BREAST IMPLANT REMOVAL
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Breast implant removal surgery is performed for many different reasons. Patients may undergo this procedure to achieve certain aesthetic goals, or a need for this surgery may arise due to functional concerns. Double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Yoel Rojas provides breast implant removal in Beverly Hills for medical and cosmetic purposes, so his patients can feel and look their best.
WHAT IS BREAST IMPLANT REMOVAL SURGERY?
Breast implants are medical devices that are surgically placed over or under the pectoral muscle to enhance the breasts. Thousands of women undergo breast augmentation with implants each year for improvements in size, projection, symmetry, and shape.
Breast implant surgery is associated with a high rate of patient satisfaction. However, since every patient is unique, breast implants are not the ideal solution for everyone.
Breast implant removal, or explant surgery, is often the best option when these popular medical devices become a source of physical discomfort and/or emotional distress. Dr. Rojas can also perform this procedure for patients whose initial implant surgery was botched by a previous provider.
Right for you?
Am I a Candidate for Breast Implant Removal?
Medical and cosmetic issues that may indicate that you are a candidate for breast implant removal include:
You have ruptured, leaking, and/or degrading implants.
You suffer from physical discomfort due to tightness, hardened scar tissue, the weight of your implants, and/or breast implant illness symptoms.
You are dissatisfied with the size, shape, and/or position of your implants.
When you meet with Dr. Rojas for your initial consultation, you can share your specific concerns regarding the physical symptoms and/or aesthetic preferences that you wish to resolve with explant surgery. Dr. Rojas will also physically examine your breasts and review your medical and surgical history in order to determine your candidacy.
Ideal candidates for breast implant removal are patients who are in good general health and do not smoke. Candidates must also agree to follow all of Dr. Rojas’ pre- and post-surgery instructions.
Why Is Breast Implant Removal Surgery Performed?
Some of the most common reasons this surgery is performed include:
Neither saline nor silicone breast implants have an expiration date, and some women enjoy their breast implants for more than 20 years. However, these medical devices should not be expected to last a lifetime.
Over time, the silicone shell that contains the saline or silicone implant material begins to weaken. This makes the implant shell increasingly susceptible to ruptures, which can cause unwanted medical and cosmetic issues.
For many women, proactive implant removal with or without implant replacement is preferable to being at a higher risk for ruptures and leakage. Depending on the implant, removal may be recommended after 10-15 years, though there are variances between implant types and other considerations that factor into the optimal time for removal.
Ruptured saline breast implant
When a saline breast implant ruptures, the sterile salt water inside the implant shell leaks out and into the body. Saline implant ruptures are easy to diagnose due to the pronounced visible changes in the appearance of the affected breast, which will look deflated.
Since the body can safely absorb saline, there is no health risk when this happens. However, breast implant removal is a necessary step in the restoration of natural-looking breast contours after a saline implant rupture.
Ruptured silicone breast implant
Silicone ruptures are frequently referred to as silent ruptures because quite often, there is no discernable volume loss or change in shape, and the patient is completely unaware of the issue.
Silicone implant material is thick and cohesive enough that it often retains its shape even when the shell around it has ruptured. If silicone leaks out of the shell, it typically remains within the capsule of scar tissue that naturally forms around a breast implant in the weeks following its initial surgical placement.
A ruptured silicone implant is not considered a medical emergency. However, a timely breast implant removal procedure is advisable since the leaking silicone is not indicated for direct contact with bodily tissues.
Physical discomfort and/or medical conditions can arise due to silicone implant ruptures and leakage. Pain, swelling, and chronic fatigue are common symptoms of leaking silicone implants. Additionally, sensations of numbness, burning, and/or tingling can occur, and some patients develop hard lumps in the affected breast tissue.
Breast implant illness (BII)
Breast implant illness refers to a broad set of symptoms experienced by patients who have an adverse reaction to their implants. Symptoms of an inflammatory or autoimmune response may be induced by saline or silicone implants and can include:
- Cognition issues such as difficulty focusing, anxiety, fatigue, and memory loss
- Musculoskeletal issues like muscle and/or joint pain and muscle weakness
- General body symptoms such as rashes, chronic pain, dry eyes, and hair loss
Breast implant removal is considered the best treatment option for resolving BII symptoms.
