What To Expect When Getting Breast Implants Removed

Also known as breast explant surgery (via North Raleigh Plastic Surgery), patients may opt to have their saline or silicone breast implants removed for a number of reasons (per Cleveland Clinic). Some individuals may do so because they do not want to have implants anymore. Others may undergo the procedure due to the development of a breast implant capsular contracture, or the painful hardening of scar tissue. Alternatively, some people may choose to get their implants removed due to physical changes in their breasts' appearance from natural aging, breastfeeding, or pregnancy.

Because breast implants are not designed to last forever, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons advises that patients undergo removal or replacement of their breast implants about every 10 to 15 years. Prior to the procedure, your doctor will review any medications you may be taking and make any needed changes, reports the Cleveland Clinic. Individuals may also be instructed to refrain from smoking or using any other tobacco products in preparation for the surgery. What can a patient expect during and after breast implant removal surgery?

What to expect following breast explant surgery

As per the Cleveland Clinic, patients will first undergo either anesthesia or sedation. Next, an incision will be made either in close proximity to the nipple or along the fold on the underside of the breast. After the surgeon has removed the implants and any hardened scar tissue, new implants will be put in place for those receiving breast implant replacements. Finally, the wound is closed using either sutures, surgical tapes, or skin adhesives.

Immediately following the surgery, patients will need to rest and are often given pain medication as they begin to recover, according to North Raleigh Plastic Surgery. Patients should also try to move on occasion whenever possible by repositioning themselves in bed or by walking to the bathroom. The recovery period following breast implant removal is generally three to four days. Even so, patients should refrain from certain specific activities for a period of 14 days such as bathing, swimming, or hot tub use. Additionally, rigorous exercise, lifting items exceeding 10 pounds, and stomach or side-sleeping should be avoided for roughly six weeks. Be sure to follow all physician instructions regarding wound cleaning, showering, and changing of bandages.

Because drooping or sagging is possible following breast implant removal, the Cleveland Clinic says patients sometimes also opt for a breast lift procedure to help reshape the breasts as desired.