Restore Your Natural Breasts in Austin
Breast augmentation is one of the world’s most requested aesthetic surgeries. Hundreds of thousands of women choose to get breast implants each year, and most are thrilled with the improved contour and fullness of their bust. However, some women who have breast implants later make the decision to have them removed. Even if you loved your results initially, you may feel that enhanced breasts are no longer right for you. In this case, you can elect to have your implants permanently removed.
Whether you have become unhappy with the look of your implants over time, or lifestyle changes have you rethinking your larger bust, breast implant removal may help you feel more comfortable in your own body. Our plastic surgeons have helped many women in Austin and the surrounding communities restore their breasts to their natural size with attractive, natural-looking results. Contact Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery today to explore your breast implant removal options.
What is Breast Implant Removal?
Breast implant removal, also known as explant surgery or explantation, is a surgical procedure in which breast implants are removed from the breast pocket. Depending on a patient’s reason for removal or desired postoperative outcome, the implants may be removed with or without the surrounding capsule of scar tissue. Most patients choose to combine implant removal with another breast procedure, such as fat grafting or a breast lift, to fine-tune their aesthetic results. Our plastic surgeons specialize in all forms of breast surgery and will help you develop a plan to achieve the most beautiful outcome possible following the removal of your implants.
Why Should You Consider Removing Your Breast Implants?
A patient may decide to have her breast implants removed for a variety of reasons:
After years with implants, some women feel that larger breasts no longer suit their body. Other women were never fully satisfied with the results of their original augmentation surgery. All women can be affected by pregnancy, breastfeeding, hormone changes, weight fluctuations or aging, which can compromise the tissue surrounding the implants and cause sagging or asymmetry.
Large implants can make it difficult to participate in physical activities. They can affect the range of motion of a woman’s arms, make running more challenging and make upper body strength exercises difficult to perform. Some women experience breast implant animation deformity, a condition in which the shape of the augmented breast is distorted when the chest muscle is contracted.
Aesthetic tastes and trends are constantly evolving. The balloon-like breast implants that were popular in the 80s and 90s have fallen out of fashion. Today’s patients tend to favor a more natural and proportionate look, which may make women with larger implants feel self-conscious, causing them to yearn for their natural, smaller curves.
Excessively large breasts, whether natural or surgically enhanced, can lead to strain in the neck, shoulders and upper back. These issues can be exacerbated in patients who have gained weight over time and now have larger natural breasts in addition to implants. These women may benefit from having a breast reduction in addition to implant removal.
Complications are a possibility with any surgery. For women with breast implants, complications that could necessitate implant removal include infection, capsular contracture (hardening of the scar-tissue capsule around the implant), deflation of a saline implant or leakage of a silicone implant.
Explantation is an appropriate option for almost anyone, provided the patient wants it for herself and the surgery can be performed safely.
Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
- Known for natural-looking aesthetic results in breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery.
- Elected by peers for inclusion in Texas Monthly's Texas Super Doctors®: Rising Stars listing.
- Reconstructed over 6,000 patients, including more than 2,500 DIEP flap reconstructions.
- 4.9-star average rating over hundreds of reviews for reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.
Your Austin Breast Implant Removal Consultation
All breast augmentation patients have different anatomy and objectives. The same is true of explantation patients. When you visit Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery for your initial consultation, you’ll have an in-depth conversation with your plastic surgeon about your concerns and goals, and your surgeon will perform a physical examination of your implants and breast tissue. Our all-female team of plastic surgeons offer meticulous surgical technique and a caring, professional approach. They will ensure you are aware of every option available to you, so you are empowered to make the best decisions for yourself.
Breast Implant Removal Procedure Options
Explant surgery is performed under general anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable and asleep through the procedure. The incisions for breast implant removal are often placed in the same locations as the incisions from the primary breast augmentation surgery to minimize postoperative scarring. If this is not possible, an inframammary incision (located in the fold where the breast meets the chest wall) is usually preferred.
Based on the discussions you had during your consultation, your individualized surgical plan may involve one of the following breast implant removal techniques:
Simple Breast Implant Removal
This straightforward procedure is similar to breast augmentation. Incisions are made in the breasts, using the previous incision pattern if possible, and through the implant capsule. The implant is extracted, leaving the capsule in place.
