The goal of breast implant removal surgery (or explant) is to remove breast implants that were placed during breast augmentation or breast reconstruction. Because breast implants are not lifelong devices, it is important to have them exchanged or removed at approximately 10-15 years. A good candidate for breast implant removal is someone who no longer desires to have implants or wishes to exchange them.
Breast implant removal surgery is often performed if you have developed capsular contracture (hardening of the breast), pain with your implants, or imaging shows a leak of the capsule. Generally, the scar tissue that forms after the placement of an implant is soft and doesn’t need to be removed, but sometimes it may harden causing pain and discomfort, so this is one reason to have the implants and the scar tissue removed.
Most breast implants that are placed today are silicone and, in some cases, the outside shell of an implant breaks down causing silicone to leak and scar tissue around the implant to harden. In this case, the implants should be removed. Dr. Clark will remove silicone material from implant leaks and the breast capsule, which is the scar tissue that forms after a breast implant is placed. It’s important to remember that the results of the implant removal depend on the size of the implants being removed, the scar tissue that was surrounding your implants, as well as the quality and quantity of your breast tissue that is left after the procedure.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science and with this surgery, the results are not always cosmetic because the breast tissue can be thin as a result of having implants for an extended period, additionally, the results can also be affected if the implants had been leaking. It may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgery, so another surgery may be necessary. Dr. Clark will discuss the options and his recommendations with you during your consultation. He often counsels’ patients to wait to have their implants replaced and have a breast lift with the implant replacement. If the patient does not opt to have implants placed again, then he can do a breast lift to address excess tissue and give the breast a more natural and youthful appearance. Swelling and post-operative changes will need time to settle in prior to seeing what the results will be. It is not unusual for healing to take up to a year before your results are visible.
Prepare for your surgery by understanding what surgical options and recommendations Dr. Clark has planned for you.
It’s important to choose your surgeon based on their education, training, and certification. Ask how much experience they’ve had with implant removal surgery and how many procedures they’ve performed. Another important factor is how comfortable you feel with the surgeon you’ve chosen; do you feel you have good communication and understanding with him or her.
Members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery are experienced and qualified to perform your aesthetic procedures. Learn how to select a surgeon.
It’s very important to understand all aspects of your breast implant removal surgery. To help, we have prepared a checklist of questions to ask your plastic surgeon that you can take with you to your consultation.