Provided By: Cleveland Clinic
Breast Implant Removal
Breast implant removal is surgery to take out silicone or saline implants. You may have the operation because you no longer want implants. Or you may choose surgery because you have complications with your implants. Often, people choose implant removal because scar tissue has hardened around the implant, causing a capsular contracture.
Why is breast implant removal done?
Breast implants don’t last a lifetime. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends that people with breast implants have them removed or replaced every 10 to 15 years. However, your plastic surgeon may not recommend that you have them removed if you haven’t had any complications.
Some people opt for breast implant removal because the shape of their breasts has changed since their breast augmentation. Breast appearance may change due to:
- Weight changes.
Who needs to have breast implant removal?
In some cases, breast implant removal or replacement is medically necessary. The most common reason to remove implants is that scar tissue hardens around the implants. This hardening is known as capsular contracture. It can cause pain, discomfort, or breasts that look different than they once did.
You may also want implant removal because of:
- Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a rare cancer that occurs in scar tissue around an implant. BIA-ALCL is associated with textured implants. You should check with your plastic surgeon to see if you’ve ever had textured implants placed.
- Calcium buildup around the implant.
- Leaking of the implant.
- Movement or shifting of the implant.
What are the advantages of breast implant removal?
Breast implant removal has a few benefits. Getting the surgery may affect:
- Mammograms: Silicone or saline implants may interfere with seeing breast tissue clearly on an X-ray. Without implants, your mammogram results may be clearer.
- Pain: If you have capsular contracture, removing implants can provide nearly instant pain relief. Removing large implants may decrease neck or back pain.
- Replacements and rupture risks: If scar tissue hardens enough, it can lead to an implant rupture. Removing implants takes away the risk of an implant rupture.
To learn more about our services or to see if you are a potential candidate for breast implant removal, click here!