Breast Implant Removal
Though many women who undergo breast augmentation are happy with their results, some choose to have their implants removed for medical or cosmetic reasons. If you would like to remove your breast implants, the staff at William Franckle, MD, FACS can help.
What Is Breast Implant Removal?
Breast implant removal is sought by women who would like to return to their natural bust size or have had complications with their implants. During the procedure, Dr. Franckle will remove the implants and—when possible—use the same incisions from the initial breast augmentation to avoid additional scarring.
Why Do Women Choose to Remove Breast Implants?
There are several cosmetic and medical reasons for removing breast implants. Sometimes a patient simply wants to return to her natural breast size, but there are also health considerations that could factor into the decision. Breast implants are not intended to last forever. FDA guidelines recommend that patients have an MRI to examine their implants for ruptures or other damage three years after undergoing a breast augmentation and every two years after that. This, however, is a precautionary measure. After decades of research and technological advancements, breast implants are now made out of more durable materials to withstand the rigors of daily life and can last for 10-20 years without complications. Research by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery shows that aesthetic reasons are the most commonly cited motivation for removing implants.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Breast Implant Removal?
As with any surgery, the best candidates for breast implant removal are healthy non-smokers who are not pregnant or breastfeeding. During your consultation, Dr. Franckle will review your medical history, discuss why you’d like to remove your implants, address the risks of the procedure, and examine your breasts.
What to Expect During Breast Implant Removal
Breast implant removal is an outpatient surgical procedure that requires general anesthesia. It typically takes one to two hours to perform. If possible, Dr. Franckle will use the same incisions from the initial breast augmentation to cut into the breast tissue for minimal scarring. He will then remove the implants and suture the incisions. If you are suffering from capsular contracture, Dr. Franckle will also perform a capsulectomy to remove the hardened scar tissue.
What Is Recovery Like After a Breast Implant Removal?
After the procedure, patients return home and rest. Dr. Franckle will provide a post-surgical support bra to hold the breasts in place and promote healing. There will be some swelling and bruising that should subside after a few days. Medication may be prescribed to alleviate pain. Patients should take at least a few days off of work and avoid any strenuous activities or exercise for one to two weeks. As a board-certified surgeon, Dr. Franckle will try to incur a minimal amount of scarring, but it is an unavoidable part of surgical procedures. It may take scars about a year to heal, but some patients notice fading after six months.*
How Much Does Breast Implant Removal Cost?
The cost of removing breast implants may vary, especially if another procedure, such as a breast lift, is performed as well. The type of implant being removed can also affect the cost.
Insurance providers may cover the costs of breast implant removal if patients can show that the procedure is medically necessary. Some issues that are typically considered a medical reason for removing breast implants include the following:
- A ruptured implant
- Chronic pain in the breasts
- Capsular contracture
- Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)
You should contact your insurance provider to discuss your coverage and the reasons they accept as medically necessary. If your insurance will not cover the expenses, we provide financing options that allow you to split the cost into flexible monthly payments. We also offer financing options through CareCredit® and Prosper Healthcare Lending.
How to Prepare for Breast Implant Removal
Before your procedure, our staff will schedule a consultation for you with Dr. Franckle so that he can determine if you’re a candidate for surgery. He will ask you questions about your medical history, the medications you take, and why you’d like to remove your implants. If you’re doing so for medical reasons, he will keep these in consideration during the surgery. Our office has advanced 3-D imaging technology that offers patients a simulation of their results. After the procedure has been scheduled, you should stop taking aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs at least a week before surgery as this can cause issues with bleeding. Smoking can delay the healing process and cause other complications as well, so we recommend that patients stop smoking before the procedure and avoid smoking until recovery is complete.
Patients who remove their implants are often concerned that their breasts will sag or will look deflated afterward. The size of your implants, your skin’s elasticity, and the original size and shape of your breasts will impact their appearance after the implants are removed. If you have concerns about how your breasts will look after the procedure, a breast lift may help improve the appearance of fullness. You can receive a breast lift during the implant removal or wait at least a month to allow the breasts to regain their natural shape before pursuing a breast lift.