FAQs: Breast Implant Removal (Breast Explant Surgery)


What is the lifespan of a breast implant?

The current generation of breast implants is extremely durable, and all manufacturers in the US give lifetime warranties on their implants. Implants should be checked yearly by your plastic surgeon to ensure that they are intact and soft.

What happens during a breast explant procedure?

During breast implant removal, an incision is typically made at the base of the breast. The soft tissues and capsule are opened, and the implant is dissected off the capsule. The implant is removed, the capsule pocket is washed out, and the incision is closed in several layers over a drain.

Is there any type of doctor that specializes in breast explant surgery and fat transfer.

Board-certified plastic surgeons are fully trained in breast implant removal and fat transfer.

Could I have my implants removed without having general anesthesia?

If you are having only the implants removed and they are intact, the procedure can usually be done with sedation. However, if you are having the capsule removed at the same time, general anesthesia will be required to allow for muscle relaxation.

If I have my implants removed will I need a breast lift?

The need for a breast lift after implant removal depends upon the size of implants being removed and the patient’s tissue characteristics. In most cases, the implants are removed and the breast tissue is allowed to rebound for several weeks prior to making a decision regarding the need for a breast lift.

What is the recovery time for a breast explant procedure with a capsulectomy?

Following breast explant surgery, drains are placed which will need to be emptied daily. These typically remain in place for 4-5 days. The breasts will feel sore for several days. Light activity is permitted after surgery, but strenuous activity and exercise should be avoided for 2 weeks.

Once the implant is removed, what happens to the capsule and the pocket?

The pocket is drained for several days to prevent fluid accumulation, and then begins to close on itself. The capsule tissue is gradually resorbed by the body.

Is the pain following a breast explant procedure similar to the pain following a breast augmentation?

Recovery after breast implant removal is generally much easier than the initial augmentation, as the pectoralis muscle is not being cut again. If the capsule is removed, there will be some soreness from this aspect of the procedure, which usually lasts several days.

How does removing a subpectoral breast implant affect the pectoral muscle?” a=”The pectoralis muscle is not affected by implant removal, as it is not cut and will continue to function normally.

My breast implants were placed two years ago and I want to get them out, but I want to know if the capsules also need to be removed?

In general, capsules are removed when they are contracted and causing pain or deformity. If they are soft, they do not need to be removed, although patients may sometimes request that they be excised at the time of surgery.