In a breast implant removal surgery, a doctor does exactly what it sounds like. He or she removes a breast implant. Some women choose the procedure because of aesthetic issues while others cite pain. No matter the reasons, breast implant removal is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. As with any surgery, there are risks.
If you are wondering if breast implant removal is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do my implants impede my daily life?
- Am I suffering from pain?
- Am I deeply unhappy with how my breasts look?
- Is the pain and recovery worth it to me?
- Do I have realistic expectations and goals for my new breast shape?
What About A Ruptured Implant?
Implant rupture or deflation is amongst the top reasons women need a secondary surgery after breast augmentation. Breast implant warranties last only 10 years and breast implants typically last from 10 to 20 years. They could last a lifetime, but it is improbable. They are not meant to be left in forever. However, early rupture can happen due to a number of factors including, but not limited to:
- damage by surgical instruments
- capsular contracture (more on those later)
- overfilling or under-filling
- umbilical incision placement
- physical trauma
- excessive compression during a mammogram
- unidentified reasons
Important note about silicone implants: Today’s silicone implants last a bit longer than saline implants but ruptures often go unnoticed. Silicone can leak and migrate within the body which is not safe for many reasons. Therefore, doctors will often advise having an MRI three years after your surgery and then another exam every two years.
What Types Of Results Are Expected?
This is often a patient’s number one question. We understand why. After all, the procedure is meant to help the patient look and feel better. Therefore, they want to know what the results will be and how long they will have to wait to notice them. The fear of scarring and pain is also a very real concern for many patients.
Unfortunately, there is no one answer about this topic. It is something that is personal and should be discussed between yourself and your doctor. You will need to have a consultation before any surgery can be planned. During the meeting, your surgeon will explain to you what the procedure will be like and how you should expect to look and feel afterward. They may take measurements, photos or other notes about you.
Realistic expectations are essential for plastic surgery patients. Your doctor will go into great detail with you about the possible results, the recovery, scarring, and more. Listen to what Dr. Khan tells you during your consultation at our Detroit area office. He will be honest and forthright with you.
What Types Of Breast Implant Removal Surgery Options Are Available?
For Just A Removal:
Your doctor will probably go in through the same incisions as your original procedure to take out the implant. If you’re distressed by a capsular contracture, your doctor will remove them to aid healing.
- What is a capsulectomy?
You may need a capsulectomy to remove hardened scar tissue from your last surgery. This is the most common side effect of breast augmentation. In the case of capsulectomy, the hardened tissue is removed. The tissue is called a capsular contracture and is made up of fibroblasts, collagen, and blood vessels. This is not the removal of the implant although the two procedures may be done in conjunction with one another.
- How do you know if you need a capsulectomy?
You need to see a doctor to know for sure. The identification of capsular contracture is frequently estimated based on exam alone. However, imaging studies like MRI can be helpful, as well.
Capsular contractures are graded by the Baker Scale Grade:
Grade I – the breast is soft; the capsule is flexible.
Grade II – the breast looks normal; hard to the touch.
Grade III – the breast is hard; has some deformation
Grade IV – similar to Grade III; harder capsules than Grade III
For Removal With Breast Lift:
The donut, (or circumareolar) technique achieves a lift by making a donut-shaped opening around the areola (the pink part of the nipple.) The technique offers mild correction to sagging. Lollipop or vertical incisions circle the areola and lengthen downward. This choice is quickly becoming popular because it can be used for moderate to severe sagging. Then, you have the anchor technique. This method starts with lollipop incisions, and then adds a horizontal incision along the breast crease; it is useful in more severe cases of drooping. Deflation may be an option if your implants are saline.
How Long Will The Recovery Be?
Because the muscle is undisturbed, this procedure does not have a particularly painful recovery. It is also not a very long one. About a week is average.
No matter what, you must follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. He will supply you with information about:
- compression garments
- pain medication, dosages and more
- avoiding certain activities
- symptoms you can anticipate
- where to reach the doctor if anything seems wrong to you during recovery
What Will The Scarring Be Like?
This all depends, of course, on your body, your skin and other personal factors. However, it is not a surgery which should create large or unsightly scars.
What Are The Potential Side Effects?
When performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, breast implant removal surgery has a very high success rate. The risks involved are similar to the risks for placing the implants, but less severe. Potential side effects include infection, bleeding, hematoma, scarring, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and unsatisfactory results that may require yet another surgery. Minimize these risks by following your surgeon’s post-op instructions closely.
Good preparation and post-operative care can help reduce complications. It is essential for patients to closely follow their post-operative information packet, particularly with regards to taking their antibiotics. Note that they are often prescribed to prevent post-surgical infection.
Possible complications of the removal procedure include:
- breast deformation
- severe scarring
- excessive bleeding
- decreased breast sensation
Patients will have a different breast profile and should be prepared for that fact. The profile may be less buoyant and have irregularities. However, the converse could be true and the breast may appear more natural.
What About New Implants?
It is possible. If, at a later date, you decide you would like to have implants again, it can be done. But, again, this depends a great deal on the health of the patient and other factors.
There is no one answer that is right for everyone and the decisions that are made should be joint decisions between doctor and patient. Each and every patient is different and unique. Our number one concern is the patient’s safety, health and satisfaction which is why we consider each case very carefully.
We look forward to consulting with you and earning your trust as medical professionals. Reach out soon to learn more about the breast implant removal procedure, our doctor and staff, and our excellent standard of care at both of our Detroit metro area offices: 734-419-1615.