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Breast Implant Removal in Virginia Beach

Ready to take the next step towards comfort and confidence? Associates in Plastic Surgery offers expert Breast Implant Removal consultations. Schedule yours today to explore your options with our experienced team. Your journey to natural beauty starts here.

Table of Contents

What is Breast Implant Removal Surgery?

Breast implant removal, also known as explantation, is a surgical procedure performed to remove breast implants from the breast tissue. This procedure may be performed for various reasons, including medical complications, dissatisfaction with breast implants, or changes in personal preferences. Breast implant removal may involve the complete removal of implants or the replacement of implants with different types or sizes. The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia and may be combined with additional procedures such as breast lift or capsule removal, depending on the patient’s specific needs and goals. Recovery from breast implant removal surgery varies depending on the extent of the procedure and individual healing factors. It’s essential for patients to discuss their concerns, goals, and expectations with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in breast implant removal to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for their needs.

Am I an Ideal Candidate? An Ideal Candidate for Breast Implant Removal Surgery

  • Experience complications such as capsular contracture, implant rupture, or implant malposition.
  • Have developed dissatisfaction with the appearance or feel of their breast implants.
  • Desire to return to their natural breast size or shape after undergoing breast augmentation.
  • Experience changes in personal preferences or lifestyle that no longer align with having breast implants.
  • Are in good overall health and free from medical conditions that could increase the risks of surgery or interfere with the healing process.
  • Have realistic expectations about the outcomes of breast implant removal surgery and are motivated to achieve their desired breast appearance.
  • Have discussed their concerns, goals, and expectations with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in breast implant removal and have received personalized recommendations for treatment.

What Happens During a Breast Implant Removal Surgery?

During breast implant removal surgery, several steps are involved to safely remove the breast implants from the breast tissue. Here’s an overview of what typically happens during the procedure:
  1. Preparation: The patient is prepared for surgery, which may involve administering anesthesia to ensure comfort throughout the procedure. The surgical site is cleansed and sterilized to reduce the risk of infection.
  2. Incision: The surgeon makes incisions in strategic locations on the breasts, typically along the original incision lines from the previous breast augmentation surgery. The choice of incision pattern depends on factors such as the type of implants, the need for capsular removal, and the desired outcomes.
  3. Implant Removal: The surgeon carefully removes the breast implants from the breast pockets. Depending on the condition of the implants and surrounding tissue, the implants may be intact, ruptured, or deflated. The surgeon may also remove any surrounding scar tissue (capsulectomy) if necessary.
  4. Capsule Management: If capsular contracture (scar tissue formation around the implant) is present or if the existing implant capsule needs adjustment, the surgeon may perform a capsulectomy (complete removal of the scar tissue) or capsulotomy (partial release of the scar tissue) to improve breast shape and texture.
  5. Additional Procedures (Optional): Depending on the patient’s specific needs and goals, additional procedures may be performed during breast implant removal surgery. This may include procedures such as breast lift (mastopexy) to address sagging or excess skin, fat grafting to restore volume, or adjustment of nipple and areola position to enhance breast appearance and symmetry.
  6. Closure: Once the implants are removed, the incisions are meticulously closed with sutures or surgical adhesive. Dressings or bandages may be applied to the surgical site to protect the incisions and promote healing.
  7. Post-operative Care: After surgery, the patient is monitored in a recovery area before being transferred to a hospital room or discharged home. Pain medication may be prescribed to manage discomfort, and patients are given instructions for post-operative care and follow-up appointments.
Breast implant removal surgery is highly individualized, and the specific techniques and approaches used may vary based on the patient’s unique anatomy, concerns, and goals. It’s essential for patients to discuss their options and expectations with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in breast implant removal surgery to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for their needs. A thorough evaluation and consultation with the surgeon can help ensure a safe and successful outcome from breast implant removal surgery.

Recovery Timeline Following Breast Implant Removal Surgery

The recovery timeline following breast implant removal surgery can vary depending on factors such as the extent of the procedure, individual healing characteristics, and any additional procedures performed. While every patient’s recovery experience is unique, the following is a general timeline outlining the typical progression of recovery after breast implant removal surgery:
  1. Immediate Post-Operative Period (Day 1-2):
    • Patients may experience some discomfort, swelling, bruising, and mild to moderate pain at the surgical site.
    • Prescription pain medication or over-the-counter pain relievers may be recommended to manage pain and discomfort.
    • Patients are typically discharged home on the same day as surgery or after a short observation period, depending on the surgical plan and individual recovery.
  2. First Week:
    • Swelling and bruising are expected to peak during the first few days after surgery and gradually begin to subside.
    • Patients are advised to rest and avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and excessive arm movements during the initial recovery period.
    • It’s important to follow all post-operative instructions provided by the surgeon, including wearing compression garments or surgical bras as recommended.
  3. Weeks 2-3:
    • Swelling continues to decrease, and bruising fades over time, although some residual swelling may persist for several weeks.
    • Patients may gradually resume light activities and return to work, depending on their comfort level and the nature of their job.
    • It’s important to avoid activities that could strain or put pressure on the chest area, such as lifting heavy objects or engaging in vigorous exercise.
  4. Weeks 4-6:
    • Most swelling and bruising have resolved by this point, and patients typically start to see noticeable improvements in breast appearance and discomfort.
    • Patients may gradually resume more strenuous activities and exercise routines, following clearance from their surgeon.
    • Incisions continue to heal and mature, and any residual discomfort or sensitivity gradually diminishes over time.
  5. Months 3-6:
    • By this stage, the majority of post-operative swelling has resolved, and the breasts begin to settle into their final shape and position.
    • Scars continue to fade and flatten over time, although they may remain pink or slightly raised initially.
    • Patients can expect to see the final results of their breast implant removal surgery, including improved breast shape, symmetry, and comfort.
  6. Long-Term Recovery:
    • While most of the visible signs of surgery resolve within the first few months, it may take up to a year or more for the breasts to fully settle and the scars to mature.
    • Patients should continue to attend follow-up appointments with their surgeon as scheduled to monitor their progress and address any concerns that may arise during the healing process.
It’s important to note that individual recovery experiences may vary, and patients should follow their surgeon’s specific post-operative instructions for optimal healing and recovery. If any unusual symptoms or concerns arise during the recovery period, patients should contact their surgeon promptly for guidance and assistance.

