Removing Your Breast Implants, What Happens?
For more than 50 years, breast implants have been the standard of treatment when talking about breast augmentation. During this time, manufacturers have released increasingly safe, resistant and durable implants and have greatly increased the options of choice in terms of sizes and shapes. All these facts, and many others, make breast augmentation one of the most popular, safe and successful types of Plastic Surgery in the US.
Unfortunately, not all cases of breast augmentation have happy endings, especially ones performed over a decade ago when implants were less heavily regulated. Due to complications, the integration of implants becomes difficult and complex, culminating in encapsulation or distortion processes. In other cases the patient does not manage to “integrate” the implants psychologically in their daily life, becoming a nuisance, an inconvenience and even an obstacle in social relationships. For these and other reasons, many patients end up deciding to remove (explant is the scientific term) implants that are not providing the results they expected initially.
The consequences of the removal of a breast implant can be very varied depending on factors such as the time the patient has operated, the size and shape of the prosthesis or quantity and quality of skin and gland. These are some of the situations that may arise.
It is evident that the main consequence of breast implant withdrawal will be the sudden loss of volume offered by the implant, but there will also necessarily have to be an effort of the tissues to “shrink” and adapt to a much smaller volume. In general, the greater the implant the more effort these tissues will have to make to adapt to the loss of volume and the worse the elasticity of the same, the more incomplete this adaptation will be.
Breasts of patients with small augmentation and good tissue quality usually adapt without problems and do not require additional treatments to the removal of the prosthesis as such.
The breasts of patients with large augmentation or with tissues lacking a correct elasticity will have a null or incomplete adaptation after explantation and will necessarily require additional treatments to the removal of the prostheses. Mastopexy, more commonly referred to as a breast lift in Michigan, is usually one of these additional treatments that “force” the skin to be placed in the right place and eliminate the excess that may exist.
Lipoimplants to reshape the breasts
(fat grafting or lipofilling) has become one of the most reliable alternatives to compensate for the consequences of the removal of breast implants, with very interesting additional advantages.
During surgery, it is possible to fill the breasts with fat grafts in areas surrounding the mammary gland, so that the immediate beneficial result is a considerably lower volume loss.
The secondary consequence is that thanks to this compensating filler, no additional scars are necessary or they are much smaller than those that would have been necessary if fat grafts had not been used. The fillers used will always be fat based, unlike the synthetic fillers used in a non surgical nose job.
The third consequence is that with the Lipoimplante a new frame is provided that surrounds the gland, improving its anchorages and resistance.
Because the pockets where the implants were located cannot be filled initially (the fat cannot be deposited in an empty bag) it is not usually possible to completely compensate implant-fat with a single treatment. It is, therefore, possible that a second intervention is necessary to finally take advantage of this space and complete the increase in volume if the patient so wishes. The significant breast reduction is the most common reason why women do not opt to have their implants removed.
Fat grafting after you remove your implants
As in any, the success of fat grafts when it comes to saving scars will also depend on the same factors: tissue quality, implant size, etc. However, fat grafts help to avoid vertical scars or inverted T scars that would be absolutely necessary if fat grafts are not used.
Performing fat grafts in the breast is a task that requires a deep knowledge of the technique and anatomy of the breasts. In the case of combining them with the removal of an implant, this knowledge must be greater in order to properly mold the breasts and achieve results that most patients will be happy with. The use of enriched fat grafts represents, in this sense, a considerable advance in providing the cells with an environment more conducive to survival and a way to avoid the negative outcomes of this surgery.
Breast implants continue to be a reliable and safe option to beautify your breasts, but remember that if for some reason you choose to remove them you can use a fat graft to compensate for the reduction in breast size that results.