What is breast implant removal surgery?
The goal of breast implant removal surgery is to remove breast implants from breast augmentation or breast reconstruction patients. During these procedures, the surgeon may also remove silicone material from implant leaks and the breast capsule, which is the scar tissue that formes after the placement of a breast implant.
Often, the scar tissue that forms after the placement of an implant is soft and does not need to be removed, but it may harden, causing pain and discomfort. This is often a reason to have the implants and scar tissue removed.
Breast implants are not lifelong devices and it is important to have them exchanged or removed approximately every 10-15 years. This decision is typically based on the individual and the patient’s needs and desires.
In some cases, the outside shell of the implant breaks down, causing silicone to leak and the scar tissue around the implant to harden. It is important to understand that your implants should be removed for this reason.
Who is a good candidate for breast implant removal?
Breast implant removal surgery is a highly individualized procedure. It should be performed if you have capsular contracture (hardening of the breast), pain with implants, imaging has shown a leak of the capsule, and/or if you no longer desire implants or wish to exchange them.
In general, you may be a good candidate for breast implant removal if:
- You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
- You have realistic expectations
- You are a nonsmoker
- You are bothered by the appearance of your implants
- You have experienced discomfort or pain
- You feel your breasts are too heavy
- You are starting to feel your breast scar tissue is getting harder or tighter
- Imaging suggests a leak or rupture of implants
- You have experienced a rupture or leak of implants
What should I expect during a consultation for breast implant removal?
During your breast implant removal consultation, be prepared to discuss:
- Your surgical goals
- Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
- Previous surgeries
Your plastic surgeon will also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Examine your existing breast implants
- Take photographs
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of breast implant revision surgery and any risks or potential complications
The success and safety of your breast implant revision procedure depend very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle.
It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.