Explant Surgery: You Want Your Implants Out, What is Next?

If you have breast implants, you can have a doctor remove them if you change your mind. As you should conduct careful research in selecting a doctor to provide breast implants, you must do the same when finding a surgeon to perform an explant operation. Breast implant removal, or explant surgery, is one of the options we offer to our patients at Charlotte Plastic Surgery. If you have been thinking about getting your implants removed, now is the time to learn more about explant surgery and how to get it.

About Explant Surgery

During explant surgery, the surgeon removes your breast implants and any scar tissue that formed while you had the implants in place. Knowing the nuances of this procedure, including why you may elect to have it, the types of surgery, and the pros and cons, will help you to ask informed questions of your surgeon during your consultation before the operation.

Reasons to Seek Breast Implant Removal

The reasons people with breast implants seek to have them removed vary greatly. You may want to change your body’s silhouette or stop the suffering caused by rare breast implant illnesses, leakage, or movement of their implants.

Regardless of why you want your breast implants removed, explant surgery can help.

Total Capsulectomy vs En Bloc Explant Surgery

When removing breast implants, the surgeon also takes out the scar tissue that forms around the implants. This scar tissue forms a capsule around the implant. The doctor can take the capsule out at the same time as the implant, a process called en bloc. Alternatively, the doctor first cuts through the scar tissue to access the implant for removal. After taking out the implant, they then remove the capsule. This two-part process is a total capsulectomy.

For en bloc explant surgery, you may have a larger incision for the doctor to pull out the capsule and the implant at the same time, but the process leaves the scar tissue and implant intact during their removal.

The doctor will discuss with you during the consultation which of these options will best suit you.

Pros and Cons of Explant Surgery

Whether you changed your mind about breast implants or had health issues from them, explant surgery comes with many pros and cons to consider.

After having your implants removed, doctors will have an easier time reading your mammograms, as both saline and silicone can obscure breast tissue in the images. Additionally, if you sought explant surgery to remove implants causing health problems, your health may begin to improve after the operation.

The biggest downside to breast implant removal surgery is how it changes your shape. Your breasts may sag without the implants. To avoid this problem, you may want to schedule a breast lift to lift and improve the shape of your breasts.

Finally, undergoing any surgery comes with risks from anesthesia, incision infections, and complications. Though very rare, you can minimize the chances of these problems by choosing an experienced surgeon who works from an accredited facility.

With the right surgeon operating on you, breast implant removal is a safe procedure.

The Process of Getting Explant Surgery from Consultation to Recovery

Getting your breast implants removed follows a similar process to other surgical procedures. While most implant removal surgeries follow a standard set of steps, your doctor will tailor the specifics of the process and procedure to your needs.

What Happens During Breast Implant Removal Surgery Consultation

Your first step toward getting your breast implants removed is a consultation. During this initial appointment, you sit down with your surgeon and discuss your health and surgical history, your health conditions, and any medications you take.

The doctor will likely examine you and take photographs to serve as before images. This exam and discussion will give the surgeon the information they need to plan your treatment. They will talk to you about your options and the risks and benefits of breast implant removal surgery.

This visit will also give you the chance to ask the doctor any questions you have about explant surgery. Before your appointment, write down a list of questions that you have and have the doctor address them.

After your consultation, you should have the information you need to decide if you want to schedule this procedure. How long you have to wait after your consultation to have surgery will depend on the surgeon’s schedule and your own.

What Happens During Surgery

Breast implant removal surgery is an outpatient procedure, so you won’t have to stay overnight after the procedure. However, you will have to have someone bring you to the facility and take you home.

The anesthesia used depends on what your doctor and anesthesiologist believe will best suit you and the surgeon’s needs. Explant surgery may use either IV sedation or general anesthesia. Regardless of the type of anesthesia used, the facility should have an anesthesiologist administering it. At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we use Carolina Anesthesia Associates, who have served the area for two decades.

The surgeon will make an incision in your breast to allow them to access the implant and scar tissue. Depending on whether you will have total capsulectomy or en bloc, your doctor will remove the implant and scar tissue separately or as one.

After taking out the implants and scar tissue from the breast, the doctor will close the incision.

You will go into the recovery area until the anesthesia wears off and you wake up.

What to Know About Recovery from Explant Surgery

Following surgery, you’ll get instructions on caring for the incisions in your breasts. These directions should also include which medicines you can take to ease pain, what to do if you have a drain, and when you can resume daily activities. Adhere closely to these recovery guidelines to minimize complications.

You will have a follow-up visit with your doctor to discuss your healing process.

Know Your Provider and Facility

Because explant surgery is surgery, you want to select a surgeon who is exceptionally skilled to perform it. Additionally, you should have the procedure performed at a facility with the equipment to support patient health and safety from pre-op through post-op.

At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we only operate from our accredited facility. Additionally, four of our five physicians have certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, with our fifth seeking certification.

Your Next Step: Contact Us for a Consultation

When you need your breast implants removed, do your research into the qualifications of providers and facilities in your area. Residents of the Charlotte area already have an accredited facility staffed by award-winning surgeons at Charlotte Plastic Surgery. 

Schedule your consultation today at Charlotte Plastic Surgery. 

Our doctors will help you to understand more about breast implant removal and what the process will look like for you.