Whether your personal preferences have changed, you’re experiencing symptoms that you think may demand removal, or you’re deciding to get breast implants and looking to the future (and not just your future, more shapely silhouette), one aspect of undergoing breast augmentation is understanding that you will definitely need to have them replaced at least ten years after your initial surgery, due to their natural expiration.
Breast implants don’t last forever; eventually, they’ll need to be removed and/or replaced. Breast implant removal, also known as explant surgery, is a surgical procedure that removes (or explants) the implants from the breast pocket. It’s done for a number of reasons, from breast implant illness to end of their natural lifespan (it’s recommended that you replace your breast implants every 10 years to avoid any complications) to capsular contracture or rupture and even simple just change in your preferences.
As mentioned, it’s recommended that you remove and/or replace your implants every 10 years. However if you’re experiencing any symptoms or something doesn’t feel quite right, it’s important that you speak to your primary care physician to discuss your options and rule out all possible causes. While most women never experience any problems with their implants, there are things you should look out for to ensure you and your breast implants are living their healthiest lives.
- Breast implant capsular contracture. Breast implant capsular contracture is a complication that occurs when the scar tissue that usually forms around your implant to help keep it in place, instead tightens and squeezes the implant, potentially resulting in chronic pain and a distorted breast shape, making the affected breast rise higher on the chest than the other. Watch out for increasing firmness or tightness in the breast, pain, and/or the breast makes a shift towards the center of the body
- Breast Implant Illness. Some of the symptoms commonly reported among BII patients include:
- Chronic fatigue and headaches
- Persistent joint and muscle pain
- Unexplained respiratory difficulties
- Hair loss and frequent skin rashes
- Chronically dry mouth and eyes
- Poor memory and concentration
- Depression, anxiety, and insomnia
If you’re concerned about what you’ll look like after your breast implant removal, our biggest tip is to choose an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure you love your breasts after explant surgery. You may need an explant surgery with lift, where your surgeon performs a breast lift along with your breast implant removal to maintain a perky, youthful shape and position to the breasts. Another option to consider is a fat transfer breast augmentation: a two-fold process that takes excess, unwanted fat from one part of the body through liposuction and injects it into the breast to achieve an enhanced size and shape.
You can expect a similar recovery with your breast implant removal surgery as you did with your breast augmentation surgery: three days of solid downtime and relative downtime for at least two weeks. You’ll likely experience soreness, swelling, bruising and sensitivity for a few weeks, but it should subside enough within the first few days to allow you to return to most of your activities without significant discomfort. Most patients can return to light activities within one week and more strenuous exercise after about six weeks. You may also notice you don’t feel mentally like yourself after your explant surgery—don’t worry, it’s completely normal to feel some anxiety and even depression the first week or two following your surgery.
Having realistic expectations for your surgical outcome is very important to your overall satisfaction. Dr. Barrett has gathered an assortment of fat transfer breast augmentation before and after images you may want to browse to get a fuller scope of not only the type of outcome you can expect, but also his work in breast augmentation and reconstruction. Additionally, Dr. Barrett has a carefully curated postoperative scar regimen to ensure the only reminder of your procedure are your sculpted results.
To ensure you have the best possible outcome, Dr. Barrett has curated an Explant Detox Kit to set his breast implant removal patients up for surgical success with the least amount of down time and discomfort possible.
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