According to statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), over 23,000 underwent Breast Implant Removal procedures in 2013 alone, up 10 percent from 2012. Breast Augmentation can boost self-confidence and improve the balance of a woman’s figure, however, there are certain instances when Breast Implant Removal is either desired or required.

The three most common reasons for Breast Implant Removal, which account for over 75 percent of Breast Implant Removal Procedures are:

  • Change in the size and/or shape of the breast
  • Leakage or rupturing of existing Breast Implants
  • Capsular Contracture (the immune system’s response to foreign objects in the body)

Other reasons for Breast Implant Removal include, but are not limited to:

  • Implant wrinkling, sagging or scarring
  • Infection
  • Asymmetry
  • Hematoma (localized collection of blood outside of the blood vessels)>
  • Seroma (a collection of fluid that can develop after surgery)
  • Breast cancer diagnosis

Breast Implant Removal surgery, also known as For implant removal surgery, IV sedation or general anesthesia is typically used. An incision is made either under the fold of the breast or around the areola. The capsule around the implant is incised (cut into) and the implant is carefully removed. If the implant is filled with saline, the surgeon may choose to deflate the implant to facilitate removal. If the implant is silicone-filled, it is inspected for any signs of damage before removal.

The capsule (scar tissue) that was present around the implant may also be removed (known as capsulectomy) if the implant is not going to be replaced, if it will be replaced in a different position (over versus under the muscle), if it will be replaced with a larger implant, or if it will be replaced with a breast implant of a different surface (textured versus smooth).

Other reasons for capsulectomy are silicone implant leakage, infection, or concerns about the clarity and accuracy of mammograms if the capsule is not removed. In many cases, part of the capsule is removed, and some is not. (The capsule adhering to the chest wall may be left in place.) This is known as a partial capsulectomy.

Implant removal surgery without capsulectomy may take about 30 minutes, and with capsulectomy it may take about an hour. Recovery is fairly quick. Most patients are back to everyday activities within a few days, and full activity within 2 to 3 weeks.