Capsular contracture refers to complications that arise when the body overproduces scar tissue in response to implant placement. Scar tissue is an inevitable by-product of the healing process after the placement of breast implants. The formation of capsular scar tissue around a breast implant is not only a natural response to the device, it is also beneficial, as it helps to secure the implant in place.
Capsular contracture occurs when the body registers an implant as a threatening foreign object. The formation of thick, irregular scar tissue around a breast implant is the body’s way of isolating the implant and neutralizing the perceived threat.
Capsular contracture is given a grade of 1-4 to indicate the severity of a patient’s symptoms and indicate whether breast implant removal surgery is required to alleviate discomfort and/or palpable irregularities:
- Grade one denotes an asymptomatic case that will not jeopardize the success of breast implant surgery.
- Grade two capsular contracture is associated with minor cosmetic concerns that do not distort the breast shape but will contribute to palpable, yet mild, firming.
- A designation of grade three is applicable when the breasts no longer feel or look natural due to more advanced hardening. Many grade three capsular contracture patients will need implant removal surgery to resolve concerns relating to breast shape and the density of hardened tissue.
- Capsular contracture cases classified as grade four are characterized by unnaturally hard and severely misshapen breasts, as well as significant pain in the breast area. Breast implant removal will be needed in the vast majority of grade four cases of capsular contracture.
Implant removal for implant displacement (malposition)
Implant displacement, or implant malposition, refers to a breast implant that has moved out of its intended position on the chest wall. One type of implant displacement involves the lateral movement of breast implants toward the center of the chest. The medical term for this condition, which can ultimately result in a “uniboob,” is symmastia.
A patient’s genetics and anatomy can play a role in the development of symmastia. However, muscle detachment due to overly aggressive tissue dissection during an implant placement procedure is most often the cause. Correcting this condition and restoring natural-looking breasts requires removing the implants in addition to muscle and tissue repairs.
Malposition can also occur due to oversized implant pockets, which are associated with two types of implant displacement. If implant pockets are too large, breast implants can shift laterally until they are abnormally far away from the middle of the chest.
Implants can also rotate if placed in overly large implant pockets. While the rotation of round breast implants may not cause any noticeable effects, rotated teardrop implants create severely distorted breast contours.
Some patients find that their enhanced breasts do not appear and/or feel like natural breasts because of ripples or wrinkles that have formed in the implants. In some patients, such as those with thinner skin, ripples can create visible abnormalities. Implant wrinkles can also be palpable, prompting a patient to pursue breast implant removal in Beverly Hills to restore a softer, smoother feel.
Breast implants that are too heavy or large to be properly supported by a patient’s tissue can sink below the breast crease to cause various cosmetic concerns. When implants “bottom-out,” the nipples do not descend with them but instead move upward, creating an unnatural breast appearance. The outline of a breast implant can become noticeable due to bottoming-out as well.
Patients can elect to have their breast implants removed even if their implants have retained their structure and integrity, as well as their intended position. Some women find that their aesthetic preferences evolve over time and that smaller, natural breasts are more in alignment with their current lifestyle and desired physique.
In other instances, patients want to exchange their breast implants for implants of a different type, shape, size, and/or firmness. A breast implant removal with replacement procedure can be performed in these cases.
How to Prepare for Breast Implant Removal
You will receive a personalized plan from Dr. Rojas explaining how to prepare for your explant surgery. Failing to follow your pre-op instructions can increase the risk of complications and significantly lengthen your recovery period.
You may need to have a medical evaluation prior to breast implant removal. Lab testing may also be required.
Preparation for breast implant surgery can involve adjusting the dosage of certain prescription medications, as directed, several days before surgery. Additionally, some over-the-counter products should not be taken in the days leading up to your procedure, as specified by Dr. Rojas. These include aspirin and anti-inflammatory herbal supplements and drugs.
