Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in America, and has helped millions of women enhance both the volume and shape of their breasts with long-lasting results. With that in mind, breast implants that are placed during breast augmentation are not designed to be permanent, and removal (explantation) of the implants will be necessary at some point. Many individuals choose to simply exchange their breast implants for newer models when it is time for implant removal due to warranty expiration. Others may request implant removal because they would like to upgrade their breast implants to a different type, shape, or size, or because they no longer desire implants at all. Some patients may need breast implant removal to address a complication (such as an implant rupture or capsular contraction), irregular position, or asymmetry. Breast implant removal is a form of revision breast augmentation surgery, a procedure our plastic surgeons in Jacksonville and the St. Augustine-area have performed many times. Our doctors offer some of the most advanced breast implant removal techniques, including en bloc capsulectomy. We can formulate a customized breast implant removal treatment plan designed to meet your needs with successful results.
What is En Bloc Capsulectomy?
En bloc implant removal basically means that both the implant and the capsule that has formed around it will be removed simultaneously and in one piece. An en bloc capsulectomy, also known as total capsulectomy, is a breast implant removal technique that can be particularly beneficial for patients who are affected by capsular contracture (scar tissue formation around the implant) or implant rupture. Anytime a foreign object like a breast implant is placed in the body, a capsule is formed around it. This natural response essentially protects both the implant and the body. When the capsule becomes thickened or tightened, it is an indication that capsular contracture has developed, which can result in a hardened feeling around the implant. In cases of implant rupture, the capsule surrounding the implant can stay intact even if the implant shell inside it is not. However, if there is contamination of the capsule from a silicone leakage, the entire capsule often should be removed to reduce the likelihood that the contamination will spread. Our plastic surgeon will delicately separate the capsule holding the implant from surrounding tissues and remove it. If the implants are being replaced, new capsules will develop around them over time.
Find answers to frequently asked questions about breast implants here.
What Does the Breast Implant Removal Procedure Involve?
How the breast implant removal procedure will be performed is dependent on your individual needs and goals, which will determine the most ideal technique utilized for the surgery. In many cases, the implants can be removed via the same incisions created for the initial breast augmentation to avoid additional scarring. For patients who are not having their implants replaced, and even for some individuals who are exchanging their implants for new ones, a breast lift can be performed in combination with implant removal surgery, if desired. Breast lift surgery can address lax skin and sagginess that may be present after implant removal.
During the initial consultation, our plastic surgeon will talk with you about your goals and help you decide the most ideal treatment plan for your needs.
What Can I Expect During Recovery from Breast Implant Removal?
The exact nature of the recovery process from breast implant removal will differ among each patient; however, in many cases, individuals are typically able to resume many of their normal daily routines after just a few days. Some degree of swelling and bruising can be expected in the breasts for a few weeks. Any discomfort experienced during the recovery process can often be managed with pain medication. Strenuous activities should be avoided for at least six weeks following breast implant removal. Our team will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions to help you experience a safe and effective recovery.
What Happens to the Capsule and the Implants Once They Are Removed?
The implants are generally discarded unless you request them. If you wish to keep the implants, they will be decontaminated for biohazard purposes and returned to you the day of surgery. If they are ruptured and you are within the 10-year window, you may want to file a warranty claim, which requires we send the implants back to the manufacturer. We will discuss these options with you so you can make an informed decision.
The capsule is sent to pathology and separated from the implant after en bloc capsulectomy. It is evaluated by pathology for any evidence of abnormal findings. You will receive a copy of the pathology report and pictures of the capsule and implants if you desire.
Will My Capsule Be Tested for BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant-Associated Adult Large Cell Lymphoma)?
If there is any evidence or suspicion for BIA-ALCL, then CD30 testing of the fluid and pathologic evaluation of the capsules will be performed.
Do You Take Pictures of the Implants and the Capsules?
We would be happy to take pictures of the implants/capsules if you desire. And they are generally posted to your TouchMD private portal account.
How Much Does Breast Implant Removal Cost?
Here at Florida Plastic Surgery Group, breast implant removal typically starts at $6,699 and will increase if implant replacement or a lift is desired. It is important to note that the cost of the procedure varies in accordance with each individual patient’s customized treatment plan. Factors such as the removal technique utilized, whether new implants will replace the original implants, facility and anesthesia fees, the overall complexity of the operation, and other related expenses will be taken into account for the total price. Once our doctor has met with you for the initial breast implant removal consultation and a treatment plan has been created, a member of our team will calculate a price estimate that includes all costs associated with the procedure. We will be happy to discuss the array of payment methods that are accepted at our practice, and we can also answer any questions you may have about plastic surgery financing options. We work with highly reputable financing agencies that offer qualified applicants helpful payment plans to make the cost of treatment as convenient as possible.
If you would like more information on breast implant removal surgery, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Florida Plastic Surgery Group today.