When you choose to get breast implants at some point you might also face getting them removed.
You may choose to end your breast implant journey one day, or you may be exchanging your implants (changing them for new ones). Either way, you’ll need to get your existing breast implants explanted (the opposite of implanted!).
Explanting for good
Sometimes women change their mind about their breast implants. As in, they decide they no longer want them and don’t want them replacing. They choose to have them removed.
This might be because of a change in the way they feel about them (not wanting implants anymore), a change in the way the implants look or feel (not liking the implants anymore) or because of some kind of complication requiring their removal.
What happens in a breast implant explant?
Whatever the reason behind a breast implant explant, here’s what happens to remove breast implants:
The surgeon re-opens your original incision site after numbing the area (you can stay awake for this procedure).
The implant is removed (pulled out).
The surgeon tidies up the incision site to minimize scarring.
Sometimes the removal process also involves removal of the capsule of scar tissue that naturally forms around a breast implant. In this case a general anesthesia would be used. This is most often done when there have been complications (like implant rupture or capsular contracture).
Depending on how involved the implant removal surgery is then a surgeon may place a drain into each breast pocket, which would remain in place for 2-3 days after surgery. However, drains are becoming less and less common with explanting.
Explantation is an out patient procedure so you can go home afterwards. Recovery is quicker and usually less painful than an augmentation surgery.
Life after Breast implants
It’s fair to say that one of the biggest worries women who undergo implant removal worry about isn’t the actual surgery, it’s what their breasts will look like after surgery.
While we may be able to get some idea of the look of our breasts before we head into our initial breast augmentation surgery (thanks to things like implant sizers and 3D imaging) it’s not as easy to say what your breasts will look like once the implants have been removed.
Your surgeon will be able to give you some reassurance during a consultation for implant explanation by assessing your breast skin and existing breast tissue.
For most women, following explanation their breasts return pretty much to their pre-augmentation state (assuming your weight hasn’t fluctuated too much since you got implants). And if your weight has changed a lot… your surgeon may recommend a breast lift when you get your implants removed. Either way, with a little time (and patience) a breast augmentation is, well, reversible.
Throughout your life our breasts change (with or without implants involved!) so a decision to get breast implants explanted (removed) can just be another step in your boobie journey.