Things to Know Before Undergoing Breast Implant Removal

Updated on March 29, 2023

Aesthetic surgery is something that causes conflicting opinions. While some are staunch opponents of ‘plastic’ and changing their own bodies, others support it because they believe it can have a positive effect on the person who undergoes it. And that is true because many people have become more self-confident after doing certain corrections to their bodies.

Breast augmentation is an operation that has been among the most popular, if not the most popular, aesthetic procedures for decades. On this link, you can find out more about the history of breast implants, and some facts will surely surprise you. This surgery is not only performed for aesthetics but also as a corrective procedure after more complex procedures and health problems.

Silicone implants have their own shelf life, after which they should be replaced. However, some women simply decide to take them out, and the reasons for this can be many. Maybe they regretted their decision, or the body changed, so implants no longer look good. Perhaps the implants started to cause discomfort or even severe health problems. In each of these cases, the solution is implanting removal.

Preparation for Implant Removal

Implant removal may seem like a simple procedure, but it is not. It requires preparation and detailed consultation with the selected surgeon. And before that, you must visit your physician since it is of utmost importance to be in good health when you undergo this operation.

Preparation for the procedure starts a couple of weeks before it is scheduled. If you are taking any medications, talk to your doctor about the temporary therapy cessation or adjustment if necessary. You should pay special attention to herbal supplements you might take without a prescription because some ingredients can cause contraindications.

While you prepare for removing breast implants, you should stop or at least cut your nicotine intake, even if it’s e-cigarettes. Nicotine is known for numerous bad properties, and in this case, it’s essential to emphasize its unfavorable impact on the cardiovascular system. 

Namely, this substance slows down the blood flow because it narrows the blood vessels. As a result, wound healing is slower, and the heart suffers a lot of pressure trying to deliver blood to where it is needed. In the long term, this can have dire consequences.

During the consultation before the operation, the surgeon will examine your breasts and perform the necessary blood tests necessary for anesthesia. And you will receive detailed instructions on what to do on the day of the surgery.

How to Perform the Procedure

Surgeons perform the implant removal under general or local anesthesia, depending on the needs and complexity of the procedure. Shortly after receiving the anesthetic, you calm down and fall asleep. During and right after the procedure, you will receive analgesic and anti-nausea medication and possibly an additional dose of sedative if the anesthesiologist deems it necessary.

Before the surgery, the nurse will prepare the skin by washing and disinfecting the targeted area. The doctor will use a marker to sketch the places of incisions, which depends on the position of the implants and the scars. These will be under the breasts and around the nipples, that is, where the scars from breast augmentation are.

The procedure itself has two scenarios. At the first one, the surgeon will remove only the implants and possibly insert new ones if you are doing a replacement. Another method is the removal of both silicone and scar tissue (fibrous tissue that forms around the foreign body over time). This is when doctors can also do a breast lift if a patient wants.

The operation itself does not last too long if there are no complications, such as silicone leakage or implant rupture. Most of the time, everything is done in one to three hours. Right after taking out the implants, the surgeon closes and bandages the incisions and possibly places the drain to prevent some post-surgery complications.

Post-Surgery Procedure

After the procedure, the patient slowly wakes up from anesthesia for the next few hours. The next stop is a recovery room, where the medical staff will check their health and some vital parameters. If everything is in order, the patient can go home, as this procedure generally doesn’t require hospitalization. However, if there are indications of some complications, the surgeon will recommend staying in the hospital.

How the recovery will proceed after leaving the clinic depends on the procedure’s complexity and your body. It’s good to know that this process is individual because wounds heal at different speeds in different patients. However, you should follow some general guidelines should be followed for the recovery to go smoothly.

At-Home Recovery

After implant removal, you will wear bandages and drains for a while. During that time, you need to maintain impeccable hygiene of the scars, which means regular wiping and disinfecting of the cut areas and changing the bandages. For the first few days, don’t shower to avoid unnecessary arm lifting that can move the drains and slow down the healing.

On the following source, learn how to take care of scars:

After a few days, the doctor will remove the drains and check how the wounds look. During recovery, you need to rest and avoid any demanding physical activity (occasional walking is fine but do not exaggerate). In case of implant replacement, you’ll wear a support bra or a specialized bandage.

It’s normal to feel pain and discomfort after the sedative effects fade away, and sometimes swelling may occur. The doctor will prescribe mild analgesics as a part of regular post-surgery recovery. However, if the pain becomes unbearable or other unpleasant symptoms appear, be sure to contact your doctor.

What Are the Procedure Risks?

Regardless of which part of the body it is, every operation carries certain risks. During implant removal, doctors will do everything in their power to perform this procedure safely and efficiently, but you should also be on your guard and do whatever it takes to prevent possible side effects. 

For starters, you can feel some side effects of anesthesia, such as problems with consciousness and nausea. These usually last shortly but can be rather unpleasant. Doctors and nurses will react if they spot anything suspicious, as you stay in the care room until you wake up.

After surgery, you could experience problems with wound healing, excess bleeding, and the already mentioned pain and swelling. Also, due to improper hygiene, tissue inflammation and suppuration of wounds can occur, which brings additional problems, so re-hospitalization is necessary to cure the infection.

Most patients are afraid of breast asymmetry after implant removal or replacement. This can be solved with non-surgical intervention. Also, after some time, the scars may still be visible, and in rare cases, bodily fluids may accumulate at the place of the removed implants.

After a few weeks, you can slowly get back to normal. It is of utmost importance to be in touch with doctors and notify them about any changes. Proper communication makes a world of difference, so you should choose your plastic surgeon carefully – find some guidance on this page.

Undergoing implant removal for any reason is a procedure that requires a professional approach. It is good to get information about the procedure, as well as what you should do before and after it so that everything goes smoothly.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.