If you have a breast implant you’re not happy with, you may be glad to know that breast implant removal is every bit as common and safe as breast enhancement. Every day, thousands of women seek to have implants removed, and for a variety of reasons. At Restore SD Plastic Surgery in San Diego, CA, our goal is to help you achieve your aesthetic goals in health and wellness.
Why Undergo Breast Implant Removal?
If you’re unsure about whether to remove your implants, consider these common reasons for seeking the procedure:
It’s perfectly ok to be dissatisfied with the cosmetic results of breast enhancement. If your implant surgery wasn’t done well, come see us about how we can help you fix the issue and get the look you want. If you have simply changed your mind about your desired aesthetic, that’s fine, too. You have the right to look the way you want.
In some cases, thankfully very rare, women develop a reaction to one or more substances used in a breast augmentation procedure. This can lead to infection and discomfort. When that happens, it’s important to remove the implants quickly and treat the issue medically.
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer or there’s a tumor growing in the area, removing implants could be key to getting the right treatment as quickly as possible. Never let an implant stand in the way of your full wellness.
This is also, thankfully, relatively rare, but very occasionally the body will decide to treat breast implants as invaders and attack them in a similar way to how it might treat a virus. This is not a normal immune response, but it does require removing the implant and replacing it with another.
You may be perfectly happy with the outcome of your well-performed breast enhancement yet still want to have your implants removed. Over time, weight fluctuations or simply natural changes we all experience as we move through our life’s decades can change a lot about how we look, our lifestyle, our beauty goals, and our personal sense of style. It simply might just be time to be finished with your breast implants.
When a saline implant ruptures, for example, the water is safely absorbed by the body; but eventually, the silicone shell will need to be replaced or removed. In some cases, it’s very clear when this happens. In other cases, it happens so slowly that the body forms a capsule of collagen around the implant and the rupture isn’t noticeable except on a scan. This is just one of many reasons to regularly get a mammogram and ensure good breast health.
In most cases, breast implants don’t interfere with scans, and they can be done so long as you take enough film and have them read by a breast imaging specialist rather than a general radiologist who might not have the expertise to properly interpret what they’re seeing.
However, over time, you may decide you don’t want to take any risk of a compromised mammogram, and that’s also ok. Some women seek breast implant removal after a genetic test or a family member’s cancer makes it clear they’re at increased risk.
Some implants have a time limit: often about 10 years. While you don’t have to remove your implants just because they’ve passed that mark, and some women go far longer without any complications, the longer they remain in, the greater the chance for a complication in the future. Implants aren’t meant to last forever, so if yours are reaching their expiration date, consider having them removed.
Is It Time for You?
Outside of a medical issue like infection or implant rejection, you’re the only one who can decide if breast implant removal is right for you. But if you don’t like the look anymore, your implants are interfering in your daily life, you’re more worried about exams and breast health because of them, or you would like to move into a new look, it might be time for you to have your implants removed. In other situations, you may end up seeking a revision rather than a removal, which we can also help you with.
Set up a consultation with us at Restore SD Plastic Surgery. Dr. Katerina Gallus is an accomplished, board-certified, experienced plastic surgeon who will take the time to understand your concerns and lay out all your options so you can make the best possible choice. She takes the time to listen to your goals and will then craft a treatment plan with you so you can achieve your vision for beauty.
Ensure Your Surgery Goes Well
Having implants removed is as simple a procedure as having them put in, but the key to excellent results is working with the right surgeon.
1. Look for Plastic Surgery Board Certification
Nearly any cosmetic medical practice or medspa has a resident doctor or even surgeon, and while that’s great, you want a plastic surgeon with extensive training and experience specifically in the areas where you need help. It’s not unheard of for patients to ask if a doctor is board-certified and get a yes, only to find out later that the certification is in something other than plastic surgery. Dr. Katerina Gallus is double board-certified in general surgery and specifically in plastic surgery.
