Breast Implant Removal 

Breast implant removal, or explant, is a surgical procedure that extracts an implant from the breast pocket. It may be performed as regular maintenance to implants placed more than ten years ago, to reverse implant-related complications, or simply to adjust to a patient’s new preference. With or without replacement, implant removal can ensure comfort and satisfaction for years to come.

Is Breast Implant Removal right for you ?

Pre and Post Operative Instructions

There are many reasons a patient may undergo breast implant removal, some of which include: 

Regular implant maintenance: The FDA and implant manufacturers recommend replacing implants every 10 years. Even if your implants have not yet caused any issues, removing and replacing them around the 10-year mark is still critical. 

Appearance: Age, pregnancy, and breastfeeding may change the breast tissue around the implants, causing changes that leave patients dissatisfied. Others simply change their size and shape preferences over time.

Pain or discomfort: Soreness or even more significant pain around the implant site can be due to scar tissue build-up or implants that are too large for the body. Others may find the additional weight on the chest leads to neck and shoulder strain.

Capsular contracture: One of the most common complications associated with breast implants, causing them to look distorted, feel unusually hard, or cause pain, the only way to ease the symptoms of capsular contracture is to remove the implants and the surrounding scar tissue.

Implant rupture: When a rupture occurs in a saline implant, the effects are noticeable almost immediately as the breasts will take on a ‘deflated’ appearance. The rupture of a silicone implant may not be immediately visible, so yearly imaging tests are critical to ensure a ruptured implant is removed quickly to prevent the silicone from spreading to other areas of the body.

Implant rippling and palpability: Patients with insufficient breast tissue or who have lost significant amounts of weight may notice wrinkles or ripples from their implant appear on their skin. Palatability occurs when these wrinkles can be felt when you touch your breast.

Breast Implant Illness (BII): Some women may experience adverse reactions to the silicone in their implants, causing symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, and joint pain. If you are experiencing any concerning symptoms, implant removal could be an option.

During your initial consultation, your surgeon will provide a comprehensive exam and discuss your goals to determine the proper procedure.


Before surgery

Explant surgery will differ significantly depending on the concerns and goals of the individual patient. During your initial consultation, your surgeon will listen to your implant history and perform an extensive exam to help determine the correct type of procedure that will be the safest and most effective for you.

Importantly, if pain or complications are present, your surgeon will help you select the procedure type, incision technique, and/or implant type, size, and shape that will achieve your aesthetic goals and help to avoid similar problems in the future. Your surgeon will also help you create a detailed pre-operative plan for optimal results. 

Stop smoking
Fill prescriptions
Stop taking medications & supplements that exacerbate bleeding
Plan time away from work, childcare, & pet care for recovery
Find a family member or friend to bring you home & help you after surgery

During surgery

All breast implant removals are different. During the procedure, incisions will be placed as discussed during your consultation. The same incisions from the original surgery will be used to minimize scarring whenever possible. The implants will then be removed, leaving an empty breast pocket or replacing them with new implants in the size and shape you select.

Sometimes, a breast lift will be performed to remove excess skin. If a fat transfer is done, it may be performed after healing from your explant surgery. When needed, scar tissue will be removed as well. Finally, incisions will be closed in a layered approach to reduce tensions during healing and promote better scar formation.

Surgery Duration

After surgery

It is normal to experience soreness and swelling for the first two weeks following your breast revision. Pain relievers and cold compresses are typically used to ease these side effects during the early portion of the recovery process. Some explants require extensive pocket repair that involves the use of specialized bras.

Your surgeon will provide specific instructions for optimal post-operative care, including an advanced scar management protocol after the initial healing period. Your surgical team is always available and will closely monitor your recovery in the weeks and months following surgery.

Immediate Recovery Period
5 days
Final Results
6 months