Although we often think of breast implant insertion as a ‘typical’ plastic surgery procedure, an increasing number of women are choosing to have their breast implants removed for a number of different reasons. Over the past year, Dr Lee has seen a significant rise in cases of women requesting to have their implants removed – from around five women a year to over 100.

The reasons for removal will vary from patient to patient, but are commonly –

  1. Personal preference – Initial implants yielded a poor result, change of preference for breast shape or size, natural change of shape due to hormones, pregnancy and weight fluctuations
  2. Medical complications – Implants may become infected, rupture, shift position or ‘deflate’ over time, potentially a result of the how the insertion was originally performed, or just a natural deterioration of the implant over time

Complications resulting from breast implants tend to be more prominent for women who undergo this procedure overseas, so patients should always consider these risks before choosing their surgeon.

Some women are also opting for explant surgery due to increased concern over breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a rare cancer that develops near breast implants. Although uncommon, BIA-ALCL is most likely caused by the use of textured implants, bacterial contamination during surgery, genetic predispositions and the age of the breast implants.

In all of these cases it is important that the implant and all of the surrounding capsule is removed. If your plastic surgeon has concerns about silicon leakage, or biofilm formation which could lead to cancerous cells, then all the surrounding scar tissue will also be removed. This surgery is significantly longer and more complicated.

If your breast skin has been stretched or has sagged, a mastoplexy, also known as a breast lift may be performed by your plastic surgeon. This involves removing any excess breast tissue to provide better support and produce a better aesthetic outcome.

Whilst recovery is always dependent on the individual and their surgeon, recovery after explant surgery is often smoother than initial breast implant surgery. Scarring typically heals very well and is usually quite discrete.

If you would like to learn more about the possibility of breast implant removal surgery, or have any concerns about your current breast implants, Dr Lee and his team are always more than happy to talk about your options. Choosing to have plastic surgery is a serious personal decision and undertaking. Please be mindful that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.

Call us on 9382 3340 or click here to contact us for further information.

Useful Links

Safe Breast Implants Research Foundation

Breast Implants & Rare Cancer Risks