What happens if I want to remove my breast implants?

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries for women worldwide, with breast implants being the primary method used to enhance breast size and shape. However, it is not uncommon for some individuals to reach a point where they consider removing their breast implants. This procedure, known as breast implant removal or explantation, is a surgical process aimed at reversing the effects of breast augmentation.

Breast implant removal has gained significant attention in recent years due to a growing number of women seeking to address complications or concerns associated with their implants. While implants are designed to be long-lasting, it is important to acknowledge that they are not permanent and may require removal or replacement at some point.

One of the frequently encountered reasons for breast implant removal is related to issues such as implant rupture or leakage. Research suggests that silicone breast implants have an average lifespan of approximately 10-15 years, after which their integrity may begin to deteriorate. In such cases, removal becomes necessary to address any potential health risks associated with the leaked silicone gel or saline solution.

Another compelling reason for opting for breast implant removal is the phenomenon known as breast implant illness (BII). BII, although not officially recognized as a medical condition, refers to a cluster of symptoms reported by some women with breast implants. These symptoms can range from fatigue and joint pain to cognitive difficulties and autoimmune-like reactions. While the exact cause of BII remains unclear, many women find resolution and relief by choosing to remove their implants.

Moreover, a survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons revealed that around 30% of women who undergo breast augmentation eventually opt for removal. This statistic highlights the significance of breast implant removal as a relevant and prevalent concern within the field of cosmetic surgery.

In light of the growing awareness regarding breast implant complications and patient experiences, it is crucial to understand the available options for women seeking breast implant removal. Consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery is an essential step to discuss individual concerns, potential risks, and available techniques.

Relevant aspects that need to be considered during a breast implant removal procedure include the type of implant, the condition of the breast tissue, and the patient’s desired aesthetic outcome. By understanding the reasons behind a woman’s choice to remove her breast implants, medical professionals can provide personalized solutions and support to ensure patient satisfaction and well-being.

What are the Consequences of Breast Implant Removal? Explained by Experts

Removing breast implants is a significant decision that many women might consider at some point in their lives. Whether due to personal preferences, health concerns, or lifestyle changes, it’s crucial to be well-informed about the consequences before making a final decision. The process of breast implant removal, also known as explantation, involves surgical removal of previously inserted implants. This article delves into the potential outcomes of breast implant removal, including changes in breast appearance, potential side effects, and the importance of consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon. Continue reading to learn more about the consequences associated with breast implant removal and take a step towards making an informed choice.

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What happens if I want to remove my breast implants?

If you are considering removing your breast implants, it is important to understand the potential implications and the process involved. Whether you want to remove your implants due to personal preference, medical concerns, or other reasons, it is essential to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon who can guide you through the procedure and discuss the possible outcomes.

The surgical procedure

Removing breast implants usually requires a surgical procedure known as explantation. The complexity of the procedure depends on various factors, such as the type of implants, their placement, and the condition of the surrounding breast tissue.

During the explantation procedure, the surgeon will make an incision either around the areola, in the breast fold, or in the armpit, depending on the specific case. The implants are then carefully removed, along with any scar tissue that may have formed around them. If necessary, the surgeon may also perform a breast lift or other additional procedures to achieve the desired aesthetic outcome.

Recovery and potential outcomes

Recovery after breast implant removal varies from person to person and depends on factors such as the individual’s overall health, the extent of the surgery, and the body’s healing response. Following the procedure, your surgeon will provide specific aftercare instructions to promote proper healing.

After removing breast implants, some individuals may experience a change in breast appearance, including sagging or a decrease in volume. This can be addressed through additional procedures, such as a breast lift or fat grafting, if desired.

It is important to have realistic expectations regarding the outcome of breast implant removal. The appearance of the breasts may not return to their pre-implant state, as factors such as skin elasticity and the length of time the implants were in place can influence the results. Consulting with your plastic surgeon will help you understand the potential outcomes specific to your situation.

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Considerations and risks

Before deciding to remove your breast implants, it is essential to consider the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure. These may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Changes in breast sensation
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry
  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Fluid accumulation

Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you and help you make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances and concerns.

When to consult a plastic surgeon

If you are considering removing your breast implants, it is recommended to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery. They will evaluate your specific case, discuss your goals, and provide professional advice tailored to your needs.

According to recent statistics, approximately 30,000 breast implant removal procedures were performed in the United States in 2020.


1. Can I remove my breast implants?

Yes, you can choose to have your breast implants removed if you desire.

2. Why might someone consider removing their breast implants?

There are several reasons why someone may want to have their breast implants removed, including discomfort, implant rupture, cosmetic concerns, changes in personal preferences, or health issues.

3. Is the removal procedure the same as the initial implant surgery?

No, the procedure to remove breast implants is typically less invasive and simpler compared to the initial implant surgery.

4. Will my breasts return to their original appearance after removal?

After breast implant removal, the appearance of your breasts may vary depending on factors such as the duration of implant placement, your skin elasticity, and individual variations. It is best to consult with a plastic surgeon to discuss realistic expectations.

5. Will breast implant removal leave noticeable scars?

Scarring from breast implant removal will occur, but it is usually minimal. The visibility of scars can vary depending on factors such as incision placement, individual healing, and scar management techniques.

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6. Is breast implant removal covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage for breast implant removal can vary and is typically evaluated on a case-by-case basis. It is recommended to check with your insurance provider to determine the extent of coverage.

7. How long is the recovery period after breast implant removal?

The recovery time can vary based on individual circumstances. Generally, patients can expect a shorter recovery compared to the initial implant surgery, with most being able to return to normal activities within a few weeks.

8. Are there any risks associated with breast implant removal?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved with breast implant removal, including infection, bleeding, changes in breast sensation, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon will help evaluate and minimize these risks.

9. Can I replace my breast implants with new ones during the removal procedure?

Yes, if you desire to have new breast implants, it can be discussed with your plastic surgeon during the removal procedure. They can guide you regarding the feasibility and suitable options for replacement.

10. What should I consider before deciding to remove my breast implants?

Before making the decision to remove your breast implants, it is recommended to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can assess your unique circumstances, discuss your expectations, and provide guidance on the procedure, risks, and potential outcomes.


In conclusion, removing breast implants is a well-established procedure that can be performed for various reasons. The surgery typically involves several steps, such as choosing the appropriate surgical technique, discussing expectations and desired outcomes with a qualified surgeon, and undergoing a thorough preoperative evaluation. It is important to keep in mind that the process of breast implant removal can have physical, emotional, and financial implications, and each individual’s experience may vary.

The main reasons for removing breast implants include dissatisfaction with the appearance or feel of the implants, medical complications, or a change in personal preferences. The surgery itself may involve removing the implant and the surrounding scar tissue and may also include a breast lift or reduction if necessary. Recovery from breast implant removal generally involves a period of rest, limited physical activity, and avoiding certain movements that could strain the surgical site.

It is crucial to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss the benefits, risks, and possible outcomes of the procedure. They will provide personalized advice and recommendations based on the individual’s unique circumstances. Ultimately, the decision to remove breast implants should be made in consultation with a trusted healthcare professional to ensure the best possible results and satisfaction.