While advances in implant technology make it easier than ever to refine or completely change the look of existing implants, more and more women are opting to undergo a breast implant removal (explantation) procedure instead of an implant exchange. There are many reasons a woman may want to remove her implants including personal reasons such as a change in lifestyle and goals or for health reasons such as a major illness or painful capsular contracture. Once the decision to remove your implants is made, options to address excess skin, maintain lift and any desired volume can be explored.
Options After Breast Removal
Patients who undergo implant removal will often times desire another procedure to improve the appearance of their breasts. The most commonly performed procedures after breast implant removal are:
– Breast Lift (Mastopexy) to reduce sagging of the breasts
– Fat Transfer to add back volume lost from removing the implants.
These procedures can enhance the appearance of the natural breast and can be done in conjunction with the breast removal.
What to expect during and after breast implant removal surgery
Whether you have decided on breast implant removal as a personal choice or because it is medically necessary, we will address your specific condition, concerns and goals. Since removal affects breast appearance, options to maintain lift and volume will be discussed during the initial consultation.
The procedure is done on an outpatient basis with IV sedation or under mild general anesthesia when combined with a breast lift or fat transfer as previously mentioned. The breast implant removal procedure itself takes approximately one hour to complete. If possible, the old augmentation incision is used. In addition to removing the implant, we will remove the breast implant capsule, any internal scar tissue and prepare the breast pocket for any additional procedures to be performed either immediately or in the future.
Following implant removal, minor discomfort and soreness is standard, but basic activities may be resumed in as soon as 24 hours. Following a breast lift and/or fat transfer, moderate soreness along the incisions and at the fat collection sites are standard and we recommend limiting all activities for 48 hours after surgery. Most patients can resume normal activities after one week but the recommendation is to refrain from strenuous exercise for 4-6 weeks.
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