Breast surgeries are some of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed each year. Breast augmentation, in particular, has helped many women enhance their chest appearance and achieve a significant boost in their self-confidence. While this procedure has a high satisfaction rate, some patients eventually decide they no longer want their breast implants. For these individuals, breast implant removal surgery can be the ideal procedure for their needs.
At The Aesthetic Institute of Chicago, our board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Lorri Cobbins and Dr. Brian Braithwaite, are committed to providing patients with the best care and results. When it comes to breast implant removal, patients can expect a customized treatment plan that reflects their aesthetic goals.
- What Is Breast Implant Removal?
- Breast Implant Removal Reasons
- Total Capsulectomy Procedure
- Breast Implant Removal Recovery
What Is Breast Implant Removal?
Breast implant removal is a surgical procedure designed to remove breast implants, whether for medical or cosmetic reasons. Also known as explantation, this type of revision breast surgery may involve an implant exchange or no replacement at all. As an alternative to implants, some patients may opt for explantation with fat grafting or explantation with a breast lift. Each patient’s needs and objectives will determine which technique is right for them.
What Are Common Reasons for Breast Implant Removal?
There are multiple factors that can lead patients to have their breast implants removed — with or without replacement. Common reasons for explant surgery include:
- No longer wanting breast implants
- Desiring a different implant type, size, or shape
- Having an implant-related complication, such as capsular contracture
- Concerned about breast implant illness or BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma)
What is a Capsulectomy?
A capsulectomy is a procedure where, along with the breast implant, the scar tissue capsule that develops around the implant is removed. An incision is made below the breast crease to remove the implant and capsule. For patients diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, the en bloc, or total capsulectomy approach is recommended, as it also removes cancerous cells and a small amount of healthy tissue to ensure the affected area is properly treated.
What Can I Expect in My Breast Explant Recovery?
The recovery time and healing process after breast implant removal may differ for each patient. Many patients experience some swelling and bruising, which typically subsides within a few days. Any pain and discomfort can be addressed with pain medication, while a post-op bra can provide comfortable support. It is recommended to avoid strenuous activities and exercise for about four to six weeks to reduce the potential for complications.