Breast Implant Removal FAQs

Breast Implant removal FAQ's

If you are no longer satisfied with your breast implants, their size or the way they feel, you may consider breast implant removal surgery.

At Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery our specialised, experienced plastic surgeons Dr Craig Rubinstein, Dr Rebecca Wyten, Dr Richard Sackelariou and Dr Patrick Briggs can remove or revise your breast implants to ensure you are truly satisfied with your body. If you have suffered a breast implant rupture or a capsular contracture, you may also consider this procedure.

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What Is Breast Implant Removal FAQs

Can you leave breast implants in forever?

  • No, you cannot leave breast implants in forever.
  • Breast implants last approximately 15 years. You should either undergo removal or replacement after this period.
  • Breast implant removal or explant surgery is a simple surgical procedure that removes the breast implants through a small incision.
  • You may choose to remove your breasts because:
    • They are too big,
    • You have developed a case of capsular contracture,
    • You fear you may develop ALCL (Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma),
    • Or, you simply do not want to have breast implants anymore.

Can breast implants last 30 years?

  • No, your breast implants cannot last 30 years.
  • Breast implants can last up to 20 years, although most surgeons recommend your remove breast implants after ten years or as soon as you start feeling uncomfortable with them for whatever reason.
  • Leaving breast implants in for 30 years can pose serious health risks, as they may rupture, develop capsular contracture or calcified capsular contracture.

What happens if you don’t replace breast implants?

  • If you do not replace breast implants, you may develop capsular contracture.
  • Capsular contracture is a medical phenomenon where the body forms scar tissue around the implant.
  • If capsular contracture remains unaddressed for a long time, it can develop into a calcified capsular contracture.
    • Calcified capsular contracture is scar tissue around an implant that forms a thin mineral shell, like those found in an egg.

How often should breast implants be checked?

  • You should check your breast implants every two to three years.
  • The first breast implant screening can take place three years after the breast augmentation procedure.
  • From then on, you should check your implants every two years.
  • This is to prevent any issues with a silent rupture and check the surrounding tissue’s health.

Do you have to change your breast implants every ten years?

  • You should change your implants every ten years.
  • Breast implants are designed to last longer than ten years, but the chances of a breast implant rupture increases after this period.
  • You should also have them removed or replaced because, as you age, your breasts’ projection changes.
  • Because of this breast projection change, you may notice that your implants do not fit you as well as they originally did.

What happens if I remove my breast implants?

  • Several things will happen when you remove your breast implants:
    • Your breasts will go back to their natural shape and size,
    • Breast sagging may return,
    • Breasts may sag even more than before, especially if you had large breast implants,
    • You may notice that the breast skin is thinner than before. This is because implants stretch the skin out over time. The extra thin and saggy breast skin may restore to its normal size and thickness over the course of several months.

When should you have breast implants removed?

  • You should remove or replace your breast implants every ten or so years.
  • Many surgeons recommend you remove your breast implants after this period to reduce the chances or the severity of capsular contracture, spontaneous rupture or even to get an opportunity to implant a new generation of implants.
  • Although implants can stay a little longer in the breast than the recommended time, every year added to their life means a higher chance of complications with the removal later on.

Will I feel better after breast implant removal?

  • If you experience, Migraines, Shoulder pain, Neck pain, Upper back pain or BII – Breast Implant Illness, then yes, you may feel better after a breast implant removal.
  • Implants per se do not cause any of these symptoms, but the wrong size of the implant may put more strain on your body than it can take.
  • The key for a successful Breast Augmentation surgery is to be realistic about what it can achieve, while keeping safety and your body’s long-term state in mind.

Am I The Right Candidate / Breast Implant Removal Prerequisites FAQs

Should I get my implant removed?

  • You should have your breast implants removed and replaced once every ten years.
  • Your body understands that breast implants are a foreign body and will encapsulate them in scar tissue.
    • This is called a breast implant capsular contracture.
    • It may not pose significant health risks in the beginning. However, over time, capsular contracture can become more pronounced as the scar tissue thickens.
    • In this case, your surgeon may suggest even an early breast implant removal.
  • You should also remove your implants if you think they are too large or are causing you any pain in the neck, shoulders or upper back.

