What Is Breast Explant Surgery?

Dec 29, 2021 | Breast

Say “plastic surgery,” and the words “breast augmentation” immediately come to mind. And not without a good reason. Did you know that over 400,000 women choose to enlarge their breasts in the U.S. alone every year? Either for aesthetic or medical reasons, more and more women are willing to invest in a fuller, more voluptuous bustline.

But are breast augmentation procedures the only popular breast-related plastic surgery in today’s world? Here at the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery, we have noticed a growing trend in breast explant surgeries. Due to personal preference or other circumstances, patients choose to remove their breast implants and redefine their looks with a more natural bust. So, are you ready for your own breast explant surgery? Let us walk you through the entire breast explant surgery process, from the reasons for undergoing a breast explant to the recovery process.

Breast Implants Do Not Last Forever

No matter how much you try to avoid reducing the lifespan of your breast implants, they, akin to all manufactured objects, require maintenance and, eventually, a possible breast implant replacement. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons advises patients to have their breast implants replaced or removed every 10 to 15 years. However, the decision to remove the breast implants falls primarily on the patient. Once you are ready to let go of your breast implants, Dr. William J. Vinyard, MD, FACS, can help you remove them safely and with the most aesthetically pleasing results possible. 

What Is Breast Explant Surgery?

Breast explant surgeries involve plastic surgeons removing breast implants, effectively reversing the breast augmentation or breast reconstruction process. Aside from the implants themselves, plastic surgeons also remove the scar tissue formed during the breast augmentation procedure.   

Why Do Patients Undergo Breast Explant Surgeries?

Breast explant surgeries depend mainly upon the patient’s medical and aesthetic motivations. Although extremely rare, for some patients, capsular contraction (i.e., the hardening of the scar tissue around the implants) and breast implant ruptures create pain and discomfort as well as modify the appearance of the breast implants. Such circumstances necessitate maintenance work or breast explant surgeries for medical reasons. For other patients, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and the natural aging process negatively influence the look of the breasts, thus making their current breast implants obsolete. And finally, we have patients who choose to have their breast implants removed in order to achieve a different look, as their preferences change over time

Here at VIPS, we pay special attention to women who feel they are suffering from BII (i.e., Breast Implant Illness), a collective set of symptoms thought to be triggered by breast implants. Although the connection between breast implants and the illness commonly known as “BII” has not been validated by any research studies thus far, there does appear to be social proof that this illness exists. 

Additionally, it has been theorized that certain connective tissue disorders (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma), autoimmune disorders, allergies, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia may increase a patient’s proneness e to symptoms that have been listed as commonly seen symptoms of BII. As such, women diagnosed with any of the diseases mentioned may choose to undergo breast explant surgery to minimize symptoms associated with their diseases/disorders that breast implants may exacerbate. 

Albeit for medical or aesthetic reasons, breast explant surgeries are becoming more and more popular, and the VIPS team is capable of assisting patients who choose the breast explant path! 

Who Is the Ideal Candidate for Breast Explant Surgery?

In order to undergo breast explant surgery, you must first meet certain criteria. To be more precise, patients who are physically healthy and boast a balanced BMI (i.e., body mass index) get the best results from breast explant surgery. At the same time, patients must lead a healthy lifestyle and abstain from harmful habits, such as smoking. As long as you abide by these criteria and you keep your expectations within reasonable limits, your breast explant experience will be a success! 

What Does Breast Explant Surgery Entail?

First, Dr. Vinyard will guide your breast explant preparatory steps, beginning with anesthesia. To ensure the most comfortable experience, Dr. Vinyard performs breast explant surgeries on patients under general anesthesia. You will also receive specific medications for nausea and pain relief after the procedure.

Second, a Registered Nurse will clean the surgical sites with antibacterial soap to prepare them for incisions. Dr. Vinyard typically follows the previous incision or places it in the fold or vertical below the areola (i.e., the darker-colored area surrounding the nipples).

Finally, Dr. Vinyard will remove both the implants and the scar tissue surrounding the implants (also known as a capsulectomy) and close the surgical sites with absorbable sutures and surgical glue. Depending on the procedure, Dr. Vinyard might recommend applying a drainage system to the surgical site in order to remove any excess fluid and to assist with optimal healing.

Congratulations, your breast explant surgery is finally complete! While you gradually recover from the general anesthesia, you will be taken to a recovery room, where a Registered Nurse will closely monitor you. You will also receive instructions regarding  your recovery process, which can  take up to several weeks. Once your vital signs are stable and the postoperative care is complete, Dr. Vinyard will allow you to return home accompanied by a family member or a close friend. Remember that the first few days are essential for a successful recovery process, so try to put as little stress on your body as possible.

As you consider your breast rejuvenation goals, Dr. Vinyard and his team of experts wield many options for restoring a youthful look and feel for your breasts. A breast explant procedure can be an incredible addition to your treatment plan, and Dr. Vinyard and his team of experts are ready to support you in achieving your aesthetic goals. Contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vinyard, or call us at (772) 362-3357 to find out the next steps in your breast explant journey! Our office at 291 NW Peacock Blvd, Suite 103, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986, proudly serves the SE Florida area! We also invite you to check out our blog page, Facebook, and Instagram to learn more about the treatment plans available at our office!

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