Breast Implant Removal

Breast Implant Removal: A Comprehensive Overview

Medical Reasons for Breast Implant Removal

Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is one of the most common complications associated with breast augmentation. It occurs when the scar tissue, or capsule, that naturally forms around the implant tightens or contracts. This can cause the breasts to harden, become misshapen, and sometimes result in discomfort or pain. In such cases, removal of the implants and the surrounding scar tissue may be recommended.

Patient who had surgery in Mexico and developed capsular contracture
A patient who underwent surgery in Mexico and subsequently developed capsular contracture.


Implant Rupture or Leakage

Modern breast implants, while designed to be sturdy and long-lasting, can sometimes rupture or leak. Various factors such as the age of the implants, trauma to the chest, or a manufacturing defect could lead to this. If an implant ruptures or leaks, it is usually advised to have it removed and replaced if desired.

Implant Rupture or Leakage

Breast Implant Illness (BII)

Some women may choose to remove their implants due to symptoms they associate with Breast Implant Illness (BII). These symptoms can include fatigue, cognitive issues, joint and muscle pain, among others. However, the link between these symptoms and breast implants is still under research, and BII is not widely recognized as a medical condition.

Breast Implant Illness (BII)

Personal Reasons for Breast Implant Removal

Change in Aesthetic Preferences

Some women may no longer desire the enhanced size or shape provided by their implants as their aesthetic preferences change over time. Whether it's a move towards a more natural look or a desire for smaller breasts, this is a common reason for seeking implant removal.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes can also prompt the decision for implant removal. For instance, some women may find that their implants interfere with sports or fitness activities. Others might be planning for pregnancy and breastfeeding, and opt to have their implants removed.

Emotional Well-being

The decision to remove implants can also be a deeply personal and emotional one. Some women may feel that their implants no longer align with their self-image and opt for removal as part of their journey towards self-acceptance and body positivity.

The Impact of Breast Implant Removal on the Pectoral Muscles

The pectoral muscles play an important role in breast augmentation, depending on the placement of the implants: submuscular (under the muscle) and subglandular (over the muscle, but under the breast tissue). Each method has distinct advantages and is chosen based on various factors, including the patient's body type, lifestyle, and aesthetic goals.

Breast implant removal, or explantation, can have different effects on the pectoral muscles depending on the original implant placement. If the implants were initially placed under the pectoral muscle, the removal might cause temporary changes in muscle appearance and strength. In contrast, implants placed over the muscle typically have less impact on the pectoral muscles.

Chest wall revision surgery may be required to address any changes in the appearance of the chest wall after implant removal. This procedure aims to restore the natural contour and symmetry of the chest area. Excess skin, if present, can also be addressed through aesthetic cosmetic surgery techniques such as skin tightening or removal.

In cases where breast animation deformity, caused by the movement of the pectoral muscle, is a concern, pectoral muscle adjustment may be necessary. This procedure involves repositioning or modifying the pectoral muscle to minimize animation deformity and achieve a more natural appearance.

Breast reconstruction may be an option for women who wish to restore volume and shape after explant surgery. This procedure involves using various techniques, such as autologous tissue transfer or implant placement, to reconstruct the breasts. It is important to consult with a qualified cosmetic surgeon to discuss the available options and determine the most suitable approach for individual cases.

Some women may require additional surgery or procedures after explantation to achieve their desired outcomes. These additional procedures can include breast revision surgery, which involves correcting any aesthetic or functional concerns, and additional surgeries to address complications or issues that may arise during the recovery process.

It is important for women considering explant surgery or any breast-related procedures to consult with an experienced cosmetic surgeon. The surgeon can provide a thorough evaluation, discuss the risks and benefits, and help develop a personalized treatment plan. Patients should also seek reliable resources and information to ensure they make informed decisions about their care.

In conclusion, breast implant removal can have varying effects on the pectoral muscles depending on the initial implant placement. Additional procedures and techniques may be necessary to address changes in muscle appearance, excess skin, or aesthetic concerns. Consulting with a skilled cosmetic surgeon and accessing reliable resources can help women make informed decisions about their breast health and achieve their desired outcomes.

The Breast Implant Removal Procedure

Breast implant removal, while it might sound straightforward, is a surgical procedure that should be performed by a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon. Depending on the complexity, it could involve simply removing the implant or a more comprehensive approach like an en bloc capsulectomy, which removes the implant along with the surrounding scar tissue capsule.

Physical Changes After Breast Implant Removal

The aesthetic outcome post-explantation is a significant consideration. The breasts may initially appear deflated or misshapen due to the stretched skin and tissue but will gradually regain a more natural shape. Factors like age, weight fluctuations, or pregnancies can also affect the final appearance.

Considering a Breast Lift After Implant Removal

In some cases, after the implants are removed, patients may wish to consider a breast lift to address sagging and improve the shape of the breasts. Discuss this option with your surgeon to understand if it could be beneficial for you.

Breast Lift



The recovery process is largely individual and depends on several factors, such as the initial placement of the implants, the size of the implants, and your body's healing capability. In most cases, the pectoral muscles gradually return to their natural position following submuscular implant removal.

Following the clearance from your surgeon, a gentle and consistent exercise regimen can be beneficial. Targeted exercises can help restore strength and tone in the chest area.

Patients may experience temporary changes in the shape or feel of their pectoral muscles. There might be slight discomfort, swelling, or bruising, which is part of the body's natural healing process.

Yes, some patients opt for replacement implants at the time of removal or later. The decision largely depends on the reasons for removal, the patient's health, and their aesthetic desires.

Yes, fat transfer (fat grafting) can be used to correct breast deformities and it can help improve the shape, symmetry, and overall appearance of the breasts.

When done properly, fat transfer (fat grafting) can provide natural-looking results. The fat cells are carefully injected in small amounts to achieve the desired shape and volume.

The fat for the transfer is typically harvested through a liposuction technique, where excess fat is removed from areas such as the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks.

In general, fat transfer (fat grafting) should not interfere with mammograms or breast cancer screenings. However, it's important to inform your healthcare provider about any breast surgeries you have undergone for accurate interpretation of the results.