Partial or Total Capsulectomy
In a partial or total capsulectomy, the implant is removed along with some or all of the capsule. The implant is extracted first, then the capsule is released from the surrounding breast tissue and an appropriate amount of the scar tissue is removed.
En Bloc Capsulectomy
En bloc capsulectomy is an advanced technique in which the implant and capsule are removed simultaneously as a single unit. The capsule is separated from the surrounding tissue and extracted with the implant still sealed inside. This is ideal for preventing additional contamination of the body in the case of a ruptured silicone implant.
Implant Removal with Breast Lift
It is common for women’s breasts to take on a deflated appearance without the volume of an implant. For these patients, a breast lift can be combined with implant removal to address stretched skin and sagging. The lift tightens loose skin and raises the breast position to restore a perky, youthful and shapely look. A lift is almost always recommended with implant removal.
What Will My Breasts Look Like After Explant Surgery?
Having breast implant removal surgery, you might go through "ups and downs" during your recovery. The improvement in comfort and mobility tends to increase in a linear fashion. You feel a little better each day. Emotionally, you may have days when you wish your breasts looked better. It's important to be aware of this so you can navigate the cosmetic improvements of our process with more ease. This can be especially relevant for women who've had breast implant removal without a lift. Regardless, your breasts might look not only flatter but also deflated after you've had your breast implants removed. The degree of deflation that you notice could depend on the size of the implants you've had removed, but it's also helpful to understand that, regardless of breast implant size, the natural contours of the breasts may look quite different than what you've become accustomed to throughout the time you've had breast implants.
Know this: just as your breast implants "settled" over time, so will the results of your breast implant removal. In this case, the process is often referred to as "fluffing." It describes the way in which the breasts naturally regain their most natural shape in the absence of saline or silicone implants. The "fluffing" process can become noticeable as soon as three weeks after breast implant removal. It can continue for as long as six to nine months. If you've chosen to have your breast implants removed rather than replaced, your motivation is a driving force in helping you get used to your new shape. We're here to support you in whatever way we can!
Is Recovery from Breast Implant Removal Much Different than Breast Augmentation?
There are apparent differences between breast augmentation and breast implant removal. In fact, they could be described as polar opposites! Does this translate to a significantly different recovery period? Not necessarily. Your breast implant explanation will require some downtime. You may read on some websites that the process is "easier." In reality, your recovery from breast implant removal will be influenced by factors unique to you. In general, you may need three days to a week off work or school. After that time, you can expect to experience some soreness, tenderness, and fatigue as your body engages in tissue repair. Some of the sensations that occur after surgery may continue for approximately six weeks. While you might be able to go back to work after a week or two, you may also continue to have limitations related to strenuous activity for up to six weeks, just like you experienced after breast augmentation.
Breast Implant Removal Recovery and Results
Following your breast implant removal surgery, you will be given a surgical bra that should be worn at all times to minimize swelling and support your healing breasts. Continue wearing this garment until instructed otherwise. You may also have drains that will prevent fluid from building up in the pockets that contained the implants. Expect the drains to stay in place for about one week. Your surgeon will explain how to care for the drains and the incisions.
In general, recovery from implant removal is similar to recovery from augmentation. Stick to rest and light activities at home for the first week. You may gradually increase activity as tolerated, but should avoid twisting and lifting more than five to 10 pounds for four to six weeks. Most patients can comfortably return to work within a week, sometimes quicker.
The final results of your explantation surgery will depend on several factors, including the size of the implants that were removed, the scar tissue surrounding the implants and the quality of your breast tissue. Your breasts may initially look deflated when your implants are removed. It can take several weeks or months for them to regain their volume and shape. This will not happen if you have had a breast lift at the same time as your implant removal procedure.
Breast implant removal scars heal in stages. Though they will never disappear entirely, they fade significantly and are inconspicuous in most types of clothing. Following all of your surgeon’s postoperative instructions will help to accelerate healing time and minimize the appearance of scarring.
Reshaping For the Body You Want in Austin, TX
Getting breast implants is a personal choice, and removing them is no different. If you are considering having your implants removed in the Austin region, the all-woman care team of Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery is uniquely equipped to help you make the decision that’s right for you. Our staff’s understanding of women's needs is reflected in our compassionate care, personalized treatment plans and beautiful, natural-looking results. Find out more about Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and request a consultation by calling (512) 815-0123 or sending a message online.