Although breast augmentation continues to be one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States, breast implant removal procedures are on the rise.
Various factors contribute to why someone might want to have their breast implants removed. Regardless of the reason, it is often an emotional decision and one that can be difficult to make.
At Palms Wellington Plastic Surgery, we take a confidential and compassionate approach to helping our patients make informed, well-educated decisions regarding breast implant removal surgery.
What Is Breast Implant Removal?
Breast implant removal is also known as explant surgery. The procedure consists of a breast implant removal surgeon taking artificial breast implants out of patients who have previously undergone breast augmentation surgery.
Why Do Patients Seek Explant Surgery?
There are two main reasons that patients seek out explant surgery:
- To permanently remove their breast implants
- To replace their current implants with larger or smaller ones
Many patients end up changing their minds years after breast augmentation surgery and decide that they’d prefer to go back to how they looked before. For these patients, there are other cosmetic options, such as breast lifts and fat transfers, that can give them fuller, more shapely breasts without artificial implants.
In rare cases, breast implants can leak or rupture, which means they must be removed for the safety of the patient. When this happens, the damaged implants may be removed entirely or replaced with new implants.
Sometimes, a patient may choose to have their implants replaced with new implants that are a different shape, size, or texture. The breast implant industry has come a long way over the years, and a wide variety of implant options are now available.
If you had breast augmentation surgery several years ago and are interested in a different size or shape, explant surgery might be right for you.
Breast Implant Removal and Lift or Fat Transfer
Breast lifts and fat transfer procedures allow patients who opt for explant surgery to maintain fuller-looking breasts without the need for artificial implants. But there are other benefits to adding a breast lift or fat transfer to your surgery.
Removed breast implants leave behind empty space that heals through the formation of scar tissue. The issue with scar tissue following explant surgery is that scars sometimes tighten, pulling at the tissue, which creates skin folds or indentations.
This is similar to when a woman has a C-section. The scar left behind in the lower abdomen adheres to the woman’s abdominal wall, which results in a “shelf” where the abdominal skin folds in on itself. With a C-section, the bigger the woman’s baby, the more stretched her skin gets, resulting in a potentially larger fold.
The same is true of breast implants. The bigger the implants, the more the breast skin has to stretch to accommodate the implants. Upon removal, the implants leave behind more skin than necessary, which can cause wrinkles or folds.
For this reason, breast implant removal and lift or fat transfer procedures are sometimes performed at the same time so that patients can still enjoy full, smooth breasts.
What to Expect During Breast Implant Removal Surgery
Explant surgery is a fairly straightforward procedure.
We begin breast implant removal with a local anesthetic to increase your comfort. We also administer a mild dose of general anesthesia. In this state, you will be conscious but sedated.
We will then create a small incision by reopening the original one from your initial breast augmentation procedure. These incisions are typically in the inframammary fold, which is beneath the breast, or around the areola. Using the original incision helps keep any potential scarring unnoticeable and to a minimum.
Once we have created the incision, we will then carefully remove the implants.
If we are performing surgery on a patient whose procedure is necessitated by leakage from their implant, we may also remove leaked silicone material or scar tissue that has formed. In most cases, scar tissue in the breast is soft and does not necessitate removal.
But if the scar tissue is hard or causing pain to the patient, we will make an informed, educated decision about whether the scar tissue should be excised.
Once the procedure is complete, we suture the incisions and cover them with a sterile surgical dressing. You’ll need to keep your drains in place for two to three days post-surgery.
We will also show you how to keep your chest wall wrapped for around a week so that the tissues stay properly compressed. Keeping your chest tissues compressed allows the new shape of your body to heal in a timely, smooth, and appropriate way.
What to Expect After Breast Implant Removal
When recovering from explant surgery, you should take a few days to rest and relax. We may prescribe pain medication to increase your comfort during recovery. We will also provide you with thorough instructions regarding aftercare.
Your results will depend on factors such as the size of the removed implants and the breast tissue left behind. Your surgical outcome also depends on whether you choose to have an additional procedure like a breast lift.
During your pre-surgery consultation, we will go over what you can expect from your results after the surgery.
Breast Implant Removal Surgeon in West Palm Beach, FL
If you are interested in life without breast implants, or you want to alter the size and shape of your implants, don’t delay. Contact the team at Palms Wellington Plastic Surgery in West Palm Beach, FL, to learn more about how to get started.