Breast Implant Removal
Breast Implant Removal is a cosmetic surgery procedure to have previously inserted saline or silicone breast implants removed.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Reasons for Breast Implant Removal
- Breast Implant Removal Operation
- Breast Implant Removal Recovery
- Breast Implant Removal Risks
The procedure can be performed alone or it can be combined with replacement of new implants (revision) or a breast lift.
Reasons for Breast Implant Removal
Women choose to have their breast implants removed for any number of reasons. Common motivations include life changes, personal or medical reasons and complications, including:
- Not being satisfied with the results of a breast augmentation procedure;
- Problems with asymmetry;
- The original breast enlargement operation being performed incorrectly;
- The implants becoming displaced, shifting, wrinkling or contracting. This can occur if they have not been placed properly or due to excessive scar tissue forming around the operation site (capsular contracture);
- Necrosis, the wound from insertion not healing;
- The implants turning out to be defective and either rupturing or deflating;
- The implants becoming infected.
Breast Implant Removal Operation
If there are complications with your breast implants, your surgeon first needs to determine the cause. The surgeon may offer you alternative implants. If you choose to have your implants replaced, then this can be done in the same operation. If however, you wish to proceed with having your breast implants removed, without any replacement, then your surgeon may advise you to have a breast lift to avoid having sagging breasts after the surgery.
Either way, the operation is performed under general anaesthetic. The surgeon makes an incision at the appropriate site, which is usually the same incision site used for the insertion of your implants. The possibilities include incision under your breast (in the natural crease or inframammary fold), around your nipples (peri-areolar incision), under your armpit or via your belly button.
Once the incision is made, the surgeon removes the breast implants sometimes along with scar tissue. If dealing with saline breast implants, the surgeon may choose to deflate the implants first to assist the removal. The wound is then closed with sutures.
The operation takes about half an hour to an hour. Generally you can leave the same day but you may be kept under observation for a few hours following surgery.
Breast Implant Removal Recovery
The recovery process is relatively quick compared to the original breast augmentation surgery. You will have mild discomfort, swelling and bruising for the first few days. You should be able to return to everyday tasks within a few days following surgery. It takes approximately two to three weeks to resume full activity. You should be fully recovered within a few months.
Breast Implant Removal Risks
Opting for removal of breast implants is not without its risks. You may lose nipple sensation (although this is usually temporary it can be a permanent complication). Another concern to women is the possibility of loose skin around the breast. Other risks involved with having breast implants removed include scarring, bleeding, tissue atrophy, chest wall deformity, sagging and having smaller breasts than before augmentation.
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