Breast implant removal, also known as explant surgery, is a cosmetic procedure that reverses a breast augmentation. It is simply the removal of the breast implants without replacing or exchanging the implants with new ones. This procedure can be done in combination with other surgical procedures, including a capsulectomy or a mastopexy (breast uplift).
Deciding if breast implant removal is right for you
Some of the most common reasons women choose to have explant surgery include:
- Implant complications: Including implant rupture, hardening of the breasts (capsular contracture), muscle animation, double bubble appearance, or infection.
- Breast Implant Illness: (See section on BII) If this is the case then you may take the decision to have your implants removed.
- Personal choice: Some women may feel their implants are the wrong shape or size. Over time they may have moved into a different position due to weight loss, weight gain or pregnancies. Some women had implants when they were younger and feel they do not need/want implants anymore.
- Implant Shelf Life: The manufacturers life expectancy of implants is 10 or more years, although implants can stay in without problems for a much longer time however they aren’t guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Whatever the reasons for considering this surgery, only you can decide if it’s the right option for you. Mr Sherif Wilson MB, ChB, MS, FRCS (Plastic Surgery) will take great care in talking you through all of your options, but the end decision must always come from the person looking to have the surgery.
What does this procedure involve?
The procedure is similar to breast augmentation surgery. To minimise scarring Mr Wilson will use your existing scars to remove your implants. Following implant removal surgery, the breasts tend to have a deflated appearance, which is why some women choose to undergo a mastopexy (breast lift) at the same time. A mastopexy involves removing excess skin and raising the nipple so that the breasts appear lifted and more youthful.
For women who are having their implants removed due to experiencing capsular contracture, a total capsulectomy can be performed at the same time. Capsular contracture is when the fibrous scar tissue (capsule) forms and contracts around the implant, causing pain and distortion of the breast. A capsulectomy is the procedure to remove this fibrous scar tissue capsule. Total capsulectomies are also performed when the implant has ruptured/leaked, and the capsule is then sent away to the laboratory for analysis.
Surgery takes around 1.5 hours. Breast implant removal surgery with a total/enbloc capsulectomy takes around 2 hours. Surgery with a mastopexy (breast uplift) takes around 2.5 hours. All these procedures are performed under a general anaesthetic.
With your permission, Mr Wilson photographs all removal of implants and these pictures can be provided to you after the operation with your written consent.
What are the risks of this surgery?
All surgery carries general risks such as bleeding, DVT and infection. Mr Wilson sees all his patients at least twice prior to surgery in order to ensure that all the risks and complications are discussed in detail, and this allows the patient to go home and think about any further questions they have.
Before and after gallery
Going home after surgery
You may be able to go home the same day of the surgery, but many patients will spend one night in hospital. Patients are recommended to take around two weeks off work immediately after the operation in order to ensure they recover fully.
How much does this surgery cost?
Depending on the type of procedure you decide to have, the cost of the surgery can vary.
These are guide prices and are subject to change following an initial consultation with Mr Wilson, where a bespoke quote will be provided, specific to each patient. These prices are for a simple removal of implants and if you require a capsulectomy or mastopexy, the prices will be higher to reflect this.
At Nuffield Bristol Hospital
At BMI Bath Clinic
At Winfield Hospital (Gloucester)
At St Josephs Newport
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