Breast implant removal, also known as Explantation or Explant Surgery, is a procedure in which your current breast implants are removed. This can be done when; your implants have been in for a long time, if you’d like to change your current implant for either a bigger or smaller size, if there have been any implant-related complications or if you simply just want them out.
A breast lift, also known as Mastopexy, is a surgical procedure where the removal of excess skin from your breasts and lifting them up occurs, reshaping them. Breast implant removal can be combined with a breast lift for a great result.
Although breast implants are long-lasting they are not permanent. Most implants last 10-15 years after which time you should have them removed and/or replaced. If you are leaning towards removal but don’t want to lose the contour your breast have and want to prevent sagging after the explant surgery, then a breast lift in combination with the removal is a great option.
Am I a good candidate for Breast implant removal with a breast lift?
Combining an Explant and Mastopexy is the procedure for you if you want to remove the implant and you:
- Are no longer satisfied with your breast implants and would like to have them removed.
- Have persistent pain and/or discomfort.
- Are worried that your breasts might sag after implant removal.
- Have damaged implants.
- Have put on and/or lost weight.
- Want to rejuvenate the breasts after having children.
- Are in good physical health.
- Are in a stable weight range.
- Have realistic expectations about surgery.
What are the Benefits of Combining Explantation and Mastopexy Surgery?
There are many physical and psychological benefits associated with this procedure. Not only does it tighten the breast tissue after explantation and counter age-related loss of skin laxity, giving your breast proper positioning but it also gives your breasts a better aesthetic and significantly boosts how you feel and look.
You should discuss your conditions and the benefits of undergoing combined Explantation and breast lift before going through with the procedure to see if the procedure is the correct one for you.
Your Combined Explantation and Mastopexy Journey
During your initial consultation, you will have an in-depth discussion with your surgeon about the procedure to see if you meet the criteria to undergo the surgery. Your surgeon will also take a detailed medical history and assess the condition of your breasts. Then, you will discuss your procedure goals; being honest and reasonable about your expectations can help you get the outcome you desire.
Your surgeon will also explain the procedure in full, along with the potential risks.
You should ask any questions you may have and raise any doubts regarding implant removal or breast lift surgery. Your surgeon will help you choose the best fit for you and your breasts.
The operation is performed under general anaesthetic and combines your implant removal with a breast lift to remove excess skin from the breasts. You will stay overnight in the hospital for observation and monitoring and will be able to go home the following day.
In summary, the operation involves;
- Making an incision around the areola
- Removing your implants
- Draining the breast of excess fluids and sealing the implant pockets
- Removal of excess tissues (if necessary, this depends on the quality and thickness of your skin and subcutaneous tissues)
- Once the desired shape is achieved, the incisions are sealed and your nipples are relocated.
The recovery time for this procedure is similar to Implant removal surgery.
Moreover, it is normal to experience some degree of bruising or swelling after the procedure, the swelling will gradually subside over a few weeks.
You will be required to wear a compression garment over your breasts to minimize swelling and promote smooth and quicker healing. You should wear it for a few weeks and only taken off once your surgeon advises you. In case of excessive bleeding, drains might be placed for a few days after surgery.
Mild to moderate discomfort after the procedure is common; however, you will receive a prescription for pain-killers to minimise your discomfort. You will also be given antibiotics to prevent infection at the site of the incision.
You will be able to resume normal office work after about 1-2 weeks. Avoid engaging in any strenuous physical activity for a few weeks after the procedure. You will also need to avoid lifting heavy weights, stretching, excess stress and smoking. All of these can interfere with the wound healing process.
A diet rich in fibre, protein and fresh vegetables will also help speed up the healing process.
Risks and Complications associated with Combined Explantation and Mastopexy
This procedure, like any other surgical procedure, has potential risks and complications, including;
- Complications related to anaesthesia: nausea, vomiting, and/or loss of consciousness.
- Persistent pain
- Bleeding or haematoma formation
- Poor or excessive scarring
- Prolonged loss of sensation (numbness/tingling) around the breast and nipple
- Contour and/or breast shape irregularities
- Asymmetry of breasts
- Seroma formation- Fluid accumulation
- Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola.
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Repeat surgery may be required if the results are suboptimal.
As the risks related to the procedure are considerable, it is of paramount importance to seek an experienced surgeon for the procedure to minimize these complications’ chances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my breasts sag after implant removal?
- Removing your implants will return the breasts to their original size, and under the effect of gravity and aging, the breast may sag but not always.
Is a breast lift necessary after implant removal?
- It is not necessary to undergo breast lift after Explantation.
- However, it is an excellent option in women who have had larger implants, in whom sagging of breast skin and noticeable.
- Lowering of the nipple can also occur after the removal of implants.
- Breast lift surgery helps tighten the tissues and skin around the breast and keep the nipples higher, giving your breast a youthful appearance.
When should I get my implants removed?
- You should consider removing/ replacing your implants if any of the following occur:
- Wrinkling of skin over the implant
- Change in position of the placed implant
- Implant leak
- Any Infection
- Capsular contracture or rupture
- Implant hardening
- Double bubble occurring
- Breast pain and/or discomfort
- Features of Breast Implant Illness (ALCL)
- You should seek counseling from an experienced surgeon before deciding to remove and/or replace the implants.
What happens if you don’t ever remove breast implants?
- Sometimes nothing, there are many patients who have had implants for years and experience no problems. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to leave them in forever.
- If you had silicone implants and there is a noticeable change in your breasts’ appearance, removing or replacing your implants may be necessary for cosmetic purposes.
- However, with silicone implants, the changes may not be discernible to the eyes; it may cause hardening and/or lump formation around the breasts. If this occurs you will need to undergo an MRI to find out if the silicone implants have ruptured.
- Scar tissue may form around the breast tissue over time, and if this scar tissue becomes extremely thick, you might experience pain, tenderness, and discomfort in the breast area. Removing the implant along with the formed scar will fix the issue. If you still want to have implants, your surgeon can replace old implants with new implants, in a new pocket.
- With progressive aging, your breasts may sag, and the implant may become noticeable. You can replace your implants and get a breast lift to amend this.
Will my insurance cover the procedure?
- Sometimes. All health funds differ, some cover nothing and some will partially cover the costs.
- However, it is never, “free” for you. There will always be an out of pocket fee.
Is a breast lift with implant removal worth it?
- If you are looking to remove your implants yet retain proper contour to your breast by preventing sagging and retain a youthful appearance for your breast, then yes a breast-lift done with implant removal is worth it.
Book a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeons now and know how you can benefit from Combined Explantation and breast lift.