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What You Should Know about Breast Implant Removal Surgery

Breast augmentation with implants is the most popular plastic surgery procedure today. Women can choose from among FDA-approved saline, silicone and gummy bear implants in various shapes and sizes to enhance the bust line. However, every woman should know that implants do not come with a lifetime warranty and would have to be removed at some point of time. Typically, implants last up to 10-15 years after which they can be replaced. However, there can be rare cases when the implants need to be removed much earlier than expected. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, about 20,000 breast implant removal surgeries are being performed every year in the country.

Roughly 70 percent of the breast implant removal procedure takes place due to the following reasons

  • Capsular contraction – Collagen fibers have grown around the implant
  • The breast implant has leaked or ruptured
  • The breast has changed in shape or size

The procedure to remove the implants usually takes about 1 or 2 hours is is performed under general anesthesia. In most cases, the implants are removed through the same incisions made to place them. An overnight stay may be necessary in some cases. Obviously, when the implants are removed, the skin becomes saggy and if you don’t want them replaced with a new set, breast lift surgery is necessary to tighten the skin and lift the breasts to an higher position.

Whatever may be the reason, you should discuss your expectations with your plastic surgeon. Some of the reasons why women decide to go in for removal of their implants are

  • The existing implants look artificial
  • They are placed too low or high, or are too small or too big
  • Noticeable wrinkling or rippling of the implant
  • Allergic reactions to the implant
  • Irregular appearance of breasts
  • Hardening of the implant
  • Continual breast pain following implant insertion

If your implants are intact and not causing any trouble, there is no need to have them replaced. Think about having them only if there is a medical necessity or you are not satisfied with their appearance.