Do breast implant capsules need to be removed?

  • No, removal of the Implant capsules does not need to occur every time patients undergo breast implant removal.
  • Breast Implant Removal Leaving Capsult intact is a possible surgical procedure.
  • If the capsule is thin, your specialised plastic surgeon may decide to leave the capsule intact.
  • This shortens the length of the breast implant removal procedure and speeds up the recovery.
  • The capsule left after a breast implant removal will slowly be reabsorbed by your body.

Can breast implants cause weight gain?

  • Breast implants cannot cause weight gain.
  • You should understand that breast implants, although small in size, add some weight to your body, but they will not make you gain weight.
  • You will experience breast swelling immediately after the breast augmentation surgery.
    • This liquid accumulation will be noticeable on the scale, however, most of this apparent ‘extra weight’ will dissipate in a week or two as the swelling subsides.

Can breast implants cause fatigue?

  • Breast implants cannot cause fatigue per se. However, immediately after your breast enhancement procedure, you may feel fatigued for the first few days of the recovery period.
  • After this, it is generally not common to experience any fatigue. Some women, however, report that they may have a BII – Breast Implant Illness.
    • Breast Implant Illness is a condition that has yet to be confirmed by science, in which women with breast implants experience chronic fatigue and some other symptoms.

Can breast implants cause mental health problems?

  • Breast implants cannot cause mental health problems. However, you may experience mild fear, anxiety or insecurity about your new body and new look.
  • You may find that the breast implants are too small or too large and may not be fully happy with the final results.
  • It is important to note that you wait for at least several months to see your final breast augmentation results before evaluating your new looks.
  • If the dissatisfaction persists, you may want to schedule an appointment with your specialised plastic surgeon and discuss options to remove breast implants.

Do breast implants cause autoimmune disease?

  • Some studies point out that there may be a connection between breast implants and autoimmune diseases.
  • However, this link has not been verified, and the mechanism through which breast implants could negatively impact your health has not been found.
  • The generally thought is that breast implants are safe to implant into the body and do not cause any health issues.
  • If you have any concerns, contact your specialised plastic surgeon and share these concerns with them.
  • Years of experience and appropriate education provide these surgeons with enough knowledge to address even the most difficult cases.

How do you know you have breast implant illness?

  • We do not fully understand Breast Implant Illness yet. In fact, many plastic surgeons deny that it even exists, contributing the symptoms to psychosomatic causes.
  • However, if you feel any of the below you may want to schedule an appointment with your surgeon and discuss the symptoms.
    • Join and muscle pain,
    • Breathing problems, sleep disturbance,
    • Skin issues,
    • Dry skin,
    • Dry eyes,
    • Fatigue, etc.

What are the chances of getting breast implant illness?

  • Although Breast Implant Illness has not been medically proven, some research has been done on the topic.
  • Breast Implant Illness is likely to affect anywhere between 1 in 2.000 to 1 in 86.000 women.
  • The likeliness of developing breast implant illness is based on the type of the implant and the manufacturer.

Can you get breast implants removed while pregnant?

  • Technically, you can have your breast implant removal during pregnancy, although most surgeons advise against it.
  • You should avoid any kind of medical treatment during pregnancy.
  • However, if you believe that the benefits of breast implant removal outweigh the risks and possible complications during pregnancy, you may schedule an appointment with your experienced plastic surgeon.
  • They will be able to assess your case and present you with options you may undertake.

Breast Implant Removal Preparation FAQs

Do I need to lose weight before breast implant removal?

  • Losing weight before an explant or a breast implant removal surgery is not a prerequisite, although it can help a lot.
  • If you are close to your ideal weight and have a low BMI, your overall health will be at a high level, and you will recover from the procedure faster.
  • Generally speaking, having a healthy body will help with any surgical procedure, so make sure to avoid inflammatory foods, drinks, smoking and excessive stress before any kind of surgery.

