  • Nerve damage and skin numbness
  • Anesthesia complications

If your plastic surgeon takes out scar tissue, there is a small chance of injuries to the lung.

Also, it’s possible that implants can thin the tissues around the implant to the point where taking them out can make an opening to your lungs. This can be repaired during the operation, but it can cause breathing problems in a few cases.

Also, three is a chance that you may not like how your breasts look after the implants are removed. If that’s the case, you either need to live with it or undergo another procedure.

One option is to have liposuction, and then the fat from other parts of the body is injected into the breasts to make them slightly more prominent.

Remember that your breast implants are not made to last forever, and most women need to have them replaced every 10 to 20 years. However, most removal or replacement procedures go smoothly, so there is little need to worry if it’s necessary.

Book Your Breast Revision Or Removal Procedure Today

Interested in breast implant revision or removal in Philadelphia? Dr. Stark will review your options in your consultation, as well as go over your surgical goals. He’ll decide if you’re a good candidate for breast implant removal.


 Breast Implant Removal Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.healthline.com/health/breast-implant-removal

Breast Implant Removal. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-implant-removal

Philadelphia plastic surgeon Dr. Ran Stark brings decades of experience and training to each consultation. When you meet with Dr. Stark, he takes the time to give you information and options, so you can have confidence in your decision to move forward with the best procedure for you. Confidence. Personalized care. Impeccable results. That’s the Stark Difference. Discover that difference yourself by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Stark today.

135 South Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 220, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

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