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Before breast augmentation was possible, women came up with creative ways to augment their bust that ranged from corsets to padded bras.
Then breast implants entered the scene. With breast augmentation surgery, women could get the cup size they had always wanted—safely and effectively.
Unfortunately, the satisfaction provided by breast augmentation does not always last, and complications with the implants may bring a desire for change.
Even women who loved their breast implants initially may find their implants do not look or feel the same years down the line, while others may be tired of bigger breasts, unsatisfied with their breast shape, or wishing they had gone even larger.
For these women, getting their breast implants removed can be an unexpected way to revitalize their appearance. Here is what you need to know about breast implant removal.
Why Remove Breast Implants?
Removing breast implants is as personal of a decision as getting breast implants in the first place.
There are many reasons women choose to remove breast implants, such as:
- A desire for smaller, natural breasts
- Dissatisfaction with current implant size, shape, or texture
- Changes to implants over time
- “Rippling” or visible wrinkling
- Concerns about health or scar tissue
In some cases, complications such as a ruptured implant or capsular contracture may prompt women to want to get their implants removed.
Additionally, recent links to a rare form of lymphatic cancer due to a specific type of textured implant (BIOCELL®) have left some women wary of all implants. It is important to note that the risk of cancer due to implants is still extremely small.
How Are Breast Implants Removed?
Step 1: An incision is made along the crease or areola to allow access to the implant.
Step 2: The implant is carefully removed.
Step 3: Any hardened or residual scar tissue is removed, and the breast pocket is tightened before the incisions are closed.
A “Total Capsulectomy” or En Bloc removal is a common technique used by most plastic surgeons. This technique involves removing the entire scar tissue capsule and the implant in one step. This is performed especially in cases of suspected ALCL.
It may take several weeks to recover from breast implant removal. Patients will need to refrain from physical activity for at least two to four weeks after surgery.
What Comes After Implant Removal?
Following breast implant removal, women may be perfectly happy with their breasts as they are. However, some women may struggle with breasts that droop faster or sit lower, thanks to larger implants that have stretched skin cells over time.
Removing the implants, especially after several years of having them, may cause breasts to sag or look “deflated,” affecting how the bust appears.
In these cases, women can benefit from an additional procedure, such as:
Breast Lift Surgery
This procedure is aimed at lifting and tightening breast tissue, improving the overall bust for perky, youthful breasts.
Breast lift surgery can easily be combined with implant removal to tighten tissue after the implants go. This has the added benefit of strengthening weakened breast tissue.
Breast Implant Replacement
Some women who choose to remove their implants due to complications or size matters still wish to maintain larger, augmented breasts. Implant removal is a great time to replace older implants with a newer model to transform how the breasts look.
Women looking for a more natural appearance can get smaller implants or implants with a teardrop shape, which mimics the natural shape of the breast. Silicone can also be swapped for saline or vice-versa to improve feel.