Breast Implant Removal at a glance.
Procedure Time
3-4 hours
Recovery Time
Back to work in 6 days

You were likely excited when you first had breast augmentation. You spent hours thinking about how you wanted to look and feel after the procedure. You carefully chose the surgeon who could bring your vision to life. You eagerly anticipated the day of your surgery and the first glimpse you’d see of your results. Hopefully, when your recovery was complete, you enjoyed the increased size and fullness and loved your newfound confidence.

You thought that would be the end of your breast surgery story, but now you’re faced with another chapter. You’re no longer sure your breast implants are right for you. Whether you’re experiencing complications or your aesthetic tastes have evolved, you’re ready to explore your options for removing your breast implants. The expert surgeons of Crantford Costa Plastic Surgery offer outstanding care in breast implant removal (explant surgery) at our Charleston, SC, practice. 

Why Consider Explant Surgery?

Though breast augmentation surgery has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates, implants are not for everyone. If enhanced breasts no longer suit your lifestyle, or you suspect a problem with your implants, explantation may be the best option for your appearance, lifestyle, and peace of mind.

Breast implants, like other implantable medical devices, are designed to be safe and durable so patients can enjoy their results for years. However, they are not intended to last a lifetime, and even women who have no complications with their implants may become unhappy with the look or feel of their enhanced breasts.

Every patient has her own personal reasons for undergoing explantation. You may wish to have your implants removed if they:

  • No longer suit your body
  • Have settled in an unappealing way
  • Are too large for you changing aesthetic tastes
  • Are getting in the way of leading an active lifestyle
  • Have deflated due to a leak or rupture
  • Are causing neck and shoulder strain
  • Are developing capsular contracture, rippling, double-bubble, or another complication

Some women choose to remove their implants due to concerns about breast implant-related illness (BII). While BII is not a medically recognized diagnosis, we are happy to help ease your mind with breast implant removal.

Crantford, Costa, & UlmOur Expert Surgeons

Trust your beauty to the very best Charleston has to offer. Our board-certified plastic surgeons have the skill and experience to elevate your look from head to toe.

Dr. Crantford Dr. Costa Dr. Ulm
Dr. Crantford, Dr. Costa, and Dr. Ulm

Who Is a Good Candidate for Breast Implant Removal?

Women who are no longer happy with the outcome of their breast augmentation surgery or who are experiencing complications may be good candidates for breast implant removal. Before undergoing surgery, patients should be at a stable weight and in good overall health. They should be nonsmokers or willing to quit nicotine products for a recommended time period and must have a reasonable understanding of the risks and benefits of plastic surgery. Finally, candidates should have realistic expectations about their results.

A secondary surgery can be more technically complex than primary surgery. Breast implant removal may benefit from a complementary procedure to rejuvenate the breast shape.

What Happens During A Consultation

Because we want to create your ideal surgical results, the consultation is a critical part of the process. Your surgeon will walk you through your options and help you make choices that align with your anatomy and goals. This time will also be used to conduct a thorough medical history and address all your concerns and questions.

You will have another preoperative appointment closer to the date of your surgery. At this time, you will sign the consent forms, have photos and measurements taken, and receive detailed instructions for before and after surgery. Please adhere to these instructions closely as they are instrumental in ensuring your safety and comfort.

Your Breast Implant Removal Procedure

Breast implant removal is relatively straightforward and similar to the original augmentation procedure. If possible, the implants will be extracted using the same incisions used during the primary surgery to avoid further scarring. Your surgeon will carefully remove the implant from the breast pocket, which will deflate and collapse on itself as the body heals, and the capsule of scar tissue may be removed. A breast lift may be performed if the lost volume from the breast implants creates an “empty” look or sagging skin. Saline implants may be deflated before extraction.

If capsular contracture or rupture has occurred, a more complex procedure called an en bloc capsulectomy might be required. This technique removes the implant and the capsule of scar tissue surrounding it at the same time as a single unit. The capsule is separated from the surrounding tissues and removed while the breast implant remains sealed inside. En bloc capsulectomy is a longer and more complex procedure and requires a larger incision.

Picture Your Results in 3D

At Crantford Costa Plastic Surgery, we offer the state-of-the-art VECTRA® XT 3D imaging system to capture face, breast, and body images to help simulate your surgical outcomes during your consultation.

What Is the Recovery Timeline for Breast Implant Removal?

After your breast implant removal procedure, you should expect to rest at home for a few days. Bandages will be applied right after surgery to minimize movement of the breasts and aid the healing process. Bruising, swelling, and some soreness are to be expected at first. You can manage any discomfort associated with the surgery with oral medication.

Most patients can resume non-strenuous activities within 1 week. Heavy lifting, vigorous exercise, and sporting activities should be avoided for approximately 6 weeks. In general, take care not to place unnecessary strain on your upper body as you recuperate. Don’t hesitate to take more time off from your usual activities if you feel your body requires it.

Your surgeon will prepare detailed instructions for creating the optimal conditions for wound healing. While complications are rare, you can minimize potential problems by carefully following these directions.

Step Inside
The Skin Clinic

Our newly renovated Skin Clinic is your destination to perfect your complexion, refine your features, and shop top-selling products. Discover all the innovative ways to step up your look, sans surgery.

Explore Skin Clinic Services Book Online
skin clinic office

What Results Can Breast Implant Removal Achieve?

Once the implants are removed, the change in size difference will be apparent immediately. Your full results will not be visible, however, until the swelling and bruising have diminished and your breasts have settled into their new form. This process can take 2 to 3 months. The scars will continue to heal and fade for up to a year.

Can Breast Implant Removal Be Combined With Another Procedure?

Many women who have their implants removed are left with a pleasing breast shape. In some cases, however, a breast lift is recommended to address excess skin that gives the breasts a sagging, deflated appearance when the implants are removed. A lift also allows the surgeon to sculpt the breast tissue and reposition the nipple to create the best possible aesthetic result. This combination of procedures is particularly beneficial for women whose tissue has grown lax over time or whose implants were very large, causing the skin to stretch.

Pay Over Time On A
Friendly Monthly Plan

Apply in 1 minute with no impact on your credit score.

Get Started
PatientFi Logo

Request Your Consultation

We invite you to learn more about this procedure by scheduling a personal consultation at Crantford | Costa Plastic Surgery. Our surgeons have decades of experience performing breast implant removal and are proud to help our Charleston patients achieve the beautiful results they deserve. Call us at (843) 722-5904 or use our online form to book your consultation.



Email me with special offers and news
By submitting this form, you agree to the Terms of Use listed here: Communications through our website or via email are not encrypted and are not necessarily secure. Use of the internet or email is for your convenience only, and by using them, you assume the risk of unauthorized use. By submitting this form you hereby agree to hold Crantford Costa Plastic Surgery, its doctors and affiliates, harmless from any hacking or any other unauthorized use of your personal information by outside parties.