What happens if you have breast implants removed?

Breast augmentation surgery, a procedure that involves the placement of breast implants, has become increasingly popular among women seeking to enhance their appearance. However, for various reasons such as medical complications or personal preferences, there may come a time when individuals choose to have their breast implants removed. This decision can have a significant impact on physical and emotional well-being.

Breast implant removal, also known as explantation, involves the surgical extraction of implants from the breasts. Whether it’s due to discomfort, concerns over implant safety, or wanting to return to a more natural look, the reasons for removal vary. In fact, data suggests that more women are opting for implant removal after going through breast augmentation.

One of the primary concerns that individuals face when considering breast implant removal is the potential impact on their appearance. It is crucial to understand that explantation does not always guarantee a return to pre-augmentation shape. The effects of implant removal will vary depending on factors such as the original breast tissue, the length of time the implants were in place, and the surgical techniques used for the initial augmentation.

While some women may experience minimal changes in breast appearance after implant removal, others may face challenges such as sagging, deflation, or unevenness. In such cases, additional procedures like breast lift or fat grafting may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome. It is essential to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to evaluate individual circumstances and set realistic expectations.

Apart from the physical aspect, there is also the emotional impact associated with breast implant removal. Many women report feeling a sense of relief and liberation after removing their implants, especially if they were initially motivated by societal pressures or influenced by unrealistic beauty standards. The decision to embrace one’s natural body can lead to increased self-confidence and improved emotional well-being.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there has been a notable rise in the number of implant removal surgeries in recent years. This trend suggests a growing awareness and acceptance of individual beauty preferences, as well as increasing concerns regarding complications associated with breast implants, such as implant rupture or capsular contracture.

Ultimately, the decision to have breast implants removed is a personal one, driven by individual circumstances and desires. Whether motivated by aesthetic, health, or personal reasons, it is critical to understand the potential physical and emotional implications of implant removal and to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to ensure a safe and satisfactory outcome.

What to Expect When Removing Breast Implants: A Comprehensive Guide

When contemplating the removal of breast implants, many individuals are curious about the possible outcomes and implications. Having breast implants removed refers to the surgical procedure in which previously inserted implants are taken out. This process can involve either a complete removal of the implants or their replacement with different ones. It’s important to thoroughly understand the various aspects and considerations surrounding the removal of breast implants, including the effects on physical appearance, potential health benefits, and the recovery process.

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In the following sections, we will delve deeper into each aspect, answering all the questions you may have and providing detailed information on what can happen when breast implants are removed. We’ll discuss the impact on breast shape and size, potential relief from associated symptoms or health concerns, the surgical techniques employed during the removal procedure, and the recovery process, including the timeline for healing and any necessary aftercare.

Whether you are considering breast implant removal for personal reasons, medical necessity, or aesthetic preferences, this comprehensive guide aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions regarding your breast implants removal journey.

What happens if you have breast implants removed?

Deciding to have breast implants removed is a personal choice that women may consider for various reasons. Whether due to complications, dissatisfaction with the results, or a desire to return to their natural appearance, the process of removing breast implants can have both physical and emotional effects. In this article, we will explore what happens if you have breast implants removed, including the procedure itself, recovery, and potential outcomes.

1. The procedure

When removing breast implants, the first step is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery. The surgeon will evaluate your individual case, discuss your goals, and recommend the most appropriate technique for removal.

The two main methods for breast implant removal are:

  • En bloc removal: This technique involves removing the implant and surrounding scar tissue as one intact unit. It is commonly used when there is a rupture or capsular contracture, a condition where the scar tissue around the implant becomes tight and constricting.
  • Implant removal only: In cases where the scar tissue is not a concern, the surgeon may remove the implant only, leaving the scar tissue in place.

The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia and may take around one to two hours, depending on the complexity of the case.

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2. Recovery

After the breast implant removal procedure, it is normal to experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising. The surgeon will provide post-operative instructions to help manage any pain or discomfort and promote healing.

