The reasons for breast implant removal (explant) surgery vary from patient to patient. While some women choose to remove their implants for cosmetic reasons, others do so out of health concerns. In recent years some women have expressed concern that their breast implants may have led to an autoimmune disease or worsened a serious health condition. Many of these women have reported experiencing symptoms of what some call “breast implant illness,” including fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, muscle pain and weakness.
Weston Center For Plastic Surgery is committed to the well-being of our patients. Dr. Eberle is a respected breast enhancement surgeon hailed for his knowledge, experience and surgical skill. Treating patients who wish to remove their implants, some of whom report experiencing symptoms of breast implant illness. Dr. Eberle meets with each patient one-on-one to discuss their concerns regarding their breast implants. After identifying the root of the problem, he designs a treatment plan for removal. Each breast removal procedure is unique. Dr. Eberle carefully explains all of the available options and helps each patient choose the best option for her needs and goals.
What Happens During Breast Explant?
Breast explant is performed with the goal of safely removing the breast implant and restoring an attractive breast contour and appearance. The procedure typically takes two hours to perform.
Our surgeons will do the following:
Offer a nerve block performed during surgery to reduce pain for 72 hours post-surgery, which may reduce or even eliminate the need for prescription pain medication.
Perform en bloc when possible with total capsulectomy to ensure 100 percent of the capsule is removed.
Insert drains to enhance the healing process.
Take pictures of the implant and capsule, and clean out any and all residual implant, capsule, silicone or saline within the chest cavity.
Most women who report symptoms of breast implant illness opt to remove their implants without replacing them. These types of breast explant procedures are generally performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon tries to keep the incisions as small as possible to achieve little to no post-operative scarring. Through the incision, the surgeon carefully removes the implants. In case of an implant rupture or capsular contracture, the “capsules” that hold the implants are also removed. Once the implants are removed, the doctor addresses any loose skin that has become stretched out due to the implants. The breast skin is trimmed and the breast tissue reshaped for a beautiful, natural shape.
As long as they have good breast tissue and skin elasticity to begin with, the majority of patients are very happy with their post explant breast appearance. However, the doctor may recommend performing a breast lift in conjunction with the explant to position the breasts higher on the chest wall, correct breast ptosis and achieve a more beautiful breast shape. Dr. Eberle, a leading authority in breast explant, has refined his surgical technique to consistently deliver safe and successful results with the breast lift and explant method.
When finished, the incisions are closed with sutures and bandages. A surgical bra and drains will be placed to aid in healing. Patients will then be moved to recovery where they will rest for approximately one hour before being driven home from a loved one to rest for the remainder of the day.
Fat Grafting to the Breast
Weston Center For Plastic Surgery is pleased to offer fat grafting to breast explant patients who still desire to add a small to moderate boost in volume to their breasts without the risks associated with implants.
Fat grafting to the breasts allows patients to increase breast size naturally, by utilizing fat cells from other areas of the body, and transferring to the existing breast tissue. It is the perfect complement to the breast explant procedure, or to provide fullness and symmetry for augmentation. After implant removal, patients should expect to wait approximately 6 months post surgery before scheduling the fat grafting procedure.
Please contact us to learn more information on this option.
What to Expect During Recovery
Recovery from breast explant is similar to breast augmentation recovery. Patients should expect to take one to two weeks off from their normal routine, including work. During this time, vigorous activity should be avoided. During the initial recovery period, patients may experience swelling, bruising and tenderness Our team can provide oral pain medication to minimize discomfort. Regular follow-ups with us are mandatory so we can closely monitor healing progress.