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Surgeon Match

Breast Implant Removal

Breast Implant Removal

Women may choose to have their breast implants removed for a variety of reasons. Implants are not guaranteed to last for a lifetime and most patients will eventually require additional surgeries, either to have them replaced or removed. Continue reading to explore the reasons women choose to remove implants, and what to expect after surgery.

Reasons For Breast Implant Removal

  • Complications from surgery; such as severe pain or infection.
  • Problems with the original implants: They may deflate, leak, break, develop wrinkles, shift location or lose shape. According to some experts, about one percent of saline implants rupture yearly.
  • Cancer diagnosis: Women diagnosed with breast cancer must remove their implants in order to have surgery on cancerous tissue. Sometimes implants develop harmless calcium deposits that are misread as malignant on a mammogram, and a biopsy or removal is required to ensure these spots are not cancerous.
  • Unusual circumstances: Thousands of European women recently had silicone breast implants manufactured by a French company called Poly Implant Prothese removed. The company is now closed, due to speculation of toxic gel in their implants. Many women in the U.S. also had their implants removed between 1992 and 2006, when earlier versions of silicone breast implants were banned with concerns of silicone leakage in the body. With proper regulations, these situations are unlikely to reoccur.
  • Changing Their Minds: Some women decide to replace their implants with larger ones, while others desire to return to their natural state.

What To Expect After Surgery

Based on the patient’s individual needs and desires, the surgeon may decide to perform implant removal alone, implant removal in conjunction with mastopexy (breast lift), implant replacement or removal and autologous reconstruction. (The final option uses tissue from the patient’s belly, buttocks, or thigh to rebuild the breast. It is sometimes used for breast reconstruction after mastectomy, and is not a frequented choice when implants are removed).

However, it is important to note that if a woman decides not to have her implants replaced, her breasts will not return to their previous shape. Possible symptoms include: sagging of the breasts (ptosis), wrinkling, loss of cleavage and some degree of asymmetry. Many women prefer to have a breast lift simultaneously to minimize droopiness and create an attractive contour, but this will result in some new scars. Younger, fit women who have never been pregnant do not have stretch marks on their breasts; having more elastic skin gives them the best possible chances of breasts returning close to the original state.

The reasons women to choose to have their implants removed are diverse and highly personal. It is a decision that should be made after consulting with a trusted surgeon, and taking into account all physical, emotional, and psychological needs.