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Breast Explant (Breast Implant Removal)

Breast Implant Removal

What is a Breast Implant Removal?

Breast implant removal, also known as breast explanation or breast explant surgery, is the surgical procedure of removing implants from the breast. This can be done for various reasons, including medical, personal, or aesthetic concerns.

Is Breast Implant Removal for Me?

  1. Medical Issues: Women may opt for explantation due to medical complications or concerns related to their breast implants. This could include infections, Breast Implant Illness (BII), Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), implant rupture, capsular contracture (tightening of scar tissue around the implant), or other health problems.

  2. Personal Choice: Some individuals choose to remove breast implants for personal reasons, such as changes in body image, lifestyle choices, or a desire to return to a more natural appearance.

  3. Implant Age and Degradation: Breast implants have a lifespan, and they may degrade or rupture over time. Some individuals choose to replace older implants with new ones, while others opt to have them removed altogether.

What Can I Expect with a Breast Implant Removal?

A Quick Overview

Surgery time: 2 hours.

Length of stay in hospital: 01 night

Recovery time: The following are approximate times.

Driving 7 days,

Office work 1-2 weeks,

Strenuous work/exercise 6 weeks. 

Garments: Post-surgery compression bra should be worn 24/7 for 6 weeks.

Incision and scar: Where possible, this will be through the old incision. 


Other Things to Consider

  • Removal of breast implants will result in a reduction in breast volume and a change in size and shape. 

  • Depending on the elasticity of your skin and the amount of breast tissue, explantation might lead to some degree of sagging or drooping.

  • Scarring is inevitable with any surgical procedure. The extent and visibility of scars will vary based on the incision type, surgical technique, and your body's healing process.

  • Depending on various factors, such as the size and shape of your natural breast tissue, you may experience some asymmetry after the removal of implants.

  • If you get replacement implants, they may need replacing if they rupture or a capsule forms around the implant, causing aesthetic issues and/or pain.

  • Many women successfully breastfeed after having implants inserted as they sit behind the milk-producing glands in the breast. However, it is possible that your ability to breastfeed may be altered. 

  • Removal of implants may impact breast sensation and nipple sensitivity. Some individuals experience changes in sensation, which may improve over time.

What are My Explant Options?

Breast Implant Removal Without Replacement:

The surgeon will remove the existing breast implants without replacing them. In this procedure, the surgeon removes the implants and any scar tissue (capsule) that has formed around them.

Breast Implant Removal and Fat Grafting
(With or Without a Breast Lift):

The surgeon will remove the breast implants and may perform fat grafting. Fat grafting involves harvesting fat from other body areas through liposuction and injecting it into the breasts to enhance their appearance. Multiple rounds of fat grafting may be required to achieve a patient's desired outcome. Each round of fat grafting will increase the breast size by approximately 100cc (1 cup size). This can be combined with a breast lift (mastopexy) if needed.

Breast Implant Removal with Breast Lift (Mastopexy):

This involves removing the breast implants and addressing any sagging or drooping of the breasts with a breast lift (mastopexy). The surgeon will reshape the breast tissue, reposition the nipples, and remove excess skin to achieve a more youthful and uplifted breast contour.

Replacement with New Implants:

The surgeon will remove the existing breast implants and replace them with new ones. This might be done for various reasons, such as updating the size or type of implants, addressing issues with the current implants, or simply wanting to maintain breast augmentation. The surgeon will discuss the options for new implants based on your preferences and goals.

What are the Risks with a Breast Implant Removal?

Like any surgical procedure, breast explant surgery carries potential risks and complications, including infection, bleeding, adverse reaction to anaesthesia, scarring, changes in breast shape, and asymmetry. It's important to discuss these risks with the surgeon during the consultation.

It's crucial to consult a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon to discuss individual circumstances and determine the best course of action regarding breast explant surgery.

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