Breast Implant Removal

Table of Contents

As breast augmentation continues to become an increasingly popular cosmetic surgery in the United States, it’s no surprise that implant removal has also experienced increased demand. This procedure helps women who want or need their breast implants removed for either cosmetic or medical reasons, and may be combined with other breast procedures.

What is breast implant removal surgery?

Breast implant surgery removal is performed when a patient wants their implants taken out. This procedure is the inverse of breast augmentation, as Dr. Wallach usually makes an incision using the previous breast implant surgical approach to access the pocket created for the implants and removes them before sealing the incision site with sutures. This may be through an incision along the breast fold, the periareola region or through a transaxillary incision in the armpit.  During this procedure, Dr. Wallach will also remove implant filler material from ruptured silicone implants if necessary.

Who is a good candidate for breast implant removal?

A good candidate is someone who is healthy and desires that their implants be removed. Good candidates are generally healthy, and usually go on to heal without complications. A candidate with medical issues, may require medical clearance from their primary care physician prior to having the procedure performed. As with all procedures, candidates for implant removal should be non-smokers or stop smoking prior to the procedure, and will need to stop taking blood-thinning medications prior to undergoing surgery.

Reasons for breast implant removal

Sometimes this procedure is medically necessary, such as when an implant ruptures, or when a capsular contracture occurs. A capsular contracture is the hardening of scar tissue that forms around an implant after it is placed in the body.  Normally this tissue is soft and unnoticeable, but it can become hard and painful, while also distorting the appearance of the breasts. Patients may be able to have the implants replaced with new ones at the same time as removal of the old ones if desired.

Non-medical reasons to have breast implants removed include when people’s preferences and desired appearance change, and then the  implants are removed for cosmetic reasons.

What should I expect during a consultation?

Your consultation will look different depending on your desire for surgery. If you’re experiencing complications such as the stiffening of breast tissue due to capsular contracture, Dr. Wallach may perform an examination to confirm the diagnosis and then a date will be scheduled to perform  the explantation surgery.

If the issue is cosmetic, you may discuss other options for breast implant replacement, such as switching to a different type or size of implant, or explore other breast enhancement options like a breast lift.

During a consultation with Dr. Wallach, he’ll walk through the options and techniques available for your procedure, as well as which will provide the best results with the least amount of scarring.

Terms to know about breast implant removal

In preparation for your implant removal consultation, it’s helpful to be familiar with terms that may be used in reference to your breast implants. Important terms include:

Ptosis – Although commonly referring to drooping of the eyelid, ptosis is the sagging of skin or tissue, in this case, of the breasts. Ptosis may be a factor considered for those wishing to remove their breast implants if, as they have gotten older, their implants begin contributing to a drooping appearance of the breasts.

Deflation – For those with saline implants, a leading sign of rupture is rapid decrease in size of the breast due to the sterile saline solution leaking out and being absorbed by the body.

Capsulectomy – This is the medical term used for some aspects of breast implant removal surgery. During a capsulectomy, Dr. Wallach removes the breast implant and the scar tissue that has formed around it, called the breast capsule.

Explantation – The opposite of implantation, explantation or explant surgery is the removal of previously implanted or inserted material.

What are the steps of a breast implant removal procedure?

For your comfort and safety, this surgery procedure may be performed under intravenous (IV) sedation or general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, Dr. Wallach will make a predetermined incision through which he has access to the breast pocket and implant. He will then remove the implant and may remove the scar capsule surrounding it, and in the case of leakage or rupture, take extra care to remove any sterile silicone gel that may have seeped out from the implant.

After the implants have been removed, if you have elected to get them replaced, Dr. Wallach will insert the new implants according to the agreed-upon surgical plan, then close the incisions and bandage the incision sites.

What should I expect during recovery?

Immediately after the procedure, you will have swelling and bruising around your breasts and may be in mild pain, which can vary depending on if you had the implants removed or replaced. You will need a caregiver to drive you from our surgery center and stay with you for about a day. Most patients can go back to light activity within three to five days. Dr. Wallach instructs patients to avoid aerobic activity for three to four weeks and avoid exertion of heavy lifting for about six to eight weeks.

Risks of removing breast implants

The main risks of breast implant removal surgery are unfavorable scarring, asymmetry, infection, bleeding, nipple loss, skin loss, fat necrosis, fluid collections, dysesthesias, and need for revision surgery.

How much does breast implant removal cost?

Removing implants alone can cost between $3500-$7000. The cost of the procedure will increase if breast implant replacement is desired. or a lift or more complex procedure is required.

