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Breast Implant Removal

So, you’ve decided to have your implants removed? This is most often referred to as breast implant removal, breast explant, or capsulectomy.

First, let’s get familiar with the terminology for this procedure:

Implant – Breast Implant, can be silicone or saline

Explant – Removing a breast implant

Capsule – This is the scar your body forms around the implant. It does not exist before your implant. Your body forms a capsule around any foreign object in your tissue. It doesn’t know if the foreign object is good or bad, so it walls it off from your body.

Capsular Contracture – When the capsule thickens, tightens, or calcifies. When you have a “Hard Implant” the implant is never hard. It is always the capsule.  

Capsulectomy – This is when the capsule around the implant is removed. It is usually done for one of 2 reasons, Capsular Contracture or permanent removal of the Implant.  

En Bloc removal – This is when the capsule and the implant are removed in one piece, with the implant still within the wall of the capsule. En Bloc, the French term that references the proper procedure developed in France for removing silicone and textured breast implants. En Bloc means the surgeon leaves the capsule tissue intact on the breast implant and cuts around this intact unit without disrupting either the capsule or the implant to avoid contamination to the body. An En Bloc/Total Capsulectomy explant will take about 2 hours and is performed under general anesthesia.

The 3 most common breast implant removal surgery techniques include:

1.Breast implant removal with Capsulectomy

Incisions will be made at the same place where the breast implant surgery was originally performed, an En Bloc capsulectomy is performed to remove both implant and capsule simultaneously.  

2. Breast Implant removal with Breast Lift

A breast lift may be performed at the same time as your breast implant removal if your breast skin has been stretched and is sagging as a result. Any excess breast skin is removed to tighten your breast tissue to provide better support. In some cases, your areola’s may be resized to better fit your breasts new shape.

3. Implant Deflation

If your breast implants are saline they can be deflated without undergoing surgery. This can be done as an in-office proceedure under local anesthesia. Depending on the results of this you may need to undergo further surgery including a breast lift, breast implant removal, or breast implant replacement surgery.

Following your breast implant removal surgery, your breasts will not look the same as they did before you had the original breast implant surgery. This is because the weight of the breast implants stretches the tissue and can result in a deflated look. It can take time for the breasts to regain some volume. Having a breast lift, also known as Mastopexy, after the implants have been removed can raise the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. There are times when Liposuction is performed in conjunction with breast reduction to further enhance the shape of the breast and armpit area.

Drains are Essential!

Any Breast revision surgery requires drains because fluid is going to be generated when you operate on the scar capsule. If you provide a mechanism for the fluid to be removed (I.e. Drains), the risk of getting a hematoma are lower. If the fluid accumulates because there were no drains, it will most certainly cause problems in the future.