Maintaining Results

Maintaining the results of breast implant removal surgery involves several strategies aimed at preserving the improved breast appearance, comfort, and overall well-being achieved through the procedure. Here are some tips for maintaining the results of breast implant removal:
  1. Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate hydration, and sufficient sleep. A healthy lifestyle can support optimal healing, tissue health, and overall well-being.
  2. Supportive Bras: Wear supportive bras that provide adequate support and minimize breast movement. Choose bras with wide straps and full cups to distribute weight evenly and reduce strain on the breast tissue. Supportive bras can help maintain breast shape and comfort.
  3. Breast Self-Exams: Perform regular breast self-exams to monitor changes in breast appearance and feel. Look for any new lumps, changes in breast shape or texture, or other abnormalities that may require further evaluation by a healthcare provider.
  4. Breast Health Monitoring: Continue to monitor breast health by scheduling routine clinical breast exams and mammograms as recommended by your healthcare provider. While breast implants are no longer present, it’s important to remain vigilant about breast health and undergo regular screenings for early detection of any potential issues.
  5. Sun Protection: Protect the skin of your breasts from sun exposure by applying sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher when exposed to sunlight. Sun exposure can accelerate skin aging and affect the appearance of scars, potentially compromising the results of breast implant removal surgery.
  6. Avoid Smoking: If you smoke, quit smoking or avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoking can impair circulation, delay wound healing, and increase the risk of complications, which may affect the long-term results of breast implant removal surgery.
  7. Regular Follow-Up Visits: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your plastic surgeon for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the surgical outcomes. Your surgeon can assess the stability of the results, address any concerns or changes, and provide recommendations for long-term care.
  8. Open Communication: Maintain open communication with your plastic surgeon and discuss any concerns or changes in breast appearance or comfort. Your surgeon can provide guidance, reassurance, or additional treatment options as needed to address any issues and ensure long-term satisfaction with the results of breast implant removal surgery.
By following these tips and staying proactive about your breast health and overall well-being, you can help maintain the results of breast implant removal surgery and enjoy the benefits of improved breast comfort and appearance for years to come.

Possible Complications

While breast implant removal surgery is generally safe, like any surgical procedure, it carries the risk of potential complications. It’s important to discuss these risks with your surgeon before undergoing surgery. Possible complications of breast implant removal surgery may include:
  1. Bleeding: Excessive bleeding during or after surgery can lead to hematoma (collection of blood) at the surgical site, which may require drainage to prevent complications.
  2. Infection: There is a risk of infection at the surgical site, which may manifest as redness, swelling, warmth, or discharge. Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat or prevent infection.
  3. Changes in Sensation: Temporary or permanent changes in sensation, including numbness or increased sensitivity, may occur in the breasts or nipples. Most patients experience some degree of sensory changes, but it typically improves over time.
  4. Delayed Wound Healing: Some patients may experience delayed wound healing, resulting in wound separation, poor scar formation, or skin necrosis. Proper wound care and follow-up with your surgeon can help mitigate this risk.
  5. Seroma or Hematoma: Fluid accumulation (seroma) or blood collection (hematoma) may occur at the surgical site, leading to swelling, discomfort, or infection. Draining the fluid or blood with a needle may be necessary to alleviate symptoms.
  6. Capsule Formation: In some cases, scar tissue (capsule) may reform around the breast tissue after implant removal. This may cause changes in breast shape or texture and may require additional treatment to address.
  7. Changes in Breast Appearance: After implant removal, changes in breast appearance, including sagging or loss of volume, may occur. Additional procedures such as breast lift or fat grafting may be needed to restore breast shape and contour.
  8. Implant Fragments: In cases of ruptured implants, fragments of the implant shell or filler material may remain in the breast tissue after removal. Your surgeon will carefully remove any implant fragments and address any associated complications.
  9. Anesthesia Risks: General anesthesia carries inherent risks, including allergic reactions, respiratory complications, and adverse reactions to anesthesia medications. Your anesthesiologist will monitor you closely during surgery to minimize these risks.
  10. Psychological Impact: Breast implant removal surgery may have psychological implications, including adjustment to changes in body image, self-esteem, and emotional well-being. Counseling or support groups may be beneficial for some patients to address psychological concerns.
It’s essential for patients to communicate openly with their surgeon, follow all pre-operative and post-operative instructions, and attend all scheduled follow-up appointments to minimize the risk of complications and ensure a safe and successful recovery from breast implant removal surgery.

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