How do I prepare for Breast Implant Removal Surgery?

  • To prepare for a Breast implant removal surgery, you should:
    • Run all blood tests your specialised plastic surgeon has asked for
    • Take certain medications that should improve your immune system and overall health, discuss with your surgeon
    • Take any other medicines your surgeon prescribes
    • Stop taking any medication that may interfere with the surgical procedure, (your specialised plastic surgeon will be able to tell you exactly which medicine to stop taking)
    • Avoid taking any drugs, including herbal supplements that dilute your blood or dilate your blood vessels
    • Stop smoking
    • Avoid stress
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Show up for your procedure at the arranged time.

What should I bring to the breast implant removal surgery?

  • You should bring;
    • Any paperwork
    • Bloodwork
    • Medication you may be taking for chronic conditions, allergies, etc. Please discuss this with your specialised plastic surgeon before taking any medication on your own. Some medicines may interfere with the medication your specialised plastic surgeon will prescribe for the recovery period.
    • And any other documents your doctor has advised you to get.
  • You should also come in loose clothes that are easy to take off and put back on because you will change for the procedure itself.
  • Its important you organise to have a friend or a family member drop you off and pick you up as you will not be able to drive.

What should I wear to a breast implant removal surgery?

  • You should wear loose-fitting clothes for breast implant removal surgery or explant surgery.
  • This is because you will need to change both before and after the procedure. Dressing after surgery may be difficult.
  • During the surgery, you will wear a medical gown.

Can I come alone to the breast implant removal surgery?

  • No, you should not come alone to an explant or a breast implant removal surgery.
  • Although you may be able to drive to the clinic, you can not drive after your procedure.
  • This is because of the anaesthetic you will receive for the procedure itself: it will make you numb and prolong your response time.

Breast Implant Removal Procedure FAQs

What is involved in breast implant removal?

  • During the breast implant removal procedure, your specialised plastic surgeon will make an incision to remove the breast implant.
  • There are different incision techniques that your surgeon can make, including:
    • Under the breast – inframammary incision,
    • Around the areola – periareolar incision, or
    • Under the armpit – transaxillary incision.
  • Through this incision, your surgeon will remove the breast implant and the breast capsule. (If required)
  • The surgeon will then close the incision with sutures.

How are breast implants removed?

  • Your surgeon can remove breast implants using an incision made in the same place as during the breast augmentation implant placement.
  • The surgeon will then remove the breast implant and close the incision.
  • Your specialised plastic surgeon may suggest a more complex procedure depending on the presence and the extent of capsular contracture.

How do you remove saline breast implants?

  • Saline breast implants removal procedure is a little more complex than that of silicone breast implant removal.
  • The surgeon will make a smaller incision to expose the saline implant in your breast tissue.
  • Then, they will use a needle to drain the saline from the implant and then remove the shell through the incision.
  • In saline breast implant removal, the incision can be made smaller since removal occurs once the implant is deflated.

How long does implant removal surgery take?

  • Breast implant removal surgery takes between one and three hours.
  • Your surgeon will likely use General anaesthesia on you for the procedure.
  • You are normally able to go home the same day.
  • During the recovery, you still need to take plenty of rest. However, many women confirm that breast implant removal surgery generally takes less downtime and that the healing process is much faster.

Is Breast Implant removal a day surgery, or will I be admitted overnight?

  • In most cases, breast implant removal is a day surgery.
  • Occasionally, depending on the case and whether there are any complications, your specialised plastic surgeon may suggest that you stay as an overnight patient for closer monitoring and the availability of medical staff, should you need any help.

Where will the Breast Implant Removal surgery be performed?

  • Your breast implant removal surgery will be performed in; a hospital, operating room facility or a clinic that also has an operating room or a surgical theatre. This is to maximise your safety and reduce the chances of any post-op complications.
  • A well equipped surgical theatre will have several medical devices and will be attended by the surgeon’s support team.

