Breast Implant Removal

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woman touching breastBreast augmentation can provide beautiful results for many decades, but there are many reasons why women may choose to remove their implants after a certain period of time. In some cases, patients decide they no longer want a large bust size, while other individuals opt to return to their natural breast volume for their own peace of mind. Dr. Neal Goldberg, our board-certified plastic surgeon, understands that every woman has her own personal reasons for considering breast implant removal. He is ready to address all of your questions about the potential risks and benefits of the procedure in a consultation. 

Explantation surgery, or breast implant removal, is a complex surgery that should only be performed by an experienced reconstructive surgeon. Keep reading below to learn more about breast implant removal options and what you can expect after the procedure.

Is Breast Implant Removal Right for Me?

Discussing your wishes and overall goals with a plastic surgeon is the first step in determining whether breast implant removal is the best treatment option for you. Although satisfaction rates after breast augmentation are among the highest for any cosmetic procedure, patients may begin to desire removal of their breast implants due to:

  • Changing tastes and preferences over time: Whether due to aging, personal tastes, or societal ideals of beauty that have evolved, some women simply no longer feel a need to have breast implants.
  • Complications associated with implants: Visible implant edges (rippling) or the formation of scar tissue may prompt patients to remove their implants altogether rather than undergo the process of revision surgery. 
  • Health concerns: Some patients feel their breast implants may be impacting their health, or may take preemptive action out of an abundance of caution. Whether these issues are real or imagined, breast implant removal can help restore peace of mind for concerned patients. 
  • Financial motivations: In certain cases wherein a minor complication presents itself, patients may prefer to remove their breast implants rather than deal with the costs associated with future revision surgery. 
  • Weight gain: Extra weight gain over the years can cause the breasts to look bigger or more top-heavy than desired. For individuals affected by an excessive breast size due to weight gain after breast augmentation, explantation surgery can provide a more manageable breast shape. 

If you’re unhappy with your current breast implants but don’t necessarily want to remove them altogether, breast revision surgery is another option that can allow you to exchange or update your implants according to your wishes. Dr. Goldberg will also talk to you about procedures that can help address stretched skin and improve the appearance of your breasts after your implants have been removed, such as breast lift surgery and fat transfer. 

How is the Breast Implant Removal Procedure Performed?

Each breast implant removal procedure is tailored to a patient’s anatomical needs and concerns, so no two explantation surgeries are the same. That said, the procedure is generally performed under general anesthesia. The amount of time it takes to perform the surgery varies depending on whether the entire implant capsule is being removed (termed a “capsulectomy”), the timing of your implant removal, the extent of scar tissue present, and other factors. 

En Bloc Capsulectomy

Dr. Goldberg typically uses the en bloc approach to remove breast implants, which simply means the implant and surrounding capsule are extracted as a whole. This technique helps withdraw as much scar tissue as can be safely removed, while minimizing the risk of leakage from the implant. Dr. Goldberg will assess your anatomical needs to determine whether an en bloc capsulectomy is the most optimal technique for you, but certain patients — including those who have a thin implant capsule or who have scar tissue that adheres too closely to their ribcage — may not be candidates for an en bloc capsulectomy. 

What Can I Expect From the Breast Implant Removal Recovery Period?

After explant surgery, feelings of discomfort, tenderness, swelling, and bruising are to be expected and should resolve as you heal. A compression garment will be worn immediately after the procedure to reduce swelling and improve blood flow. Following a certain period of time, Dr. Goldberg may advise you to wear a supportive bra to help shape your new breasts. Patients often return to non-strenuous work within one to two weeks and Dr. Goldberg will monitor your progress in follow-up appointments. Exercise and aerobic activity should be avoided for at least four to six weeks. 

Dr. Neal Goldberg is highly skilled in breast implant removal and can customize an optimal treatment plan to remove your implants. If you’re ready to schedule a consultation, please contact our NYC-area office to book an appointment or to speak to a member of our team. 

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