What is breast implant replacement and removal?
Breast implant removal, with or without replacement or exchange, is a procedure in which implants previously placed in the breasts are taken out.
Why consider breast implant replacement and removal?
You may wish to have your implants taken out for many reasons. These may include:
- You see wrinkling or rippling of the implants. Or the edges of your implant have become visible.
- You have previously had breast implants but have decided you do not want them anymore, perhaps because they no longer suit your age or social role.
- Your breast implants are damaged or ruptured.
- Your breasts have sagged around the implants, so the implants are fine, but the breast looks empty.
- The natural scarring that holds your breast implants in place has hardened and tightened. This is called capsular contracture.
- You want to exchange your implant for one of a different size. It is quite common after having children or at menopause to feel that your implant no longer suits your shape.
- You can see or feel your implants under the skin. In slim women in particular, the edges of the implant can become more visible as your skin becomes thinner with age. You may even be able to see your implant fold or ripple.
- Your implants have moved or you are not happy with their positioning.
Sometimes as my patients grow older, are successful in their professional lives or become mothers, they may feel that their breast implants no longer suit their lifestyle or their self-image. In other cases, the implants simply do not look as good as they used to.
Did you know?
What happens during the procedure?
If your breast skin is firm and elastic and your existing implant size is small, you may be able to have your implants removed – usually via the previous surgery scar – and have no other surgery. Often breasts appear deflated after implants are removed. A new implant will restore their previous fullness. You may choose a new shape, texture or size at this point. The new implant is inserted via the scars of the prior operation.
HOW LONG DOES BREAST IMPLANT replacement or removal SURGERY TAKE?
The operation may take between 60-90 minutes.
WHAT IS CAPSULAR CONTRACTURE?
If your breasts have become unacceptably firm, changed shape, become smaller or feel tender, you may have capsular contracture. A capsulectomy procedure removes the capsule which is the lining around your implant. You can have the original implant removed or replaced.
WILL I HAVE OBVIOUS SCARS FOLLOWING BREAST IMPLANT replacement or removal SURGERY?
There may be a scar of around 4cm located discreetly in the fold under the breast. Scarring will be at its most noticeable during the first few months following surgery. Scars will be raised and a different colour to your skin. They will eventually flatten and fade. The scars may not take on their final appearance until a full 18 months after surgery.
WHERE IS THE IMPLANT PLACED?
Breast implants are introduced most commonly via an incision in the fold under the breast, or they could be placed via an incision in the armpit or around the areola, the darker skin around the nipple. Implants can be placed on top of the chest muscle or under the muscle. The latter gives a little more ‘padding’ for slim women concerned that the outline of their implant might be visible.
ARE SILICONE IMPLANTS SAFE?
Silicone implants have been extensively tested, both in the UK and around the world and have been shown to be safe. Studies have shown that our bodies are exposed to far greater levels of silicone in everyday life than occurs when you have breast implant.
Do I need to do anything before the procedure?
For breast implant removal or replacement surgery, an ultrasound or mammogram will be required in order to check the breast tissue and integrity of the implants.
Am I required to wear specific clothing following surgery?
After breast implant replacement and removal, you will need to wear a soft, elastic, compression bra and band for between three and six weeks to support recovery during the healing period which is easy to hide under your clothes. A compression bra and band helps with skin retraction and to reduce swelling as the surgical area is healing.
What form of anaesthetic will be used?
All breast procedures with Mr Olivier Amar are performed as day case surgery. They are usually performed under total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA), a technique of anaesthesia which uses a combination of agents given exclusively via the intravenous route without the use of gas anaesthesia. This means you will sleep comfortably throughout the procedure and wake immediately afterwards with a significantly reduced likelihood of feeling groggy or nauseous. The anaesthesia will be explained to you by your anaesthetist during the preoperative consultation. Having surgery with TIVA allows you to go home the same day to rest and recuperate in comfort.
What can I expect after breast implant replacement or removal surgery?
Your breasts will be swollen for a few weeks after the operation, this should settle between 2 weeks and 6 weeks. Initially you can expect to experience mild pain, which can be managed by a pain killer prescription.
You will be asked to come in for a post-operative nurse appointment one week and two weeks after your surgery. At this point your incision sites will be reviewed, stitches removed and your preliminary healing will be assessed. You will come back at six week after surgery to be reviewed by Mr Olivier Amar.
How long do I have to wait to return to normal activities following the surgery?
Depending on your type of daily activity, you will usually be able to resume your normal activities after two to three weeks. Strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least 6 weeks. Mr Olivier Amar will discuss this with you in further detail at your consultation.
Can any other procedures be done at the same time?
If you have lost volume in the upper pole of your breast, but the implant at the base is fine, then fat transplantation may be a way to refresh your look while allowing you to enjoy your implants for longer.
If you are happy with the size and shape of your implants, but they have become more visible, perhaps because the edges are visible at the décolletage, or because you notice wrinkling or rippling, fat transfer to breast (lipomodelling) is an option to restore the natural appearance of your implants without removing or replacing them.
Mr Olivier Amar is a highly experienced specialist in this technique. Fat can be taken from an area you may wish to slim down, such as the abdomen or thighs, and be placed in the upper pole of the breast or gently smoothed over the implant to hide the edges.
If your breasts have sagged and stretched, you may benefit from a breast lift procedure to lift your breasts and restore their previous firmness.
A breast lift — also known as mastopexy, breast reconstruction or breast uplift surgery — is a surgical procedure to lift and reshape sagging or drooping breasts, giving them a more uplifted appearance. This procedure can improve the shape and projection of the breasts but will not make your breasts bigger or smaller, so it is ideal for women who are generally satisfied with the volume of their breasts.