Who can have a breast implant Removal procedure?
A breast implant removal procedure enables women to remove their current breast implants. A woman may want or need to remove her breast implants for a number of different reasons. Ideal candidates for a breast implant removal procedure include women who have any of the following problems:
- Aged implants which require removal.
- Unhappy with the cosmetic appearance of the breasts, such as shape, size, and symmetry.
- Complications from implants, including capsular contracture, leakage, lateralization, double bubble and the effect of gravity.
- Health concerns, such as due to PIP implants.
If any of these problems affect you then removal of your implants may greatly improve the issue. Often, you may not be aware of the specific name of the problem you are experiencing but you may be unhappy with the visual result. Your surgeon will be happy to assess and examine your breasts so that they can advise you on the most suitable procedure.
If you are seriously considering having a breast implant removal procedure then you should think carefully about how you want your breasts to look afterward. For example, after having implants removed it is likely that there may be some excess skin in the breast area. As a result, you may want to consider having a breast uplift at the same time to help reshape the smaller breasts. Carefully considering all the options will help you avoid disappointment with the cosmetic result. In addition, it may help to avoid having further surgery in the future.
Why have a breast implant removal procedure?
As medicine develops, the outcomes for patients continue to improve. Nowadays, although they are not considered to last forever, breast implants are designed to be both long-lasting and safe.
Patients who may have had breast implants put in a long time ago may have been advised to get the breast implants removed after a certain number of years. Your surgeon will be able to examine you during your consultation and give you advice on whether or not you need to get your implants removed.
Not only do older implants sometimes need removing, but the process of ageing and changes in your body may also change the aesthetics of your breast implants. Therefore, you may wish to have your implants removed if, over time, the size and shape of your breasts have changed.
As mentioned, the aesthetics of your breast implants may change over time. As you age, you may find that the skin and breast tissue becomes less supported and starts to sag or droop. Additionally, changes in weight or the changes that occur in pregnancy can also alter the breast shape. All of these factors can contribute to the aesthetic of your breasts changing.
If you are no longer happy with the appearance of your breast, in terms of size, shape and lift, then you may be a suitable candidate for breast implant removal. It is important that you speak honestly with your surgeon during your consultation and you discuss exactly what you would like to achieve with them. With this information, your surgeon will be able to advise you if what you want is possible, and how best to accomplish it.
A foreign body is a name given to anything that is not usually within the human body and is therefore recognised as ‘foreign’. A breast implant is, therefore, a foreign body as it is a new element that is introduced into the breast. When the body recognises something as foreign surrounding tissue responds by forming a capsule around it. This occurs with a breast implant. The capsule is made up of fibrous tissue and it will surround the entire implant. This process is completely normal and expected following breast implant insertion. The process will be slightly different from person to person.
In those who form more scar tissue, the breasts may feel particularly hardened. In some cases the capsule will form with muscular tissue involved. This muscular tissue is able to contract. When this occurs it is known as capsular contracture. This is a recognised complication of having a breast implant. Capsular contracture may cause problems because the contractions will alter the appearance of the breast implant. Therefore, the size and shape of the breast can become deformed. As well as this, the contractions themselves can be uncomfortable for the individual.
In order to treat capsular contracture, a surgical procedure called a capsulectomy is performed to remove the capsule. Therefore, a reason for having a breast implant removal can include experiencing the complication that is capsular contracture. The capsulectomy can be followed by an implant replacement procedure to restore the original size and shape that was desired.
Some women wish to have their breast implants removed due to health concerns. This may be particularly true for those who received PIP implants. PIP implants were silicone breast implants that were found to contain an unapproved silicone gel. Once this fraudulent activity was discovered, it created a huge scandal and understandably caused a lot of fear in the women who had received the PIP implants.
PIP implants are known to be more prone to splitting and rupture than high-quality approved implants. All breast implants carry a risk of rupture, but PIP implants carry much higher risk – there is up to a six times greater chance of rupture. If an implant ruptures it can be uncomfortable and require removal. However, there is no evidence which suggests that PIP implants are a serious danger to health. Despite this, it is understandable that many women with PIP implants wish to get them removed and replaced with high-quality approved implants.
PIP implants were made by a single company based in France and were largely used in private clinics for breast enlargement. Almost 50,000 women in the UK received these implants. Many will have had these removed since the scandal was uncovered, but many women still live with these implants with no impact on their general health. We would advise you to discuss this with your GP. If you are worried about the implants and would like to have them removed, a breast implant removal procedure may be suitable for you.
You can find out if your implants are PIP implants by getting in contact with the clinic where you had the original operation. It is likely that you would have received a letter to tell you your implants are PIP implants if this is the case. Regardless of your decision to keep or change your PIP implants, it is useful to be aware of the signs of implant rupture. This includes:
- swelling or a lump around the breast
- a change in the shape of the breast
- redness, pain or a burning sensation
Seek medical advice from your GP if you experience any of these symptoms or if you want further advice about your PIP implant.
What will an implant removal procedure not solve?
There are a number of issues that a breast implant removal procedure will not change:
Excess skin in the cleavage area
As we age, it is natural for our skin to become less firm. This, therefore, may give the appearance of having more skin in the cleavage area or it can make the breasts appear to droop. Simply having an implant removal procedure may not fix this problem. If having excess skin is of concern for you then you may wish to consider having a breast uplift to help remove the excess skin and reshape the breasts. This can be done in combination with a breast implant removal and should be discussed with your surgeon.
Breast implant removal will not be able to treat the size or shape of the nipple-areola complex. If you are looking to change the nipple or areola of the breast (the region surrounding the nipple), you should speak to your surgeon. They may suggest a nipple-areola complex reconstruction procedure instead.