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Breast Implant Removal

What is Breast Implant Removal?

Breast implants may need to be removed for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a patient no longer wishes to have implants. Other times, implants are removed secondary to a complication of implant placement, including infection, rupture, or capsular contracture.

Who is a Candidate for a Breast Implant Removal?

You may want to consider breast implant removal if you:

  • No longer desire to have breast implants
  • Have developed a breast implant infection
  • Have developed capsular contracture that has failed other methods of treatment

How is a Breast Implant Removed?

A breast implant is typically removed through the same incision through which it was placed. If the implant is being removed for infection or for capsular contracture, the capsule surrounding the implant often needs to be removed. In this situation, a new incision may need to be made. After the implant is removed, drains are placed to drain any fluid that may accumulate post-operatively.

After implant removal, the breast typically has a deflated appearance to it. A mastopexy (breast lift) may need to be performed at the same time to improve the position, shape and appearance of the native breast and nipple.

Risks

All surgery is associated with risks. The risks of breast implant removal include bleeding, infection, scarring, asymmetry, and need for revisional procedures. It is important to talk with Dr. Rovelo about the risks of your surgery and how the risks can be minimized to provide the best possible outcome.

Recovery

Breast implant removal is performed in the outpatient surgical setting, under general anesthesia. Depending on how much work needs to be done to the surrounding capsule, the surgery can take between 1-3 hours. Patients will have a soft bra on after the procedure, and they will go home the same day. Patients will be seen in clinic in one week, at which time, the drain output will be evaluated and drains will be removed as indicated. Most patients will be able to resume light activity and return to work after one week. Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise may be resumed at 4-6 weeks.