What are the main reasons for removing breast implants?

The main reasons are:

  • Rupture or leakage
  • Desire bigger or smaller implants
  • Capsular contracture
  • Rippling or wrinkling
  • Extrusion
  • Migration
  • Deflation

These require removal and where necessary replacement at a later date.

Rupture or leakage: the main reasons are rupture or leakage of the implant. If you have the saline implant then this is filled with salt water (saline) which will be flushed out of your body as normal.

If you have a leaking saline implant then you will notice that it deflates almost immediately.

This is not so obvious with the silicone gel version. If this leaks then the gel will either gather in the ‘pocket’ or the protective capsule which has formed over the implant. This gel is naturally absorbed by the body.

If you have a leaking silicone gel implant then you may notice a small change in breast size although many women do not notice any difference.

Either way, the implants will need to be removed.

Bigger or smaller implants: some patients are not happy with their implants. They feel that they are either too big or too small and want an ‘implant exchange’.

Other reasons include breasts that do not look ‘natural’, are too high or too low.

Capsular contracture: this is the name given to the uncomfortable condition in which the implant is compressed by scar tissue. This scar tissue is a natural barrier which forms over the breast implant. The problem here is if it tightens around the implant which can distort its shape.

Rippling or wrinkling: this can happen with both silicone gel and saline implants and is where the implant can be both seen and felt. The liquid inside the implant moves around which causes this effect. It may be because the implant has been ‘underfilled’.

Extrusion: this is rare but can happen. It is where the implant can be seen because the line of stitches has opened up.

Migration: implants do take a small period of time to settle down in their position. During that time though, they can move out of position. They can end up higher, lower, outwards or inwards than desired.

Deflation: this tends to be more of a problem with saline implants. If the implant tears or ruptures in any way then the salt water fluid will leak out. If this happens then the implant will deflate quickly over a few days. Your breast will reduce in size as well.

This tends to happen in 5% of cases.

Breast Implant Removal Surgery Guide Index:

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