A few years ago, you had breast augmentation surgery and were convinced that you’d be happy with your news breasts forever. Fast forward to the present, and while you don’t regret your decision, your breast implants aren’t working out quite the way you had thought they would. There’s good news, though. Breast implants aren’t meant to be and don’t have to be permanent. If you’re not fully satisfied with yours, breast implant removal is always an option. Here’s what you need to know.
Reasons for Breast Implant Removal
The reasons for breast implant removal are almost as varied as the reasons for having breast augmentation in the first place. Some women decide to have their implants removed because it turns out they actually don’t like having larger breasts. In some cases, a problem with the implant might lead to their removal. A few common reasons for implant removal include the following:
- The implant is leaking. Breast implants are fairly durable, but there is always a slight chance that one will rupture or leak. Usually, leaks are more noticeable when the implant is made out of saline; the breast will seem to deflate as the saline leaks out of the implant. Silicone implant leaks are less noticeable since the thicker gel is more likely to stay in place.
- Changes in the breasts. With weight loss or gain or just the effects of time, breasts have a way of changing shape. Over time, even, symmetrical breasts, even those with implants, might become asymmetrical, requiring a change.
- The implant is visible. In women with thin skin or less breast tissue, it’s possible for the implant to be visible beneath the skin. This can be due to the placement of the implant or the type of implant used.
- The shape is off. Choosing an implant isn’t just about choosing the right size. The shape also influences whether the result looks natural or not.
- Change the type of implant. Years ago, saline implants were the only option available. Now, silicone implants are back on the market and are often the preferred type due to their texture, shape and feel. If you have saline implants, you might want to swap them out for silicone.
- Size of the breasts. Very large breasts were on trend a few decades ago, but nowadays many women are choosing a smaller look.
- Capsular contracture. In some instances, scar tissue can form around the implant, squeezing it. The tissue can cause the implant to become deformed or misshapen. Capsular contracture can also be very painful.
Replace or Remove?
If you aren’t happy with your breast implants, should you remove them completely or replace them? It really depends on what you want from the surgery. If you’d like to go back to your natural size, removing the implants entirely might be your best option. But if you’d like to keep some added volume, you’ll most likely want to simply swap out the implants for a new set made out of different materials or in a different size.
It’s worth noting that if you decide to completely remove your implants or go down a size or two, you may need a breast lift to restore the shape of your breasts. Remember that the skin around the breasts has likely stretched to accommodate the implants. Depending on its elasticity and the degree of stretching, it might not fully bounce back after the implants are removed. A breast lift will help elevate the breasts and restore perkiness to them.
What Happens Next
If you do decide to remove your breast implants or to exchange them for a new pair, you’ll have to undergo another surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon will first remove the implants and any scar tissue. Next, he will place the new implants. Depending on your preferences, the new implants might be positioned below the chest muscle instead of above it or the reverse.
Recovery after a breast implant revision is similar to the initial recovery after your first surgery. You’ll most likely be asked to avoid wearing a bra for the first few weeks after the surgery. You’ll also want to request about a week off from work to give yourself time to heal and will want to avoid any really strenuous physical activity for at least two weeks.
Whether you’re thinking of getting rid of your implants entirely or changing the size, shape or material of your current implants, you want to work with the best. Dr. Paul Vitenas, a board certified plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas, has been named one of the country’s top breast surgeons. To learn more about your implant revision, exchange and replacement options, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today.