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If you’ve had breast augmentation surgery, there may come a time when you choose or need to consider breast revision (with replacement) or permanent implant removal.
Breast implant removal may come soon after the initial breast surgery (due to unsatisfactory results or an implant complication) or years down the line.
If you have second thoughts about your augmented breasts or there are more pressing issues behind the desired change, you are not alone.
5 Reasons to Consider Removing Your Breast Implants
Women decide to remove their implants for various reasons, including aesthetic and physical concerns. Some of the most common reasons cited for the change include:
1. Change of Heart
One of the perks of womanhood is the prerogative to change your mind. You may have been entirely confident of your choice to increase your breast size at the time of your surgery, but now feel differently. This is commonly seen with women who augment their breasts when they are young, before their bodies have changed with pregnancies or weight fluctuations.
Common motives include:
- Change in self-perception or image
- Change in profession
- A desire for less attention based on physical features
These motivators are all valid reasons to consider removing your breast implants or at least make a change in size.
2. Breast Sagging (Due to Heavy Implants)
Breast implants can last many years; however, over time, they’ll start to sag just like un-enhanced breasts.
You may feel that breast implants are no longer practical or desirable for you, and removing them may be your best option. Alternatively, you can choose a breast lift if you are still happy with your implants and are experiencing no complications.
A breast lift may be needed if you experience breast sagging regardless of whether you are removing implants permanently or replacing them.
3. Common Breast Implant Complications
Implants are reliable, durable, and safe; however, they are not fool-proof. Like any device, implants can fail or lead to other complications. Most often, implant-related issues require the full removal of the implant (and occasionally even the scar tissue surrounding the implant). New implants can nearly always be replaced after removal if you still desire augmentation with implants.
Some of the most common complications that lead women to remove their breast implants are:
- Breast implant rupture: The silicone shell of saline and silicone implants can weaken, leak, or tear open.
- Capsular contracture: Capsular contracture can be painful and requires the removal of at least one implant (usually both), and you may decide not to replace them.
- Implant rotation or rippling: Saline implants can sometimes ripple (and show through the breast skin), and shaped implants may rotate in the breast pocket, leading to distortion. These concerns may sometimes call for removal; however, they may only need to be adjusted.
4. Medical Conditions Related to Breast Implants
There are medical conditions that may necessitate the removal of breast implants:
- Breast implant illness (BII) – There is not much understood about breast implant illness, nor is there enough science to confirm it as an actual illness, but it can include the following symptoms:
- Hair loss
- Skin rashes
- Chronic fatigue
- Respiratory issues
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Joint or muscle pain
- Emotional problems
- Difficulty with concentration or memory
- Breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma – BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer but a rare form of lymphoma found in the scar tissue that surrounds the implants. This is primarily associated with specific types of textured breast implants.
Because they are health-related, women with breast implants removed due to these conditions don’t usually opt to replace them.
5. Breast Cancer or Injury
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and require a mastectomy, your breast implants may have to be removed. However, breast reconstruction often involves new breast implants being placed.
If you suffer an injury to your chest, your breast implants will likely be removed. Depending on your prognosis, you may choose to replace them or not.
Reasons to Replace Your Breast Implants
While some women choose to say goodbye to their implants permanently, others are not so eager to part ways with their augmented breasts.
Breast implant replacement can be performed at the same time of removal with a new, healthy implant. This can be an identical implant to the one that was removed or it can be a different size, shape, or material. The sky’s the limit.
Most often, women who choose to replace their breast implants feel as though the increase in size was insufficient, and they opt for larger implants. That said, some women desire a smaller implant. There is no universal right answer — only the right answer for you.
Your personal reason to consider removing or replacing your breast implants doesn’t need to be listed to be valid.
Breast Lift Benefits
A breast lift may be recommended if your implants have stretched the breast tissues, and your breasts are drooping. Sagging breasts will be more noticeable once the implants are gone or a smaller implant is chosen. It is important to understand that choosing a larger implant will not remedy sagging breasts. In fact, the weight of the large implant will contribute to additional drooping.
A breast lift offers:
- Perkier, more youthful-looking breasts
- Resized and repositioned areola and nipple
Contact Dr. Robert Spies for Your Scottsdale Breast Implant Revision or Removal
Dr. Spies is board-certified in both plastic and reconstructive surgery. He performs a wide range of cosmetic breast surgeries, always putting his patients’ safety and cosmetic goals first.
If you’re interested in learning more about breast augmentation, explant, capsulectomy, and breast revisions in or near Phoenix, Arizona, call Dr. Spies’ Scottsdale plastic surgery practice at (480) 359-1019.