Breast implant removal in New York City, NY

If you’re experiencing complications, whether medical or aesthetic, from your breast implants, there’s no time to waste in finding a board-certified plastic surgeon to remove and/or replace your implants so you can get back to your normal lifestyle. Choosing a plastic surgeon in NYC can be hard, which is why Dr. Wallach encourages patients to visit our before-and-after photo gallery to see for themselves what naturally beautiful results he can achieve with breast surgery procedures.

To learn more about your options for implant removal and breast enhancement, call us or contact us online today.

As breast augmentation continues to become an increasingly popular cosmetic surgery in the United States, it’s no surprise that implant removal has also experienced increased demand. This procedure helps women who want or need their breast implants removed for either cosmetic or medical reasons, and may be combined with other breast procedures.

What is breast implant removal surgery?

Breast implant surgery removal is performed when a patient wants their implants taken out. This procedure is the inverse of breast augmentation, as Dr. Wallach makes an incision in the breast fold to access the pocket created for the implants and removes them before sealing the incision site with sutures. During this procedure, Dr. Wallach will also remove implant filler material from ruptured silicone implants if necessary.

Who is a good candidate for breast implant removal?

A good candidate is someone who is healthy and desires that their implants be removed. Good candidates are generally healthy and are able to tolerate the healing process. As patients of implant removal have already undergone breast augmentation, they are likely already pre-cleared for surgical procedures.

As with all procedures, candidates for implant removal should be non-smokers and may need to stop taking blood-thinning medications prior to undergoing surgery.

Reasons for breast implant removal

Sometimes this procedure is medically necessary, such as when an implant ruptures, or when capsular contracture occurs. Capsular contracture is the hardening of scar tissue that forms around breast implants when they are initially inserted during breast augmentation surgery. Normally this tissue is soft and unnoticeable, but it can become hard and painful, while also distorting the appearance of the breasts. Patients may be able to have the implants replaced at the same time as removal if desired.

Non-medical reasons to have breast implants removed include when people’s preferences and desired appearance change, and the implants are removed for cosmetic reasons.

What should I expect during a consultation?

Your consultation will look different depending on your desire for surgery. If you’re experiencing complications such as the stiffening of breast tissue due to capsular contracture, Dr. Wallach may give you an examination to confirm the diagnosis and a date will be scheduled to perform an explantation surgery.

If the issue is cosmetic, you may discuss other options for breast implant replacement, such as switching to a different type or size of implant, or explore other breast enhancement options like a breast lift.

During a consultation with Dr. Wallach, he’ll walk through the options and techniques available for your procedure, as well as which provide the best results and minimal scarring.

Terms to know about breast implant removal

In preparation for your implant removal consultation, it’s helpful to be familiar with terms that may be used in reference to your breast implants. Important terms include:

  • Ptosis – Although commonly referring to drooping of the eyelid, ptosis is the sagging of skin or tissue, in this case, of the breasts. Ptosis may be a factor considered for those wishing to remove their breast implants if, as they have gotten older, their implants begin contributing to a drooping appearance of the breasts.
  • Deflation – For those with saline implants, a leading sign of rupture is rapid decrease in size of the breast due to the sterile saline solution leaking out and being absorbed by the body.
  • Capsulectomy – This is the medical term for breast implant removal surgery. During a capsulectomy, Dr. Wallach removes the breast implant and the scar tissue that has formed around it, called the breast capsule.
  • Explantation – The opposite of implantation, explantation or explant surgery is the removal of previously implanted or inserted material.

What are the steps of a breast implant removal procedure?

For your comfort and safety, this surgery procedure may be performed under intravenous (IV) sedation or general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, Dr. Wallach will make a predetermined incision through which he has access to the breast pocket and implant. He will then remove the implant and scar capsule surrounding it, and in the case of leakage or rupture, take extra care to remove any sterile silicone gel that may have seeped out.

After the implants have been removed, if you have elected to get them replaced, Dr. Wallach will insert the new implants according to the agreed-upon surgical plan, then close the incisions and bandage the incision sites.

What should I expect during recovery?

Immediately after the procedure, you will have swelling and bruising around your breasts and may be in mild pain, which can vary depending on if you had the implants removed or replaced. You will need a caregiver to drive you from our surgery center and stay with you for about a day. Most patients can go back to light activity within three to five days. Dr. Wallach instructs patients to avoid aerobic activity for three to four weeks and avoid exertion of heavy lifting for about six to eight weeks.

