Saline and silicone breast implant removal surgery is an option for women who are not satisfied with the results of their breast augmentation, or when complications with breast implants arise. Breast revision surgery may become necessary if the original breast implant placement was performed incorrectly. Breast implants may become displaced or contracted because of improper placement or due to pressure from scar tissue. The procedure may also be necessary if the implants rupture or deflate as a result of injury or a defect in the implant itself. Additionally, breast implants may need to be removed if infection occurs.
What to Expect During Breast Implant Removal Surgery
Before breast implant revision surgery, the surgeon will determine the cause of your breast augmentation complications and advise you on a course of action. If you choose to have your silicone or saline implants replaced with a more suitable type of breast implant, the replacement will be done during the breast implant removal surgery. If you choose not to have your implants replaced, your surgeon will advise you about cosmetic surgery options like breast lift surgery, which can be performed at the time of your surgery.
General anesthesia or intravenous sedation is used during surgery. To access the implant, the surgeon will make an incision in one of several areas: around the areola, just below the armpit, under the fold of the breast, or, in rare cases, through the navel. Many times, the incisions for breast implant removal are the same as the ones used during the original breast augmentation surgery. In addition to the breast implant, scar tissue will often be extracted during surgery.
Saline Breast Implant Removal
Prior to surgery, the surgeon should thoroughly examine the implants and the surrounding tissue for rupture, leakage, swelling, and infection. If the patient is choosing to undergo breast implant replacement surgery (secondary breast augmentation), the type of replacement implant will be chosen before the surgery and placed immediately after the original implant is removed. If the patient chooses not to replace the implant, she may consider breast lift surgery performed at the time of the removal surgery in order to enhance the shape of the breast.
During saline revision surgery, the surgeon may deflate the implant before removing it. This will allow for easier removal. Once the implant has been removed, the surgeon may remove scar tissue from the previous breast augmentation surgery. Placement of new implants or breast lift surgery will be performed as soon as the original implant is removed. The surgery itself should take 30 to 45 minutes, and the patient will remain in the hospital for a few hours after the surgery for observation.
Silicone Breast Implant Removal
During silicone revision surgery, because a ruptured silicone implant may have gone undetected, the surgeon will manually inspect the implant for any signs of distress or rupture prior to its removal. This allows the surgeon to minimize any risks associated with the breast implant removal procedure. Removal of the implant may be more complicated then the original placement, particularly if the outer shell is textured or foam covered. Sometimes, surrounding tissue and muscle may have to be removed along with the implant.
The length of the removal procedure depends on whether there are any other procedures being performed at the same time. Breast implant replacement, breast lift, or scar revision may be performed at the time of the removal. Generally, silicone breast implant removal surgery should take less than an hour and the patient will remain for observation for a few hours after the surgery. Patients undergoing breast implant removal or revision surgery should be able to return to work within a week.
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Photo credit: Accent Plastic Surgery
Find a Cosmetic Surgeon through DocShop
If you are considering saline or silicone breast implant removal surgery, you can locate a qualified specialist in your area through DocShop's physician directory. You can browse through surgeons' profiles and view the websites of doctors near you.