Home/Breast Surgery/Breast Implant Removal

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 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:

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.

What Will My Breasts Look Like After Breast Implant Removal?

After breast implant removal surgery, it is common for there to be some degree of sagging skin, due to the implant volume no longer filling out the chest. Since the skin must stretch to accommodate the implants, this can leave redundant skin once they are removed. To combat this concern, a breast lift can be incorporated into the explant procedure to restore a firmer, more youthful-looking bustline.

How Much Does Breast Implant Removal Cost?

The cost of breast implant removal will vary based on each patient’s personalized treatment plan, but on average, the procedure typically costs $3,049 for the surgeon’s fee. This does not include additional procedures, replacement breast implants, anesthesia, or any other fees. After your initial consultation, you’ll receive a customized quote for your explant surgery. Additional factors that can contribute to the overall cost include medical tests, post-op medications and garments, and the geographic location of the practice.

Complementary Procedures

Many patients can reach their aesthetic goals through breast implant removal surgery alone, while others may choose complementary procedures to enhance their final results. Common surgeries often performed in conjunction with breast implant removal include:

Explantation with Fat Grafting

For those wanting to remove their breast implants while maintaining a fuller breast shape, fat grafting can be performed. This procedure involves extracting excess fat cells via liposuction from one area, such as the thighs or abdomen, and reinjecting the prepared tissue into the breasts. Breast explantation with fat grafting provides a subtle increase in volume.

Explantation with a Lift

Breast lift surgery is often performed at the time of implant removal, as many patients have sagging skin caused by the absence of their breast implants. Since skin must stretch to accommodate breast implants, removal of the implants — especially larger implants — can lead to a deflated breast appearance. By lifting the natural breasts following explanation, patients can achieve a firmer, more youthful breast shape.

Schedule Your Breast Implant Removal Consultation

For more information about breast implant removal surgery and to find out if the procedure is right for you, contact our office to schedule a consultation.