Breast Implant Removal
Some women may choose to undergo breast revision because of unexpected complications after their breast augmentation. While many of the women who undergo revision surgery choose to replace the damaged implant, others decide not to. Breast implant removal is performed on women who wish to permanently remove their implants regardless of whether or not there were complications. Changes in lifestyle or aesthetic preferences are some of the most common reasons that women choose to have their implants removed.
Breast Implant Removal Candidates
Women who are candidates for breast implant removal are physically healthy, at a stable weight, are non-smokers, and have realistic expectations. These women can relate to at least one of the following:
Are bothered by the look or feel of their implants
Desire smaller breasts
Have firm or hard implants
Experience implant pain
Have a ruptured or leaking implant
Have developed capsular contracture
Are afraid that the implants are causing other issues
Breast Implant Removal Procedure
Breast implant removal is a straightforward, outpatient procedure that takes between one and two hours to complete under general anesthesia. The incision is made in the lower crease of the breast. In some situations, Dr. Patronella can use the same incision as your augmentation to prevent additional scarring. The implants and any scar tissue that has formed are removed, and the breast pocket is tightened before the incisions are closed. If the removal is due to the rupture of a silicone implant, any loose silicone that can be safely removed will be extracted at this time.
Combining Breast Implant Removal with a Breast Lift
Younger women or women with smaller implants can often remove their implants without needing further correction. Older women (traditionally those over the age of 45) or women with more substantial implants may require a breast lift to correct ptosis (sagging) that may occur after the implants are removed. Breast lift surgery tightens the tissue and skin of the sagging breast to restore youthfulness and perkiness. The nipples may be lifted and adjusted during this surgery as well.
Most women experience minimal discomfort after their implant removal. A compression garment is worn following the operation to encourage blood flow, minimize swelling, and allow the smaller breasts to heal in the correct position. Stitches are usually removed after one week, and most women can return to work within a week to 10 days. Patients should refrain from strenuous activity and heavy lifting for four to six weeks; however, lighter activity may be resumed before that. A sports bra should be worn for several weeks following implant removal. Patients should wait until their incisions have completely healed before switching back to an underwire bra.