Breast explant surgery is the process of removing breast implants.
While women might desire to remove their breast implants for any number of reasons, the most common we encounter are:
- No longer content with the appearance of the breasts
- Health concerns
- Complications with the implants
Whatever the reason for removing implants, the breasts will, of course, look different after the surgery.
At Tim Sayed MD Plastic Surgery in La Jolla and Newport Beach, CA, we want to help you look and feel your best. Explant surgery is a significant milestone, which is why we’ve put together this article to help women know what to expect after breast explant surgery.
What Happens During Breast Explant Surgery?
During breast explant surgery, also called breast implant removal, Tim Sayed removes the implants and typically removes the tissue layer, called a capsule, that forms around the implants. This technique is known as En Bloc breast implant removal when the capsule can be removed in one piece with the implant remaining inside the capsule. En bloc is a form of total capsulectomy – any method that removes all the capsule – and is the method of choice in almost all cases we see.
Incisions are usually made in the breast fold under the breast when an en bloc is planned, in order to give enough working space to safely remove all the capsule off the chest wall. To the extent feasible, and depending on what the patient elects in terms of additional procedures, efforts are made to achieve as aesthetic a result as the patient’s anatomy allows. It is easier, to be honest, to get a pleasing round breast mound in patients who have a B cup or larger of natural breast tissue, and it can be difficult to achieve as nice an aesthetic outcome in patients who are more flat chested naturally. Your in-person consultation in La Jolla or Newport Beach will allow us to assess your breast volume in order to manage expectations.
How Will Breast Explant Surgery Affect My Breasts?
Once implants are removed, the volume of the breasts reduces significantly. This can cause several aesthetic implications:
- Breasts may appear deflated with a “sagging” appearance
- Skin is loose and prone to extensive wrinkling
- Nipples and areolas point downwards
- Indentations and adherence to the muscle or rib cage may become evident
These issues tend to be greatest in patients with larger (more than 400cc) implants and/or smaller (less than B cup) natural breast tissue.
How Can I Improve the Appearance of My Breasts After Explant Surgery?
The best way to combat the aesthetic complications associated with breast explant surgery is to get a breast lift.
In a breast lift, Dr. Sayed removes excess skin that causes looseness and wrinkling, which positions the breasts higher on the chest wall. This makes the breasts firmer and also sets the nipples and areolas in a more youthful, forward-facing position.
Another option is fat grafting to add some volume back to the breasts. Typically this will be less than the amount of volume the implant provided and will not be quite as projecting and round as an implant, but fat grafting can be a helpful tool to giving patients a bit more breast volume and shape when the implant has been removed. There are pros and cons to performing fat grafting at the time of explant or delaying it to a later stage after some healing has occurred. Your decision will be personalized and based on your exam, photos and medical history during your consultation.
Breast Explant Surgery in Newport Beach, CA
Breast explant surgery can and likely will improve your quality of life if your breast implants are a hindrance. Reach out to Dr. Tim Sayed in Newport Beach or La Jolla, CA at 858 247 2933 or via this online form to arrange a consultation to discover how we can help you look and feel your best.