When you first had breast augmentation surgery, you were likely advised to have your implants replaced in 10 to 15 years. When that time comes, many patients choose to have their old breast implants exchanged for new ones. Another option, one that has become increasingly popular, is to remove breast implants altogether. This is referred to as breast implant removal or explant surgery. If you are considering a future without your breast implants, Dr. Bogue can walk you through the process. Here, we discuss a bit about what is involved in breast implant removal and what you can expect after this procedure.
What Does Breast Implant Removal Involve?
Whether you want to remove your breast implants because they no longer suit you or because you're experiencing a complication, the process is nearly identical. Breast implant removal is performed using general anesthesia. After you are anesthetized, the doctor makes incisions either around the areola or under each breast in the inframammary crease. In many cases, the new incisions are made over the old incisions. This way, you do not incur additional scarring. Through your incisions, the doctor accesses your breast implants through the capsule of fibrous scar tissue that has formed around them. The capsule of tissue may also be removed depending on your situation. Breast implant removal often also includes a breast lift. This ancillary technique can prevent sagging that may occur due to the loss of breast volume. Having a breast lift at the same time as your breast explant surgery enhances your results without increasing your downtime for recovery.
Breast Explant Surgery Recovery
We suggest taking at least a few days off from work and other activities to allow your body to rest and heal after your breast implant removal. Initially, you may need to rely on prescription pain medication, similar to your first breast surgery. It is important to stay on top of taking your pain medication so to prevent unnecessary discomfort and stress. You need to be intentional about walking around the house several times a day so blood clots do not develop due to inactivity. However, most of your time will be spent resting and sleeping. After three to four days, you can return to work provided that your job activities do not interfere with your healing. It is also necessary to avoid strenuous exercise, excessive heat, baths, saunas, swimming pools, and hot tubs for two weeks. Mild to moderate soreness and tenderness can persist for up to six weeks. Wearing a compression bra can alleviate this side effect. The gentle compression helps minimize swelling and also supports your breasts as they settle into their new shape. The long-term results of breast explant surgery can be gratifying, especially with the inclusion of a breast lift. Your breasts may change over time in response to your weight, age, and lifestyle. However, the positive effects of this procedure typically endure for many years.
Dr. Bogue has been performing breast implant removal for more than 10 years. To schedule a consultation at our Boca Raton plastic surgery office, call 561-886-1000.