Breast Implant Removal: Reasons, Risks, Recovery

Overview

Breast implant removal is a surgery to
remove breast implants. During the procedure, the surgeon may also remove
silicone material from implant leaks and the breast capsule, which is the scar
tissue that forms after placing a breast implant. Because the scar tissue may
harden and cause concerns ranging from implant malfunction to dissatisfaction
with the size of your breasts.

According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
as many as one in five women will have their implants removed. Since breast
implants are not lifelong devices and it is important to have them exchanged or
removed approximately every 10-15 years.

Reasons

You should call your doctor to arrange breast
implant removal if you:

  • Have capsular contracture (hardening of the breast)
  • Feel pain with implants
  • Have taken imaging tests showing a leak of the capsule
  • No longer desire implants
  • Wish to exchange them

Other reasons for doing the surgery
include:

  • Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL)
  • Implant shifting, wrinkling, rupture, deflation or asymmetry
  • Adverse reaction to the implant
  • An infection or bleed after the plant

Cost

According to RealSelf reviews, breast implant removal costs about $4,500, with prices ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 based on the surgeon’s experience, the type of procedure used and the geographic office location.

Risks

All surgeries have risks. Breast implant
removal is no exception. Its risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Breast sagging
  • Infection
  • Loose skin
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry
  • Persistent pain
  • Loss of sensation in the nipples
  • Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
  • Anesthesia complications

These risks and others will be fully
discussed prior to your consent. It’s important that you address all your
questions directly with your plastic surgeon.

Preparation

You may be asked to do some lab tests or a
medical evaluation before the breast implant removal surgery. To prepare for
the procedure, you may also need to:

  • Stop smoking
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding

Surgical steps

Generally, the breast implant removal
surgery can take more than 1 hour and involves 4 steps. They are:

  • Anesthesia

In this step, medications, either intravenous
sedation or general anesthesia, are administered for your comfort during the
surgical procedure. Your doctor and anesthesiologist will recommend the best
choice for you.

  • The incision.

A breast implant removal requires an
incision to be placed along the lower fold of your breast or an incision around
or below the areola.

  • The operation.

This will depend on your particular type pf
surgery and your surgeon. Often, the breast capsules and implants are removed
using a combination of techniques.

  • Closing the incisions.

Your surgeon will use sutures, skin
adhesives, tapes or clips to close the skin incisions.

Recovery

Each patient’s recovery is different and
may vary based on many factors, such as the type of procedure that was
performed and whether it involves placement of new implants.

Probably, you will need to wear a drain for 2–3 days and a compression garment for 3–4 weeks after the surgery. Overall, you can usually expect less pain and a shorter recovery time than you experienced after your initial breast augmentation.

Keyword: breast implant removal.

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