Breast Implant Removal

Breast Implant Removal in Encino, CA

Women’s lifestyles, aesthetic goals, and bodies change as the years pass. When you’ve decided it’s time to get your breast implants removed, rest assured Dr. Stephen Bresnick can help you make a change that retains your feminine figure.

Breast implant removal also addresses medical issues, such as a leak of silicone gel or hardening and thickening of the tissue capsule surrounding the implant, a condition known as capsular contracture. In very rare cases, certain textured implants have been found to be associated with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), and may need to be removed to treat that condition.

Whatever your reason for breast implant removal, you want a skilled plastic surgeon to perform the surgery. Stephen Bresnick, M.D., is one of the most extensively trained and highest-rated plastic surgeons offering procedures in the Los Angeles area.

What Happens in a Breast Implant Removal Procedure?

Breast implant removal surgery is performed under general anesthesia. To minimize scarring, Dr. Bresnick will usually make incisions where the original implant incisions were made. The implant is then removed, along with any damaged or inflamed capsular tissue, if needed.

If a breast lift is done at the same time, excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is lifted into place to reduce sagging. In some cases, Dr. Bresnick may resize your areolas to better fit your new breast shape.

Dr. Bresnick may place a drain in your breast to allow excess fluid to be released in the days after surgery.

What Concerns Might Lead Me to Consider Breast Implant Removal?

The most common personal concerns that might cause you to consider breast implant removal are:

  • Discomfort from the breast implants
  • Breast size enlargement naturally, over time, often associated with aging or weight gain
  • A new desire to have a more slender figure
  • A shift in the position of an implant, causing a mismatch in the appearance of your breasts

Other health and medical concerns that might lead to a recommendation for breast implant removal include:

  • Pain from the implants
  • Thickening and hardening of the tissue capsule surrounding the implant, which could be an indication of capsular contracture
  • Rupture or other failure of an implant
  • Infection
  • Interference with mammography imaging, especially if you are at particularly high risk for breast cancer as indicated by family history or genetic testing
  • Indications of BIA-ALCL, a form of lymphoma that has recently been found to be associated with Allergan BioCell textured implants

A note about textured implants and ALCL:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert in 2019 after finding evidence of an association between Allergan’s BioCell textured breast implants and a slightly increased risk of BIA-ALCL, a treatable form of lymphoma. Allergen recalled these implants, prompting women across the world to contact their surgeons to determine whether they had this specific model.    Dr. Bresnick has never placed this implant type, but has assisted many women remove them.

Breast Implant Removal Procedures

Depending on the reason for the removal, breast implant removal may include the removal of the tissue surrounding the implant called a “capsule.” The formation of a capsule around the implant is the body’s normal response to an implant.  Removing the tissue capsule along with the implant creates a clean pocket that can be left to heal and close, or that can be filled later in an implant replacement procedure.

Simple breast implant removal: In some cases, the implants are simply removed, without touching the surrounding tissue. This might be done when the implants are intact and have caused no reaction in the breast tissue, but you simply want them removed for personal reasons.  Sometimes implants can be removed with the capsule and no life is required.

Breast implant removal with breast lift: In many cases, breast implant removal is combined with a breast lift to restore a natural-looking shape to the breasts after their volume is reduced. Without a breast lift, implant removal can result in sagging. In the breast lift, excess skin is removed so breasts can take on a higher, and more attractive shape.

What Will My Breasts Look Like After Implants Are Removed?

After surgery, your breasts will appear smaller, with a loss of volume where the implants were. Over a period of time, the breast tissue will regain a little volume. Skin that has stretched because of the implants may need to be tightened with a breast lift to return to a natural look. Fat grafting can also be used to replace some of the lost breast volume.

Breast Implant Removal FAQs

Much like when you had the initial implants placed, you can expect to need some downtime after breast implant removal. Dr. Bresnick will give you specific guidance based on your procedure, but most patients are advised not to drive for ten days (longer if you are taking prescription medications) and to avoid strenuous activity for two or three weeks. You will wear a surgical bra for several weeks after the procedure until your breasts have fully healed. Most women are able to return to work within a week after breast implant removal.

You can, and the combination of the two procedures is often recommended. A breast lift can remove excess skin that has been stretched from the implants, and can eliminate what would otherwise be a sagging breast shape. If you had the implants placed some time ago, your breasts may have sagged as you have aged, or from breastfeeding or weight changes. A breast lift can restore a younger look.

As one of the top breast surgeons in Los Angeles, Dr. Bresnick has extensive experience in both placing and removing implants. Board-certified with more than 25 years of plastic surgery experience, Dr. Bresnick’s friendly demeanor and welcoming staff set the practice apart.

Some insurance plans cover the costs of breast implant removal procedures if they are required for medical reasons — to address capsular contracture or ALCL, for example.  When you consult with Dr. Bresnick, he can provide details on your condition which you can then use to check with your insurance provider. Breast implant removal for personal reasons is not typically covered by insurance.  

If you’re considering breast implant removal, schedule an in-person consultation with Dr. Bresnick. Call us at (818) 981-3333 to ask any specific questions.

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