Breast Implant Removal – The Women’s Institute of Cosmetic & Laser Surgery – 630-232-7860 – Geneva – Naperville
Breast Implant Removal
The objective of breast implant removal surgery is the removal of breast implants from patients who have had breast augmentation or breast reconstruction. During these surgeries, your plastic surgeon may remove silicone material that has leaked from implants as well as the breast capsule, which is the scar tissue that forms following the placement of an implant.
Frequently, scar tissue that develops after the placement of breast implants is soft and doesn’t require removal. However, it might be subject to hardening which results in some discomfort. This is a common reason that some women will opt for Breast Implant Removal.
Breast implants aren’t “lifetime” devices and it’s important that they are removed or exchanged for new ones about every 10 to 15 years. This is a decision usually based upon the individual patient’s objectives and cosmetic goals.
For some patients, the outer shell of their implants may break down, resulting in a silicone leak and the hardening of scar tissue in that area. It is helpful to understand that implants should likely be removed in this case.
What makes a good candidate for Breast Implant Removal?
Breast Implant Removal is a very specialized procedure performed at the Women’s Institute of Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. It is typically recommended for women who have had hardening of the breasts, are experiencing pain or leaks with their implants or if they simply no longer want their implants.
While each patient is different, a good candidate for Breast Implant Removal is generally:
-Physically healthy, a nonsmoker and maintains a stable body weight.
-Is realistic about what to expect from the procedure.
-Not pleased or comfortable with the appearance of their implants.
-Breasts feel too heavy.
-The scar tissue is becoming harder or “tighter”.
-Has a leak in one or both implants.
If you are considering this type of surgery, take some time to review before and after pictures and read on about what you can expect during the recovery period. Preparation is helpful and allows patients to form practical expectations and a pleasant recovery.
Breast Implant Removal – what to discuss at your consultation with your plastic surgeon regarding breast implant removal:
-Your goals for the procedure.
-Your medical history and existing conditions, also any drug allergies and past procedures you’ve had.
-Present medications, previous surgeries, alcohol and use of tobacco or drugs.
During your consultation your plastic surgeon typically will:
-Assess your general condition, pre-existing health issues and potential risks.
-Perform an examination of your breasts and take photos for reference.
-Review your options and suggest a treatment plan.
-Talk about probable outcomes of your Breast Implant Removal and any possible complications.
The success and safe results of your procedure depends a lot on being very candid during your consultation when asked your health, objectives and lifestyle.
Don’t hesitate to ask your plastic surgeon any questions you have about this procedure. It’s very helpful to fully understand the different aspects of implant removal.
To prepare for Breast Implant Removal, you might be asked to:
-Obtain lab testing or a medical assessment.
-Take specific medications or to alter your existing medications.
-Stop smoking and avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs or supplements.
For this type of surgery the patient is usually given a general anesthetic. If you’ll be having breast implant removal on an outpatient basis, arrange for someone to drive you both to and from your procedure and to remain with you for the first night afterwards.
Steps of the Procedure
-Medication is administered for the patient’s comfort during the procedure. Choices typically include general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will make a recommendation on which choice is right for you.
-Breast Implant Removal involves making an incision along the lower fold of the breast or an incision just below or around the areola.
-The surgery depends on your particular goals. Frequently though, breast capsules and the implants are removed via a combination of surgical techniques.
-To conclude the surgery, sutures, tapes, clips or skin adhesives are applied to close the incisions.
Breast implant removal results in a different shape for the patient’s breast profile. It might be flatter or have some irregularities or indentations. Patients also might notice that the breasts can take a different shape based upon on scar tissue that formed around the implants.
After the Surgery
Once breast implant removal is concluded, bandages, gauze dressings or drains may be applied. Some patients are fitted with a supportive bra or garment. There are some cases when a compression garment is used to control swelling after the surgery.
Very small, thin tubes may be placed temporarily beneath the skin in the “pocket” to drain excess blood or fluids that might collect.
The Women’s Institute of Cosmetic & Laser Surgery staff will provide post-procedure care instructions such as:
-Caring for the surgical site after surgery.
-Medications to either apply topically or take orally to assist healing and limit risk of infections.
-Particular concerns to watch for at the surgical site or regarding your general condition.
-When you should follow up with your surgeon.
Ask your surgeon questions about what to expect during your recovery like:
-Where will I recover immediately after the surgery is finished?
-What medications are recommended or prescribed?
-Will I have to wear bandages and for how long following surgery?
-When can I shower?
-When may I resume my regular activities?
-When should I schedule a follow-up appointment?
Healing usually continues for several weeks while the inflammation decreases. Be sure to follow your aftercare instructions and contact the Women’s Institute if you are experiencing discomfort.
The end results of implant removal will be dependent on the size of the implants that were taken out along with the quantity of the remaining breast tissue. The scar tissue that surrounded your implants will be a factor in your outcome. Inflammation and post procedure changes need some time before assessing the final results. The body’s healing process can take as long as one year until the final outcome of the surgery is visible.
It’s useful to keep in mind that practice of surgery is not an “exact science”. With this type of surgery, the results will not always be cosmetic because the breast’s tissue can be rather thin from having the implants – especially for patients who had them for several years. Results can also be influenced if the implants were leaking. In some cases, it might not be possible to attain optimal results with just one procedure and another one might be necessary. It can also be necessary for some women to have a mastectomy if the silicone has leaked throughout the breast and silicone is not within the existing scar tissue.
When you go back home following your Breast Implant Removal, be sure to see medical attention if you have shortness of breath or chest pains.
Adhering to your doctor’s instructions for care is critical to the successful results of your surgery. It is essential that the surgical incisions are not subjected to extra strain or motion when your body is healing.
Ready to learn about Breast Implant Removal and decide if it’s right you? Schedule a consultation at the Women’s Institute of Cosmetic & Laser Surgery at 630-232-7860.