What are my options for pain relief during Breast Implant Removal Surgery?

  • Your surgeon will put you under general anaesthesia during the breast implant removal surgery for your comfort.
  • Your surgeon may choose to give you local anaesthesia if they decide to leave the capsule in the breast and only remove the breast implant.

What is en bloc breast implant removal?

  • En bloc breast implant removal is a surgical procedure in which your specialised plastic surgeon can remove breast implant together with the capsule of scar tissue your body has formed around the implant.
  • This procedure is somewhat different to Breast Implant Removal Leaving Capsule.
  • Your surgeon may suggest en bloc explant if there are risks connected to opening the capsule, such as when your breast implant ruptures. This is especially dangerous if you have an old type of silicone implant filled with liquid silicone, which may leak out and partly be absorbed by the surrounding tissues.
  • However En Bloc removal has other risk and complications. These will be discussed with your Surgeon.

Can free silicone be detoxed after the removal of breast implants?

  • Free silicone can be partially removed. This is not easy since silicone can penetrate surrounding tissues and partly be absorbed into the system.
  • Inflammation, infections and several other symptoms may occur if liquid, free silicone enters your body.
  • If you have an older type of silicone implant filled with liquid silicone and you suspect rupture, contact your specialised plastic surgeon immediately.

Breast Implant Removal Recovery FAQs

Do breasts go back to normal after implant removal?

  • Yes, breasts go back to normal after implant removal.
  • You may notice mild swelling as the implant pocket heals, although on a much smaller scale than after a breast augmentation procedure.
  • You may also see some skin laxity, which is normal. The skin expands under silicone weight and pressure to allow for the higher volume of breast tissue and a breast implant to be neatly housed within the breast’s skin.
  • Some of the skin laxity will be dissipate in a matter of days, however some may be permanent. This can depend on the size of the breast implants you had.

How long is recovery after breast implant removal?

  • The bulk of recovery after a breast implant removal will take place during the first two weeks post-surgery.
  • You can then expect some tenderness and sensitivity of the breast and muscle tissue for up to six weeks.
  • Many women confirm that a breast implant removal recovery is faster and less uncomfortable than a breast augmentation recovery.

How much time will I need off work for Breast Implant Removal Surgery?

  • You can go back to work in as little as five days after your breast implant removal.
  • Most women say they experienced less discomfort after a breast implant removal than after a breast enhancement surgery.
  • The recovery time may be shorter for women with saline breast implants because of the smaller incision. However, women who had capsular contracture and the capsule removed may need a longer recovery regardless of the type of implant.

How long is recovery after explant surgery?

  • Recovery after an explant surgery can take up to six weeks, depending on the breast implant removal procedure and several other factors.
  • In general, you can manage the pain with pain relievers and speed up the recovery by mild physical activity and practising healthy lifestyle choices.

How do you sleep after an explant surgery?

  • After an explant surgery, you should sleep on your back for at least six weeks, even longer if your specialised plastic surgeon suggests doing so.
  • You will need to sleep in this position to keep your breasts in a comfortable position while the healing takes place.
  • You need to avoid sleeping on your sides or your stomach as this may put too much pressure on the breasts and endanger the final results.

Can I sleep on my side after breast implant removal?

  • No, you should not sleep on your side after a breast implant removal.
  • Sleeping on your side will put too much pressure on your breasts, and the gravitational pull could interfere with the tissue position inside the breast.
  • To achieve the best results with minimal discomfort, make sure to sleep on your back after the breast implant removal procedure.

How will my breast look after implant removal?

  • Your breasts may look deflated after an implant removal procedure.
  • The skin will be thinner than before implants and may sag a little.
  • After a few weeks, the skin will have contracted somewhat so that your breasts will look fuller.
  • Based on your age and the size of the implant, your experienced plastic surgeon will be able to make an educated guess on what your breasts will look like after a breast implant removal procedure.
  • They may suggest a breast lift procedure combined with implant removal to prevent unwanted breast droopiness.

