Breast Implant Removal. Why? When?

Over time, breast implants can change shape or size, and the overlying breast tissue can also vary, creating an appearance or feel to the breast that is less desirable than the first result. Therefore, many women will replace or update their breast implants at around 10-year. Also, many breast implants have a lifetime warranty on the implant device. Still, after ten years, the costs associated with having surgery to replace the implants are no longer covered.

What is Breast Implant Removal? 

Breast implant removal surgery aims to remove breast implants from breast augmentation or breast reconstruction patients. During these procedures, the surgeon may also remove silicone material from implant leaks and the breast capsule, which is the scar tissue that forms after the placement of a breast implant. After installing an implant, the scar tissue is often soft and does not need to be removed, but it may harden, causing pain and discomfort.

This is often a reason to have the implants and scar tissue removed. Breast implants are not lifelong devices, and it is vital to have them exchanged or removed every 10-15 years. This decision is typically based on the individual and the patient’s needs and desires. In some cases, the outside shell of the implant breaks down, causing silicone to leak and the scar tissue around the implant to harden. It is essential to understand that You should remove your implants for this reason.

Who is the Right Candidate for Breast Implant Removal?

Breast implant removal surgery is a highly individualized procedure. It should be performed if you have capsular contracture (hardening of the breast), pain with implants, imaging has shown a leak of the capsule, and if you no longer desire implants or wish to exchange them.

  • You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
  • You have realistic expectations
  • You are a nonsmoker
  • You are bothered by the appearance of your implants
  • You have experienced discomfort or pain
  • You feel your breasts are too heavy
  • You are starting to feel your breast scar tissue is getting more complicated or tighter.
  • Imaging suggests a leak or rupture of implants
  • You have experienced a break or leak of implants

If you’re considering surgery, spend some time reviewing before and after photos and learning what to expect during recovery. Preparation ahead of time helps patients have reasonable expectations and a smoother recovery. In general, you may be the right candidate for breast implant removal if:

What Should I Expect During a Consultation for Breast Implant Removal?

During your breast implant removal consultation, be prepared to discuss:

  • Your surgical goals
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
  • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
  • Previous surgeries

Your cosmetic surgeon will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Examine your breasts
  • Take photographs
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss outcomes of breast implant removal surgery and any risks or potential complications

The success and safety of your breast implant removal procedure depend very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked several questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle.

Be sure to ask Prof. Moawad questions. It’s imperative to understand all aspects of your breast implant removal surgery. It’s natural to feel some anxiety. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your cosmetic

What are the Risks of Breast Implant Removal?

The decision to have breast implant removal surgery is dependent on many factors, including your overall health, if the implant is leaking, if the implant has ruptured, and your desire. You’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if breast implant removal risks and potential complications are acceptable.

Your cosmetic surgeon and staff will explain the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to fully understand the procedures you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.

The possible risks of breast implant removal surgery include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Hematoma
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • Skin loss
  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
  • Numbness or other changes in nipple/areola sensation
  • Skin discoloration and prolonged swelling
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Recurrent looseness of skin
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Asymmetry
  • Suboptimal aesthetic result
  • Possibility of revision surgery
  • Persistent pain
  • Scaring

How Should I Prepare for Breast Implant Removal?

In preparing for breast implant removal, you may be asked to:

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.

Breast implant removal surgery is typically performed in a hospital or licensed ambulatory surgery setting and will use general anesthesia. If your breast implant removal is performed on an outpatient basis, arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you for at least the first night following surgery. Address all your questions directly with Prof. Moawad.

What are the Steps of a Breast Implant Removal Procedure?


Step 1 – Anesthesia Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Your doctor and anesthesiologist will recommend the best option for you. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia.

Step 2 – The incision a breast implant removal requires an incision to be placed along the lower fold of your breast (the inframammary fold) or an incision around or below the areola.

Step 3 – The operation will depend on your surgery and your surgeon. The breast capsules and implants are often removed using a combination of techniques.

Step 4 – Closing the incisions sutures, skin adhesives, tapes, or clips close the skin incisions. Your breast implant removal will result in a different shape of the breast profile, which may be flatter or droopier than before surgery and have irregularities and indentations. You may also notice that the breast can take on a different shape with indentations depending on how much scar tissue is produced around your implants.

What Should I Expect During Breast Implant Removal Recovery?

After your breast implant removal surgery, you may have drains, gauze dressings, or bandages. You may be placed in a support bra or surgical garment, and there are times that a compression garment may be used to minimize swelling following surgery. After your procedure, you may need to have small thin drain tubes temporarily placed under the skin within the pocket to drain any excess blood or serous fluid that may collect.

You will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • How to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
  • When to follow up with Prof. Moawad

Be sure to ask Prof. Moawad particular questions about what you can expect during your recovery.

  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
  • Will there be drains? For how long?
  • When can I bathe or shower?
  • When can I resume regular activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling decreases. Continue to follow Prof Moawad’s instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.

What Results Should I Expect After Breast Implant Removal?

The breast implant removal surgery results will depend on the size of the implants being removed and the quantity and quality of the breast tissue left. The scar tissue surrounding your implants will also play a significant role in your overall outcome. Healing can take up to one year before the results are visible. Swelling and postoperative changes will also need time before the results.

The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. It may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure, and another surgery may be necessary for some situations. With this surgery, the results are not always cosmetic because the breast tissue is thin because of having implants for an extended period. The results can also be affected if the implants have been leaking. It may also be required to have a mastectomy if silicone has gone throughout the breast and the free-floating silicone is no longer within the scar tissue.

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heartbeats when you go home, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself. Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. During healing, surgical incisions mustn’t be subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion.




Cosmetic Breast Surgery Results (before and after)

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