Breast Implant Replacement or Removal

If you are having problems with a breast implant, silicone or saline, or simply desire cosmetic improvement, we have a long experience with a wide variety of implant types and can help you understand your options including simple replacement, capsulotomy/capsulectomy, en bloc removal, pocket revision, and more.

Breast Implant Replacement or Removal Overview

Your First Visit

Prior to your surgery, we will obtain as much information as we can about your existing implants.  Of course, if we have placed your original implants we will have this information readily available. If they were placed elsewhere, we will do our best to find these records with your help. This information is very helpful in choosing your new implants.

The operative procedure performed depends on multiple factors and we adapt our surgical technique according to your needs.

The Procedure

The surgical procedure of implant removal/replacement ranges from very short (less than 1 hour) to fairly long and complex (3 hours or more). We perform most of these procedures in the operating room under a general anesthetic on an outpatient basis. Some implant removals can be performed in our office using local anesthesia.

Types of Procedures

A brief listing of the possible operations:

  • Saline implant replacement after deflation–  A fairly brief procedure, especially if the implant has just recently deflated.  We can utilize existing scars for our incision, and existing pocket for implant placement.  Minimal pain, short recovery time
  • Silicone implant removal for implant deflation or leakage– More extensive than above, as the breast capsule must be removed in its entirety along with the implant, a fairly tedious process.  The original incision may have to be enlarged to accomplish this.  If new implants are placed, we may have to create a new pocket inside the breast for placement.  If new implants are not placed, a breast lift (mastopexy) may need to be performed to reshape the remaining breast tissue for a cosmetically acceptable appearance.  These procedures tend to be longer with a longer recovery time.
  • En-bloc implant and capsule removal-  In some cases it may be necessary to remove the implant and surrounding capsule completely and an “en bloc” removal is indicated.  This involves removing the implant and capsule as a single unit.  This typically involves a longer incision and potentially longer recovery than with a straightforward implant removal when the capsule is in normal condition.
  • Size change, silicone or saline implants–  Removing an implant and replacing it with a larger size is usually a short, straightforward procedure as we can utilize your existing incision scar and implant pocket.  Recovery time is fairly short, usually a few days.  If your existing implants are removed and significantly smaller ones are placed, you may require a breast lift (mastopexy) to reshape the breast, as there otherwise may be an excess of skin.  If this is the case we will need to utilize incisions longer than your existing scars, and the operative time (and recovery) will be increased.

Reasons for Removal