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Implant Removal “Explantation” in High Point, NC

Woman covering her self in a white bra. Many women undergo breast augmentation surgery to enhance the appearance of their breasts. However, just as there are reasons to get breast implants, there are several reasons why women would want to have them removed. Over time, women may start to experience certain changes in their body that could cause them to feel uncomfortable, physically ill, or uncertain about their implants. At Piedmont Plastic Surgery, if you are considering removing your implants, then you can rest assured that you do not have to worry about sacrificing health for your appearance.

Am I a Candidate for Breast Explantation?

Breast implants are not expected to last forever. Whether you have implants or not, your breasts will change over time due to age, hormones, and/or weight fluctuations. Implant removal (explantation) can help women who feel unhappy about their previous surgical decision regain a more natural appearance. Some women may want their implants removed because the implants are making them physically sick and possibly affecting their overall health, or some women feel that their implants no longer match who they are. Common reasons why women may want to remove their breast implants are:

  • Breast implant illness
  • Capsular contracture
  • Implant rupture
  • Implant positioning
  • Breast deformities

How Is Breast Implant Removal Performed?

Implant removal (explantation) is a surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia that should only be done by a trained breast specialist. The procedure can take one to three hours to complete depending on the size, shape, and placement of the implants. Once the area surrounding the original breast augmentation scar is numb, your surgeon will reopen the previous incision and pull the implant out possibly along with the capsule of scar tissue surrounding it. This will allow the breast tissue to heal properly. If the scar quality is poor or stretched, then a new scar will be created in its place for a more aesthetically pleasing result. A breast lift can be done if deemed necessary to improve the cosmetic result.

A breast lift is typically done at a later setting, if needed.

What Is Recovery After Breast Implant Removal?

Following your implant removal procedure, you will be asked to rest at home for one week. Patients may be given a compression garment to help minimize swelling and discomfort. Make sure to avoid all strenuous activity that may interfere with the healing process for several weeks.

When Will I See My Results After Breast Implant Removal?

Your final results will become more apparent within one to three months after surgery. As the swelling continues to subside, your results will continue to improve as the breasts take on a more natural appearance. Breast implant removal is an incredibly satisfying procedure that can provide patients with both physical and emotional relief.

Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Implant Removal

Do you have to change your implants every 10 years?

Breast implants will not last forever. While many implant manufacturers use 10 years as the estimate for the longevity of implants, this is not always the case. Some women need to remove them earlier if they experience pain, discomfort, or have a leaking (ruptured) implant. Alternatively, other women have experienced no problems with their implants for over 20+ years.

Unfortunately, there is no hard rule for how long your implants will last.

Is implant removal surgery performed under anesthesia?

Yes, general anesthesia is used during implant removal surgery for the patient’s comfort and safety.

Is implant removal an overnight (inpatient) procedure?

In most instances, patients are released shortly after their surgery to rest and recuperate at home (outpatient). However, if a patient has a complex case, they may be asked to remain overnight for observation. Your doctor will indicate if you will need to stay overnight during your consultation.

How much time off work do I need for breast implant removal?

You can choose to return to work as early as one-week post-surgery, but some patients choose to wait two weeks (depending on the nature of their job).

What are the risks associated with implant removal surgery?

Implant removal is a very safe procedure that is performed daily across the country. However, all surgeries carry some element of risk.

Some of the risks associated with implant removal are:

  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Hematoma
  • Scarring
  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Anesthesia complications
  • Sagging
  • Loose skin

Your surgeon will discuss the risks with you during your consultation and address any concerns you may have.

When can I exercise after my breast implant removal procedure?

You will need to postpone all strenuous activity for six weeks post-operation. However, you can start gentle exercises and regular walking shortly after your surgery. Your plastic surgeon will tell you what level of activity is acceptable at your check-ins.

When can I shower after my breast implant removal?

You can shower soon after your surgery, but you will need to protect your incisions and keep them dry. Dr. Willard will explain when and how you can safely shower so you go home fully prepared.

Can I have breast implants again after a breast implant removal?

If you change your mind and want breast implants again, it is possible to get them again with an additional breast augmentation.

If your removal surgery was free of complications, it shouldn’t be a problem to undergo breast implant surgery again.

What are the chances I need a breast lift after my breast implant removal?

Each patient is different, so it’s impossible to say what your chances will be. Ultimately, this will depend on your skin elasticity, age, and texture of the skin. If your implants were larger and you had them for a more extended period, there’s a higher likelihood of sagging post-removal.

A breast lift is a personal choice. Some sagging on one woman may not be concerning, while it could feel detrimental for another woman.

You can talk to your plastic surgeon about your concerns during your consultation. For safety’s sake, a breast lift is typically done at a later setting. This also gives the patient time to evaluate whether she feels her final cosmetic results would be better with a breast lift. Your surgeon can assist with this evaluation.

Will breast implant removal impact my ability to breastfeed in the future?

Most patients who undergo breast implant removal report no issues with breastfeeding later on. If your breast surgery involves a breast lift, there may be complications if the milk ducts are severed or damaged.

While there is no guarantee that you can breastfeed after breast surgery, many women are able to do so. If breastfeeding is a hope of yours, please be sure to mention that to your surgeon during your consultation.

How do I sleep after breast implant surgery?

You will have to sleep on your back while recovering from breast implant removal (usually for three to four weeks). This will ensure you don’t put added pressure on the treatment site, which can impact your recovery.