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The Explant Process - Breast Implant Removal Surgery

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Just as often as patients come to our office for breast augmentation surgery, patients also come to have them explanted (removed). In the past, The American Society of Plastic Surgery recommended to have your implants removed/replaced within 10 to 15 years of placement. 

There are many reasons women choose to do this:

-they want to switch to newer implants

-they want to increase or decrease in size

-they no longer want their implants and want to go back to their natural breast appearance

-they have ruptured implants

-capsular contracture has occurred (a situation where the breast capsule or pocket of GOOD scar tissue over grows and causes asymmetry, hardness/firmness, or even pain, thus becoming BAD scar tissue.

The process of explanting is done as an outpatient procedure. This means you get to go home the same day! It is usually performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. During the procedure, two things can happen.

If explanting only, both the implant and all of the scar tissue around the implant are removed entirely. At this time, sometimes a breast lift is recommended. When patients have implants for a long time, or the implants were on the larger side, the breast tissue stretches and loses elasticity (ability to stretch and return to original state). When the implants are removed, the skin does not always contract, so the only way to "fix" this, is to manually lift the breast tissue up to a higher, more ideal position.

The second possibility is if a patient is doing an implant exchange. The original implant is removed, ONLY the problematic scar tissue around the implant, and then new implants are placed. A lift may also be necessary in this case if the patient is decreasing implant size significantly.

Like any other procedure, there is a risk of infection, bleeding, bruising, swelling, soreness, and scarring. We perform this sterile surgery, and all others, in a fully accredited surgical center that is present in our office. 

"What is the recovery time?" We generally recommend our patients take one week off of work/school. This allows adequate time for rest and the ability to control pain with medications. You will want to avoid heavy lifting over 20-25lbs to prevent from tearing incisions or causing internal bleeding. In some cases, drains are present for 7-10 days. Tight compression with an ace bandage is common after surgery. 

If you are interested in having your implants replaced or removed, schedule an in person or online consult with our office today at Cosmetic Surgery Affiliates in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Our triple board certified surgeons are excited to start your journey with you!

To schedule an online consultation: click here.  

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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.