Breast Implant Removal

What Is Breast Implant Removal (Explantation)?

Breast implant removal, also known as explantation, is a surgical procedure designed to remove saline or silicone breast implants, whether for cosmetic or medical reasons. While breast revision often involves implant exchange, some patients choose to undergo explant surgery without implant replacement. In addition to her experience with breast augmentation, Dr. Mary Herte, our board-certified plastic surgeon, has advanced expertise as a breast explant surgeon, working with women to restore their breasts to their natural size.

What Are Common Reasons for Breast Implant Removal?

The decision to undergo breast implant removal surgery is very personal, but there are common reasons many women choose to seek this procedure. In general, many patients relate to one or more of the following:

  • No longer want breast implants and wish to return to their natural breast size
  • Have a breast implant-related complication such as a rupture or capsular contracture
  • Are concerned about a breast implant illness like Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), an extremely rare non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma with a possible link to certain breast implants (i.e., Allergan® textured implants, which were recalled in July 2019)

What Does En Bloc Capsulectomy Entail?

To perform breast implant removal surgery, Dr. Herte typically recommends en bloc capsulectomy. This technique, also known as a total capsulectomy, involves removing the implant while it remains in its capsule (scar tissue that develops around it). By performing implant removal surgery in this way, she can ensure any possible leaked implant material stays within the capsule as it is removed. En bloc capsulectomy is the preferred technique for any patients showing symptoms of BIA-ALCL. Once the breast implants and their capsules have been removed, Dr. Herte may perform a breast lift to tighten the surrounding tissue, as it may have stretched to accommodate the implants. Not all patients may need this, and others may choose to get a lift at a later time.

To complete the breast implant removal procedure, Dr. Herte will close the incisions using DERMABOND® PRINEO®, which is a strong yet lightweight mesh material that adheres to the skin. By utilizing this product, Dr. Herte has found patients experience faster healing and less noticeable scarring. Patients can typically go home the same day as their procedure to begin their recovery process.

What Can I Expect After Breast Implant Removal?

The recovery after breast implant removal may be slightly different for each individual. Most patients can resume the majority of their normal activities within the first week and return to work after this point. Dr. Herte will provide you with personalized post-operative care instructions to promote wound healing and a smooth recovery. It is normal to experience some swelling and bruising, which should gradually fade over the first few weeks. Any discomfort can typically be managed with pain medication. To minimize the chance of complications after your explant surgery, Dr. Herte typically recommends patients wait four to six weeks to resume strenuous activities and exercise.

How Much Does Breast Implant Removal Cost?

Breast implant removal surgery typically costs $3,500 for the surgeon’s fee. This amount can vary based on the unique details of each patient’s case, such as the complexity of the explant surgery. In addition, surgical facility costs, anesthesia fees, and post-operative garments can all contribute to the overall price of breast implant removal surgery. During your consultation with Dr. Herte, our team will provide you with a personalized quote to help you plan for your procedure. If you would like to sign up for plastic surgery financing options to divide your total cost into smaller, monthly payments, we can help you get started.

For more information about breast implant removal surgery, please contact the Herte Center for Cosmetic Surgery to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Herte.

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