Breast Implant Removal
Breast implant removal is a surgery to remove breast implants.
Reasons for Procedure
Breast implants may be removed because of complications, such as:
Women may also need to have implants removed for breast cancer treatment.
The implants may also be removed for cosmetic reasons.
After the implants are removed, the skin will look loose. Another surgery is usually needed to lift the breasts and adjust the tissue and skin. Another option is to have the old implants replaced with new ones.
Your doctor will review other potential problems, like:
Smoking may increase your risk of complications.
Talk to your doctor about these risks before the procedure.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Before the procedure, your doctor will:
You may also have blood tests and imaging tests
You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
Leading up to your procedure:
This surgery may be done with:
Description of the Procedure
A small incision will be made along the crease beneath the breast. The implant will be removed through the incisions. Extra care will be taken if the implant has ruptured. Thick, hard scar tissue may have developed around the implant area. It will need to be removed during surgery. This will require a larger incision.
Another option includes making an incision in the area around the nipple. The implant will be deflated then removed.
Dissolvable sutures will be used to close up the incisions.
How Long Will It Take?
It takes about one hour, but it may take longer if there are complications.
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. As you recover, you will have some pain, especially if you have had scar tissue removed. Your doctor will give you pain medicine.
Average Hospital Stay
This procedure may be done in the hospital or surgery center. It may be possible to leave the same day as the procedure. However, you may be asked to stay overnight.
At the Hospital
The hospital staff will monitor you. Your breasts may be wrapped in a compression bandage. Dressings will be placed on the incision sites.
When you return home, take these steps:
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
If you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
Women's Health Matters
Breast implants: potential local complications and reoperations. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov... . Updated September 1, 2010. Accessed July 18, 2012.
Breast implant removal. Breast Implants Guide.org website. Available at: http://www.breasti... . Accessed July 18, 2012.
Breast implant removal. Implant Info Net website. Available at: http://www.breastimplantinfo.net/explant.html . Accessed July 18, 2012.
Breast implant removal and re-implantation. Group Health website. Available at: http://www.ghc.org... . Accessed July 18, 2012.
Breast implant replacement or removal. The Hospital Group website. Available at: http://www.thehosp... . Accessed July 18, 2012.
Breast implant surgery. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov... . Updated June 22, 2011. Accessed July 18, 2012.
What you need to know about breast implants. National Research Center for Women & Families website. Available at: http://www.center4... . Accessed July 18, 2012.
Last reviewed September 2013 by
Michael Woods, MD
Michael Woods, MD