Having Breast Implants Removed


Although you may be considering breast implants right now and can't imagine ever wanting them removed, it is still important to deliberate the removal process just in case. In fact, it has been reported that around 40,000 women every year undergo surgery to get their breast implants removed.

Why Would I Want My Breast Implant Removed?

There are a number of different reasons as to why you may end up wanting your implant surgically removed. Firstly, you may not be happy with the result of your breast implant procedure. This could lead to you attaining revision surgery in order to correct any problems, such as asymmetry, that you have. Also, you may suffer the more serious problem of capsular contracture, where the breast implant goes rigid inside the breast. This commonly necessitates removal and possible replacement with a new implant.

Additional justifications for undergoing breast implant removal include the unfortunate event of being diagnosed with breast cancer, an allergic reaction, infection development or calcium deposits. Not only these but concerns such as the implant moving, rupturing, becoming deflated or wrinkling may also lead you down the path to getting the implant taken out.

What To Expect From Breast Implant Removal

Breast implant removal could end in two main possibilities; either your implant is swapped or it is not. It is most common for a woman to undergo breast implant removal surgery as they wish to have larger implants put in after. If this is not the case and you are electing to have the implants completely removed, then you will customarily be offered a breast lift.

A breast lift procedure will lessen the appearance of drooping and bagginess that often occurs when breast implants have been removed. When you have your breast implant removal surgery consultation, this should be discussed with you.

The actual surgery to remove the breast implant tends to take less than an hour for an accomplished surgeon to complete. Usually, the procedure is carried out using general anaesthetic so you will be unconscious throughout. The first step in breast implant removal is the extraction of the scar tissue (or capsule) that has formed across your implant. The next step is the actual, physical removal of the implant. It is probable that if your implants are saline, the surgeon will purposefully puncture and deflate them to aid removal.

To minimise scarring, your surgeon will normally reopen the incision that was used to place the breast implants in, to remove the implant.

Occasionally, your surgeon will also remove the capsule in a routine known as a 'capsulectomy'. This tends to be done for the following reasons:

  1. The breast implant is not undergoing replacement.
  2. The replacement implant is a different texture or type to the original.
  3. The new implant is bigger than the old one.
  4. The replacement implant is being put into a different position to the old one.

Potential Risks Associated With Breast Implant Removal Surgery

Every type of invasive surgical procedure carries with it the possibility of risks and complications, and the removal of breast implants is no different. It is important to consider all the potential risks before committing yourself to the surgery so you fully understand the potential outcomes.

Risks that are known to be associated with breast implant removal include:

  • The occurrence of an infection
  • More scarring than was previously present
  • Loose skin
  • The breast may become more saggy and droopy in appearance
  • Nipples may lose sensation
  • The shock of your new, smaller breast size may cause emotional problems
  • There could be complications due to the anaesthetic (a possibility with all surgeries)

Recovering From Breast Implant Removal

The recovery period from breast implant removal surgery varies from person to person depending on their reasons why they underwent the procedure as well as whether or not they decided to obtained new, replacement implants. These aspects will be taken into account by your surgeon and appropriate advice will be administered to you so your recovery can be as quick and painless as possible.

You should listen to your surgeon's guidelines carefully and abide by them strictly in order to avoid suffering from any complications. These guidelines will cover activities that you will and will not be able to do and an aftercare routine to follow. You will also be provided with a schedule of follow-up appointments, which you must attend so that your recovery can be monitored.

How Much Will Breast Implant Removal Cost?

The cost of breast implant removal surgery varies depending on a number of different factors including the clinic, location, whether the implants are being replaced, and the skill and experience of the actual surgeon. However, you can expect to pay anywhere in the region of £800 - £3800.

If you are undergoing a breast implant removal procedure because due to an event such as leakage or hardening, then you may wish to check whether the cost of the surgery can be covered by your health insurance.

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