Breast Implant Removal is performed for about 1% of all Breast Augmentation patients. It is not a common procedure. Often it is elective, but sometimes it is as necessary as it is unwanted.
Why Breast Implants Are Removed
Breast Implant Removal is chosen for many reasons ranging from completely elective to emergency situations. Elective reasons include the desire to have smaller breast, anticipating pregnancy and breast feeding and even a desire to exchange the current breast implants for larger ones. Urgent situations include exposure and infection of the implants.
How Are Breast Implants Removed?
Breast Implants are often removed during a relatively short outpatient procedure through the same incisions originally used to place them.
For Saline Breast Implants, after a small incision is made the implants are deflated and then removed. The empty shell allows removal through a smaller incision.
Silicone Breast Implants are not deflated prior to removal to avoid leaving silicone inside the breasts. If silicone breast implants are already ruptured, the capsule is often removed to contain the extravasated silicone and to prevent gel migration.
Breast Implant Removal Recovery
Recovery after Elective Breast Implant Removal is normally just a few days. If a capsulectomy is performed, a drain is often placed, and it may take longer for the swelling to subside. Aesthetically, the appearance of the breasts continues to improve for several months as the skin recoils postoperatively.
BioCell® Textured Breast Implants
Since the recall of BioCell® Textured Breast Implants a few weeks ago, I have received several phone inquiries regarding breast implant removal. This textured surface is associated with a small risk of developing BIA-ALCL; however, the FDA’s current recommendation is to leave the implants in place and follow them clinically for signs and symptoms including enlargement due to fluid collections around the implants and swelling.
Despite the FDA’s current recommendations, some patients feel more comfortable having their BioCell® textured breast implants removed or replaced. Allergan® will provide smooth replacement implants at not charge (until July 24, 2021). Since the FDA does not recommend removal, there is no financial support available for the elective surgical removal of BioCell® textured breast implants.
Breast Implant Removal Consultations
If you are considering elective Breast Implant Removal, be certain to consult with an experienced and Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. In cases with larger implants and skin laxity, a Breast Lift may be recommended, either at the time of breast implant removal or staged after recovery.
An experienced plastic surgeon can discuss these and other options with you and offer personalized guidance during an in-person consultation appointment. To schedule a private consultation in our Walnut Creek plastic surgery office call (925) 943-6353.