Since smoking compromises the body’s wound-healing response, patients must not engage in this activity for an extended period of time before explant surgery. Smokers must plan to abstain for several more weeks following the procedure, as well.
What Happens During Breast Implant Removal Surgery?
The specific techniques required to achieve the best possible outcome will differ from one patient to another. Before you schedule your procedure, Dr. Rojas will develop your customized surgical plan and will review it with you. While there are variances in procedure details, you can expect your breast implant removal surgery to include:
Intravenous sedation or general anesthesia will be administered, as pre-arranged between you and Dr. Rojas. This medication will prevent you from experiencing discomfort for the duration of the surgery.
Next, Dr. Rojas will make the necessary incisions to access and remove the breast implants. Incisions can be placed below the areola, around the areola, or along the inframammary fold (lower fold) of the breast. Dr. Rojas considers many factors when determining the best incision location for a patient, and he will be sure to answer any questions you may have about his recommendations prior to your surgery.
Using the techniques he discussed with you during your consultation, Dr. Rojas will remove your breast implants. If needed, capsular scar tissue will also be excised.
After completing your operation, Dr. Rojas will carefully close your incisions with sutures and/or skin adhesives.
Breast Implant Removal Recovery
Dr. Rojas will provide you with complete aftercare instructions, so you can support expedited healing after your surgery. These personalized post-op directions will include how to properly care for your incision sites, manage discomfort, and take prescribed medications.
The recovery process will require that you rest for several days. You will be informed of the movements and activities you must avoid so that the incision sites are not subjected to strain, force, or abrasion.
Your recovery will involve follow-up appointments with Dr. Rojas. These visits allow him to assess your healing progress, so he can advise you when you can safely return to work and your normal activities.
What to Know about Breast Implant Removal Surgery Results
It can take several months to see the complete effect of the surgery on your breast contours. However, relief from chronic discomfort associated with your previous implants, such as neck and shoulder strain due to large implants or symptoms of breast implant illness, can be more immediate.
During your consultation, Dr. Rojas will provide you with the information you need to understand the nature and extent of what can be accomplished if you undergo explant surgery. Factors that affect whether it is possible to achieve your desired breast contours with implant removal alone include:
- Size of the implants
- Amount and quality of remaining natural breast tissue
- Quantity and characteristics of scar tissue around the implant
- Whether the implants have leaked
Can Breast Implant Removal Be Combined with Another Breast Surgery?
If breast implant removal alone will not accomplish your treatment goals, Dr. Rojas may recommend a combination procedure, such as:
Removal of breast implants with lift
A breast lift, or mastopexy, involves excising excess skin and raising and reshaping drooping breast tissue to restore a more youthful breast position. If aging or weight fluctuations have caused your breast tissue to sag, you have elongated breasts, and/or your nipples point downward, it may be necessary to pair implant removal with breast lift surgery in order to ensure a desirable outcome. This combination procedure is sometimes referred to as explant and lift surgery.
Breast implant removal and replacement
With this combination procedure, older and/or problematic breast implants are replaced with new ones. You can choose your replacement implants from a broad selection of saline and silicone options, just as you did with your initial breast implant surgery.
The right replacement implants for you will depend on whether your preferences have changed since your previous breast implant surgery. Some women opt for identical implants, while others choose a new implant type, profile, and/or size to subtly or dramatically change their look.
What Is the Cost of Breast Implant Removal in Beverly Hills?
Since Dr. Rojas precisely tailors breast implant removal to the needs of the patient, the price of this procedure can vary significantly. The overall cost of breast implant removal reflects the techniques used, complexity of treatment, duration of the surgery, and whether additional procedures are performed in combination. Facility and anesthesia fees will also apply.
Schedule a Consultation
If your breast implants have ruptured, shifted, rotated, negatively affected your wellbeing, and/or do not complement your physique the way you would like, contact our office today to arrange your consultation for breast implant removal in Beverly Hills. Under the care of Dr. Rojas, you can trust that your safety and treatment goals will be prioritized at every step of the breast implant removal process.