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Breast implant removal surgery is a surgical procedure to remove breast implants from the breasts for breast augmentation or breast reconstruction patients. People may have had breast implants after a mastectomy (a surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat breast cancer, to prevent breast cancer on women with a family history of breast cancer, or to help a Trans Person who plans to transition) or to simply enhance their appearance. However, some women may think their breast implants are the wrong size or shape, others may experience problems with their breast implants, such as implant rupture, leakage of silicone, infection, displacement, tension bands asymmetry, or capsular contracture. Furthermore, breast implants are not lifelong devices, so it is important to have them removed or exchanged approximately every 10 to 15 years. The decision to remove or exchange breast implants is typically based on the patient’s needs and desires.
Before the procedure, you will be asked to provide supporting documents for the specialist to assess, such as medical records or a psychiatrist’s letter. These supporting documents are required to make sure that you are an ideal candidate for the procedure. Your surgeon will also evaluate your general health and any pre-existing health condition to ensure the success and safety of your breast implant removal. During the procedure, you will be given a general anesthetic, so you will be asleep and you will not feel anything. Your surgeon will make incisions in the same area as the incisions of your breast implant placement, usually along the lower fold of your breast or around/below the areola. Then, they will remove the implant. If you are experiencing capsular contracture, your surgeon will also remove the hardened capsules to accelerate the healing process. The final step is closing the incisions with sutures, skin adhesives, tapes, or clips.
The surgery takes between 1-3 hours to complete and most patients can leave the hospital on the same day of the surgery, but some will need to stay overnight. Since you need to attend follow-up visits that your surgeon has scheduled, plan to stay in Vietnam for at least a week. During the follow-up visits, your surgeon will monitor your healing and your general health.
The recovery period can be different from one person to another. In the first few days, you may experience some discomfort and swelling. You may also need to wear a support bra or surgical garment, as well as a compression garment to minimize the swelling. Your breasts may also feel tight and heavy for several weeks. However, most people agree that the recovery after breast implant removal is often smoother than the initial breast implant surgery. You should be able to go back to work within five days but avoid exercising excessively or lifting anything over five kilograms for about six weeks following the surgery.
Your surgeon will give you a post-operative instruction. It is important that you follow it closely to avoid complications. The instructions may include how to care for your surgical sites, medications to apply or take, and specific concerns to look for. In order to help with your recovery to make it smoother and faster, you will need to eat a well-balanced and healthy diet, limit your alcohol intake, avoid cigarettes, and perform some light exercises.
Breast implant removal is considered safe and highly successful. However, the success of the surgery depends on the skills of the surgeon and your ability to follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions. As with every surgery, breast implant removal carries some risks and side effects, including the development of painful scars, numbness of the breast area, sagging of the breast area, breast deformity, loss of sensation on the breast area, as well as a blood clot in your leg or lung.
The alternatives to breast implant removal depend on the reason you want to remove them in the first place, so it is important to discuss with your doctor. If you have a saline breast implant, your surgeon may suggest deflating them without having to go through surgery, which can be performed under local anesthetic at their clinic.
Before breast implant removal, you may not like the shape or size of the implant, or it is causing issues. After the procedure, all of these problems will now be gone. However, it is important to bear in mind that the appearance of the breasts will not look the same as before you had breast implant surgery.
Whilst the information presented here has been accurately sourced and verified by a medical professional for its accuracy, it is still advised to consult with your doctor before pursuing a medical treatment at one of the listed medical providers. This content was last updated on 28/11/2020.