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What Will My Breasts Look Like After Implant Removal?

| May 16, 2022 August 2, 2023 | |

breast appearance after implant removal surgery

The most popular breast augmentation surgery uses silicone or saline implants. While the use of these implants is safe and gives a high satisfaction rate to a lot of patients, chances are, that many women would eventually wish to have them removed for clinical or personal reasons.

In the previous blog, we discussed some reasons why women would opt for breast revision surgery. Here, let’s discuss what the breasts will look like following an implant removal procedure. That is a reasonable question to be answered once women choose to have their breast implants removed.

Your age, the implant size, and how long you’ve had those implants can affect the breast appearance after your explant surgery. Your breasts will appear deflated at first, but they will increase in volume between 2-3 weeks after surgery.

However, your breasts will not look the way they did before the initial breast augmentation procedure. Many explant patients experience breast sagging due to implants stretching the chest, weight loss, and natural aging.

5 Procedures Approach To Explant Surgery

Each patient’s motivation for breast implant removal surgery is unique, and each case needs an appropriate approach. Whatever your reason is, explant surgery is a safe and effective procedure that can offer satisfying results. Know your options below:

  1. Removal of the Implant Only

    Only the implants are removed during the procedure, leaving the scar tissue capsule in the breasts. This is most suitable for patients with thin scar capsules as these can gradually dissolve in the body without causing any harm.

    PROS: This is the simplest procedure to remove the implant and the scar capsule.
    CONS: Only those with thin scar tissue are qualified for this procedure.

  2. Total Capsulectomy With Breast Implant Removal

    Both the implants and the scar tissue capsule are removed, though the capsule is not necessarily intact. Once the implant has been removed via an incision, the scar capsule is separated from the breast tissue.

    PROS: This combination removes all scar tissue from the body.
    CONS: This is not recommended for patients with ruptured implants.

  3. En Bloc Capsulectomy With Breast Implant Removal

    This removes the scar tissue in one piece as well as the implant within it. This is most suitable for patients who may have a ruptured implant because it prevents leakage from coming in contact with the normal tissues.

    PROS: This lowers the risk of infection or complication from a ruptured implant.
    CONS: This is a long and meticulous procedure that poses a challenge to both patients and surgeons.

  4. Any Approach Combined With a Breast Lift

    This combination is best for patients who worry about sagging breasts due to the stretched skin left behind by any explant procedure. A breast lift surgery can be done within the day of the explant surgery.

    Adding the breast lift procedure can give your breast a firmer and younger look. This is because the excess skin left behind by an explant procedure is eliminated, and your breast tissue is reshaped during the breast lift.

    PROS: The breast lift does not significantly lengthen the recovery time.
    CONS: There will be scarring due to additional incisions.

  5. Fat transfer breast augmentation after implant removal

    Fat transfer breast augmentation can replace some of the volume lost from the explant by using the patient’s own fat from another body part. This can enhance the shape and volume of the breasts without using saline or silicone implants.

    While fat transfer does not give a significant breast size increase, it surely gives your chest an incredibly natural look and feel.

    PROS: Fat transfer is the most natural procedure for those wanting to have a limited increase in breast size.
    CONS: Fat transfer can only increase a woman’s cup size by one.

Options for Reconstruction Patients

The following options can be explored by cancer survivors who have had their breast reconstruction procedure using implants:

  1. DIEP Flap Reconstruction After Explant Surgery

    The DIEP flap or Deep Inferior Epigastric artery Perforator is an ideal option for breast cancer survivors who want to go for a more natural breast augmentation procedure. The patient’s own skin, muscle, and blood vessels are sourced from the abdomen and molded according to their preferred breast shape and size.

    Our surgical clinic has seen patients undergo En Bloc Capsulectomy to be followed by DIEP Flap Reconstruction on the same day instead of undergoing the two procedures within an interval of 3-6 months.

  2. Going Flat After Breast Implant Removal

    Flat closure is also a valid option for breast cancer survivors who have had implants for their reconstruction. In fact, there are women who go flat instead of having new breast implants.

    According to them, “living flat” helps them feel more at ease as they believe it saves them from undergoing another breast procedure in the years to come. Living flat is a strong statement of the body positivity movement that empowers women worldwide.

Wondering Which Approach Is Best For You?

We have shown several different procedures available for you to consider. To know more about them and to guide you on which approach is best for your needs, schedule a consultation now with our board-certified plastic surgeons here at Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery.

About the Author

Dr. Ergun Kocak, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the breast using DIEP, SIEA GAP, TUG, PAP, and direct-to-implant, in Columbus and Cincinnati, OH.
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*Our blog entries are written in order to further educate our patients and raise awareness towards topics related to plastic surgery. Any solutions offered on this blog are intended to help possible patients develop educated decisions before undergoing a consultation with our doctors.

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