What Are the Benefits of a Breast Explantation?
Removing breast implants allows women to return to their natural breast aesthetic. This procedure is beneficial for women who are not happy with the look or feel of their breast implants.
Breast implants are at risk for complications like capsular contracture, implant rupture, and implant displacement. Repairing these complications requires the damaged implant to be removed. A breast explantation allows women to say goodbye to their damaged implant and opt for a healthier one.
Women with naturally small breasts choose a breast augmentation to achieve a fuller bustline. Some of these women desire larger breasts but do not understand how these heavier implants will feel or how they may affect their day-to-day activities like exercise or sports. A breast explantation allows women to rethink their decisions.
Experiencing a complication with an implant can cause significant emotional distress as well as physical discomfort. Emotional stress can also occur when a woman is displeased about her physical contour or if she is concerned with things like breast implant illness (BII) or breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
Dr. Hochstein is committed to providing his patients with the safest, most comfortable care possible
What Happens at a Breast Explantation Consultation?
A one-on-one consultation with Dr. Hochstein is required before your breast explantation surgery. During this meeting, Dr. Hochstein will:
- Evaluate your augmented breasts
- Diagnose any implant complications
- Discuss your surgical options
- Take measurements and photos
- Develop a surgical plan
- Talk about any health conditions that can affect your recovery
- Inform you on how to prepare for your procedure
- Before surgery, you should
- Stop smoking
- Stop taking aspirin, NSAIDs, and herbal supplements that thin the blood
- Before surgery, you should
What Are Virtual Consultations?
Dr. Hochstein has the privilege of meeting many of his clients during their consultation at his Miami office. However, since Dr. Hochstein understands how challenging it can be for out-of-town patients to make two trips to Miami, he offers virtual consultations for patients in different geographical areas.Get In Touch
Some women who choose a breast explantation decide that they no longer want augmented breasts. Permanent implant removal allows women to restore their natural breast appearance.
During this procedure, the implant and the surrounding scar tissue capsule are removed, the breast pocket is tightened, and the incisions are closed with sutures.
En Bloc Capsulectomy
En bloc capsulectomy is a technique that may be used to remove the implants and the capsules. En bloc means in “one piece,” and that is how the implant and capsule are removed together.
This technique requires a longer incision along the inframammary fold so that the implant and its surrounding capsule are removed without puncturing the capsule. This technique is beneficial for women with capsular contracture (since the scar tissue must be removed) and implant rupture (because it keeps any loose silicone in the tissue capsule).
Implant Removal and Breast Lift
The removal of a breast implant can result in premature breast ptosis (sagging). Some women who choose to remove their implants permanently benefit from the combination of an explantation and a breast lift surgery.
A breast lift elevates the breasts by tightening and securing glandular tissue and trimming away excess skin. This results in a more youthful and compact breast appearance.
Implant Removal and Replacement
A breast explantation is usually just the removal of a damaged or unwanted implant, but women have the option of replacing their implants with new ones. A breast revision inserts new, healthy implants after the existing implants and capsules have been removed.
These implants can be identical to the previous implant or can be a different size, shape, or filling material.
Do You Have Concerns About a Breast Explantation?
After a breast explantation, you can expect bruising, swelling, and soreness. A compression garment may be wrapped around your breasts to reduce swelling, increase circulation, and ensure that the breasts remain at the correct elevation.
Your breast explantation recovery may be longer than that of your initial augmentation, but it is still usually well-handled.
- Week 1: Your bruising and swelling will reach its peak, and you will want to spend this time resting comfortably. We do recommend getting on your feet for leisurely walks to promote circulation and facilitate healing.
- Week 2-3: Much of the bruising and swelling will subside, and you can return to work.
- Week 4-5: The majority of the swelling should subside, and you can likely resume all activities. Since every woman heals differently, you need to listen to what your body is telling you. Do not push yourself before you are ready.
Since plastic surgery procedures are tailored to the patient, the cost is difficult to estimate before a consultation. A breast explantation is no different. The final cost of your breast surgery will include many factors, including anesthesia fees, facility fees pre-surgical tests, post-surgical dressings, geographical area, and surgeon’s fees. Dr. Hochstein can provide you with an accurate cost estimate during your consultation.
A breast explantation is performed with general anesthesia to prevent pain, but discomfort may develop in the hours and days after the procedure due to the bruising, swelling, and incisions. Pain can be alleviated with prescribed pain medication or the use of a pain pump that will administer small amounts of a numbing agent.
Most patients only require these for a few days. Following that, over-the-counter pain medication like TYLENOL® often suffices.
