Breast implants FAQ: types, removal and side effects

Written by: Mr Ahid Abood
Published: | Updated: 21/06/2023
Edited by: Emma McLeod

Whether you’re considering getting breast implants, changing them or removing them, Mr Ahid Abood has answers to some frequently asked questions. After reading this article, you’ll know the fundamental facts regarding breast implant types, removal and side effects.

If you’ve had breast implants for a while, you may feel that the size, shape, texture, or even having an implant at all is no longer the right fit for you. Whatever your situation may be, Mr Ahid Abood is an expert in all aspects of breast implants and here he answers the following frequently asked questions.

Woman holding her breasts


How many different types of breast implants are there?

There are a number of different manufacturers of breast implants, and as a consequence, there’s a considerable variety amongst implants. Trying to select a specific type of implant to achieve the look you are after requires a lot of thought but to try and make the decision process a little easier, the different types can be generally separated into broad categories depending on:

  • their shape (round or ‘teardrop’)
  • their texture (smooth or texturised)
  • their ‘profile’ (how much the implants project from the chest wall)

Each of these characteristics will contribute to the overall appearance.


Can breast implants break or leak?

Yes, they can, however, the risk of this happening is small. Generally speaking, today’s silicone implants are made from a type of cross-linked or tightly bonded silicone that doesn’t leak and will remain in its solid form even if the shell of the implant ruptures.


What are gummy bear implants?

The term ‘gummy-bear’ relates to a type of teardrop-shaped implant. These are composed of silicone gel which is highly cohesive in nature. What this means is that the molecules of silicone that form the filling of the implant are all tightly held together and as a result, the implant is thicker or denser.


What if I want to get my breast implants removed?

It’s perfectly possible to have your implants removed and patients choose to do so for a variety of reasons. These reasons can range from wanting to change the size and/or shape of the implant to being in a different phase of life and no longer wanting to have implants altogether. If you’re thinking about having your implants removed then you should consult a GMC registered plastic surgeon who will be able to listen to your reasons and guide you through the process.


What’s being done to increase the safety of breast implants?

No surgical procedure is without any risk, however, across the spectrum of surgical procedures, breast augmentation is low risk.

There’s a great deal of good work going on in this area of safety in plastic surgery. This work involves collecting information or data from patients who have either had or are having breast implants. The information collected can help to improve patient safety and identify factors that could compromise the outcome of the surgery. The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry (BCIR) is one example of this in the UK.


Mr Ahid Abood is a leading plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon in London and Cambridge. Click here to view his profile and to book your consultation.

By Mr Ahid Abood
Plastic surgery

Mr Ahid Abood is a highly esteemed consultant plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon with private clinics at 9 Harley Street, London,  Spire Lea Cambridge and Nuffield Health Cambridge. His areas of expertise include abdominoplasty, breast surgery, breast augmentation, blepharoplasty, breast reduction surgery and breast lifts.

After graduating from Cambridge University, Mr Abood trained extensively in all aspects of plastic surgery in the UK and internationally. He spent a year as a microsurgical fellow at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia and a further year as a microsurgical fellow at St. Andrews, Broomfield, Essex. He was also the Nagor Aesthetic fellow at the McIndoe Surgical Centre, East Grinstead, one of the few recognised training fellowships in cosmetic surgery in the UK. During his surgical training, Mr Abood also undertook research into the treatment of skin cancer for which he was awarded an MSc distinction from UCL. He also has a postgraduate certification in medical education and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  

Mr Abood was appointed to his current NHS role back in 2014 and is currently the clinical lead for complex reconstruction following major trauma. Within the NHS he specialises in reconstructive surgery with a sub-speciality interest in microsurgical reconstruction. He also treats skin cancer, which includes the treatment of malignant melanoma for which he offers sentinel lymph node biopsy.  He was the speciality lead for Audit & Governance at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge and the divisional lead for Audit. Addenbrooke’s Hospital is part of the world-renowned Biomedical Campus. He is also an integral member of the Bone Infection Unit, which is a tertiary referral service to treat those with osteomyelitis. 

He also dedicates time to teaching trainee plastic surgeons and helped to establish the Wexham Park FRCS (Plast) exam course. He has also taught the Cambridge "lower limb flap course" and Mid Yorkshire "plastic surgery skills course". He has also produced, directed and edited "My New Ear" which aired on ABC news. 

Mr Abood has published thirty academic manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and has written a number of book chapters. He is an honorary research associate at The National Medial Laser Institute and is a member of The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons. 

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