What bra to wear after breast implant removal?

  • You should wear a compression garment or a compression bra after a breast implant removal procedure.
  • Wearing a compression bra is important because it will keep your breasts pressed to your body and limit the amount of movement that your breasts will be able to make as you go about your day.
  • This lack of movement is essential for a speedy and successful recovery.

When will I see the final result after Breast Implant Removal Surgery?

  • Breast implant removal recovery may take some six weeks to heal fully.
  • You will be able to return to your normal duties a week from the surgery, while more strenuous activities, such as going to the gym and lifting, will have to wait for at least six weeks.
  • Its important to understand that every recovery path is different.
  • Take plenty of rest and give your body a healthy diet and a very moderate physical activity to speed up the healing process.

How long after breast implant removal can I exercise?

  • You should wait for at least six weeks before resuming any exercise after a breast implant removal.
  • You can resume some non-strenuous daily activities as early as a week after your implant removal.
  • However, more time to needed for any strenuous activities.
  • When in doubt, ask your surgeon or follow common sense: if an activity is painful, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

What exercise can I do after Breast Implant Removal Surgery?

  • You can do any exercise that is not too strenuous and does not involve arms or upper core muscles after a breast implant removal.
  • Exercising your legs and the behind is perfectly fine, but remember to listen to your body: if there is pain, switch the activity.
  • You can return to the gym approximately six weeks after the breast implant removal surgery.

When can I shower after Breast Implant Removal?

  • You should not shower for the first 48 hours after a breast implant removal.
  • This should give the incision enough time to reattach the breast skin tissues.
  • After the initial 48 hours, you may have short showers with lukewarm water.
  • Avoid baths, swimming and other prolonged exposure to water for as long as your specialised plastic surgeon recommends so.

When can I drive after Breast Implant Removal?

  • You should not drive immediately after your breast implant removal. A friend or a family member should accompany you to the surgery and drive you back home.
  • You should avoid sitting behind the wheel for as long as you take any pain medication and for as long as you take to restore a full range of motion in the torso.

When can I start jogging again after breast implant removal?

  • You can take anywhere between four and eight weeks to start jogging and running again.
  • This entirely depends on the speed of your recovery after a breast implant removal, your overall health and lifestyle choices.

Breast Implant Removal Longer-Term Results FAQs

What happens to your body after implant removal?

  • You will feel fatigued immediately after your breast implant removal.
  • Your breasts may look deflated and maybe droopy for a while.
  • The extent of droopiness or sagginess of your breasts depends on your age, the thickness of your skin and the size of the breast implant that got removed.
  • This will improve over the next few weeks as your breast skin contracts. Your breasts will look fuller, although not as large as with the implants.

What do breasts look like after implants are removed?

  • Your breasts will look droopy and deflated after your breast implant removal.
  • This should not last for too long since after only a few weeks, the breasts will contract to an extent.
  • If droopiness persists, you may ask your specialised plastic surgeon about a breast lift procedure.
    • It is common to combine a breast lift with breast implant removal since it restores the breasts to the state they were in before the breast augmentation procedure.
    • The breast lift will also address any sagginess of the breasts that has resulted from the implants stretching your skin.

Will my breasts sag after implant removal?

  • Yes, your breasts will sag after implant removal.
  • The sagging will become less apparent as time passes.
  • If you are concerned that too much sagging remains, you may opt for smaller implants or a breast lift procedure.

How to tighten skin after breast implant removal?

  • Your skin will tighten itself to an extent after a breast implant removal.
  • If a lot of sagging persists, you may speak with your specialised plastic surgeon about a breast lift procedure.
  • It is common to combine a Breast lift with breast implant removal surgery.

Will I need a breast lift after implant removal?

  • You may need a breast lift after implant removal.
  • If your breasts are sagging, droopy and deflated looking, a breast lift can rejuvenate your breasts.

How can I minimise the likelihood of scars after Breast Implant Removal?

