Implants do not last forever, but not all implants need to be replaced or removed every 10 years; saline implants do not. When a medical complication occurs several options are available. Some women may decide that they want to go back to sporting their natural breasts, but are also concerned about what their bust will look like if they remove their implants. Others who have silicone gel implants may be hesitant to replace their implants but want to still make sure their natural breasts do not look misshapen, sagging, or deflated. In the latter case the solution is the Ideal implant which is a structured implant that feels like the silicone gel but is filled with saline for peace of mind.
These concerns will be addressed when breast implant removal surgery is performed by Dr. Hervé Gentile. His specialized removal techniques and thoughtful eye for reshaping and proportions leaves women with beautifully contoured, attractive breasts after implant removal.
About Breast Implant Removal
Breast implant removal is a cosmetic procedure to remove implants that were inserted during a breast augmentation surgery. Removal of implants can be due to aesthetic or medical reasoning; in either case the procedure to be performed is the same. An incision is made along the previous incision site of the breast augmentation surgery (usually on the breast crease or the lower border of the areola) and the implants are removed from the breast. In cases where the capsule needs to be removed as well, a capsulectomy will be performed (almost always with silicone implants).
Why Remove Breast Implants
Women should not live with unwanted breast implants because they are afraid of what their natural breasts with look like after having implants for so long. Breasts do not have to be deflated or flat; Dr. Gentile uses a special technique to reshape the breasts with the natural tissue after the implants are removed. If there is a significant amount of sagging skin, a breast lift will create a perky, elevated bust.
Removing breast implants doesn’t have to be because a medical problem occurred. Women who get breast implants may decide later on that they simply would rather sport their natural bust. This desire for aesthetic change can also come about because they think their augmented breast are too large, too small, asymmetrical, or if they are just ready for a change. Dr. Gentile will be more than happy to help decide what the best course of action is and what can be done to achieve optimal results. If you want a breast enhancement without anything placed in your body, a breast lift can be performed to create a perky bust. Fat transfer is also another alternative procedure where fat from your body is relocated to the breasts for a natural augmentation.
Failure of a silicone implant can result in a rupture or in extravasation of silicone gel. This can be because it is faulty or damaged, it was over handled, it is past its prime, or if an extremely large amount of pressure if placed on it. Saline and silicone implant ruptures present differently. Since saline implants are filled with a liquid solution, a leakage will create a deflation of the breast, becoming noticeable immediately. A silicone implant leakage may not present immediately since it is made of a semi-solid mass. The gel may remain in the casing or capsule, or it can possible escape and move to surrounding areas and become misshapen. In the case of silicone gel implants, in addition to MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Studies), regular checkups with Dr. Gentile are important to ensure everything is great with your implants and there isn’t a silent rupture.
A capsular contracture occurs when the natural forming capsule around the breast implants is replaced by scar tissue thereby your breast implant hardens and can shrink. It happens more often with silicone gel implants. It also accounts for the majority of breast implant removals. The body naturally forms a barrier of scar tissue and collagen fibers around the implant. In some instances this barriers, or capsule, contracts and shrinks which can cause discomfort, visible deformity of the breast, and sometimes pain. The Baker Scale is a measurement of the severity of a capsular contracture, ranging from level 1 to level 4.
- Level 1: A breast that is soft to the touch and appears normal in shape.
- Level 2: A breast that is a little firmer to the touch but is still normal in appearance.
- Level 3: A breast that is firm to the touch and is starting to appear misshapen.
- Level 4: A breast that is substantially hard and is visibly deformed in shape. Soreness or pain may be felt as a result.
Some less common breast implant complications include:
- Extrusion: the implants becomes visible through the breast skin
- Calcium buildup
- Bottoming out: implants have made the breasts sag
- Seroma: collection of fluid (requires medical attention to rule out the possibility of a rare anaplastic large cell lymphoma cancer)
Preparing for the Procedure
- Dr. Gentile will prescribe medications which should be picked up before the surgery date.
- Make sure you have enough pillows at home so you can prop yourself up when sleeping or resting.
- It is important to arrange a ride to take you home when you are released from the recovery room. You should bring a pillow as cushioning between the seat belt and your chest for the drive back home.
- Bring a loose fitting top to wear after surgery. It should ideally button or zip in the front.
- Please keep in mind that your range of arm motion will be limited during the healing process. All recovery items such as remote controls should be accessible on low level counters so you do not need to lift your arms too high.
All patients will receive additional custom preparation instructions to help ensure the best results possible.
If the removal is not paired with additional procedures, surgery typically lasts between one to two hours. Breast incisions are usually made along the original implant insertion incisions so scarring is minimized. Depending on why the implants are being removed, the process can be as straightforward as simply removing the old implants, or in cases of capsular contracture a capsulectomy must be performed. This is when both the capsule of scar tissue and the implants are removed.
If a patient does indeed decide they would like to replace their implants, new implants are inserted into either the original or new breast pockets depending on the case.
Breast implant removal can be undergone as a surgery on its own and provide beautifully enhanced contour. However, there are complementing breast procedures that can be performed in the same session for even more enhanced results for those who wish to remain implant-free.
Fat transfer to the breasts is a great natural approach to breast augmentation. This procedure begins with liposuction performed on your choice of body area that has excess fat deposits. Popular liposuction areas are the thighs, abdomen, and love handles. The harvested fat will then be prepared for injection. With a keen eye for body proportions, Dr. Gentile will inject the fat into specific areas of the breast to create a modest increase in breast size. This approach eliminates risk of complications such as capsular contracture since there are no foreign substances that could potentially be detected by the immune system. Fat transfer to the breast can be paired with a breast lift if ptosis (breast sagging) is a concern.
Breast lift, or mastopexy, is an extremely popular breast enhancing procedure. It is designed to surgically lift the breasts and create a perky and proportional bust. Breast lifts do not increase the amount of breast volume; however, lifting them can make them appear fuller and rounder. The procedure is performed by removing excess sagging breast skin and repositioning tissue for a youthful contour. For best results your breast lift should be delayed a few weeks to give time for your breast to settle down after your implants have been removed.
A breast augmentation is only performed when you desire to have larger implants. Your older implants are removed and replaced at the same time with the desired larger.
Breast implant removal recovery is much quicker and less uncomfortable when compared to your breast augmentation. Some initial bruising and swelling may occur and will go away on its own, but Dr. Gentile can provide pain medication prescriptions to alleviate resulting discomfort. Patients can expect to return to work in four days if it does not involve strenuous activity or heavy lifting, which can only be partaken in after a few weeks. If you undergo additional procedures this time frame may vary. Walking helps speed along the healing process, but don’t overexert yourself. You can speak with Dr. Gentile about scar treatment to diminish the appearance.
Your initial consultation visit with Dr. Hervé Gentile in Corpus Christi is when you will explain your reasoning for wanting your implants removed and your desired aesthetic goals. Dr. Gentile will perform an exam and create a custom tailored surgical plan based on his findings and your goals. Please share any allergies, past surgeries, and medical history with Dr. Gentile at this time. Any questions you have about any aspect of the procedure (recovery instructions, tips for preparing, anesthesia, etc.) will be answered in detail. We want to make sure you are fully educated on the procedure and comfortable with your decision undergo breast implant removal surgery.
A quote will be given to you at the end of your consultation. Breast implant removal costs vary depending on the case and if you choose to undergo additional procedures; this quote will convey your custom surgical plan price.