You were likely excited when you first had breast augmentation surgery. 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. When your recovery was complete, you enjoyed the increased size and fullness and loved your new-found 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 breast implant removal.
The expert surgeons of Crantford Costa Plastic Surgery offer outstanding care in breast implant removal that Charleston patients can trust and rely upon. If you are no longer satisfied with the outcome of your breast augmentation, contact us today to request a consultation.
Breast implants, like other implantable medical devices, are designed to be safe and durable, enabling most patients to enjoy their results for years. They are not, however, 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. Breast implant removal, also called explantation, is a surgical procedure that extracts unwanted implants from the breast pocket.
Every patient has her own personal reasons for undergoing explantation. Below are some of the most common reasons patients come to Crantford Costa Plastic Surgery to have their breast implants removed:
Women who are no longer happy with the outcome of their breast augmentation surgery or who are experiencing complications due to their breast implants may be good candidates for explantation. Before undergoing surgery, patients should be at a stable weight and in good overall health. They should be nonsmokers or willing to quit for a recommended period of time, 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 a primary surgery, and breast implant removal may benefit from a complementary procedure to rejuvenate the breast shape.
If you are considering explantation, you will first meet with your surgeon for a consultation. You will discuss the reasons for your dissatisfaction with your breast implants and your overall goals for the removal surgery. Be sure to speak candidly about your concerns. Your surgeon will also use this time to examine you physically, inquire about your medical history and identify the source of any issues you may be experiencing.
Breast surgery is a highly customized procedure, built around the patient’s needs and goals. Your surgeon will work with you during your Charleston breast implant removal consultation to recommend appropriate procedures and fashion your personalized treatment plan. Every effort will be made to give you the appearance you desire while minimizing your recovery time, discomfort and scarring.
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.
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. Any discomfort associated with the surgery can be treated with oral medication.
Most patients are able to resume non-strenuous activities within the first week. Heavy lifting, vigorous exercise and sporting activities should be avoided for approximately six 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.
Breast implant removal is relatively straightforward and similar to the original augmentation procedure. If possible, the implants will be extracted using the same incisions that were used during the primary surgery to avoid further scarring. The implant will be carefully removed 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 may 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.
The results of explantation can be seen soon and are very long-lasting. 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 can take two to three months. The scars will continue to heal and fade for up to a year. Although the aging process will continue, and your breasts may naturally lose firmness and fullness over time, you will be able to enjoy your beautiful new bustline for many years.
Though breast augmentation surgery has one of the highest rates of patient satisfaction, 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, health and peace of mind. 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 contact form to book your consultation.