Recovery time varies for each individual but generally takes a few weeks. During this period, it is important to avoid strenuous activities and follow the surgeon’s recommendations for wearing a supportive bra.

In some cases, additional procedures may be required, such as a breast lift, to restore the shape and position of the breasts if the skin has stretched or sagged due to the presence of implants.

3. Potential outcomes

The outcomes of breast implant removal can vary depending on several factors, including the condition of the breast tissue, the degree of scar tissue formation, and the technique used for removal.

Some potential outcomes of breast implant removal include:

  • Restored natural breast appearance and shape
  • Improvement of symptoms associated with capsular contracture, such as pain or breast distortion
  • Relief from potential complications, such as implant rupture or silicone leakage
  • Improved emotional well-being and body image satisfaction for individuals who were dissatisfied with their implants

It is important to note that individual results may vary, and it may take some time for the breasts to fully heal and settle into their new shape.

A study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that 90% of women who underwent implant removal reported improved satisfaction with their breasts after the procedure.


1. What is breast implant removal?

Breast implant removal is a surgical procedure to remove previously inserted breast implants.

2. Why would someone choose to have their breast implants removed?

There are several reasons why someone may choose to have their breast implants removed, such as implant-related complications, desire for a different size or type of implant, or personal preference.

3. What happens during the breast implant removal surgery?

During the surgery, the surgeon will make an incision in the breast to access the implant. The implant and any surrounding scar tissue will be removed. In some cases, a breast lift or additional procedures may be performed.

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4. Is breast implant removal a painful procedure?

Most patients experience some discomfort and pain after the surgery, which can be managed with prescribed medications. However, every individual’s pain tolerance and recovery experience may vary.

5. Will breast implant removal affect breast shape and appearance?

Yes, breast implant removal can affect the shape and appearance of the breasts. The extent of these changes depends on factors such as the amount of natural breast tissue, skin elasticity, and the size and type of implants that were removed. A consultation with a surgeon can provide more specific information based on individual circumstances.

6. Can breast implant removal cause sagging or drooping?

In some cases, breast implant removal may cause some sagging or drooping of the breasts. This can be further addressed with a breast lift or other surgical procedures if desired.

7. What are the potential risks and complications of breast implant removal?

Like any surgical procedure, breast implant removal carries risks such as infection, bleeding, scarring, changes in nipple or breast sensation, and asymmetry. Discussing potential risks with a qualified surgeon is important.

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

The recovery period varies for each individual, but typically involves a few days of downtime and several weeks of limited physical activity. Following post-operative instructions and attending follow-up appointments is crucial for a smooth recovery.

9. Can breast implants be replaced at the same time as their removal?

Yes, some individuals choose to have their breast implants replaced during the same surgery. This decision can be discussed with a surgeon to determine if it is feasible and appropriate in each case.

10. Do all individuals require breast implant removal after a certain period of time?

No, not all individuals require breast implant removal. The decision to remove breast implants is a personal one and depends on factors such as implant-related complications, personal preference, or changing aesthetic goals. Regular check-ups and discussions with a surgeon are important for monitoring implant health over time.


In conclusion, breast implant removal is a decision that requires careful consideration and consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon. The procedure is generally safe and can be beneficial for individuals experiencing complications or dissatisfaction with their implants. However, it is essential to weigh the potential risks and side effects that may occur during and after surgery, such as scarring, changes in breast shape or size, and possible loss of nipple sensation. Rehabilitation and psychological support might also be necessary to cope with body image changes. Additionally, individuals should be aware of the financial implications, as the cost of breast implant removal and associated procedures may not be covered by insurance.

Moreover, it is crucial to have realistic expectations regarding the outcome of breast implant removal. While some individuals may achieve a natural-looking breast appearance, others may experience more significant changes, depending on factors such as the type of implants, implant duration, and breast tissue characteristics. Thus, it is advisable to discuss the desired results and aesthetic goals with the surgeon beforehand to ensure a smooth and satisfying outcome. Overall, breast implant removal can provide relief and restore confidence for those seeking to remove or replace their implants, but thorough research and open communication with a surgeon are essential for a successful procedure.