What is breast implant removal surgery?
Breast implant removal surgery involves removing breast implants from a previous breast augmentation surgery.
If a patient chooses to have breast implant removal surgery, they often have a breast lift also to improve the appearance of any loose skin.
Who is breast implant removal surgery for?
Some women may decide to have breast implant removal surgery out of personal choice; for example, they may feel their breast implants are the wrong size or shape. Over time they may have moved into the wrong position because of weight gain, weight loss, or pregnancies.
You may need to have breast implant removal surgery due to complications of breast implants such as:
- An accumulation of calcium.
- An infection and/or bleeding.
- Necrosis or the development of dead tissues around the breast implant.
- Capsular contracture.
- Implant rupture, folding or deflation.
- Leakage of silicone (PIP implants).
- Implant displacement.
- Breast implant illness (BII).
If you have PIP implants and would like them removed, an MRI scan or ultrasound scan or should be done to check whether your implants have ruptured. A ruptured implant should be removed as soon as possible.
What happens during breast implant removal surgery?
Breast implant removal surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and can take between one to three hours to complete. After the removal of implants, patients may undergo breast implant replacement.
If a woman chooses not to replace the breast implants, a breast lift may be wanted to address the skin that has been stretched. Depending on your recovery, you may be able to go home on the same day as the procedure.
Incisions during breast implant removal surgery are often made in the same place as where the initial breast implant surgery was performed. If you are suffering from capsular contracture, they will remove the hardened capsules to accelerate the healing process.
What is recovery like after breast implant removal surgery?
Most women can return to work in five days and report experiencing minimal discomfort after the surgery. If you’ve had the breast implants removed due to capsular contracture, there will be more discomfort and it will take longer to recover.
Breast implant removal scars usually heal very well and are often inconspicuously. They can take three to four months to heal. While the scars will fade, they will never disappear entirely.
Lifting anything over five kilograms or exercising excessively for the first six weeks after your surgery should be avoided. While you will usually be able to resume normal activity after six weeks, your breasts will take several months to settle into their new position.
It is very important to follow the instructions given post-surgery which may include the following:
- Wearing compression garments.
- Avoiding certain activities.
- Taking pain medication as prescribed.
What are the risks and complications of breast implant removal surgery?
- Sensitivity of breasts that can last up to six months.
- Numbness of the breast area.
- Sagging of the breasts or breast deformity.