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Breast Implant Removal

Give yourself a fresh start with explantation surgery

What is breast implant removal surgery?

Removal of breast implants is usually a simple surgery. Some things, however, will make the surgery more complex, for example, if you have ruptured silicone implants. Another thing to consider is that after the implants are removed, you may have very little of your own breast tissue left and what is left may be more saggy than you would like. That’s why it’s important to discuss with your surgeon beforehand what to plan so that you get the result that you want. 

What are the benefits of breast implant removal surgery?

The goals of Breast Implant Removal Surgery are to:

  • Make the breasts less heavy. This may decrease strain on your neck or upper back. 
  • Removing the implants will help you avoid any concern about implant problems in the future.
  • Leave you with a breast that looks pleasing to you. In some cases, this may involve combining Breast Implant Removal Surgery with a breast lift or fat grafting.

How much does breast implant removal surgery cost?

The cost of removing your implants can sometimes depend on whether or not you have saline or silicone implants and whether the implants are ruptured or not. You also need to factor in the cost of whether or not you also need something like a breast lift to give you the look that you want. Because every person is different, coming to our office for a consultation with our surgeons will give you the most accurate assessment. At that time, our Cosmetic Coordinator will also give you a quote with the fees involved.  

Because many people also need financing, our Cosmetic Coordinator is very experienced and skilled at getting you the financing you need.

How is breast implant removal surgery performed?

Removing your breast implants itself is usually a simple process that may take an hour or less. If you have a periareolar or inframammary fold (in the lower crease of your breast) incision, the surgeon can usually use your existing incision to go into the breast pocket and remove the implant. If you have an armpit or belly button incision, you will need a new incision made. 

If you have silicone implants and the surgeon finds that your implant has leaked, they will remove as much silicone material as they can and wash the area out thoroughly. Adding this part to the procedure will make your surgery take a little longer. 

After the implants are removed, you may also get a breast lift done so that the remaining breast tissue is not as saggy. You can also get fat from another part of your body put into your breast to increase the breast size after the implants are removed. If you are happy with how your breasts will look after the implants are simply removed, then you don’t need any additional procedures.

How is the recovery process?

Recovery after implant removal is usually quite easy, with minimal discomfort. If your silicone implant has ruptured, you can expect to have more soreness on that side. If you had other procedures along with the implant removal, then you should add that to your expectations of recovery. 

You will be up and about within a day or so. Start walking as soon as possible after surgery. Your doctor may give you precautions based on what was done. 

What are the common risks & complications?

As with any surgery, complications after breast implant removal surgery is possible. 

Asymmetry

After the implants are removed, you may notice that the left and right breasts look different. Most often, this is because the two breasts were different to begin with and the implants may have masked the differences. 

Thinking your breasts are too small or too saggy after surgery

This is not a true complication since, for some women, it is an expected and natural outcome after implant removal. However, it can still be distressful. To avoid dissatisfaction, be sure to speak with your surgeon before surgery so they can prepare you for what to expect. Be honest with your surgeon. If you think that your breasts will be too small or too saggy after surgery, plan to do fat grafting or a breast lift at the same time as your implant removal. This will help you avoid disappointment.

Seroma

After the implants are removed, your tissues might make fluid to fill in the space that was left behind. This is called a seroma. If it’s small, binding your breasts may help your body to reabsorb that fluid on its own. If it’s bigger, your surgeon may need to drain the fluid from the outside.

Frequently asked questions

Q: I’m hearing a lot on social media about “en bloc” capsulectomy or an “en bloc” implant removal. What does this mean?
A: Let’s start with a definition. A “capsule” is the layer of scar tissue that forms around the breast implant. The presence of a capsule is not necessarily a bad thing. The capsule is made out of your own body’s tissues and is just a natural separation between your own body’s tissues and the implant.

