Breast implant removal will affect not only the size but also the shape of the breast. For those women with small breasts and good tissue quality, simply removing the breast implants is all that is needed, as the breast will retract back nicely in most cases. For women with poor-quality breast tissue, a breast lift may be needed.
Breast Implant Removal Technique
Remove and replace implants with new implants
As with any technology, breast implants and the surgical techniques that are used to position them, continue to evolve with time. Breast implants can generally last up to 10-15 years. At the end of this period, it is recommended that they are removed and exchanged for new ones or at the very least an MRI should be performed, to assess the integrity and position of the implant.
Remove implants and lift/reshape breasts
In those wishing to downsize by removing their old implants after many years, and who have noticed their breasts change in shape/droop over time, the best choice may often be to accompany the explantation with a simultaneous breast reshaping/lifting procedure creating a youthful, perkier but smaller breast.
Remove implants alone
It is possible to remove implants alone and restore the breast back to its natural form at any time. However, the patient must be aware that the passage of time and the influence of gravity will affect the results attained at the end of the operation.
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Revision breast augmentation surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and is usually a day-only or occasionally an overnight procedure. There is minimal pain after the procedure and this is usually controlled with simple analgesia. All your sutures are self-dissolving and your dressings are waterproof so you can start having a shower from the day after your surgery. You will be given a garment to wear and this is to be worn for 6 weeks post-operatively.
Most people can return to a level of daily duties the next day but this can vary on an individual basis so when planning for this surgery we would suggest you plan to have:
- A week off work for office-based jobs
- 10-14 days off work for more physical-type work
- Minimal driving for a week following the surgery
Meet the Experts
Dr Rohit Kumar is an Australian trained and fully certified cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgeon.
Dr Kumar completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree in 1995 at the University of Queensland. He subsequently went on to successfully complete a Masters Degree in the field of Burns Surgery in 2004 – MMedSci (Burns)
His advanced surgical training commenced in the specialty of General Surgery in which he trained for four years. This gave him a solid foundation of technical knowledge and surgical perspective upon which he then built his considerable skills, once he commenced his advanced training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The Australasian training scheme in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is one of the most thorough and rigorous in the world and upon successful completion of this training, over a period of ten years, Dr Kumar was awarded his Fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – FRACS (Plas).
He thus brings over 15 years of surgical experience to his practice having been involved in over ten thousand procedures in that time.
If you are considering removal of your breast implants, then it is important that you are informed of the potential risks, complications and side effects of this surgery.
While all care is taken to minimise or totally avoid these complications and side effects, complications may and do occur despite the best medical care. It is important that you carefully read and understand the risk factors and they will be discussed in more detail when you have your consultation with your surgeon.
The Risks include…
- Injury to the surrounding tissue
- A collection of fluid or blood within the breast that needs to be drained
- Altered sensation to the breast or nipple
- Slow healing
- Malposition of the implant
- Rupture of the implant
- Ongoing capsule formation and capsular contracture
- Rippling or wrinkling of the implant and skin
- An association with ALCL (a very rare lymphoma)
- Unable to achieve ideal outcome