Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Breast Implant Removal, but Were Afraid to Ask (2024)

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Breast Implant Removal, but Were Afraid to Ask (1)

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Breast Implant Removal, but Were Afraid to Ask

Breast implants are one of those things some people (raises hand!) spend their entire lives fantasizing about. It seems strange then, to know, that very often people are visiting their doctor for implant REMOVAL. Why would anyone ever give these luscious pillows of cleavage up?!

It turns out people remove breast implants for many reasons, some of which have little or nothing to do with the actual implant. According the latest statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), 38,071 breast implant removal procedures were performed last year.

“Very rarely is there a defect in the implant itself,” says Dr. Peter Neumann, Chief Plastic Surgeon, Nassau Plastic Surgical Associates - Roslyn, NY. Patients usually want to be larger or more natural which, can be achieved with silicone implants especially "Gummy Bear" or cohesive gel implants. “Board-certified plastic surgeons know the newest and ideal implants to meet your aesthetic goals. Make sure your physician has experience with these implants. They can be inserted via the lower fold of the breast, or around the nipple-areola, or through the armpit (endoscopic assisted),” explains Dr. Neumann.

The objective is to get a soft and natural fuller breast with a safe, long lasting result. The newer implants are guaranteed by the company not to fail during your lifetime. “Beware of possible complications such as bleeding, infection, firmness and inability to breastfeed. When the surgery is properly performed, these risks are minimal. Most women can safely breastfeed, have normal mammograms and easily perform self-exams,” says Dr. Neumann. When you go to an experienced plastic surgeon the risks are greatly minimized. This makes sense. Why would anyone let a doctor who is not experienced cut into their body?

That said, there are many reasons to remove or exchange breast implants.

Obviously, some women simply want an upgrade in size. “More often though, as women age, their breasts become droopier. This is especially true in women with large implants whose implant weight may contribute to sagging,” explains Dr. Ulysses H. Scarpidis, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Scarpidis Aesthetics New York Plastic Surgery in New York City.

During a breast lift, women oftentimes choose to exchange their breast implants for either the same size or a larger pair. In fact, increasing the size of the implants may provide a small but adequate lift to the breasts, sometimes evading the need for an additional breast lift. “With the advent of newer silicone and gummy bear implants, some women want to exchange their current implants for a newer, safer, alternative. Typically, implant manufacturers guarantee their implants for 10 years. This does not mean that in 10 years the implant fails, but rather that if within 10 years there is an issue with the implant, the manufacturer will provide a new implant for free,” explains Dr. Scarpidis. It is important to note that this may not cover the purchase of the other breast’s implant, or the surgeon’s, hospitals’, or anesthesiologist’s fees.

Breast implants typically fail because of mechanical or traumatic stress (i.e. friction caused by an implant rubbing against itself or a traumatic fall or a car accident that puts excessive pressure directly on the implant). “Interestingly, sometimes, although we may exchange the implants, the chief reason for the surgery has nothing to do with the implant,” notes Dr. Scarpidis.

Our bodies’ natural healing process creates a shell or capsule to surround breast implants. “Several factors may cause this shell to become thick, visible, firm to touch, and even painful, a condition called capsular contracture. Surgery to remove this shell and alleviate these symptoms necessitates removal of the implant as well. In these cases, patients sometimes opt for smaller implants to replace their current ones, thus decreasing their risk of capsular contracture recurrence,” explains Dr. Scarpidis.

Choosing implant type, size, location, and future replacement requires a complex decision-making process that consolidates the patient’s wishes with the doctor’s recommendations based on best practices. “It is imperative that patients seek out board-certified plastic surgeons, trained in the latest and safest techniques in breast surgery to achieve the desired results, while minimizing risks and complications,” says Dr. Scarpidis.

So, the reason behind breast implant removals is part a grass–is-greener scenario, part a necessary maintenance.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Breast Implant Removal, but Were Afraid to Ask (2024)


What do I need to know about breast implant removal? ›

The procedure itself will likely involve the following steps:
  • Anesthesia. Most breast implant removal surgeries are performed under general anesthesia. ...
  • Skin preparation. ...
  • Making an incision. ...
  • Removal of the implant and tissue capsule. ...
  • Incision closure. ...
  • Postoperative recovery.
Dec 21, 2020

What questions to ask about breast implant removal? ›

How are complications handled? How can I expect my breast implant removal procedure to look over time? What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome? Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?

