Although breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries performed each year, some patients eventually choose to have their implants removed. Breast implant removal, also known as explant surgery, is intended to take out a patient’s saline or silicone breast implants, as well as the scar tissue that has formed around them. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Amir Nasir, is experienced with helping patients remove their implants—whether for cosmetic or medical reasons—while helping them achieve beautiful results.
- Reasons for Breast Implant Removal
- What Is BIA-ALCL?
- En Bloc Capsulectomy
- Breast Implant Removal Recovery
- Breast Implant Removal Cost
What Are Common Reasons for Breast Implant Removal?
Patients may be interested in implant removal for multiple reasons. In most cases they can relate to one or more of the following:
- Want to replace their implants with a different type or size
- Have experienced an implant rupture
- Have suffered a complication, such as capsular contracture
- No longer want breast implants and wish to return to their natural size
- Are concerned about developing a condition such as breast implant illness or BIA-ALCL
Depending on the reason a patient wants to remove their breast implants, Dr. Nasir will customize their surgical plan for an outcome tailored to their needs.
What Is BIA-ALCL?
Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is an extremely rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that can occur in the capsule around the breast implant. While the risk of developing this type of breast implant illness (BII) is very low, studies have shown a potential link between BIA-ALCL and certain breast implants.
In July 2019, Allergan issued a worldwide recall of their textured breast implants after research showed an increased rate of BIA-ALCL. The FDA does not advise patients with the recalled implants to have them removed, unless they are experiencing symptoms. If you notice any changes in your breast implants, such as asymmetry or pain, you should visit your plastic surgeon to determine what may be the cause and if removal surgery should be performed.
What Does the Breast Implant Removal Procedure Involve?
Different surgical techniques may be recommended based on your reason for seeking breast implant removal. Dr. Nasir typically removes implants through the incision site of the original breast augmentation, and whenever possible, he performs the en bloc capsulectomy (also known as a total capsulectomy). This technique entails removing each implant while it remains inside the capsule of scar tissue that has formed around it. By doing so, any implant material that may have leaked in a rupture is contained inside the capsule.
A total capsulectomy is the preferred technique for removing implants in those with BIA-ALCL or another form of breast implant illness. Dr. Nasir will evaluate your unique case to determine which option is most appropriate for you. He will go over the details of your surgery with you to help you understand the benefits and risks of different techniques. Dr. Nasir strives to help you be informed about your explant procedure, and if you have any questions or concerns, you are encouraged to express them at any time.
What Can I Expect After Breast Implant Removal Surgery?
After your implant removal surgery, it is important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions to ensure a safe and comfortable recovery. Dressings will be placed over the surgical site, and you may have drains to help prevent excess fluid buildup. If drains are placed, they are typically removed within the first week.
Most patients are able to return to work within one week of their surgery, but it is important to avoid strenuous activities for about six weeks. Wearing a compression garment is recommended, as it helps control swelling and facilitate the healing process. It is normal to experience some bruising and discomfort, but these should significantly fade over the first few weeks of recovery. To help you prepare for your recovery, Dr. Nasir will provide you with more personalized details about what you can expect.
How Much Does Breast Implant Removal Cost?
The average cost of breast implant removal surgery is $2,566 for the surgeon’s fee, but this number will vary for patients based on multiple factors. The expertise of your plastic surgeon and geographic location of their practice will both influence this cost. Related fees from the anesthesia, surgical facility, post-surgery garments, and potential medications will also contribute to the cost of your explant procedure. If you wish to receive a breast lift as part of your implant removal surgery, this will be an additional cost, as well.
To help you plan for your procedure, our team will provide you with a personalized cost quote during your consultation. If you are interested in dividing your total cost into more manageable monthly payments, financing options are available to help make your surgery fit more comfortably within your budget.