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Implant Removal

Implant removal, also known as “explantation,” is the surgical excavation of implants from the breast pocket to improve adverse effects from breast augmentation.

Reasons to Consider Implant Removal

Complications (Often Recurring)

  • Capsular contracture/scar tissue tightening
  • Implant rupture
  • Implant malposition
  • Calcification

Health Issues

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Grooving in the shoulders
  • Pain and difficulty with mammograms

Desire For A Different Size Or Shape

  • Inappropriate or disproportionate breast size
  • Breast sagging
  • Weight gain
  • Desire to feel natural again

The Procedure

breast implant removal model photo

Removing The Implant

For implant removal surgery, Dr. Linder makes 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.

Implant Capsule

If there are no complications involving the tissue capsule that formed around the implant, the implant can be removed, and the capsule can be left alone. If the capsule needs to be softened, surgical cutting can loosen the tension in a procedure known as open capsulectomy. In cases of implant rupture or calcification, the capsule tissue may need to be removed completely (capsulectomy).

Drainage Tube

Dr. Linder places a drainage tube (7mm Jackson-Pratt drain) through the inframammary incision to collect any excess fluid that accumulates beneath the skin. He then closes the incision around the drain and places dressings on the breasts.

Combining Breast Lift Surgery With Implant Removal

During your consultation as well as after the implant has been removed in surgery, Dr. Linder will examine your breasts and skin laxity to determine whether a breast lift combined with the implant removal procedure would be beneficial. If there is significant skin laxity with the nipple more than three centimeters below the breast fold, he recommends a breast lift also be performed. 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).


Dr. Linder always performs breast implant removal surgery with the patient under general anesthesia supervised by a board-certified anesthesiologist. The board-certified anesthesiologist supervises the patient throughout the procedure, and the patient is also monitored in the recovery room according to hospital standards for a minimum of one hour.

Recovery Time

The first day after the procedure, the dressings will be removed, and a Dr. Linder Compressive Bra will be placed on the patient. The drain is normally removed 7 to 10 days after surgery. Antibiotics and pain medications will be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection and keep the patient as comfortable as possible. The Dr. Linder Compressive Bra should be worn for the next six months in order to support the new breasts as they heal and help them take on their new shape.

If you are interested in breast implant removal with or without breast lift surgery, please call (310) 275-4513 or fill out our online contact form for more information.