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Things to Know When Considering a Breast Implant Removal Surgery

Breast implants have been a popular cosmetic surgery option for many women seeking to enhance their appearance or restore the shape of their breasts. However, there comes a time when some women might consider removing their breast implants. This decision can be driven by various factors, including health concerns, lifestyle changes, or simply a shift in personal preferences. If you are considering breast implant removal, it is essential to be well-informed about the process, the reasons, and the potential outcomes. Here are five crucial things you need to know.

  1. Understand the Reasons for Breast Implant Removal

Before deciding to remove your breast implants, it is important to understand why you are considering this procedure. Here are some common reasons:

Health Concerns

Some women experience complications or health issues related to their breast implants, such as:

  • Capsular Contracture: This is a condition where the scar tissue that forms around the implant hardens and tightens, causing pain and discomfort.
  • Implant Rupture or Leakage: Over time, implants can rupture or leak, leading to changes in breast shape and potential health risks.
  • Breast Implant Illness (BII): Some women report experiencing a range of systemic symptoms, such as chronic fatigue, joint pain, and brain fog, which they attribute to their implants.

Aesthetic Preferences

Personal preferences can change over time, and some women may decide that they no longer desire the augmented look that breast implants provide. Others might seek a more natural appearance or want to change the size or shape of their breasts.

Lifestyle Changes

Changes in lifestyle, such as increased physical activity, pregnancy, or significant weight fluctuations, can impact how breast implants feel and look. Some women find that their implants no longer fit their lifestyle or body image.

Aging and Implant Longevity

Breast implants are not lifetime devices. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons states that implants typically last between 10 to 20 years. As women age, they may choose to remove or replace their implants to address changes in their body and the longevity of the implants.

  1. Know the Types of Implant Removal Procedures

There are several types of breast implant removal procedures, and the best option for you depends on your specific situation and goals. Here are the main types:

Simple Removal

This procedure involves removing the implants without any additional surgery. It is a straightforward process, often chosen by women who are happy with their natural breast shape and size after implant removal.

Implant Removal with Capsulectomy

In some cases, it is necessary to remove the scar tissue capsule that has formed around the implant. A total capsulectomy involves removing the entire capsule, while a partial capsulectomy removes only a portion of the capsule. This procedure is typically recommended for women experiencing capsular contracture or other complications.

Implant Removal with Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

For women concerned about sagging or excess skin after implant removal, combining the removal with a breast lift can help reshape and lift the breasts to achieve a more youthful and natural appearance. This procedure involves removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue.

Implant Removal with Replacement

Some women choose to replace their old implants with new ones, either due to complications with the current implants or simply to update their appearance. This can involve changing the size, shape, or type of implant.

  1. Understand the Recovery Process

Recovery from breast implant removal varies depending on the type of procedure performed and individual factors such as age, health, and the extent of surgery. Here are some general points about the recovery process:

Immediate Post-Operative Period

  • Pain and Discomfort: It is normal to experience some pain and discomfort in the first few days following surgery. Pain management will be provided by your surgeon, and most patients can manage their pain with prescribed medications.
  • Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and bruising are common and typically subside after a week or two. Special support bra is usually recommended by your surgeon that can help minimize swelling, as well as pain.

Healing and Downtime

  • Activity Restrictions: You will need to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for several weeks. Light activities and walking are encouraged to promote circulation and healing.
  • Follow-Up Appointments: Consistent follow-up appointments with your surgeon are crucial for monitoring your healing progress and addressing any concerns.

Long-Term Recovery

  • Scarring: Incisions will leave scars, which typically fade over time but may not disappear completely. Your surgeon will provide guidance on scar care and treatments to minimize their appearance.
  • Final Results: It may take several months for your breasts to settle into their final shape and appearance. Be patient and follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions for the best results.
  1. Consider the Potential Risks and Complications

As with any surgical procedure, breast implant removal carries certain risks and potential complications. It is important to be aware of these and discuss them with your surgeon. Some possible risks include:


Infection is a risk with any surgery, although it is relatively rare with breast implant removal. Signs of infection include redness, increased pain, and fever. Prompt medical attention is crucial if you suspect an infection.

Changes in Breast Sensation

Changes in breast sensation, such as numbness or heightened sensitivity, can occur after implant removal. These changes are often temporary but can be permanent in some cases.

Aesthetic Concerns

The appearance of your breasts after implant removal may not meet your expectations. Issues such as sagging, asymmetry, or an undesirable shape can occur, especially if no additional procedures like a breast lift are performed.

  1. Choose the Right Surgeon

Selecting an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Olga Bachilo, is crucial for achieving the best possible outcome from your breast implant removal. Here are some tips for choosing the right surgeon:

Verify Credentials

Ensure that your surgeon is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or an equivalent certifying body. This certification ensures that the plastic surgeon has undergone extensive training and adheres to high standards of practice.

Experience and Specialization

Look for a surgeon with significant experience in breast surgery, particularly in breast implant removal and related procedures. An experienced surgeon will be better equipped to handle any complications and achieve your desired results.

Consultation and Communication

Schedule a consultation with potential surgeons to discuss your goals, concerns, and expectations. A good surgeon will listen to you, answer your questions, and provide honest advice about the best options for your situation.

Reviews and Testimonials

Read reviews and references from past patients to assess the surgeon’s experience, professional reputation, and patient satisfaction. Personal recommendations from friends or family members can also be valuable. Ask for before and after photos of breast implant removal surgery, any qualified and experienced plastic surgeons will be happy to show their previous work.

Deciding to remove your breast implants is a significant decision that requires careful consideration and planning. By understanding the reasons for removal, the types of procedures available, the recovery process, potential risks, and the importance of choosing the right surgeon, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your health and aesthetic goals. Remember, open communication with your surgeon and setting realistic expectations are key to a successful outcome. Whether driven by health concerns, lifestyle changes, or personal preferences, breast implant removal can lead to a renewed sense of confidence and well-being.

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