A patient may choose breast implant removal surgery for many reasons, but most of these procedures occur for one of two main reasons. First, you may wish to alter the size or shape of your breasts for aesthetic reasons. Or you are experiencing complications with the implants. Breast implants are not meant to be permanent, and they may need to be changed after many years (after ten years or greater, in most cases).
Dr. Gabbay works as a board-certified surgeon in Beverly Hills, providing patients from across the country with premium care that can make a difference in his patients’ lives. Discover the suite of procedures available at Gabbay Plastic Surgery with a personal consultation.
Procedure at a Glance
- Procedure Goal: Remove Breast Implants
- Procedure Length: 1-3 Hours
- Anesthesia: General or Awake w/ Sedation
- In/Out Patient: Outpatient
- Initial Recovery: 1 Week
- Duration of Results: Years to Decades
Dr. Gabbay's Breast Implant Removal Before & Afters
What Is Breast Implant Removal and Capsulectomy?
Breast implant removal surgery is for patients who want their breast augmentation implants to be removed. The reasons for choosing this procedure are varied, but generally fall into two categories: cosmetic and health-related. In the latter cases, patients may benefit from additional capsulectomy, which involves removing scarred or damaged tissue around the breasts as well. While most patients can enjoy their breast augmentation results for years, some may develop concerns that need to be addressed.
Options for Breast Implant Removal
Simple Breast Implant Removal: Indicated for patients who want implant removal for cosmetic concerns when surrounding tissues are healthy. Only the implant is removed, not any tissues.
En Bloc Breast Implant Removal: Indicated when patients have health concerns related to their implants. Removes both the implant and the surrounding scar tissue together. Protects against contaminating healthy breast tissue by keeping the capsule intact.
What Reasons Do Candidates Have for Breast Implant Removal?
Breast augmentation is a unique procedure that might not be for all patients. Anywhere from months to years after a procedure, patients may experience either physical symptoms or personal issues with their implants. In these cases, they may be a candidate for removing their implants and improving their situation, health, and quality of life. Some key reasons for breast implant removal include:
- Breast Implant Illness: This syndrome occurs when patients experience symptoms that they perceive as correlating to their implants. Patients may experience a range of symptoms, such as chronic pain, chills, depression or anxiety, headaches, raches, and fatigue.
- Capsular Contracture: This occurs when scar tissue around the implant hardens more than usual, forming a capsule and leading to discomfort or breast shape changes.
- Physical Discomfort: The added weight and volume to augmented breasts can cause physical discomfort from bra straps, a sense of heaviness to the chest, or strain on your back and shoulders.
- Dissatisfaction: A patient’s results may not have turned out right, or their preferences may have changed with time.
- Quality of Life Issues: Some patients find larger implants to interfere with various life factors, such as activity limitations or avoiding clothing or social engagements due to feeling self-conscious.
- Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL): This condition can occur due to an immune response in the patient’s body to the implants and may be more common for patients with textured implants.
- Implant Rupture: Saline and silicone implants may leak if damaged or if weakened over time. Symptoms can range from mild (painless breast deflation) to more severe (inflammation).
Although uncommon, capsular contracture accounts for most breast implant removal procedures. This condition happens when the body forms a tissue lining or “capsule” around the implant. As time goes on and symptoms increase, this capsule continues to contract and tighten. This causes deformity, discomfort, and potential pain. There are four levels of severity when it comes to capsular contracture:
- Grade I: The breast still looks and feels natural, remaining shapely in appearance and soft in texture.
- Grade II: The breast still appears normal but has begun to feel firmer.
- Grade III: The firmness quotient is noticeably higher. The shape of the breast looks somewhat misshapen.
- Grade IV: The breast has hardened. It appears deformed to a more extreme degree. It may also feel sore, painful, or tender at this level of contracture.
Other Implant and Augmentation Concerns & Complications
Uncommon complications that can happen as a result of breast augmentation include:
- Ptosis (sagging)
- Implant position changes
- Breast Asymmetry
- Calcification (calcium buildup)
- Extrusion (implant becoming visible through the skin of the breast)
- Necrosis (presence of dead tissue in the breast)
- Seroma (fluid pooling)
Benefits of Breast Implant Removal
Your Options Following An Implant Removal
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
Some patients may be happy with implants but want an aesthetic change. In these cases, a breast revision may be a good choice. Dr. Gabbay removes the current implants and inserts new ones to match your current goals.
Breast Implant Removal Procedure
- Replace the explanted one with a new silicone or saline implant
- Inject a purified fat graft to augment the breast without an implant
- Perform a breast lift to boost and tighten the skin and reshape the breast
- Patients with smaller breasts may not need a breast lift after removal.
Breast Implant Removal Recovery
Call Gabbay Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills today at (310) 205-9500 to learn more about your options for breast implant removal .
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does breast implant removal cost in Los Angeles?
The national average for breast implant removal surgery cost is about $3,000. However, this can vary, and the final price involves factors such as: the quality of the surgeon, the extent of the procedure, additional procedures, the type of anesthesia, and more. Dr. Gabbay and his team provide patients with accurate estimates during their complementary consultation, so there are no surprises.
Will I need a breast lift after removing implants?
This mostly depends on the patient’s breast size before implant removal. Removing larger implants can lead to a significant loss in breast volume and a droopy position of the breasts. A breast lift is often the best solution for these cases.
Additional Resources for Breast Implant Removal
- Bachour Y. Capsular Contracture in Breast Implant Surgery: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2021;45(3):1328-1337.
- Breast Implant Removal: Explant Surgery. American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.
- Cohen Tervaert JW, Mohazab N, Redmond D, van Eeden C, Osman M. Breast implant illness: scientific evidence of its existence. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2022;18(1):15-29.
- Marra A, Viale G, Pileri SA, et al. Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma: A comprehensive review. Cancer Treat Rev. 2020;84:101963.