Breast augmentation with implants is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries performed today. While most women are extremely satisfied with their results, breast implant removal is recommended in some cases. Dr. Vitenas offers breast implant removal for women who are uncomfortable with their implants or who experience medical issues.
Call 281-484-0088 or visit Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery to request a breast implant removal appointment with Dr. Paul Vitenas in Houston, TX.
Why Undergo a Breast Implant Removal?
While breast implants typically provide long-lasting, beautiful results, it is sometimes necessary to remove implants. Dr. Vitenas may recommend breast implant removal to reverse a prior breast augmentation and to change the shape or size of a woman’s breasts based on her personal cosmetic goals. He may also recommend implant removal due to complications, including infection or capsular contracture.
Women may choose breast implant removal to:
- Decrease their breast size
- Improve breast shape
- Reposition breast implants after pregnancy, weight loss, or weight gain
- Reduce restrictions on sports and activities
- Decrease the weight of their breasts
- Experience greater freedom while sleeping
Women may also experience medical issues that require implants to be removed, including:
- Significant capsular contracture (scar tissue)
- Ruptured implant
- Folding or deflation of saline implant
- Leaking silicone
- Tension bands creating asymmetry
Dr. Vitenas offers women different breast implant removal options, including implant removal with a breast lift or reduction to remove excess skin, implant removal with fat transfer, or breast implant removal alone. Dr. Vitenas may also recommend removing an implant and replacing it with another silicone or saline implant.
Ideal breast implant candidates are physically healthy, are at a stable weight, have realistic expectations, are non-smokers, and are dissatisfied with the appearance or quality of their implants. Women with scar tissue, leaking or ruptured implants, breast pain, or dense breasts may be candidates for breast implant removal.
Women dissatisfied with their breast implants can meet with Dr. Vitenas during a private consultation in the warm and sensitive environment at Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery in Houston, TX. Dr. Vitenas carefully listens to his patient’s cosmetic goals, reviews their health history, and performs an examination before recommending surgical options, such as implant removal with breast lift surgery for perky, smaller breasts.
Implant Removal: What to Expect
Dr. Vitenas reviews before and after photos with each approved candidate during the consultation, and he explains what they can expect during and after the surgery and recovery.
Dr. Vitenas provides each patient with a complete list of preparation tasks like:
- Lab testing and possible medical evaluation
- Adjusting certain medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, and herbal supplements that can increase the risk of bleeding
Day of Surgery
Dr. Vitenas customizes breast implant removal to match the patient’s specific goals and needs. The surgery is performed using general anesthesia and typically takes between one to three hours to perform. Patients typically return home on the same day of the surgery.
The three most common breast implant removal techniques include:
- Implant Removal
Dr. Vitenas creates incisions in the same location as the original breast implant surgery. If capsular contracture is involved, Dr. Vitenas removes the hardened tissue to accelerate healing.
- Implant Removal with Breast Lift
Dr. Vitenas may perform a breast lift along with the implant removal to remove excess tissue and tighten the breast for improved support when the skin is stretched or saggy. Dr. Vitenas may also resize the areola to better suit the shape of the breast.
- Implant Deflation
Breast implant deflation is typically performed under general anesthesia with implant replacement surgery or a breast lift.
Patients typically wear a soft support bra for several weeks after the surgery to help their breasts heal and reshape. Recovery after breast implant removal is usually more comfortable than the initial surgery, and most women return to work within five days. The swelling and bruising resolve quickly, and there is typically very little pain related to the procedure. Prescription medication can also make the process more comfortable.
What to Expect During Recovery
Breast implant removal recovery varies from person to person. Dr. Vitenas explains the surgical details and expected recovery during the private consultation. Women describe their breasts as feeling tight and heavy for a few weeks after the surgery. Most women experience minimal discomfort after breast removal surgery. However, if capsular contracture is involved, the recovery time is typically more prolonged with a higher degree of discomfort.
It’s essential to follow all Dr. Vitenas’ instructions, including avoiding certain activities, taking pain medication as prescribed, and wearing compression garments. Patients should avoid exercising for the first six weeks after surgery. Most women resume their regular activity after six weeks because their breasts have settled into their new position.
The breasts will heal, and the scars will fade gradually during the first three to four months after the implant removal surgery.
Process for Breast Implant Removal
Dr. Vitenas creates a thin incision along the fold beneath the breast. He removes the old implant and the surrounding capsule if needed. Dr. Vitenas may also perform a breast lift or a reduction to eliminate unwanted skin or stretched tissue. The entire surgery typically takes one to three hours, depending on the patient’s unique needs.
Breast Implant Removal Cost
The price of breast implant removal varies based on the patients’ unique surgical plan, including breast reduction or a breast lift. The cost of breast implant removal alone is typically between $5,000 to $8,000, which covers surgical fees, the anesthesiologist, and follow-up appointments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Breast implant removal surgery typically takes one to three hours as an outpatient procedure. The operation may include a breast lift or breast reduction if you have excess, sagging skin. Dr. Vitenas will explain the entire process during the consultation, including the length of time, the incisions, and the recovery.
Breast implant ruptures occur when a tear or hole causes the implant to leak or rupture. When the saline solution leaks from an implant, the implant will lose its original size and shape. Occasionally, a woman will experience a decrease in breast size, hard lumps over the implant, an uneven appearance, tenderness, pain, numbness, or sensation changes. The gel may move to a different location in the body due to migration beyond the scar tissue.
The FDA does not associate breast implant ruptures with life-threatening illness or cancer. Saline solution is not considered harmful to the body but can sometimes contain bacteria released when the capsule breaks.
Breast augmentation with implants provides women with fuller, larger, uplifted breasts. Sometimes women grow dissatisfied with the appearance of their breast implants as their lifestyle changes, and they rethink having larger breasts. Although rare, some women experience breast implant complications, such as a ruptured or leaking implant, asymmetry, or infection.
Dr. Vitenas helps each woman as they make a personal decision based on their individual goals. Depending on the size of the implant and possible skin laxity, a breast lift with implant removal may be needed to ensure perky, firm breasts after the procedure.
Most medical insurance companies do not cover cosmetic procedures or implant complications caused by previous plastic surgery. However, some companies will consider the removal of breast implants medically necessary when a patient experiences a ruptured silicone breast implant or has chronic breast pain.
Contact Dr. Vitenas Today
Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Vitenas, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S. is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Call 281-484-0088 or visit Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery to schedule an appointment with highly-respected cosmetic surgeon Dr. Vitenas and learn more about breast implant removal.