Breast Implant Removal

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Why Consider Breast Implant Removal?

Women seek breast implant removal for a number of reasons, most of which (not all of course) boil down to some variation of:

  1. “My body is just different than it was when I got my implants.”
  2. “I went in for a lift and came out with THESE.”

Common Implant Complaints

Breast implants have been around since the early 1960s. They gained popularity in the decades to follow, becoming widely available in the 70s and 80s. This means that there are now a relatively large number of women who have had their implants for upwards of 30-40 years! So, the women who had these early implants placed when they were in their twenties are now in their 40s, 50s or even 60s. Many of these women’s bodies have gone through significant changes…pregnancies, natural weight fluctuations and ultimately menopause. These women are now re-evaluating their bodies in middle age and finding that the implants “don’t fit” them anymore. Most of these women relate a relatively happy relationship with their implants when they were younger and thinner, but now feel that the added breast size makes them look “thick” or “matronly”. Some women are now thinner or their breasts are more “deflated” than they were when they got their implants and feel that the implants no longer accentuate their figure like they used to.

Unfortunately, some women relate a history that they never liked their implants in the first place, or they always felt like they were too big. Oftentimes they relate a history that they “went in for a lift” and came out with bigger saggy breasts rather than the perky, youthful breasts they were envisioning. This may have happened for any number of reasons: poor communication with the surgeon or wrong operation in the first place. Sometimes the easiest and most cost-effective solution for droopy breasts is to put in an implant to “fill up” the loose skin. If the breast is droopy in the first place, a breast implant will indeed fill the lax skin, but it will do very little to lift or re-shape sagging breasts that needed a lift in the first place.

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Learn about our Board-Certified plastic surgeons and why you should choose two RealSelf 500 award winners for your next procedure!

How Implant Removal Works

Fortunately, very few women request treatment because they regret the operation altogether, but it does happen and thankfully it can be undone with very little negative consequence in many cases.

The decision whether or not to remove the implants altogether or to replace them with smaller implants depends largely on how much breast tissue a woman presently has and what size breasts she would like to have in the long run. When a woman has gained some weight since her original breast augmentation it is not uncommon for her breasts to be larger as well, so an implant may not be necessary at all. In some cases, the breasts will look much more natural without the implants. A recommendation on whether or not a woman needs a breast lift (mastopexy) depends on the overall appearance of the breast and where her breast tissue now lies relative to the implants. A good rule of thumb is: if the breast was droopy BEFORE the implant or is droopy WITH the current implant, then it will probably be droopy with a smaller implant or no implant. In most cases, a breast exam and a candid conversation with your surgeon will allow you to decide what’s best for you. Schedule an online appointment with our surgeons to discuss your options.

If a patient has saline implants, they can be deflated in the office, under local anesthesia, which allows both surgeon and patient to accurately see what the breast will look like without an implant. This also allows the patient to live with her smaller breasts for a while. This way, they can dress around the new size before deciding whether they want them removed or downsized. If the patient decides to have implants removed and does not wish to have a lift at the same time, this can usually be completed in the office as well. If the patient decides to have a smaller implant and/or a lift at the same time, it is advisable to do so within a couple of weeks to avoid the collapse of the pocket that houses the implant.

If a patient has silicone implants this option is not practical, but your surgeon should be able to give you at least a rough estimate of breast size. If you think you are having trouble visualizing what your breast would look like without an implant, ask your surgeon to show you some pictures of what their best guess is. This will help you decide if that look meets your preferences.

Our bodies change over time. What once was a nice addition and made us feel more proportional may no longer be working for us in later life.  There are a number of options available.

  1. Removal of implants altogether, no lift
  2. Removal of implants with a simultaneous lift
  3. Removal of implants with the option of a lift later
  4. Downsizing implants, no lift
  5. Downsizing implants with a simultaneous lift
  6. Downsizing implants with the option of a lift (or removal) later
  7. Deflation of saline implants ahead of time, with all of above options

Dr. Gingrass discusses how often should you replace your implants

Dr. Gingrass discusses in office implant deflation

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