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Do you want to have your breast implants removed or changed?
There are many reasons why patients want their implants removed or changed. You may have problems with them, want an upgrade (for whatever reason) or simply feel that that it is time to have them removed permanently. Patient interest in removal of breast implants has increased recently with some of the concerns around ALCL (Breast implant related lymphoma) and various breast implant syndromes (which need further scientific study).
Dr Alex Phoon is happy to see patients who have had surgery elsewhere to help with safety checks and make sure that the implant is not a danger to your health with clinical assessment and imaging such as ultrasound or MRI if required.
Reasons why you might want to have your implants removed (with or without replacement) might include:
How do you remove the implants?
The procedure involves a general anaesthetic and is usually a day surgical procedure. If there is significant capsule formation that needs to be removed at the same time, you may require a drain afterwards.
What happens when the implants are removed?
As you can imagine, the breast will be deflated afterwards. The degree of deflation is related to the size of your implants and the stretchiness of your skin. Younger patients wanting removal can sometimes return to a result that is very close to their pre-implant breast shape. If you have had children or have stretchy skin, then there will almost always be some deflation and descent of the nipple complex afterwards.
Are there any options available to me to minimise the deflation post-implant removal?
If you are set on not replacing your implant with one of the newer generation implants, then there are some options available to patients. Having a breast lift alone with or without fat grafting can be an option for patients. The result would be a smaller breast but at least some additional volume restoration without the need for a foreign material like an implant. With respect to fat grafting you should appreciate that there is only 2/3 long term retention so that it is possible you may require subsequent filling as a standalone procedure.
The below options are variations on the Breast Reduction procedure.
Young patients request breast reductions frequently. The breasts are often significantly glandular which can make them heavy and uncomfortable. There is usually a strong genetic component here as large breasts can run in the family. Younger patients goals are often different to older patients who have struggled with large breasts their whole lives. The goal here is to help reduce the symptoms associated with larger breasts whilst also making the breasts look in better balance with your figure. This might mean less removal of breast tissue and more rearrangement of the at breast tissue, so the breast sits in a more youthful position.
I’m often amazed at how long patients will put up with the pain associated with large breasts. There are many causes of back and shoulder pain of which having large and heavy breasts are the usual suspects. A thorough history and examination is essential to track down the source of your symptoms although anecdotally, there is a very high satisfaction rate once the weight has been off-loaded from the breasts. Making your breasts significantly smaller is possible but only within the limits of what is possible with your underlying skeletal frame.
A reduction might be the only way to improve a nipple position which is low on the chest wall. This operation is often called a mastopexy (or breast lift) and in truth, the operations share many common features. There is often minimal breast tissue removal (usually from the lower breast) and mostly glandular manipulation and folding to put the volume (and nipple) where it needs to be.
Sometimes a breast reduction alone won’t give you the outcome you want. When there is volume loss, particularly in the upper part of the breast there are two options. The first is using some of your own breast tissue folded up to give you essentially a breast augmentation with your own breast tissue. This technique is often called an auto-augmentation and can work well with the right patient. There are also times when an implant might be helpful to give you an additional boost in the upper part of the breast. When an implant is used it is often called an augmentation mastopexy and it is common in patients who have had massive weight loss.
Your body is amazing how it adapts and changes to the challenges put to it. When the dust settles, if you long for a restored breast shape then sometimes breast surgery might be the answer. This might take the form of a simple breast augmentation or even a breast lift with an implant (called an augmentation mastopexy).
My plastic surgery clinic is conveniently located in East Sydney between Hyde Park and Potts Point – close to the exit of the Harbour Bridge, Harbour Tunnel, Eastern Distributer and the Cross City Tunnel. There is valet parking available as well as free parking on the ground floor (90 minutes).
Choosing the right procedure and surgeon is important. I believe that helping my clients make informed decisions is key to a great result so if you have a question or would like to know more about something specific, please let me know – Regards, Alex.