Is It Time for Breast Implant Removal?
September 22, 2023 | 5 minute read
If you have undergone breast augmentation surgery, you may reach a point where you decide to have your breast implants removed. Breast augmentation is an incredibly personal decision, and there are just as many reasons why people choose to remove your implants as there are to undergo implant surgery.
At Town and Country Plastic Surgeons and MedSpa, we understand that feelings about your breast implants may change over time. You may decide that breast implants no longer fit your aesthetic goals, or perhaps a complication has forced you to consider replacing or removing your implants permanently.
Below, we discuss some of the reasons why people consider breast implant removal.
Your Aesthetic Preferences Have Changed
It’s common for women to change their aesthetic preferences as they age.
For some women, this may be a desire to return to a smaller, more natural appearance. Maybe they’ve become more active, and larger breasts get in the way. Perhaps weight gain or pregnancy may have altered how the implants sit in the chest or how the breast tissue sits on the implants. Or maybe the original implants were too small to achieve the true augmentation you were searching for.
Whatever the reason, breast implant removal with or without replacement can help women fine-tune their augmentation results and enhance their silhouette.
Your Breast Implant Has Ruptured
Breast implants are designed to be durable and withstand several years of everyday wear and tear. However, if you’re in the small percentage of patients whose breast implant ruptures, you’ll need to get the device removed or replaced.
Signs of a rupture in saline implants are fairly obvious, as the affected breast will deflate. Silicone implant leaks are more difficult to detect, but you may notice changes in breast shape or size.
If you experience a breast implant rupture, don’t panic. Saline and silicone breast implants are considered safe even if they leak, but it’s best to see your surgeon for management of the ruptured implants..
You Develop Capsular Contracture
When you undergo breast augmentation, your body will form scar tissue around the implant called a capsule. This is a normal phenomenon for any foreign body placed, such as a joint replacement or dental implant.
In most cases, patients don’t have any issues with this scar tissue, and their implants look as beautiful and soft as expected. However, in rare cases, the scar tissue capsule may tighten or thicken around the implant, causing your breast to feel hard and painful or appear misshapen.
While capsular contracture is one of the most common complications after breast augmentation, it is still quite uncommon. Many cases of capsular contracture are mild and even asymptomatic, however, more severe cases can be quite distressing to patients. Treatment is known as a capsulectomy, where the thickened scar tissue is removed. You may choose to replace the implant in conjunction or not.
Once a patient develops capsular contracture, your risk of developing capsular contracture again is higher. For patients who are not ready to quit implants, a change of the implant plane may be suggested versus adding in a mesh to prevent recurrence. With recurrent capsular contracture, it may be wise to quit implants.
You Have Health Complications That Require Implant Removal
In extremely rare cases, a constellation of vague symptoms may develop after implantation which some attribute to their implants. Self-reported breast implant illness (BII) awareness has risen in the last 10 years and led some patients to consider removing their implants. There are no tests to diagnose BII so it is imperative that you work with a trusted group of physicians to rule out other causes of these symptoms.
So You Want to Remove Your Breast Implants, What’s Next?
If you have made the decision to quit implants, you may wonder what can be done to optimize the appearance of the breasts afterwards, without implants. There are multiple options available to ensure the best possible result is achieved. Options include:
- Removal of implants: For those patients with smaller implants and good skin elasticity, removing the implants alone may restore a natural breast size and shape.
- Removal of implants with a lift: For patients with larger implants or drooping breasts and skin laxity, a breast lift may be recommended to produce the most aesthetic appearing result. With this procedure, the tissue is coned to allow a more rounded and natural shape breast. There will be additional scars associated with this procedure, however, a more shapelier result can be achieved.
- Removal of implants with fat grafting: For appropriately selected patients, fat can be transferred to the breast after the implants are removed to maintain volume in the breasts. Fat will never provide an “implanted” look; however, it can be added to improve the proportions of the breast. Fat can be used in isolation after implant removal or can be performed in conjunction with a breast lift.
Learn More About Breast Implant Removal in Houston & Lake Jackson
If you’ve decided it’s time to remove your breast implants, let the experts at Town and Country Plastic Surgeons and MedSpa help. Our board-certified surgeons, Dr. Yarish and Dr. Bartlett, possess the skills and experience to make breast implant removal smooth, providing comprehensive patient care in our state-of-the-art facilities.