Breast Implant Removal in Houston, TX
Some women choose to undergo breast implant removal due to aesthetic preferences, lifestyle changes, and/or unexpected complications after their breast augmentation. Depending on the look a patient desires, Dr. Patronella will recommend a treatment plan that will best achieve her objective, whether that is breast implant removal alone or breast implant removal in conjunction with a breast lift, and/or fat grafting to the breasts for a subtle increase in volume.
Am I a Candidate for Breast Implant Removal?
Women who are candidates for breast implant removal are physically healthy, at a stable weight, non-smokers, and realistic in their 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 concerned that the implants are causing other issues
How Is Breast Implant Removal Performed?
Breast implant removal is an outpatient procedure that takes between one and three hours to complete under general anesthesia, depending on the degree of correction that is required to yield the desired result.
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
Depending on the degree of breast sagging they have, 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.
How Long Is Breast Implant Removal Recovery?
To help reduce discomfort following breast implant removal surgery, Dr. Patronella prescribes a pain reliever and may also recommend Exparel — a long-acting local anesthetic he injects into the tissue during surgery.
A compression garment is worn following the operation to 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. 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.
When Will I See My Breast Implant Removal Results?
The results of your breast implant removal will become apparent once all of the bruising and swelling subsides, usually after a few weeks. Many women gain comfort and confidence in their smaller, perkier breasts following this procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Explantation
There are many reasons women choose to have breast implants removed after their initial breast augmentation. Some women develop capsular contracture or other implant complications, some have health issues, and still, others are no longer satisfied with how their breasts look. Whatever the reason for your desire to remove them, Dr. Patronella and his team are here to help you.
Before your breast implant removal procedure, Dr. Patronella might ask you to:
- Avoid anti-inflammatory drugs that might increase bleeding
- Stop smoking
- Adjust current medications or start new ones
In most cases, this procedure is outpatient, meaning you can go home the same day. However, make sure to arrange for transportation back home as you cannot drive yourself home.
After surgery, Dr. Patronella will issue you specific instructions for your recovery. Some of these will include:
- What medication to take
- How to take care of your incisions
- Restrictions on specific activities
- The date of your follow-up appointment
Depending on the extent of the incision, you might be required to wear special compression garments to reduce swelling.
Breast implant removal surgery usually comes with minimal to no complications. However, like other surgeries, there are surgical risks.
Surgical risks include:
- Loose skin
Incisions for breast implant removal alone are typically placed in the breast creases (beneath the breast). In most cases, Dr. Patronella uses the same incision from the breast implant procedure to minimize the extent of scarring.
Dr. Patronella strives to diminish scar appearance with a surgical, waterproof glue he uses to seal the incision. In addition, when this glue is removed approximately four weeks later, he recommends his patients begin his Scar Therapy Program. This program consists of pharmaceutical-grade skin products applied topically to the incision.
He may also recommend skin laser treatments to further reduce scar appearance. The combination of these steps helps to provide an optimal environment for incision healing and diminishment of scar appearance.
There is always some pain and soreness after the procedure, and most patients describe it as deep muscle soreness and burning sensation. The anti-inflammatory medications that we give our patients help to ease this discomfort in the days following surgery.
Most insurance companies do not cover cosmetic breast implant removal. Consult your insurance to understand when breast implant removal is covered.
Named one of America’s Best Plastic Surgeons in Newsweek magazine, Dr. Christopher Patronella is an award-winning board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience performing breast surgeries. Using his True Form Plastic Surgery® techniques, Dr. Patronella offers some of the safest, most beautiful cosmetic surgery results in Houston and the United States.