Breast Implant Removal


When you had breast augmentation or breast implant surgery, you probably didn’t think about breast implant removal. However, lifestyles and aesthetic ideals can change over time, making larger breasts less desirable. While a rarity, medical issues can also 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 breast implant removal surgery safely and the aesthetic skill to help you reshape your feminine figure. 

  • What is Breast Implant Removal? 

    Breast implant removal is a surgical procedure to remove breast 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 a concern in itself. 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 the 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 extract the leaked implant contents and remove damaged or inflamed tissue.

  • Who is a Good Candidate For Breast Implant Removal? 

    You may want to have your breast implants removed for personal reasons — to make it easier to exercise, for example, or whatever reason you desire. Patient must be a non-smoker.

    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

      • implant leaks or implant 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:

    Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL)

    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.

    Breast Implant Illness

    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.


Dr. Anthony Wilson

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When you are seeking a qualified and talented plastic surgeon, look no further than board-certified Dr. Anthony Wilson with AW Plastic Surgery. Dr. Wilson has a passion for both aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and the body. He takes deep satisfaction in giving his patients the tools they need to feel confident, whole, and beautiful, no matter where they are in their aesthetic journey.

Dr. Wilson is recognized as an expert in cosmetic facial enhancement through both surgical and non-surgical measures. He is a national trainer for Revance and attends industry training to stay on top of the latest techniques. He conducts a multi-layered approach to aging and aesthetics, combining skincare and surgery to achieve a customized, natural result. Part of AW Plastic Surgery’s positive patient results stem from a stellar supporting group of aesthetic professionals. Dr. Wilson is backed by a strong team of injectors, nurses, and aestheticians at AW Plastic Surgery who ensure a high level of service.

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Dr. Wilson and the entire AW Plastic surgery team are absolutely amazing. No matter what you are there for they provide you with the best service. The attention to detail and honest options give come from the experience the entire team has. They get to know you as a person not a patient and show genuine interest in your care and treatment. I went to this team for breast cancer reconstruction and they deserve more than 5 stars! The best of the best! Keep it up

– Corina K.

I reached out to Dr. Anthony Wilson’s office in regards to a breast augmentation. I was extremely nervous, but right away the staff made me feel very comfortable from the first initial consultation all the way until my final appointment after the surgery. They made me feel normal that I wasn’t alright with my body and the way it looked after 3 kids, and were also a huge help to recommend sizing that was proportionate to my body type and the size I wanted to be. Dr. Wilson always has a smile on his face and is calm and extremely professional. He makes you feel at ease with your decisions and is very open and out front about what is going to happen before, during, and after surgery. I highly recommend Dr. Wilson and his team to anyone looking to get a breast augmentation and any other skin care/body needs!

– Lauren S.

  • 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 to minimize scarring. He will then remove the implants and, if needed, any damaged or inflamed capsular breast 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 can go home the same day.

  • Recovery

    For the first one to two weeks after surgery, you will need to avoid some of your usual activities, like heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. You may also have some tenderness and soreness, and those symptoms can last for up to six weeks as your breasts heal.

    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.

Schedule A Consultation 

Whether you’re having your breast implants removed for medical, cosmetic, or reconstructive reasons or because you simply don’t want your breast implants anymore, at AW Plastic Surgery, Dr. Wilson can ensure the safe removal of your breast implants and that you achieve the results you’re looking for. Schedule a consultation today by calling our Portsmouth, NH office, or using our online contact form. 

Questions and Answers About Breast Implant Removal 

What can I expect in recovery? 

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 and 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 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 can return to office-type work within a week. 

Can breast implant removal be combined with breast lift surgery? 

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. 

Why should I choose Dr. Wilson? 

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. 



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