Breast implant removal and breast augmentation revision are surgical procedures performed when a patient wishes to remove the breast implants used during their initial breast augmentation surgery. There are a variety of reasons breast implants may be removed, and oftentimes replaced, and it is important to note that breast implants are not actually meant to last a lifetime, but rather a few decades at most.
If you exhibit scarring from a previous breast surgery, you may be a candidate for scar revision.
Is breast implant removal or revision surgery right for you?
Your breast implants may need to be removed or replaced if you are experiencing any of the following problems:
- Capsular contracture (scar tissue tightens and hardens around one or both implants)
- Implant rupture or leakage (caused by breast trauma, implant age or implant malfunction)
- Implant visible, palpable or rippling
- Poor implant placement or bottoming out
- Poor outcome of your initial breast augmentation
- Regret about the size of your breast implants
- Regret about your decision to get breast implants
When these problems occur with breast implants, someone choose to take action, while others do not, as these issues typically do not pose an imminent danger or health risk, and the cost of breast revision surgery may not be a worthwhile investment if the problem is minimal.
Some choose breast augmentation surgery, wherein their breast implants are removed and replaced. Others choose to have breast explant surgery, or breast implant removal, but do not have their ruptured implants replaced. When breast implants are removed and a breast augmentation revision is not performed, a breast lift may be performed to remove skin stretched by the breast implants.
Dr. Weston will talk with you about your concerns and goals during consultation, as well as review your medical history and assess your physical and mental health before recommending breast implant revision or removal surgery. If you are a candidate for revision or removal surgery, be sure to follow all pre-operative instructions provided to you by Dr. Weston, such as cessation of smoking and use of certain medications.
What to expect during revision breast surgery
Revision surgery is performed much the same way your initial breast augmentation was performed if you choose to have your breast implants replaced. You will be placed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation, and your incisions will be opened and closed the same way unless you decide to have different implants inserted that require different techniques.
For example, if you had saline breast implants placed over the pectoral muscles through an incision around your nipple, and you wish to switch to silicone implants placed under the pectoral muscle, your incision may need to be placed in your breast fold instead of around your nipple to accommodate the silicone implants.
If you are having your breast implants removed and choose not to have them replaced, the surgical procedure may more closely resemble a breast lift. Additionally, if you’re having revision surgery to repair or improve a poor surgical outcome, the procedure may be far more complex.
Recovering from breast augmentation revision or implant removal
As with your initial breast surgery, you will need a ride home after your procedure due to the effects of anesthesia. Recovering from revision surgery is usually quicker than your initial breast augmentation recovery, however some changes, such as moving your breast implants from over to under the pectoral muscles may result in slightly more pain and downtime.
It is crucial that you keep your post-operative checkups with Dr. Weston and closely follow all instructions for post-op care to ensure the best possible result is achieved.