In the past, surgeons would normally not remove the capsule along with the implant removal because it wasn’t considered to be necessary. Also, removing the capsule causes more bleeding, thins out the breast tissue and may cause more complications after surgery. So surgeons didn’t generally remove the capsule unless they needed to (for example, in cases of capsular contracture or silicone implant rupture).

Recently, there has been a lot of focus on Breast Implant Illness (BII), in which the breast implants and their capsules are thought to be making people sick. If someone thinks that they have BII, they may have read online that they need to have the implant and the capsule removed as one unit, which is where the term “en bloc” comes from.

Currently, there is a lot of research going on about BII. Until we know more about it, it’s hard to give a clear answer. In the meantime, if you would like an “en bloc” removal of your implant and its capsule, talk to your surgeon about it during your consult. They will tell you about the pro’s and con’s of doing it and will give you their recommendations. Then, between you and your surgeon, you can decide what is the best route to take.  

Q: How much time is needed for implant removal?
A: Removing the implant itself is usually quite quick, often an hour or less. If a silicone implant has ruptured, or if you are getting additional procedures, you can add that to the time.

Q: Is the surgery inpatient or outpatient?
A: Outpatient.

Q: What are the most common complications?
A: It is rare to have a complication after this procedure, but if there is one, it is most commonly asymmetry, seroma (fluid build up where the implant used to be) or thinking that you are too small or too saggy after removing the implants.

Q: What is the recovery time?
A:  Most women can get back to their normal life in just a few days. Your surgeon may, however, limit you from lifting, pushing or pulling anything heavy.

Q: How do I know if I need a breast lift after removing my implants?
A: If you think that your breasts sag now, keep in mind that removing the implants will make them sag even more. Sometimes a lot more. Ask yourself if that is something you think you can live with. If it’s not, ask your surgeon what kind of breast lift they would recommend.

Q: How do I know how small my breasts will be after removing my implants?
A: Your surgeon will feel the bulk of the breast tissue that is around the implants. This is the natural breast tissue that will be left after implant removal. In some women, a lot of tissue will be left and they will have a large-enough breast after removal. In many women, minimal tissue will be left and they may be left with an A or B cup size. If this is too small for you, you can consider something like fat grafting to the breasts, which builds up breast tissue without having an implant. Keep in mind, though, that your breasts will probably not be as big as they were with the implants in place.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Our surgeons would love to meet and go over everything you need to know about breast implant removal surgery with you. Just give us a call at 951-699-9201 or use the link below. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Our doctors.

From medical school to plastic surgery residency, they have trained rigorously to be the best in the field. Their surgical experience and artistic expressions have provided extensive leadership in plastic surgery in Temecula, Murrieta, Redlands, Loma Linda, and beyond. 

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Yoonah Kim, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Andy Wongworawat, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Zachary Filip, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Grace Yu, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Duncan Miles, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Patient ratings and reviews.

5.0 ★★★★★

Reviews from verified AIPS patients

★★★★★

Kathy Smith

Old implants that were in terrible shape. Dr. Kim did the implant removal and saved tissue to create great breast for me.

She is a perfectionist recover went really well. I loved her care and compassion. The staff at the clinic is warm and friendly always making you feel welcome.

★★★★★

Debbie

I was very apprehensive about having surgery to replace my breast implants in my sixties.

When I met Dr. Wongworawat I was pleasantly surprised. He took the time to listen to all my concerns and thoroughly explained all of my options.

He may have a baby face, but I felt very comfortable with his knowledge, experience, and professionalism. He and his staff are truly caring and I highly recommend them.

Thank you Dr. W.

★★★★★

Shanna C

I had an amazing experience all the way through! I can't say enough about Dr. Filip!

He exceeded my expectations! He is kind, caring, and above all brilliant at what he does. Thank you Dr. Filip and all the staff for being great at what you do!

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There’s a time and place for everything. If now is the time to remove your implants, we get it. We have vast experience doing this type of surgery so let us help you make that change.

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