Are you having complications due to your breast implant? Have you decided to be implant free for personal reasons? Do you want to have breast implant removal surgery, but aren’t sure about the surgery’s whole procedure? Well! Luckily, you have landed on the right page. This blog post will guide you through the steps that take place during the surgery. Explant surgery involves either the removal of the implant or implant and the scar capsule. You can even have your implant removal done as being an outpatient. The women across the world have been well supported by each other when it comes to complications associated with implants. Media reporting has uncovered many stories of patients who self-diagnosed Breast Implant illness (BII) symptoms, which were believed to be due to the implants and have recovered since their explants. The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) reported around 45,000 breast explants in 2017. However, the number of patients undergoing explants could have declined over the years due to breast augmentation improvements. 

How do I prepare for my breast implant removal?

The first thing you need to do is get yourself physically examined by a board-certified aesthetic surgeon. The pre-operative preparation involves your doctor doing all baseline tests and taking necessary samples to make sure that you are mentally and physically healthy and fit to undergo an explant surgery. The medical practitioner will advise you to stop taking any drugs that enhance bleeding, such as ibuprofen and aspirin. The American Society of Anesthesiologists advises avoiding certain supplements before surgery such as:

  • Vitamin E can increase the risk of bleeding, especially when you have low Vitamin K levels.
  • Ephedra can negatively change the blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Gingko and Ginseng can increase your risk of bleeding.
  • Kava, St. John’s wort, Valeria can prolong the effects of anesthesia.

The plastic surgeon will encourage you to avoid any habits that might be affecting your health, such as smoking. Furthermore, you will be provided with the aftercare instructions and guidance to cope with any postoperative complications.  If the surgeon considers you an ideal candidate for the surgery, you will be given a suitable date.

What is the procedure of breast explant surgery?

The necessary steps that take place during surgery are:

  • Anesthesia

Breast explant surgery is not invasive. Therefore, based on your health and pre-existing health conditions, the anesthetists will decide whether you need general anesthesia or intravenous sedation.

  • The Incision

The incision is given on the lower part of the breast or around the areola to ensure that the milk ducts and nerve supplies remain undamaged. The doctor makes further choices based on your condition to avoid breast implant complications such as ruptures.

  • The Operation

The whole procedure is based on registered and highly qualified aesthetic surgeons’ choices and the surgery requirements.

  • Approach of Incision

The surgery requires the use of adhesive tapes, sutures, staples to close the incision.

What is Capsulectomy & When is it performed?

The breast implant forms the scar tissue around itself over time after the surgery due to the natural immune response against the implant. It is a part of the healing process and beneficial to keep the implant in place. But when this scar tissue is hardened over time, forming a capsule the general well-being of the patient is affected, hence, an intervention/surgery is required to remove the implant or/and capsule. Capsulectomy involves removing that scar tissue around the area of the implant and, in most cases, the implant as well. Generally, the implant is removed before the capsule (scar tissue). However, if the implant enclosed in the capsule is removed as a whole, then it is referred to as en bloc capsulectomy. The recovery from an explant takes about four weeks. The patient might feel and notice visible changes in the volume and shape of the breasts. Either mastopexy or a breast lift is further performed to adjust the size, shape, and volume of breasts after at least three months of the explant. If you experience any chronic symptoms or implant complications, please seek help from a specialist and always consult before making any decision.