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5 Reconstruction Options after Removing Breast Implants

Breast reconstruction is a surgery that typically gets associated with mastectomy, the surgery to remove breasts on a patient to prevent or treat breast cancer. Breast reconstruction may also be done for a patient who is removing their breast implants. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates there were a total of about 48,000 breast implant removal procedures performed in 2018. Breast implant removals are sometimes also done because of a breast cancer diagnosis or for other personal or medical reasons.

One of the most personal choices you’ll make if you have breast implants removed is the approach you want to take to reconstruct and rejuvenate your breasts after the removal surgery. In this post, we talk about five of the most common breast reconstruction options we discuss after removing implants for our patients at AW Plastic Surgery.

Implant Replacement

If you had to remove breast implants due to a medical condition, or if you’re removing breast implants to replace them with a newer material or ones that may be a different size, your top option will likely be reconstructing your breasts with a new set of implants. 

If you had implants removed because of a mastectomy, you may expect to have more than one reconstructive surgery to allow time for skin to stretch as you prepare your body for new implants. You should also consult with your medical team following surgery to ensure that an implant replacement won’t interfere with any possible future treatments.

Breast Reduction

You may choose to have a breast reduction after removing your implants for medical reasons or to go the opposite direction and change the appearance of your breasts so they’re smaller in shape or size. 

A breast reduction is performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia, depending on your comfort level. An incision is made around the areola and sometimes down the breast. Excessive breast tissue is removed and reshaped, giving your figure more harmonious proportions overall.

Fat Grafting

Some patients may change their minds about implants or choose to have them removed instead of replaced when it’s time. If you find yourself facing this scenario, you may choose to have a more natural increase in bust size using fat grafting, or lipoaugmentation.

After implants have been removed, excess fat cells can be transferred from areas such as the belly, hips, or waist using a traditional liposuction technique, and then they are injected into breasts. The end result is a small increase in overall size and a more natural look than some types of implants.

Tissue/Flap Reconstruction

This type of breast reconstruction may be chosen if you want to naturally restore the appearance of your breasts or correct an issue of asymmetry after the removal of breast implants. During tissue reconstruction, tissue is taken from parts of the body including the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs to help reconstruct the chest. 

Scarring from the donor site is usually minimal during a tissue reconstruction and it gives a plastic surgeon the ability to enhance the appearance of the breasts without using materials foreign to your body.

Breast Lift

A mastopexy, or breast lift, is often used to address sagging breasts caused by pregnancy, weight fluctuations, age, and other natural causes. Typically, when you have breast implants removed most of the area and tissues around the breast will look similar to the way everything looked pre-augmentation. But like the abdomen after pregnancy, sometimes the skin is stretched out and permanent damage is done to the body. 

If you’re not satisfied with the appearance of your chest after your implants have been removed for about four to six months, ask your plastic surgeon about the benefits of a breast lift.

Contact Us if You’re Considering Surgery to Remove Breast Implants

Regardless of whether the underlying reason is personal, medical, or aesthetic, surgery to remove breast implants involves many personal decisions. It’s important that you partner with a plastic surgeon and practice who can shape your new look around what your heart truly desires. 

If you’d like to talk about your breast implant removal and subsequent reconstruction options, please contact Dr. Anthony Wilson of AW Plastic Surgery for a consultation. 

To schedule a breast implant removal or reconstruction consultation, call us at (603) 294-4526 or send a message through our website.