  • Scars are a normal occurrence after a breast implant removal.
  • Scars will appear after any surgical procedure.
  • To minimise the visibility of the scars, you should keep them moist at all times, avoid sun exposure and always use a lot of SPF when outside, especially over the scar.
  • CocoRuby Plastic Surgery offers scar revision procedures such as Healite II, Fraxer Laser or DermaPen.

Can scleroderma go away when breast implants are removed?

There has been no medical connection found between breast implants and scleroderma. However, it is suggested that the presence of silicone in the body may induce some randomised auto-inflammatory response in the body, although the connection is yet to be proven.

How long does it take to get pregnant after breast implant removal?

You can get pregnant immediately after your breast implant removal. However, most surgeons suggest that you wait for at least six months before attempting pregnancy since your body needs sufficient time to recover from a breast implant removal. Since pregnancy also puts a high strain on the body, pregnancy and breast implant removal may not go well together.

Breast Implant Removal Risks And Complications FAQs

Is breast implant removal painful?

  • Breast implant removal can be painful.
  • During the procedure, your surgeon will put you in general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia with sedation.
  • During the recovery, your surgeon will prescribe pain management medication to keep the pain at bay.

Is breast implant removal safe?

  • Yes, breast implant removal is generally a safe procedure.
  • If a specialised plastic surgeon does breast implant removal in hospital conditions and if there was no significant damage the procedure is safe, and you will return home the same day. However, there are some risks and complications that you may want to discuss with your plastic surgeon before the procedure.

Is a breast lift necessary after implant removal?

  • A breast lift is not necessary after implant removal.
  • If you feel that your breasts are too saggy or droopy or too deflated-looking, you may opt for a breast lift procedure.

Which celebrities have removed their breast implants?

Victoria Beckham, Pamela Anderson, and Heather Morris have removed their breast implants for practical and health reasons.

Breast Implant Removal Financing FAQs

Does insurance pay for implant removal?

  • Your insurance may provide partial or full coverage if the breast implants are removed because of a painful capsular contracture or if your experience a ruptured implant.

Does medicare cover ruptured breast implant removal?

  • If you experience:
    • Painful capsular contracture,
    • Breast disfigurement,
    • Implant rupture,
    • Implant dislocation with protrusion through the skin,
    • A series of infections in your breast tissue that can be attributed to your breast implants or
    • A breast cancer diagnosis,

Medicare will contribute to the breast implant removal costs. (There will still be an out of pocket cost).

Will medicare pay to have breast implants removed?

  • In some cases, when breast implant removal is a medical necessity, Medicare will cover a part of the procedure.

Will health insurance cover breast implant removal?

  • If the breast implant removal procedure is deemed a medical necessity, your insurance may contribute towards some of the surgery costs.

Can I get a warranty for my implants?

  • Some breast implant manufacturers offer a warranty on their products. Motiva® breast implant manufacturer from Costa Rica provides a warranty and a free replacement in a breast implant rupture. The implant must be replaced like for like.
Last updated: 08/06/2022
Author profile image
Dr Patrick Briggs - FRCS, FRCSI (Plast. Surg)
Dr Patrick Briggs is an experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon Now based in Melbourne, Australia. He is an expert in Breast, Body and Face Surgery with a special interest in Gender Assignment Surgery. Dr Briggs has been published widely in surgical literature; he is trained and experienced in all aspects of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery. Dr Briggs’ extensive experience across multiple surgical fields has allowed him to refine his skills to produce optimum results for his patients. Combined with his experience, Dr Briggs continually attends conferences and seminars to extend his knowledge and training surrounding the latest and best surgical techniques and equipment. By doing so he is able to provide his patients with the highest level of care and skill ensuring quality results.

Coco Ruby’s Specialist Plastic and ENT Surgeons

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic Surgeons are dedicated to best practice patient care and education, customising Breast Enlargement Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

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What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 264 811, Email us: enquiries@cocoruby.com.au or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Virtual Consultation with a Surgeon.


Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.