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Breast Implant Removal Review: Corrected Prior Surgeon Mistake

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

“After going to another plastic surgeon for a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction, I developed capsular contracture on my right breast. Not wanting to go back to the prior surgeon, so glad I found Dr. Richland! He removed my breast implant and scar tissue, then replaced it with a new implant. All went well. Dr. Richland and his Staff were so nice.”

Read the full Google Review here.

Understanding Breast Implant Removal

Breast implant removal is a surgical procedure performed to take out breast implants from a prior breast augmentation. This section provides insights into what the surgery involves, reasons for undergoing the procedure, and an overview of the removal process.

What Is Breast Implant Removal?

Breast implant removal refers to the surgical process a plastic surgeon performs to remove previously inserted implants from a patient’s breast tissue. In some cases, the surgery might also include the removal of scar tissue, known as a capsulectomy.

Reasons for Removal

The decision to remove breast implants can stem from a variety of reasons:

  • Medical: Complications such as capsular contracture (hardening of scar tissue), implant rupture or leaking, and infection are medical grounds for removal.
  • Cosmetic preference: Changes in personal taste or aesthetic desires can lead individuals to remove or replace their implants.
  • Health-related: Concerns about breast cancer, breast health monitoring, or imaging clarity.
  • Physical comfort: Discomfort or pain associated with the implants or changes to the breast like sagging.

Breast Implant Removal Surgery Overview

An implant removal surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon under general anesthesia. Here is a brief outline of the process:

  1. Incisions: Made usually where the original breast augmentation incisions were placed.
  2. Removal: If necessary, the surgeon removes the implant and possibly the surrounding capsule.
  3. Closure: The incision site is closed with sutures, and the area is bandaged or supported with a surgical garment.

Post-surgery, recovery varies for each individual, with specifics provided by the medical team based on the patient’s unique circumstances.

Preparing for the Procedure

When planning for breast implant removal, patients prioritize selecting a qualified surgeon and understanding the pre-operative steps. They also learn what to expect on the surgery day to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Consultation and Choosing a Surgeon

Selecting a board-certified surgeon with experience in breast implant removal is the first critical step. The surgeon will evaluate the patient. Patients should be prepared to discuss their reasons for the removal and any expectations for a breast lift or additional procedures that might be performed simultaneously.

Pre-Surgery Considerations

Once a surgery date is set, patients need to prepare by following their healthcare provider‘s instructions carefully. This includes:

  • Smoking: Ceasing smoking well in advance of the procedure, as it can hinder healing.
  • Medications and Herbal Supplements: Discuss current medications and herbal supplements with the surgeon to avoid any that may increase bleeding risk.
  • Eating or Drinking: Adhering to guidelines regarding fasting before surgery.

What to Expect on the Day of Surgery

Patients will arrive at the hospital or outpatient surgery center on the day of the operation. They are typically asked to avoid eating or drinking anything post-midnight before the day of surgery. The type of anesthesia, which may include general anesthesia or sedation, will be discussed beforehand. The patient should arrange for transportation home post-surgery, as they cannot drive. An anesthesiologist will be present to administer the anesthesia and monitor the patient throughout the procedure.

Post-Surgery Recovery and Care

Following breast implant removal, patients embark on a recovery journey that involves careful attention to incision sites, management of swelling and discomfort, and adherence to recommended care strategies to ensure optimal healing and results.

Initial Recovery Phase

The initial phase of recovery typically lasts for a few weeks. Immediately after surgery, patients can expect:

  • Swelling and Pain: Applying cold packs and taking prescribed medication can alleviate these symptoms.
  • Drains: To prevent excess fluid accumulation, drains might be placed at the surgical site and must be monitored.
  • Incision Care: Keep the incision dry and avoid applying pressure to the area. Dressings or bandages will cover the incision to assist the healing process.
  • Support Bra or Compression Garment: Wear these continuously to minimize swelling and support the breast shape.

Patients should avoid strenuous activity and follow their surgeon’s advice on when to bathe or shower.

Long-Term Recovery and Results

In the long-term recovery phase, which may extend for several months, patients will notice gradual changes:

  • Scarring and Scar Tissue: Over time, scars from incisions will fade but might not disappear completely. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons can recommend silicone strips or gel to optimize scar healing.
  • Shape and Size: As swelling decreases, the final breast shape and size will become apparent. Smaller breasts post-removal are usual, and additional procedures like fat transfer, mastopexy (breast lift), or reconstruction may be desired.
  • Sensations: Nipple and areola sensitivity can change but typically normalizes within a few months.

Lifestyle adjustments, including modifying exercise routines and understanding restrictions on lifting, are necessary until full healing is achieved.

Potential Complications and How to Handle Them

While many patients experience a smooth recovery, there are potential complications to be mindful of:

  • Infection: Any signs of infection at the surgical site, such as redness, heat, or discharge, should be reported to the surgeon immediately.
  • Persistent Pain or Discomfort: If pain persists beyond the typical recovery period, seek medical attention.
  • Necrosis: Tissue death around the nipple or incision is rare but requires prompt medical intervention.
  • Capsular Contracture: Scar tissue that forms tightly around the implant capsule may need additional treatment.

Regular follow-up care with the surgical team is key to effectively managing and mitigating these risks.

Schedule Your First-Class Cosmetic Consultation with Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Contact Dr. Richland today by visiting RichlandMD.com, scheduling a cosmetic consultation, or by calling 714-844-0398 or 949-997-2958 directly.

Cover Image Illustration by: Dr. Brandon Richland, MD