Dr. Hochstein always tries to use your breast augmentation incision to perform your breast explantation, but this is not always possible. An additional or longer incision may be necessary to remove the implant.
While there is no way to eliminate residual or future scars, they can be covered with bras or bathing suits and will fade with time. Laser treatments, oral medication, topical creams, and scar treatments are also available to minimize the visibility of the scars.
Many women who undergo a breast explantation do so because of an implant complication. This is why Dr. Hochstein offers the Sientra Platinum20™ Product Replacement and Limited Warranty Program. This warranty covers any breast implant complications or unexpected developments with your new implants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for a breast explantation?
A breast explantation is performed for women who wish to remove their breast implants due to physical complications or a change in aesthetic desires.
Candidates for a breast explantation do not smoke, are in good overall health, and have realistic expectations of their results.
What are the risks associated with a breast explantation?
A breast explantation and a breast revision are common breast enhancement procedures. Unfortunately, complications may arise. These potential complications include:
- Harmful interactions with the anesthesia
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clots)
- Prolonged healing
Does insurance cover the cost of a breast explantation?
Even though some women are forced to undergo a breast explantation due to an implant complication, it is not covered by insurance because a breast augmentation is elective.
Dr. Hochstein offers financing options with CareCredit®, ALPHAEON CREDIT®, United Medical Finance, EFinancing Solutions, and Prosper Healthcare Lending to help women cover the cost of a breast explantation.
How can I prevent implant complications like capsular contracture?
Scar tissue will form around any foreign object in the body, much like how it develops at an injury site. There is no way to prevent the formation of this tissue, and, therefore, there is no way to prevent capsular contracture.
Capsular contracture is a condition caused by the tightening of the scar tissue surrounding the implant. While you cannot stop the tissue from tightening, it is believed that post-implant breast massages may reduce the chance.
Ask Dr. Hochstein about proper massage techniques during your consultation.
Will I experience more complications if I choose to replace my implants?
While it is not required to replace implants, women may do so if they wish to maintain their augmented breasts. Breast implants may experience complications at any time, regardless of whether they are the initial implants or replacement implants.
There is no way to guarantee the longevity of an implant or prevent an additional complication; however, it is unlikely that a patient would experience the same problem twice.
Dr. Hochstein does offer warranty programs to cover your implants, should complications arise.
Do breast implants increase my risk of breast cancer?
No. There is no link between breast implants and breast cancer, and breast implants do not increase breast cancer risk.
Women with implants placed above the muscle may have a more difficult time identifying any complications—due to the implant obstructing the view of the breast tissue—and are recommended to undergo their scheduled mammograms and MRIs with technicians who are trained in evaluating patients with implants.
What is BIA-ACLC, and should I be concerned?
BIA-ALCL is a very rare form of cancer that is found in the scar tissue around the implant. It is a type of lymphoma; it is not breast cancer. While this disease has been making headlines recently, it is important to note that BIA-ALCL is only associated with Allergan® BIOCELL textured implants—an implant brand that is not used by Dr. Hochstein.
The vast majority of women who already have the linked implants will never experience any complications, and removal of the implant is often sufficient should any issues ever arise.
As of now, many surgeons and the FDA are not recommending that women remove their implants if they are not experiencing complications.
What is BII, and is it real?
Breast implant illness (BII) is a self-diagnosed condition that associates a collection of side effects like fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, anxiety, and headaches with breast implants. There is no scientific link between the symptoms and implants, and BII is not currently considered an actual medical condition.
Some women who believe that they are suffering from this condition do experience relief following the removal of their implants.
How will removing my implants affect me long-term?
Most women who choose to undergo a breast explantation experience no complications or unexpected changes to their breasts in the long run. The women’s breasts will continue to age naturally and may eventually benefit from a breast lift.
Can I prevent my breasts from sagging in the future?
While the removal of the implant can contribute to sagging of the breasts, it is far from the only contributor. Most women experience some degree of breast ptosis as they age. Breast tissues weaken and stretch much as facial tissues do, and when this occurs, the breasts have nowhere to go but down.
There is no way to prevent breast ptosis, but women may be able to minimize their chances by maintaining a stable weight and following a healthy lifestyle.
Can I prevent my breasts from sagging in the future?
Yes. Even if you decide that implants are not right for you at this time, you always have the option of undergoing a breast augmentation in the future. Often, a secondary breast augmentation can utilize the same incision that was created for your first augmentation and your implant removal; however, it may need to be extended due to the additional scar tissue formation.