Although breast augmentation is a popular procedure for adding volume to the breasts, some women later decide they do not wish to keep their breast implants forever. Breast implant removal is an effective and straightforward surgery for removing implants. In Charlotte, NC, Dr. Garrett Harper and Dr. Robert Graper perform this procedure for patients who want to reattain natural yet still appealing breasts.
Reasons for Breast Implant Removal
Some of the reasons Dr. Harper and Dr. Graper’s patients choose to remove their breast implants include:
Over time, a patient’s tastes can change. A woman who wanted larger breasts in her 20s may not feel the same way when she reaches middle age.
When a breast implant is inserted in the breast, scar tissue forms around the implant. In some cases, this scar tissue can become so hard that it squeezes the implant, leading to discomfort or altering the intended shape of the breast.
Although ruptures are uncommon, when an implant does break, the patient should have the implant removed as soon as possible. Removing a faulty silicone implant can help prevent health problems. While a ruptured saline implant does not pose a health threat, it can make the breasts appear asymmetrical.
Breast Explant Procedure
Dr. Harper and Dr. Graper can usually complete this surgery in under one hour. Because it is less intense than other cosmetic procedures, some patients may be able to use local anesthesia to stay comfortable during the surgery.
To begin, the surgeon makes an incision at the same point where the breast implant was originally inserted — in most cases, this is around the areola or along the breast fold. This approach ensures that the resulting scar is in the same location. He then pulls the implant out through this incision. If the patient wishes to replace the implant with a new one, this can be done at this time or later. Finally, the surgeon sutures, drains, cleans and bandages the incision wound to help minimize swelling. He then repeats this process for the other breast.
Breast Implant Removal Recovery and Results
Although patients should plan to take a week or two off from work following surgery, they can expect an easier recovery period compared to breast augmentation. Swelling may continue for several weeks, and lingering discomfort can be managed with standard pain medication. For the first couple months, patients should limit exercise that may jostle the breasts.
Some women choose to replace their existing implants for new implants with a procedure known as breast revision surgery. Many women pair breast implant removal with breast lift to improve the appearance of their breasts that have drooped due to aging, pregnancy or the weight of the implants. Breast lift can be performed at the same time as breast implant removal to overlap the recovery periods or later so that the patient can assess the appearance of her breasts after recovering fully.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are contemplating removing your implants and wish to speak to our board-certified plastic surgeons about all your options, please call (704) 375-7111 to make an appointment at Graper Harper Cosmetic Surgery.