Breast Implant Removal

Breast Implant Removal in Portsmouth, NH With Dr. Anthony Wilson

When you had breast augmentation surgery, you probably didn’t think about breast implant removal. But lifestyles and aesthetic ideals can change over time, making larger breasts less desirable. More rarely, medical issues can make it necessary to remove implants.

Dr. Anthony Wilson understands the changes that can drive your decision to have breast implants removed. He has the medical expertise to handle the procedure safely, and the aesthetic skill to help you reshape your feminine figure.

Contact AW Plastic Surgery in Portsmouth today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wilson and learn more about what to expect with breast implant removal.

What Is Breast Implant Removal?

Breast implant removal is a surgical procedure to remove implants from breast augmentation or breast reconstruction. Depending on the reason for the removal, tissue around the implant may also be removed.

It’s normal for tissue surrounding an implant — whether a breast implant, a pacemaker, or a hip replacement — to form a thin layer called a capsule. This is the body’s healthy response to a foreign object and is not in itself a concern. In a simple breast implant removal, only the implants are removed, without any of the surrounding tissue. This option might be chosen when the capsule is thin and the implant is intact.

In some cases, the capsule can thicken and put pressure on the implant, a condition called capsular contracture. When this happens, the procedure will include the removal of thickened capsule and scar tissue, called en bloc breast implant removal. Removing the capsule leaves a clean pocket that closes and heals more quickly.

With enough pressure from capsular contracture, the implant can rupture, and the leakage of the implant contents into the surrounding tissue can trigger an inflammatory response. When a silicone gel implant ruptures, the procedure will also extract the leaked implant contents and remove damaged or inflamed tissue.

Why You Might Consider Breast Implant Removal

Why You Might Consider Breast Implant Removal

You may want to have your breast implants removed for personal reasons — to make it easier to exercise, for example, or because you now want a more slender figure.

Other reasons for implant removal might include:

  • discomfort from the size of augmented breasts
  • a shift in position of the implants causing an asymmetrical look
  • capsular contracture — the thickening and hardening of tissue around the implant
  • deflation of a saline implant
  • leakage or rupture of a silicone implant
  • other unhealthy reactions to the implants, such as infection or bleeding
  • concern about interference with mammography, especially when you are at a higher risk for breast cancer as indicated by family history or genetic testing

Two rare but concerning reactions to breast implants may also cause you to consider removal:

ALCL linked to Allergan’s BioCell textured breast implants

Breast implant illness

Certain textured implants have been found to be associated with a slightly increased risk of a form of cancer, anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert about this in 2019, singling out BioCell textured implants made by Allergan. In response, the manufacturer recalled those products from the market.

To put this risk in perspective, more than 90 percent of breast implants are smooth, not textured, and smooth implants have not been found to be associated with ALCL. Further, the incidence of ALCL in women with textured implants is extremely low, an estimated 1 in 30,000. The FDA does not recommend removing breast implants as a precaution against ALCL but does advise their removal if you have symptoms of the condition. Symptoms include persistent swelling or pain near the implant. En bloc breast implant removal eliminates ALCL in most cases.

Some women with breast implants have linked them to a cluster of symptoms including chronic pain, depression, unexplained fatigue, hair loss, hormonal changes, memory loss, and rashes. This patient-reported syndrome has been given the name “breast implant illness.” While medical studies have not confirmed it as a distinct condition or found a link between the symptoms and breast implants, the symptoms are certainly real. If you think you have symptoms caused by breast implants, you may want to consider implant removal.

What Happens in a Breast Implant Removal Procedure?

Breast implant removal is performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Wilson will typically make incisions where the original implant incisions were made in order to minimize scarring. He will then remove the implants and, if needed, any damaged or inflamed capsular tissue. A temporary drain may be placed to reduce swelling during recovery.

If a breast lift is done at the same time, to remove stretched skin and reduce sagging, Dr. Wilson will remove a strip of skin and tighten the remaining tissue. He may also reduce the size of your areolas to be in better proportion with your new breast shape.

The procedure usually takes between two and three hours. Most patients are able to go home the same day, once they recover from the anesthesia.

What Results Can I Expect After Breast Implant Removal?

Your breasts should gradually return to the size they were before the implants were placed, but it can take time for them to resume a natural shape. At first, they may appear deflated, with a hollowed look where the implants had been. After a few weeks, these hollows will fill in as your breasts regain volume. Fat grafting can be used to replace some of the lost volume and restore an attractive breast shape. If the skin on your breasts has stretched because of the implants, a breast lift can be done to tighten the tissue and restore a natural look.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Dr. Wilson is a board-certified plastic surgeon with expertise in both the placement and removal of breast implants. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wilson in our Portsmouth, NH, office.

Questions and Answers About Breast Implant Removal

You will need to plan for some downtime after implant removal surgery, just as you did when the implants were placed. That will include a few days of rest, then a gradual resumption of light activity. Dr. Wilson will give you specific recovery instructions in his consultation with you. For most patients, that includes two full weeks without strenuous activity or exercise and ten days without driving. You will be asked to wear a surgical bra until your breasts have fully healed, which can take several weeks. Most women are able to return to office-type work within a week.

Yes. Combining the two procedures is often recommended. In addition to the stretching of the skin caused by the implants, your breasts may have sagged since the time the implants were placed, whether from aging, pregnancy, or weight changes. A breast lift can remove excess skin from implant-related stretching, reshape breast contours, and restore a younger look.

With any plastic surgery procedure, it is important to select a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Wilson is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in cosmetic surgery, including breast enhancement procedures and implant removal.