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Breast Implant Removal

Having your breasts enlarged is a big, life-changing decision, regardless of the reasons for it. Many women who make that decision are very happy with the results, and never want to change the way their breasts look. But some women may feel differently after a time, for many reasons.

If you’ve had your breasts augmented, and later change your mind, you can opt for breast implant removal surgery, also known as breast explantation. The procedure is exactly what the name implies—the removal of the implants you received during breast augmentation surgery. It’s just as big a decision as having augmentation, and requires some thought before proceeding.

What is
Breast Implant Removal?

Why Have
Breast Implant Removal?

Just like having your breasts enlarged in the first place, breast implant removal is a very personal decision. Your reasons may differ from other patients’. Women decide to have their implants removed based on several factors, including but not limited to:

Personal Preference

  • Exchange for a Different Implant Size or Type
    After you’ve had your breast implants for a while, you may become unhappy with their appearance, and decide to go either larger or smaller. If this is the case, you can have breast implant removal, and receive a different implant size that is more in line with the way you want your body to look.

    Breast implant technology has come a long way since they were first developed. Depending on how long ago you had your breasts augmented, you may have an older implant that is not as stable as those made today, which puts you at greater risk for developing complications. Removing those implants and replacing them with a different implant type can help reduce those risks, and put your mind at ease.

Implant Complications

  • Saline Implant has Deflated
    Several things can cause saline implants to deflate: repeated pressure, trauma or injury to the breasts, weakness of the implant shell, or inadvertent damage to the implant before it was inserted.

    If a saline breast implant breaks, it’s not a danger to your health as your body will simply absorb the saline, usually within a few days. However, it will leave your breast (or breasts) smaller, flatter, and without the shape the implants provided. You can have breast implant removal to either replace or permanently remove the damaged implants.

  • Silicone Implant has Ruptured
    The same things that can cause saline implants to deflate can also rupture silicone implants. The good news is, the silicone implants of today don’t carry the risks that previous ones did. Silicone breast implants are now made of a cohesive gel that remains intact, even if the implant is ruptured, so the silicone will not leak into your body.

    However, a rupture can still cause the appearance of your breast to change, and a damaged silicone implant must be removed or replaced through breast implant removal surgery.

  • Implant is Rippling
    While saline implants are more susceptible to rippling, it can happen with any type of implant. Rippling occurs when the outer layer of the implant develops folds or wrinkles that then become visible through the skin. Possible causes are improper filling of the implant, manufacturer defect, and even weight loss. It’s rare, but it does happen, and the only solution is breast implant removal to replace or permanently remove it.

Your Health

  • Infection
    Regardless of the type of surgery performed, infection is always a risk. Your surgeon and our professional medical staff will take every precaution to prevent infection from occurring, but should it happen as a result of breast augmentation surgery, it may be necessary to perform a breast implant removal in order to treat the infection.
  • Capsular Contracture
    One of the most common breast augmentation risks is capsular contracture. It’s normal for scar tissue to form as a result of any surgery. However, it becomes a problem in this instance with the scar tissue becomes too tight around the implant, forming a “capsule” that squeezes the implant.

    In severe cases, your entire breast can become hardened and misshapen. This risk is minimized with subglandular implant placement, but may still occur. If it does, a capsulotomy may be required to address the scar tissue and relieve the capsule, or your surgeon may recommend breast implant removal, depending on the severity of the capsular contracture.

  • Cancer or Mastectomy
    If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, breast implant removal may be necessary in order for your oncologist to properly treat you. In addition, if the cancer progresses to the point where a mastectomy is necessary, it may also be necessary to remove the implant, at least temporarily. Recovering from a mastectomy is actually a common reason for breast augmentation, which, in that case, becomes reconstructive surgery.

Your Anatomy

  • Aging
    There’s no escaping the changes that happen to our bodies as we age. We can counter them, we can fight them, but we can’t prevent them. As women age, their breasts begin to sag and droop over time. Breast implants don’t prevent this. In fact, they can even make it worse.

    Breast ptosis (sagging) occurs as a result of aging, regardless of whether you have implants. However, if you have breast implants—especially large ones—it’s possible they can stretch the skin and supporting tissues. This can cause the skin and tissues to lose their strength, and affect their ability to hold up your breasts, which can make ptosis even worse. If this happens, you may want to have a breast lift, possibly performed simultaneously with breast implant removal to prevent further strain on your breasts.

If you must undergo breast implant removal for health reasons such as infection or cancer, the surgery may be covered by your health insurance. However, if you decide to undergo the procedure solely for cosmetic reasons (to change implant size, or restore your natural look), the surgery will most likely not be covered by insurance, and you'll have to pay out of pocket.

Breast implant removal costs can vary from clinic to clinic. Here at TCC, you have a few options:

  • Implant Exchange: Removing old implants and inserting new implants costs $10,500, plus tax.
  • Implant Removal and Lift: Removing the implants permanently, and performing a breast lift to compensate for the lost volume costs $8,000, plus tax.
  • Implant Removal, Lift and Augmentation: Removing old implants, inserting new implants, and lifting the breasts all in the same procedure starts at $13,000, plus tax.

Cost of
Breast Implant Removal Surgery

Appearance After Breast Implant Removal

Just as you wondered what you would look like after breast augmentation, you’re probably trying to imagine what you will look like if you have breast implant removal. The results will depend on several factors including, but not limited to:

  • how long you’ve had the implants
  • how large your implants are
  • implant placement (submuscular or subglandular)
  • any weight fluctuations you’ve experienced
  • whether you’ve been pregnant or have breastfed since you received your implants
  • your age
  • the condition of your skin

If you’re concerned with post-surgical appearance, bring this up during your consultation so your surgeon can make recommendations that will work just for you and your body so you can achieve the results you’re looking for.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Have you changed your mind about your breast implants? Are you unsure how to proceed? Come in or call us, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions, and inform you of all your options, including breast implant removal.

Call Us (416) 221-5554

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How is Breast Implant Removal Performed?

The first step is to schedule a FREE consultation so our surgeon can listen to your concerns, examine you, and make appropriate recommendations.

If you decide to proceed with breast implant removal, you’ll be happy to hear it’s a relatively simple surgery. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia so you won’t experience any discomfort during surgery. Your surgeon will make an incision along the same incision line that was used for your augmentation surgery, thereby minimizing scarring.

If you have saline implants, they may be drained before removal to make extraction easier and less stressful on your body. If you have silicone gel implants, they will be removed intact. Once the implants are out of your body, your breasts will be examined for any damage that may not have been visible or detectable prior to surgery.

If the reason for your breast implant removal was a ruptured or damaged implant, your doctor will clean out any remnants left behind by the implant, and ensure no foreign matter remains in your breasts. In addition, if you suffered from capsular contracture, the capsule will either be removed or alleviated.

Once all this is done, and provided you’re not having any simultaneous procedures (like a breast lift), your surgeon will close and suture the incision. You’ll be provided with post-surgical care instructions before you go home.

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Breast Implant Removal
Question & Answer

  • What will I feel after my explanation surgery?

    After the anesthesia wears off, you may feel some discomfort. Your doctor will prescribe medication to help alleviate pain. Some swelling, numbness, and bruising is normal. This will fade within a few weeks.

  • What are the breast implant removal risks?

    Complications include, but are not limited to: reaction to the anesthesia, scarring, severe breast sag (if you don’t also have a breast lift), bleeding, and infection. That said, breast implant removal risks are minimal compared to those that may accompany breast augmentation. By following your post-operative instructions and attending your follow-up appointments, you can minimize the chances of complications, and help speed your recovery.

  • How long to the results last?

    Implant removal is permanent.