Women may want to have their breast implants removed, whether they were placed for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes. Breast implants were never meant to be life-long or permanent devices and need to be changed every 10-15 years. Some women also can develop implant rupture and scar or capsular contracture around the implant. Breast implants, especially those with a textured surface, have been associated with a type of lymphoma called BIA-ALCL. The possibility that a certain subset of women develop a reaction to implants, called Breast Implant Illness (BII), is under investigation as well. Although there is currently no recommendation to prophylactically remove implants, textured or otherwise, if you are having symptoms – including pain, lumps, swelling, fluid collections or unexpected changes in breast shape like asymmetry – it is recommended to have breast implants removed.
There are many different options that may be right for you if you are considering breast implant removal, depending on your goals and the reason the implants were placed. For some women, removal of the breast implant with or without a capsulectomy may be the right answer. Our surgeons perform total or en bloc capsulectomies for patients who are candidates for this procedure. In order to counteract the loss of volume after implant removal, some patients elect to undergo an auto-augmentation, using their body’s own fat from liposuction to rebuild the breast volume naturally. Women who had a breast implants placed after cancer reconstruction may choose to switch from an implant-based reconstruction to a reconstruction based on their body’s own tissue, like a DIEP flap. This can be performed potentially within months or many years after the initial cancer operation.
We at Rowe Plastic Surgery bring many years of expertise in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery to each and every patient consultation. Depending on the particular patient, these procedures may be able to be covered by health insurance. We look forward to seeing you soon.