What to Expect After Breast Implant Removal 

Authored By Cassileth Plastic Surgery

Woman holding a silicone implant in her hand

Breast implant removal, also known as explant surgery, is a procedure some women choose for various reasons, including medical concerns, personal preferences, or lifestyle changes.1 After the removal of breast implants, patients may have several concerns, particularly regarding the appearance and health of their breast tissue. In this blog, we’ll provide an overview of what patients can expect post-explant surgery and the available plastic surgery options to address sagging breast tissue and skin laxity.

Post-Explant Surgery: Immediate Aftercare

Immediately following breast implant removal, patients will experience swelling and bruising, which is a normal part of the healing process. The initial recovery period typically lasts a few weeks.2 During this time, it’s essential to follow all post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon. This includes wearing a compression garment, avoiding strenuous activities, and attending follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing.

Long-Term Effects on Breast Tissue and Skin

One of the primary concerns following explant surgery is the potential for sagging breast tissue and skin laxity. The extent of these issues largely depends on factors such as the size of the implants removed, the duration they were in place, and the natural elasticity of the patient’s skin. Some women may find that their breast tissue naturally retracts over time, while others may experience more significant sagging and looseness.

Addressing Sagging and Skin Laxity: Surgical & Non-Surgical Options

For those experiencing undesirable changes in breast shape and skin tightness post-explant, there are several surgical options available:

  • Breast Lift (Mastopexy): A breast lift is a common procedure following explant surgery. It involves removing excess skin and reshaping the breast tissue to raise and firm the breasts. This surgery can significantly improve the appearance of sagging breasts, offering a more youthful and lifted profile.
  • Fat Grafting: Fat grafting involves transferring fat from another part of the body to the breasts. This technique can be used to add natural volume and improve the overall contour of the breasts after implant removal.
  • Breast Reduction: In cases where there is still substantial breast tissue after implant removal, a breast reduction might be recommended. This procedure removes excess breast tissue and skin, making the breasts smaller, lighter, and more lifted.
  • Radiofrequency Treatments: For minor skin laxity, non-surgical options like Morpheus8 can be considered. These procedures use heat to stimulate collagen production in the skin, leading to tighter, more youthful-looking skin over time.

Choosing the Right Procedure

The decision on which procedure to undergo post-explant surgery should be made in consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery. They will assess your individual case, considering factors such as breast size, skin quality, and overall health, to recommend the most suitable procedure(s) for your needs and goals.

Learn More About Breast Implant Removal

Breast implant removal is a significant decision that can lead to various physical changes. Understanding the potential effects on breast tissue and skin, and knowing the available surgical options to address these concerns, can help in making informed decisions about post-explant care. Remember, each patient’s journey is unique, and the goal of any procedure following breast implant removal should be to achieve a result that feels right for you, both aesthetically and emotionally. Contact us today to learn more about breast implant removal.

1 Cleveland Clinic. Breast Implant Removal. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21799-breast-implant-removal. Accessed January 12, 2024.

2 ASPS. What should I expect during my breast implant removal recovery? Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-implant-removal/recovery. Accessed January 12, 2024.

Cassileth Plastic Surgery & Skin Care

Contact Cassileth Plastic Surgery to learn more about anything you see in our blog. Send a message online to arrange a consultation, or call (310) 278-8200.

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