Breast implants aren’t meant to last forever, they’re actually supposed to be replaced every ten or so years. Whether the implants have ruptured, are causing discomfort, or if it’s just time to replace the implants, having another procedure can be a bit daunting but, there isn’t anything to be wary of. So what warrants breast implant removal and what happens when it’s time to remove breast implants?
Why You Need A Breast Implant Removal
Ruptures or Breakage
Ruptures or general breakages are always a possibility when a person gets any type of implant despite the sturdiness of the implant itself. Depending on the type of implant, the ruptures/ breakages will affect the body differently. Those with saline implants are fortunate enough that the body is able to absorb and naturally dispose of the saline and the surgeon only needs to remove the implant casing. Those with silicone implants will have to have the entire implant (both the inner silicone and outer casing) removed.
Sometimes breast implants are rejected by the patient’s body not long after the initial implantation which causes discomfort and the need for removal. Other times, discomfort develops after some time with the implants because of calcium buildup, hardening or death of tissue around the implant, autoimmune responses to the implant, and/or the permanent shift of the implant.
If a patient wants a larger sizing but their surgeons recommend a smaller size while their bodies get accustomed to the weight and general anatomy of breast implants, they usually size up after about two years. The majority of those who take this route are those who undergo MTF (male to female) breast implants so that their bodies are able to get accustomed to a more feminine anatomy before putting the harsher strain of a higher CC count implant.
Viceversa, there are some patients who have gotten breast implants that they feel are too big for them but they want to keep the implants, just have a smaller CC count for a smaller cup sizing.
The surgical process for breast implant removal is almost exactly the same as when the implants were put in. Surgeons will consult with the patient to examine the breasts and breast implants, assess patient health, take pre-op photos, and give personalized preprocedural instructions.
Generally, patients are told what and what not to consume before the procedure, how to cleanse themselves, and what to avoid (clothing, accessories, nails, etc) before their procedure.
Patients skin is prepped on and around the treatment areas, anesthesia is administered, an incision is made, the implant (and depending on the patient situation and surgeon call, some or all of the scar tissue/ scar capsule tissue) is removed before the incision is closed back up and the patient is transferred to post-op care.
If a patient is changing out their implants for new ones (whether they be the same size, smaller or larger) then the new implants will be implanted once the old implants are removed and the area had been examined and cleaned.
Patients will receive personalized care instructions once they leave the medical facility so that they can care for their incisions (and possible drains) properly.
A complete recovery takes anywhere from four to eight weeks depending on how a patient heals and their breast implant removal situation. Swelling and pain are expected for the first couple of days after the procedure but will usually subside completely after two weeks. If it doesn’t or patients feel continued discomfort, they should consult with their surgeon as soon as they can.
Like with any other medical procedure, there are possible risks with breast implant removal. These risks are uncommon but can be noted during the recovery process. Some of these are bleeding, infection, continued pain/ discomfort, fluid build-up, nerve damage, lung injury, and allergic reactions to the anesthesia.
Many patients are worried about how their breasts will look after the implants are removed, in which case, their surgeons often recommend adding a breast graft and/or lift to address the cosmetic appearance of the patient’s breasts.
Have other Questions?
If you still have questions about breast implant removal/ replacement, contact Avana Plastic Surgery to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified and experienced surgeons!