Breast implant removal or revision is increasingly common procedure that I perform. I think that’s a great thing from a patient perspective, as it shows that women are becoming more empowered and knowledgable about their breast implants.
There are many reasons that patients choose to have their implants removed, and there are also many different procedures available.
I enjoy working alongside patients to develop a customised plan that fits their desires and expectations, which ultimately results in a happy patient.
Breast Implant Removal
Breast implant removal or revision is a common procedure that Perth women choose Dr Colbert to perform. It and may also be known by other terms, such as “explant”, “explantation”, “enbloc capsulectomy”, or “secondary breast surgery”.
Is breast implant removal for me?
You may be a good candidate for breast implant removal if you:
- No longer like the size or shape of your breast implants, or have decided that you no longer want to have breast implants.
- Have complications related to breast implants (such as ruptured or leaking breast implants, capsule contracture).
- Are concerned about breast implant associated conditions, such as Breast-Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL, or ALCL), or Breast Implant Illness (BII).
Do I need to have my breast implants removed?
While many women have been told they should replace their breast implants after 10 years, the short answer is that this isn’t usually automatically necessary (provided you are being closely monitored).
- Earlier studies showed that approximately 1 in 5 patients would need implant revision after ten years. Since then there have been improvements in breast implant design, resulting in more sturdy and resilient implants, meaning that the number needing revision will likely be less.
- Common reasons to have your implants revised (such as breast implant rupture, and capsular contracture) can usually be diagnosed through a physical examination or ultrasound. If these complications aren’t present, and you are happy with the size and shape of your breasts, then there is no need to automatically replace your implants at 10 years.
- It is important to have ongoing monitoring after ten years, as the risk of complications will continue. Dr Colbert usually sees patients every 12 to 18 months to ensure that your health is protected.
What does breast implant removal involve?
At a breast implant removal glance involves:
- Time in surgery: 2 – 3 hours.
- Time in hospital: overnight stay.
- Time off work: 1 week.
- Time before driving: 1 week.
- Time wearing a supportive garment: 6 weeks.
- Time before exercise including gym: 6 weeks.
Just as there are multiple reasons why you might decide to have your breast implants removed, there are multiple different treatment options available to you. These options for removal can be grouped into four main options:
1. Breast implant removal without replacement
This is the most straightforward procedure. Under general anaesthesia, an incision is made in the breast crease or just above it, allowing the implants to be removed. The scar capsule that forms around the implant can be removed entirely (capsulectomy) or partially. It results in a smaller breast size, and sometimes in looser skin.
2. Breast implant removal and fat grafting, with or without a breast lift.
Removing the implants and tightening the skin is a suitable option for patients with a suitable amount of remaining breast tissue. This procedure will involve placing incisions around the breast to help elevate the nipple and areola, while tightening the breast skin to give it a more rejuvenated look.
3. Breast implant removal and tightening of skin (breast lift or mastopexy)
Removing breast implants often results in a change in breast shape, as well as a change in breast size. An improvement in breast shape can be achieved with a breast lift, while fat transfer (also known as fat grafting) can help improve breast size. This involves using your own fat to improve the volume of your breasts. While fat transfer to the breast is safe, the transferred fat can have problems with survival, and the development of fatty cysts.
4. A fourth option involves replacement with new implants, and is covered here
During your consultation Dr Colbert will discuss all of the above options with you, helping you make the best choice for you and your body.
Why should you choose Dr Colbert to remove your breast implants?
Many Perth women see Dr Colbert for breast implant removal because they want expert care by a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
- Dr Colbert MBBS FRACS (Plastic Surgery) is an Australian trained and fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
- Dr Colbert is one of only a few Specialist Plastic Surgeons in Australia who focuses exclusively on breast and body surgery.
- Dr Colbert personally performs all surgery and aftercare himself, and doesn’t get surgical assistants or nurses to treat you during or after your operation.
- Dr Colbert and his staff are renowned for their amazing patient care, delivered in a comfortable and stress-free environment.
What is the recovery?
Recovery from breast implant removal or revision varies from person to person, and varies depending on what particular procedure was chosen. However most Plastic Surgeons and patients would agree that recovery after this surgery is usually smoother and less painful than the initial breast implant insertion surgery.
Dr Colbert performs breast implant removal under general anaesthesia by a fully qualified Specialist Anaesthetist, in an accredited Perth hospital. It can be performed either as day surgery, or as overnight surgery. Dr Colbert reviews you regularly after the operation to ensure you are healing as expected. Most patients need at least one week off work, and expect a gradual return to activities over the subsequent weeks. Dr Colbert will discuss the specific instructions with you during your consultations.
What scars can I expect?
Scars after breast implant removal or revision depend on the specific procedure chosen, but is usually associated with an incision in the breast crease. This incision is placed in an inconspicuous location, and normally heals very well to leave a thin scar after several months.
What are the risks associated with breast implant removal?
Breast implant removal or revision surgery can have the following risks associated with it:
- Wound infection.
- Bruising and swelling.
- Bleeding or haematoma: this is a collection of blood in the wound that would result in you needing to return to the operating theatre.
- Abnormal scarring: while surgical scars generally heal very well, some scars may become lumpy or thick (hypertrophic or keloid). Normally this is in patients who have a known family history of abnormal scarring, and Dr Colbert can take specific measures to minimise it.
- General complications associated with any operation, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolus (PE): DVT refers to a blood clot in a limb vein, that can break off and travel to your lungs (PE). This can be very serious, but thankfully is not common due to routine practices that take place to help reduce this risk.
- Breast implant removal in Perth is similar to any other surgical procedure, in that it has risks associated with it. Before deciding to have any operation you should always speak to an appropriately qualified health practitioner to discuss these potential risks.
How much does breast implant removal surgery cost?
The cost of breast implant removal in Perth can be confusing, and to help make things clearer we have listed the approximate fees that make up the final cost.
- Surgical fee: For breast implant removal Dr Colbert’s surgical fee is between $3000 and $4000 per side, depending on whether a partial or complete capsulectomy is performed. Costs are higher if a mastopexy is performed, or if new breast implants are inserted. These costs may be further reduced through a Medicare rebate, with the specific rebate amount depending on if a partial capsulectomy (item number 45548) or complete capsulectomy (45551) is performed. A further subsidy is usually provided by your private health insurance, however you’ll need to contact your fund to confirm this.
- Anaesthetic fee: The anaesthetic fee is subsidised by Medicare and your private health fund, with usually an out of pocket gap left to pay.
- Hospital fee (this includes operation room fee, bed costs, surgical or medication fees, and any other hospital extras): If you have private health insurance then this may be covered by your insurance fund, but you should check with your fund if there is any out of pocket expenses. If you have no private insurance then you will have to pay this fee on discharge from the hospital.
Where can I find out more?
A consultation with Dr Colbert is a great way to find out more about breast implant removal or revision in Perth.
To arrange a consultation please contact our friendly office staff, or alternatively you can leave a message in our contact form.