Although breast augmentation continues to be one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the US, many women undergo breast implant removal surgery due to personal reasons or medical complications with their implants. If you’re considering getting your breast implants removed, you likely have many questions, which are best answered by a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Kayastha. This post is a starting point to give you a better idea of what you can expect from breast implant removal.
What are the Reasons for Breast Implant Removal?
There are both medical and individual reasons for wanting to remove breast implants. No implant is designed to last forever, and eventually, all implants will develop complications or begin leaking. When this happens, it’s important to have them removed and/or replaced right away to prevent the implants from causing harm.
Some women may decide to remove their implants for non-medical reasons, like discovering their bodies have changed since getting implants and no longer meet their aesthetic needs. They may choose to remove their implants entirely or downsize to a smaller implant that gives them the shape and feel they desire.
Other times, the body treats the implant as a foreign object, creating scar tissue that can harden and cause discomfort until it is removed. This is known as capsular contracture, and in addition to changing the feel of your breasts, it can also cause muscle strain and other negative side effects.
And finally, a small number of people with breast implants report symptoms of fatigue, headaches, or joint pain that has been called “breast implant illness.” While there is no scientific consensus on the ability of breast implants to cause these symptoms, patients who are worried that their implants are the source of the problem feel better when they have been removed.
What is the Breast Implant Removal Process?
Implant removal surgery is a relatively straight-forward process that results in little additional scarring than breast augmentation surgery.
During breast implant removal surgery, patients are placed under general anesthesia, although in some cases a local anesthetic is suitable. Then, an incision is made on the scar where the implants were originally placed. The surgeon then removes the implant and any scar tissue that may have formed, if necessary. At this point, women who want to replace their implants can have new ones inserted. Otherwise, the surgeon will close the incision with sutures, and the procedure is finished.
Recovering from Breast Implant Removal
Women who undergo breast implant removal surgery typically do not need as much time to recover as from breast augmentation surgery. However, you will still need two to three days of downtime to recover, and a total of a week to return to your normal routine. You should wait about six weeks before doing strenuous activity or exercise.
Immediately following surgery, you will experience pain and swelling that can be mediated by prescription pain medicine. In addition, you will receive a surgical bra designed to help prevent discomfort and aid the healing process.
How Breasts Look After Implant Removal
Everybody is different, and the visual results of implant removal will vary by patient. Factors like original breast size, the formation of any soft scar tissue, and body changes since having implants will affect the look and feel of breasts after implant removal.
Perhaps the biggest impact on breasts after implant removal surgery is the tendency of breasts to sag. The size of the implant usually correlates to the amount of sagging; large implants create more sagging when they are removed compared to small implants. This is because the implant caused the skin to stretch, which means there is an excess amount when the implant is removed.
Many patients are satisfied with their results post-surgery, especially women who are younger and who had smaller implants, however, there are ways to increase the likelihood of a satisfying result.
How to Achieve Good Breast Implant Removal Results
A common result of breast implant removal surgery is that the breasts sag slightly depending on a variety of factors. In addition, depending on changes your body may have gone through since having implants, like pregnancy or menopause, your aesthetic goals may be different than they were at the time of your original implants. Therefore, a number of procedures can be performed to minimize any undesirable results after implant removal.
Whether performed during or after implant removal surgery, a breast lift is a common and effective way to ensure you are satisfied with the result of removing breast implants. This surgery does not enlarge or reduce the size of the breast. The procedure involves tightening breast skin and re-shaping tissues to create fuller and more youthful-looking breasts, which can counteract the tendency to breasts to sag after implant removal.
Other Body Procedures
Because people choosing to remove (and not replace) breast implants may be entering a new phase of life, there are additional aesthetic considerations to keep in mind as they make a change to their breast size. For example, to keep the torso proportions consistent after removing breast implants, a patient may opt for a tummy tuck or liposuction.
Another consideration is to combine procedures in order to consolidate downtime and reduce the cost of multiple operations. For aging patients, this may include a facelift to re-capture a youthful, natural beauty. The general idea of having multiple procedures done during an implant removal surgery is to maximize your whole-body beauty satisfaction.
These additional procedures are not for everyone, and the highly trained staff at K Plastic Surgery will walk through your options for improving the results of your breast implant removal during your consultation.
Talk to a Surgeon About Breast Implant Removal
Whether you are considering breast implant removal due to a medical necessity, or simply want to return to smaller, natural breasts, Dr. Kayastha and the talented team at K Plastic Surgery are here to help you achieve your ideal beauty. Give us a call at 518-674-9060 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today. It’s your life — you should live it in the body that makes you most comfortable and confident.