Breast explantation, or the removal of breast implants, is a decision many women make for various reasons, from health concerns like capsular contracture and symptoms associated with breast implant illness to the desire to prevent autoimmune disorders and regain optimal health and well-being. One of the most common anxieties surrounding this procedure is the appearance of the breasts. Will they look flat? Will they ever regain their natural shape?
The short answer is yes: your breasts will eventually be visited by the “fluffing fairy” perhaps 12 months after your breast explant, helping you regain some volume and fullness. This article explains what you can expect after breast explant surgery.
Breast Explant Surgery
Breast implant removal, or breast explant, involves taking out the implants that were previously inserted either behind the breast tissue or the chest muscle. Dr. Khan performs en bloc capsulectomy, which involves removing the entire breast implant and its surrounding scar tissue capsule as one whole unit. This is the safest and most effective breast explantation technique. Following the procedure, it’s natural for the breasts to initially appear deflated due to the sudden absence of the implants. But this is just the beginning of the healing journey.
Positive Effects of Breast Implant Removal:
- Removal can alleviate symptoms related to breast implant illness (BII).
- Eliminates the weight and pressure of implants, reducing back and neck pain.
- Some women report a surge in energy levels post-removal.
- Mitigates risks of rupture, leakage, or capsular contracture.
- Provides peace of mind, especially for those with health concerns related to implants.
- Many women feel a renewed sense of body confidence and self-acceptance after removal.
How Your Breasts Look After Explantation
Immediately after explantation, breasts may appear deflated or flattened, often described as “pancake-like.” This is due to the sudden absence of the implant. The skin, previously stretched to accommodate the implant, might seem loose. Bruising and swelling are also common. Furthermore, Dr. Khan compresses the breasts with a bra and binder for a few months after surgery to support recovery. When the bra and binder come off, the breasts look flattened. However, this initial appearance is temporary.
The Fluffing Fairy Visits Up to 12 Months After Explant
The term “fluffing fairy” refers to the phenomenon where, after breast implant removal, the breasts begin to fill out, soften, and regain a more natural appearance. Typically, the fluffing fairy is said to visit up to 12 months post-surgery. During this period, the natural breast tissue settles, reshapes, and contours, leading to a fuller and perkier appearance. This is similar to how a woman’s belly returns to its natural state post-pregnancy — the breasts too begin to “recreate” themselves, contouring back to a fuller, perkier shape.
Tips to Improve the Fluff:
- Massage regularly to stimulate blood flow and promote tissue healing.
- Wear supportive bras to help shape and contour the breasts during the healing process.
- Stay hydrated to support skin elasticity and improve overall tissue health.
- Maintain a balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods to support tissue regeneration.
- Avoid smoking because it can hinder the healing process and reduce skin elasticity.
- Exercise moderately to help tone the breast area.
- Consider lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling and improve tissue health.
- Stay patient and give your breasts the time to reshape and recover.
Breast explantation is a physical and emotional journey. While the initial aftermath might be challenging, with time, care, and a little patience, the breasts can and often do regain a natural, fuller appearance. So, for those considering or having undergone the procedure, remember that your body has an incredible ability to heal and reshape. Give it the time and care it deserves.