Every surgery comes with risks, and some women may necessitate implant removal if they experience complications following a breast augmentation procedure. Implant removal (also known as “explantation”), is the surgical excavation of implants from the breast pocket to correct adverse effects from a previous breast augmentation.
If you are concerned about breast ptosis (sagging) after your implants have been removed,
you may want to consider pairing your implant removal with breast lift surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Linder will evaluate your condition and anatomical needs to determine the best approach to deliver the results you desire.
Reasons to Consider Implant Removal
Most of the adverse effects that develop after breast augmentation are unpredictable. Some of the complications that can be corrected with implant removal include:
- Capsular contracture
- Implant rupture
- Implant malposition
Sometimes, overly large and heavy breast implants can cause physical discomfort. Women may opt for implant removal if they experience the following concerns after breast augmentation:
- Back and neck pain
- Deep grooves in the shoulders
- Pain during mammograms
Another reason women consider implant removal is a change in personal preference. Some of the aesthetic reasons women choose to undergo implant removal are:
- Disproportionate breast size
- Breast ptosis (sagging)
- Weight gain
- A desire for natural breasts
Implant Removal Process
Implant removal is performed in a series of steps:
- Incision: Dr. Linder creates an inframammary incision along the breast crease. The implant can be removed intact, or it may need to be punctured before removal. An antibiotic solution is used to irrigate the breast pocket after implant removal.
- Scar Tissue Capsule: If there are no complications involving the scar tissue that formed around the implant, the implant can be removed and the capsule can be left alone. If the scar tissue needs to be softened, surgical cutting can loosen the tension utilizing a technique known as open capsulectomy. In cases of implant rupture or calcification, the capsule may need to be removed completely (capsulectomy).
- Drainage Tube: Dr. Linder places a drainage tube (7 mm Jackson-Pratt drain) through the inframammary incision to collect any excess fluid that accumulates beneath the skin. He then closes the incision around the tube and places dressings on the breasts.
Combining With Breast Lift
During your consultation, Dr. Linder will examine the elasticity of your breasts to determine whether it would be beneficial to combine your implant removal with breast lift surgery. If there is significant skin laxity with the nipple more than 3 cm below the breast fold, he will likely recommend a breast lift procedure. Dr. Linder uses an inferior pedicle (Wise-pattern) technique to remove excess tissue and lift the breasts, which involves an anchor incision (around the nipple, vertically down the middle of the breast, and horizontally along the breast crease).
At Brighton Surgery Center, implant removal procedures are performed under general anesthesia with board-certified anesthesiologist Dr. Hoffman. Typically, laryngeal mask airways are used, but endotracheal tube intubation is the most appropriate approach for patients with a history of reflux or gastroesophageal disease.
Surgery Time Table
Preoperative: An intravenous antibiotic is administered.
Surgery: A standard implant removal procedure takes about 60 minutes.
Recovery Room: Federal law dictates that all patients must be observed in the recovery room for at least 1 hour after surgery.
After Surgery: Patients can go home after the observation period. Bias wrap and gauze are placed and should be worn during the initial 24 hours of recovery. Antibiotics and pain medication are prescribed.
Postoperative Visit: Dressings are removed, and a special bra is placed. The Dr. LinderBra™ uses a double clip zip mechanism, which allows easy placement with new gauze. It costs $49.95.
Day 7 Follow Up: Drains are usually removed at this time.
Days 8 to 14: Changing the gauze will then occur twice a day for the next 7 days. Patients will do this at home.
Day 14 Follow Up: Sutures are removed. However, if there is severe scabbing, patients may have to wait 5 more days to have the sutures removed.
Days 14 to 21: Patients can engage in light activities and wet their incisions while showering.
Why Choose Dr. Linder
Stuart A. Linder, M.D., is a board-certified plastic surgeon located in Beverly Hills, CA. He has over 20 years of experience performing body contouring procedures such as breast augmentation, breast revision, Mommy Makeover surgery, and tummy tuck surgery. Dr. Linder prides himself on educating his patients throughout the process, beginning with the consultation and extending all the way to the last follow-up appointment. Patients from all over the world come to Beverly Hills to see Dr. Linder and have him perform their body contouring procedures. With his knowledge from having placed over 14,000 breast implants, and authored The Beverly Hills Shape, Dr. Linder continues to contribute to discussions on plastic surgery via various media outlets.
Dr. Linder is amazing. He put my implants in 19 years ago. I decided to take them out and he was my obvious choice. His office staff Adriana and Nelly are so sweet and professional. Adriana took my calls after hours and was really helpful in giving me the answers I needed.
View More Reviews
Dr. Linder is great, he’s confident and professional, and knows his work. The surgery center was also great. If you are looking for someone who has a lot of experience and knowledge in plastic surgery, look no further. - L. S.
View More Reviews
I must tell you, I am free of pain in my breasts. I feel so much better now since my surgery (removal of ruptured implants), last Thursday. You and your staff are such caring & professional people. I feel I had the best care in the entire world. Thank you so very much for taking such good care of me. - A.P.
View More Reviews
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dr. Linder board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery?
Yes. There are absolutely no substitutes.
Can I have my implants removed if I am a smoker?
It is not recommended for smokers to undergo any surgery because tobacco can cause complications, such as bleeding and poor healing. Patients are advised to quit smoking at least two weeks before and after implant removal to ensure the best outcome.
How much does implant removal cost?
The cost of implant removal surgery depends on various factors, including surgeon’s fee, operating room fees, and anesthesia fees. You will be given a price that reflects your unique procedure during your consultation.
What types of medications will I be given after my breast augmentation?
The types of prescribed medications vary. Patients are given one of two antibiotics: Ciprofloxacin or Keflex (not recommended for patients with penicillin allergies). To manage pain, Dr. Linder may prescribe Norco or Vicodin. Zofran may be prescribed for nausea and vomiting.