When considering breast augmentation, the primary focus is often on the excitement about the anticipated improvements to shape and satisfaction. It's important to also recognize breast implants as temporary medical devices. They're not intended to last forever. After 10 to 20 years, or sometimes before that, breast implants may need to be removed or replaced.
Dr. Raymond Jean has considerable experience performing a variety of breast procedures, including breast implant removal and breast implant replacement. To learn more about these techniques, what to expect, and how either can help you continue looking and feeling your best, contact our Bryn Mawr office at 484-222-0010.
How is Breast Implant Removal or Replacement Performed?
Breast implant removal is only slightly different than breast implant replacement in terms of the overall procedure. Your comprehensive consultation and examination will determine which approach is ideal for you based on the issue at hand, your desired outcome, and your preferences.
This type of breast surgery is performed using general anesthesia. During and after the procedure, you may receive specific medications to achieve sedation and also to ward off post-surgical nausea. The surgical team will prepare your skin with antibacterial soap, and the doctor will then begin your surgery by making incisions. These are usually made at the same location as your previous surgical scars. Depending on the surgical technique you prefer, you may incur additional scars.
Your existing breast implants will be carefully removed through your incisions. If necessary, the doctor may also remove the capsule that surrounded the implants. If your preference is to replace your existing breast implant, your new implants will be inserted at that time. If your preference is to have breast implant removal, the next step in your surgery will be to either lift the excess breast tissue or close your incisions.
You will be fully informed regarding the steps involved in your surgery after your consultation.
What to Expect After Breast Implant Removal?
One of the most common concerns that patients have is that they will be flat after breast implant removal. Removing the breast implants, especially if they're more than 400 cc, can significantly reduce the volume beneath the breast mound and skin. The remaining tissue, if not addressed, may look saggy and deflated. If the skin is quite loose, it may look wrinkled. The nipples and areolas may lose their forward projection and instead point downward. These are aspects of breast implant removal that must be discussed during your consultation.
If sagging and deflation are expected, the best remedy is to plan to have breast implant removal and lift at the same time. Tightening the skin around the natural breast mound or smaller implant, if that's your choice, helps your breasts look fuller, firmer, and perkier.
Reasons for Breast Implant Replacement or Removal
You may choose to have breast implant replacement or removal or you may need to have one of these procedures done due to a complication after your breast augmentation. Complications can occur at any time after breast implants are placed. Some of the most common issues that require revision breast surgery include:
- Capsular contracture. This occurs when the scar tissue that envelops the breast implant becomes thick and rigid. The inflexibility of the scar tissue can compress or distort the implant, causing pain and deformity. In this case, the implant and the capsule need to be removed.
- Deflation or rupture. There is a slight risk of deflation or rupture with both silicone and saline implants. With the latter, a leak is obvious. With silicone implants, rupture is often only detected during routine imaging. A ruptured silicone implant can cause capsular contracture.
- Change in personal choice. You may choose to have your implants removed for personal reasons. Likewise, you may desire a change in size or implant style. By achieving your desired changes, you can continue feeling confident and satisfied with your appearance!
Of course, there are additional reasons for which breast implant replacement or removal may be sought. Dr. Jean will hear your concerns and preferences and will plan the ideal procedure for you.
How Long is Breast Implant Removal Recovery?
Your breast implant revision recovery may be somewhat similar to your initial breast augmentation recovery. You'll need to wear a compression bra and may have drains for a few days. You'll require prescription pain medication for some time to get through the initial soreness and tenderness. To protect your incisions and breast tissue, you'll need to follow aftercare instructions regarding activity restrictions for up to six to eight weeks.