Do most people regret breast implants? ›

Many people regret having had cosmetic surgery, either because the outcome does not match the hoped-for image or because of complications. Research by Medical Accident Group found that 65% of people they polled regretted their surgery, though 28% were very happy with its results.

Why is everyone removing their breast implants? ›

Sometimes, women might feel that the size of their implants is too big or too small. In other circ*mstances, they think their implant size is no longer of their liking due to aging or other personal reasons. Dissatisfaction with breast size or appearance is a common reason for breast implant removal (explantation).

What happens to your body when you remove breast implants? ›

Will my breasts sag after implant removal? When you have breast implants, your skin stretches to accommodate the size of your breasts. After implant removal, your breasts may sag, droop or appear misshapen. Many people choose to have implant removal with a breast lift (mastopexy).

How complicated is breast implant removal? ›

The Breast Implant Removal Process

The process of having implants removed isn't that difficult for your plastic surgeon. The procedure only takes about 30 minutes. And recovery time is usually pretty short. Unlike augmentation, you will not have the down time that comes after surgery for enhancement.

Can breasts look good after implant removal? ›

There is the fear of looking deflated, out of proportion or saggy. Fortunately, after implants are removed there are many ways to re-shape the smaller, natural breast tissue remaining to create a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing breast.

Will I feel better after my breast implants are removed? ›

A study of 100 patients concluded that 89% of patients who had capsulectomy and implant removal had symptom improvement within 3 months of surgery. These symptoms included cognitive problems, fatigue, burning pain in the breast and chest wall, dry eyes, anxiety, and joint pain.

How can I prepare my body for explant surgery? ›

How should I prepare for breast implant removal?
  1. Get lab testing or a medical evaluation.
  2. Take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
  3. Stop smoking.
  4. Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.

Do the Kardashians have breast implants? ›

Kourtney received breast implants in 2009. Caitlyn's impressive new look inspired Kim to consider getting breast surgery. Kim talked about how great Caitlyn looked and felt about herself: “It was so good to just see how comfortable she is in her own skin.”

What are the breast implant trends for 2024? ›

Breast augmentation trends in 2024 prioritize shape and symmetry instead of solely focusing on size. Surgeons can achieve this symmetry by combining procedures like liposuction and breast augmentation.

Are breast implants becoming less popular? ›

Breast implants have remained as popular as they are because the techniques, safety measures, and implants themselves have continued to improve over time.

At what age should breast implants be removed? ›

Starting on the day you have your breast augmentation surgery, a countdown clock starts ticking. Eventually, the implants will have to be removed. Breast implants generally last 10 to 15 years.

What celebrities have no breast implants? ›

Besides health problems, some celebrities decide to remove their implants simply because they were annoying or embarrassing. Just to name a few, Heather Morris, Heidi Montag, Pamela Anderson, and Victoria Beckham all removed their implants for this reason.

What is the divorce rate for breast implants? ›

As mentioned previously, Cook et al7 reported a divorce rate of 28.8% in breast augmentation patients, compared with 18.1% in comparison subjects.

How long does it take to recover from breast implant removal? ›

For most patients, breast implant removal recovery typically lasts around one to two weeks. It is during this time that you must refrain from physical activity, get plenty of rest, and ensure your incisions heal well.

What not to do before implant removal? ›

Please ensure that you do not have unprotected intercourse 7 days before having your implant removed. It is important that you discuss future contraception prior to the implant removal.

Is a breast lift necessary after implant removal? ›

Small implants generally result in less stretching, while larger implants result in more. If you have larger implants and get them removed, your skin may not be able to retract. A breast lift may be necessary to achieve a firm and perky result.

Will I lose weight after breast implant removal? ›

Some patients may experience weight loss and change in their breast volume after implant removal and wish to replace them. Although it is not that common, some patients miss the fuller volume they had with implants.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Horacio Brakus JD

Last Updated:

Views: 5927

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Horacio Brakus JD

Birthday: 1999-08-21

Address: Apt. 524 43384 Minnie Prairie, South Edda, MA 62804

Phone: +5931039998219

Job: Sales Strategist

Hobby: Sculling, Kitesurfing, Orienteering, Painting, Computer programming, Creative writing, Scuba diving

Introduction: My name is Horacio Brakus JD, I am a lively, splendid, jolly, vivacious, vast, cheerful, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.