2. Prioritize Health Over Money
When you’re talking about surgery on your body, and a surgery that will change the way you look with the potential to leave scarring or uneven breasts behind if it’s not done correctly, the last thing you want to do is risk your health and beauty to a Groupon or a billboard special. There are times and places to look for the cheapest bid. When you’re talking about your health and beauty, it’s best to prioritize professionalism, experience, and technique over simple cost.
3. Look for Someone Who Listens
Getting the right size and shape for your body is important, and you want to consult with someone who will take the time to listen through your concerns and goals and who will actually work with you to help you decide the right size and look for your body.
Important Questions to Consider
How Long Does It Take?
This operation isn’t a long one. In most cases, you should be done in no more than an hour. You won’t be in any pain during that time, and most women can go home the same day. It’s always best to arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours after any surgery.
What Is Recovery Like?
Most women report that their breast implant removal recovery is more comfortable and faster than the original breast enhancement. It takes about two weeks to heal completely, and during that time you’ll wear a wrap to encourage the tissues to knit together completely.
Most women are perfectly able to return to work during this time, but it is important to avoid any heavy lifting or too much physical exertion. Wait a bit on returning to the gym, and if you have an active job, take some extra time off or talk to your employer about taking a quieter role for a few weeks. Remember, too, that the speed and comfort of your recovery also depend on the skill of your surgeon, so this is another reason to seek out the best.
Is This a Safe Procedure?
This is a very routine procedure that is regularly performed without incident all over the world. While every surgery of any kind, no matter how minor, always carries a small amount of risk, this is one of the least-risky surgeries available to anyone. There are very few complications that can arise, and those that are reported almost always could have been avoided by choosing a surgeon with more skill and expertise.
Where Do the Incisions Go?
In most cases, the best place to put an incision is where the original breast enhancement incision is located. This means you won’t have to worry about finding a place to hide a second set. If you’re concerned about the healing process or have more questions about the incisions, we can talk through the issue and address your concerns at the consultation.
What Will Make Healing Faster?
Take charge of your own health and healing by following these steps before and after your breast implant removal:
In this area, information really is power. The more information you have about the procedure and your own personal health situation, the better. You’ll ask better questions, take better steps to prepare, and feel more confident.
Both before and after your surgery, we’ll give you guidelines to follow about lifestyle habits, diet, supplements, and medications. Follow these to the letter for the best possible healing in the shortest possible time.
Take Common Sense Steps
We all sometimes fail to practice what we preach. We may know what’s healthy for us, but it’s hard to resist the siren song of tasty indulgences or the relaxing effect of just one more glass of wine. That’s fine under normal circumstances: but after surgery is the best time to exercise self-control.
A healthy diet that includes few processed foods, little sugar or refined grains, and plenty of fresh (never processed) meat, fruit, and vegetables will go a long way towards giving your body the strength it needs to heal. At the same time, drinking plenty of water, minimizing caffeine intake, and avoiding smoking and alcohol until you heal will get you the best, and fastest, results.
Does Insurance Cover This?
It all depends on whether this is an elective procedure or not. In most cases it is, but if it’s part of cancer treatment or the first step in a mastectomy, it may very well be covered. Always check with your insurance carrier in advance if you have questions about coverage.
What Should I Ask the Doctor?
When you’ve chosen a certified and experienced surgeon, you should take advantage of that knowledge and experience by asking all your important questions. Your personal questions will vary, but here are some ideas to get the ball rolling:
- What breast size do you suggest for my frame?
- Do you have a video about this surgery that I can watch?
- What diet and lifestyle changes should I make?
- Will my regular supplements and medications affect this surgery?
- How long do you recommend I take off work?
- When can I go back to my regular exercise routine?
Is It Time for Implant Removal?
If you’re considering breast implant removal, contact Restore SD Plastic Surgery in San Diego, CA now to set up a consultation and get all the information you need to make the best decision for your health and beauty goals.