Risks of removing breast implants

The main risks of breast implant removal surgery are unfavorable scarring, asymmetry, infection, bleeding, nipple loss, skin loss, fat necrosis, fluid collections, dysesthesias, and need for revision surgery.

How much does breast implant removal cost?

Removing implants alone can cost between $3500-$7000. The cost of the procedure will increase if breast implant replacement is desired.

Breast implant removal in New York City, NY

If you’re experiencing complications, whether medical or aesthetic, from your breast implants, there’s no time to waste in finding a board-certified plastic surgeon to remove and/or replace your implants so you can get back to your normal lifestyle. Choosing a plastic surgeon in NYC can be hard, which is why Dr. Wallach encourages patients to visit our before-and-after photo gallery to see for themselves what naturally beautiful results he can achieve with breast surgery procedures.

To learn more about your options for implant removal and breast enhancement, call us or contact us online today.

Breast Implant Removal Frequently Asked Questions

Can breast implants cause autoimmune disease?

There have been many studies looking at this, and as of today there are no studies to support that implants can cause autoimmune issues.

Can breast implants last a lifetime?

Breast implants can last a lifetime but most need to be changed at least once in a lifetime.

Can breast implants cause cellulitis?

Celulitis may develop with implants.

Can saline implants cause autoimmune problems?

There have been many studies looking at this, and as of today there are no studies to support that implants can cause autoimmune issues.

Can breast implants cause pain years later?

Yes, pain can develop years later. This is most likely due to a capsular contracture.

Can you die from breast implants?

Breast implants are inert. There are some studies of textured implants being associated with ALCL.

Can breast implants get infected years later?

Yes, implants can get infected years later.

Can you get your breast implants removed?

Yes, you can have your implants removed.

Do breast implants cause health problems?

In general, breast implants are very safe. There have been some issues recently documented with textured implants that are associated with a rare form of ALCL.

How do you know if my implants are leaking?

If the implants are saline and they leak, the breast will deflate. If a silicone implant is leaking it may look different than normal and an MRI may be required to determine if it ruptures.

Do breast implants sag over time?

Breast implants may sag over time.

How is BIA ALCL diagnosed?

It is often associated with unusual swelling of the breast. Often on one side years after implants were placed. The fluid and capsule tissue are tested in a lab.

How common is capsular contracture in breast implants?

The rate of capsular contracture is very small, about 3-4%. It does increase gradually over the years.

How long does it take to recover from breast implant illness?

Many surgeons do not believe that breast implant illness exists.

How do I prepare for breast implant removal?

I tell my patients to eat healthy and exercise regularly and avoid taking medications or supplements that might cause bleeding.

How much does it cost to have breast implants removed?

The fee will vary depending upon the extent of the work to be performed. The fee may start out at $5000.

How often does breast implant illness occur?

Many surgeons do not believe that breast implant illness exists.

What are the early signs of capsular contracture?

Early signs of capsular contracture include pain, hardness, tightness, change in shape of the breast.

How often should breast implants be checked?

Breast implants should be checked regularly. I like to have patients be seen once a year.

What are the symptoms of breast implant illness?

Many surgeons do not believe that breast implant illness exists.

What are the symptoms of silicone toxicity?

There is no such thing as silicone toxicity when it comes to implants. Silicone is inert.

Is breast implant illness covered by insurance?

Many surgeons do not believe that breast implant illness exists.

Is removal of breast implants dangerous?

Removing implants is not dangerous.

What breast implants are linked to lymphoma?

So far, it seems that textured implants are the only ones associated with lymphoma.

What breast implants have been recalled?

Certain textured implants have been recalled.

What is implant bottoming?

Bottoming out of implants is when the lower pole stretches out or the implant falls below the breast fold.

What does capsular contracture look like?

A capsular contracture can make the shape of the implant look very squeezed and unusual looking

What percentage of breast implants rupture?

Implant rupture rates are about 5%

What happens if a breast implant pops?

If an implant ruptures, the breast may change shape or actually deflate.

When should you have breast implants replaced?

Implants should only be replaced if you have a problem with them.

What happens if breast implants are not replaced?

If the implants look fine, then they do not need to be replaced.

Why I removed my breast implants?

You should only remove your implants if you do not want them anymore, or there has been a problem with them.

Will capsular contracture go away?

A capsular contracture will not go away on its own.

Steven Wallach MD

Steven Wallach MD

Dr. Wallach is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City who specializes in performing cosmetic procedures of the face, breast and body. As one of the cutting edge experts in the field, Dr. Wallach consults on a regular basis with people in the beauty, media, and publishing worlds.

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