Occasionally, women who have undergone a breast augmentation may decide that they no longer want the breast implants – some women may choose to have their implants removed because of weight gain which may make your breasts appear larger, age which may result in increasing ptosis (sagging of the breast), or others may decide that breast implants no longer fit their lifestyle. Under these circumstances, you have a number of options. As an expert in the field, Dr. Anureet Bajaj is qualified to guide you through these options and get you back to looking and feeling your best.
- 1 Why Get Breast Implant Removal?
- 2 Problems That Occur With Implants
- 3 Removing the Implant
- 4 Next Steps
- 5 Consultation
- 6 Before the Procedure
- 7 Operation
- 8 After the Procedure
- 9 Cost
Why Get Breast Implant Removal?
If you have had a previous breast augmentation surgery and now believe that your breast implants no longer fit your lifestyle or simply wish for a new look, getting those silicone or saline implants removed may be a good choice for you.
This re-operation can go in one of several directions that enable you to keep looking good and feeling confident. Surgical options following implant removal may include: implant replacement, fat transfer, and/or a breast lift.
Problems That Occur With Implants
While uncommon, some women may experience problems or complications following a breast augmentation – these may include: capsular contracture, implant rupture or deflation, or having an implant that is too large or too small. Removing them can sometimes be the best option to address these concerns.
Rupture & Deflation
Rupture and subsequent deflation may occur for different reasons, including the age of the implant or certain types of of trauma.
Deflation as a result of a rupture is an issue women may experience after having a breast augmentation. While we wish we could give you a lifetime guarantee, like most man-made devices, implants are not meant to last forever. Like all manufactured devices, breast implants can deflate or fail in some way within several months or several years of the initial surgery.
Both silicone gel-filled implants and saline-filled implants are susceptible to rupture or leakage. Although leaks can sometimes take years to be felt by the individual, there are some symptoms that may suggest this problem. These include shrinking or swelling of the breast in question, and any odd sensations like pain, numbing, tingling, burning, etc.
Capsular contracture is another common complication that can occur following a breast augmentation. When the body’s immune system detects a foreign material, it will attempt to protect the patient and separate this foreign substance by forming a “capsule” around the implant. Typically, the capsule is thin and soft; however, with capsular contracture, this thin capsule can become hardened, firm and painful. There are four stages of capsular contracture according to the commonly used grading system, the Baker Scale.
In some cases of capsular contracture, medications may be effective in softening the hard capsule. However, implant removal surgery, and/or capsulectomy, may be necessary.
Other complications arising from breast implants that may necessitate removal of the implant, either shortly after surgery or more long-term, include infection and inflammation, scarring, and fluid collections around the implant.
Desire for Aesthetic Change
Not all breast implant removal surgeries are performed due to complications.
Some women who undergo breast augmentation surgery may find that they no longer desire the larger breast size provided by the implants.
Dr. Bajaj can perform implant removal surgery to restore natural breast size with or without complementing breast procedures, depending on the patient’s aesthetic desires.
Removing the Implant
Like the original implantation surgery, breast explantation requires a surgical incision, which Dr. Bajaj will keep as small as possible. Most commonly, the incision will be placed underneath your breast in the breast crease. If you require a breast lift as well, the incision may be slightly different. Dr. Bajaj will remove the implant and its surrounding breast capsule. The exact process will be described in your consultation so you can walk into the O.R. feeling comfortable and confident.
If you desire removal of your breast implants from a previous surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bajaj to get an expert evaluation and go over your options for treatment or removal. There are a range of options to combat the above issues.
If you do elect to have implant removal surgery, fat transfer may be an option for you. Typically, fat is removed from another part of the body using liposuction and injected into the breast. A portion of this injected fat will develop a blood supply from the surrounding tissue and “take” thereby increasing breast size.
Since not all of the injected fat will “take”, this option is better for women desiring only a small increase in size. Also, some women may require more than one fat grafting procedure to reach their desired size. This process eliminates the risk of future problems like capsular contracture, as the substance being used to replace the implant your own fat.
It is also possible to combine your implant removal with a breast lift procedure to help restore the breast shape. Performing a breast lift will relocate your nipple areola complex so that it is centered over the breast mound and help alleviate breast ptosis or sagging; however, it will not increase breast size.
For patients who prefer the look and feel of silicone or saline-based breasts, the removed ones can be replaced with new implants. These implants have the same possibilities for complications as the original implants, but if explanation is necessary Dr. Bajaj can consult with you to determine whether re-implantation will work best for you.
Book a consultation with Dr. Bajaj in Oklahoma City to discuss and decide which of these explantation choices is best for your situation. Dr. Bajaj will use this time to examine the pre-existing implant and assess any problems arising from it, and thus be able to fully advise you in regards to your health, surgical procedures, and the results and cost you can expect from each.
Before the Procedure
Before coming in for the operation itself, make sure you plan to leave ample time for recovery afterward. Most patients can resume somewhat normal routines after a 3-5 days and can resume more strenuous activities like working out after 2-3 weeks. As in all surgical situations, it is advisable that patients stop smoking and taking medications that may increase risk of intensified bleeding during the procedure. Be sure and ask Dr. Bajaj about any current medications you take during your consultation.
The procedure itself will depend largely on how you decide to proceed after the implant is removed. In all cases Dr. Bajaj will keep the incision as small as possible to minimize scarring. During the consultation she will gladly walk you through the specific steps for your surgery and what they entail.
After the Procedure
Again, most patients recover enough to resume semi-normal behavior after three or four days. A post-surgical bra is recommended and often essential to wear during this time to allow full security and recovery. Some patients do decide to take pain medication during the initial healing period, but shouldn’t need them after the first 3 -5 days. However, leave a little more time beyond those first days to avoid strenuous activities like exercise.
Don’t forget to discuss the option of scar treatment following the surgery with Dr. Bajaj before surgery. This can last for several months after the implant removal and often shows dramatic results in keeping scars as tiny and invisible as possible.
The cost of breast implant removal surgery is variable and will depend on your aesthetic and health-related preferences. During your initial consultation Dr. Bajaj will explain in detail the pricing for each respective procedure so you can make an informed decision with respect to both your body and your wallet.