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Considering Implant Removal

There are many reasons why a woman may choose to remove there breast implants. Even if your breast implant surgery was perfectly planned and beautifully executed, changes can occur over time and below are a few examples why women consider implant removal. 

1. Wants to Feel Healthier. Women not infrequently have had implants in either silicone or saline, leading to a multitude of problems over the years. It is not uncommon that patients tend to develop encapsulation, scar tissue contracture and this can become even a recurrent problem where patients may desire to simply have the scar tissue and the implants removed rather than have the adverse effects of recurrent scar tissue over and over. Patients with very large implants can also have increased back pain, neck strain and grooving along the shoulder blades. Explantation with drains may greatly help these patients reduce the burden of hypertrophy of the breast upon the spinal cord and the vertebral column. Patients again who develop Baker IV capsular contractures have severe pain and encapsulation which can cause limitation of shoulder/arm movement as well as constant pain throughout the day due to contraction of the muscle or scar tissue around the implant. These patients are generally pain-free once the implants have been removed and the capsule has been softened. Wanting to feel healthier is one of the most common reasons that patients desire to have implants removed. Patients over time may also develop autoimmune disorders, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and which the rheumatologist may decide that removing silicone gel implants may be useful to reduce some of the feelings, although this is not conclusive. Some of the complaints have included myalgia, fatigue, and constant weakness associated with the silicone gel implant. Ruptured silicone implants should always be removed, especially in patients with any form of autoimmune disease.

2. Stay Implant Free. Women who have had multiple open capsulectomies or ruptured implants often present to Dr. Linder for implant explantation with drains. They are psychologically over having the problems associated with implants which can include encapsulation, Baker IV; scar tissue contracture; ruptured implants as well as pain and difficulty in reading of mammograms. There is a psychological benefit of removal of implants after multiple surgeries, and the knowledge that further implant complications will no longer occur. Being implant free for some women is absolute freedom of no longer having to deal with these complications and risk factors.

3. Much Too Large. Moreover, younger women rather than the older, will present with larger implants and as these women progressively age, they desire to downsize. This often means removing the implants altogether. Women often in their 20s and 30s will go disproportionately large silicone saline implants. In my practice I have seen women in their 40s and 50s as their bodies change due to hormonal influences, start to have excessive weight gain which may lead to a desire to reduce the size of the breast, removing the implants altogether with drainage tubes over seven days. Downsizing for women in their 50s and 60s is very common, as seen in my practice, for women that want to be implant-free, feel smaller on top which immediately shows a decrease in breast size and a reduction of matronly appearance.

4. Feel Normal Again. Once again, women who have a tremendous amount of scar tissue or have had ruptured implants or simply in the aging process have gained weight, often desire to feel normal again, not have implants, not feel the scar tissue and not have to undergo surgeries every 10 to 15 years associated with encapsulation or ruptured saline or silicone gel implants. These women want to feel “normal again” and that their breast no longer has a prosthetic or artificial device within it and that at this stage they would like to be pain-free and without the concern of the risk of breast implants.

5. It’s Just Time. It’s just time is often associated with women in their 50s and 60s who are tired of having gained weight and enlargement of their breasts altogether. They would like to downsize completely in order to feel thinner, slimmer and have less weight on their upper chest, upper back and lower neck areas. This is most common in women in their 50s and 60s who desire not to downsize the implant, but rather to explant completely with drainage tube placements and often undergo a formal mastopexy or breast lift at the same time. It is also just time for women who have had multiple capsular contractures and scar tissue recurrence and decide it’s just time to get the implants out, go on living their life without the ailment of recurrent problems of scar tissue and hardening. They want to live pain-free.

6.  Never Looked or Felt Right. Some women present with implants with malposition, Baker IV capsular contractures with severe distortion and pain. These women feel “they never looked or felt right, but their breast appears hard, disfigured, distorted and they simply want to go back to a natural appearance without any implant or without the malposition associated with recurrent scar tissue or rejection of the bag itself. Some women’s original surgery is not what they expected. The implants may be too large or they may feel psychologically that their breasts are too big for their bodies and they feel self-conscious with these overly-enlarged breasts or breast hypertrophy.

7. Finally Want to be Myself. Some women finally want to be themselves. They no longer want a prosthetic implant or device in their bodies. They want to reduce the size of their breasts, be more natural and not have to worry about the consequences of ruptured silicone with intra or extracapsular spread, ruptured saline or the necessity to perform MRIs every three years due to ruptured silicone implants.

8. Looking so Unnatural. Patients present appearing very unnatural either due to improper positioning of the implant, often in a subglandular pocket with severe encapsulation, scar tissue contracture and a very hard Baker IV capsule. These women feel very unnatural and are very unhappy with the appearance, feel and size or shape of their breasts and desire to go back to a natural breast without implants. Depending upon the appearance of the breast after the explantation and drain, formal mastopexies using a full breast lift, Wise-pattern anchor scar may be necessary to regain skin lifting.

9. Weight Gain  Weight gain during perimenopause or menopause is the most common reason women in their 50s and 60s desire to remove the implants altogether. During the perimenopausal period the women often gain significant amounts of weight due to different estrogen and progesterone or hormonal levels. At this time they want the implants removed completely with breast lift performed if they have grade 3 skin laxity in order to feel thinner and take weight off their back and lower neck regions. As women gain weight and it is difficult to remove through diet or exercise, the breasts often become quite large or disproportionately large for their body and complete removal of implants through explantation with drainage tube placement for one week is often the best answer.

10. Uncomfortable and Heavy. This is associated with again women who during perimenopausal or menopausal years. They have significant weight gain throughout the entire body, including the breasts and the breasts become quite large. They desire to downsize or to go explant with a breast lift. Immediate relief of back pain, neck strain, grooving of the shoulder blades will occur with explantation of implants, lift and drainage tube placement.

11. No Longer Needed for Appearance in Clothing. These women desire to have a more subtle appearance, more natural and no longer have disproportionately large breasts which becomes a psychological torment and reduces self-esteem.

12. Implants Have Become Deformed. Implants can become deformed at any time, rupture, scar tissue, silicone gel leakage, calcification, hardening, malposition, malformation, and Baker IV capsular contracture are all causes of defamation of the female chest associated with time, trauma, encapsulation and with severe painful scar tissue.

13. Breasts Begin to Sag. The breasts can begin to sag over time due to the heaviness of an implant. Removing the implant with a skin lift will certainly reduce sagginess to the skin as well as reduced gravitation or descent of the breasts. Women with very large implants have increased sagginess, especially those who do not wear underwire bras. We recommend the Dr. Linder Bra during the evening and during sleep in order to reduce sagginess and skin laxity of the breasts.