Breast Implant Removal

Breast implant removal, also called explant surgery, is a surgical procedure to remove implants (silicone or saline) or any scar tissue formed around the implant in patients who have had breast augmentation or breast reconstruction. The average life of an implant is 10 to 15 years. A few women have tissue hardening around the implant, and a few want to remove the older implant to replace it with a new one, whereas a few no longer want an implant. Sometimes implant removal is an emergency condition due to breast implant complications.

Yes Doctor’s Plastic Surgery Procedure Breast Implant Removal

What is Breast Implant Removal?

Explant surgery, also called breast implant removal, is a medical procedure used to take out breast implants from the breasts of women who have had either breast reconstructive or augmentation surgery. Some women no longer want their saline or silicone inserts or they have experienced issues. On the other hand, some opt for implant removal due to scar tissue that has hardened around the implant and causes pain. 

Breast implants are not intended to last a lifetime. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast implants must be revised every 10 to 15 years; however, this depends on the patient's preference and health needs. 

In some cases, the implant inside the body may burst, causing the silicone to leak and spread, which may lead to soreness and hardening of the surrounding tissues. In such situations, it is essential to remove the breast implants immediately.

How to prepare for the breast implant removal

In preparation for the breast implant removal, your healthcare provider might ask you to follow any of the following steps: 

  • Get lab test reports 

  • Adjustment of current medications to start new ones

  • Quit smoking 

  • Avoid anti-inflammatory medicines and drugs or herbal supplements that could increase the risk of bleeding 

Breast implant removal surgery is commonly performed in a hospital with general anesthesia. If you are undergoing an outpatient unit, arrange for someone to drive you back home from the hospital and attend to you overnight. 

Steps of breast implant removal surgery

A breast implant surgery is typically performed at an ambulatory surgical unit or an operating room in a hospital. The procedure is likely to follow the following steps:


Before the surgery, you are given intravenous sedation to make you feel calm and relaxed or general anesthesia to put you in a sleep-like state. The choice mainly depends on your anaesthesiologist or plastic surgeon.


Before the breast implant removal, an incision is made on the darker region around the nipple, called the areola, or under the lower fold of the breast (inframammary fold). It primarily depends on where the implants were placed at the time of the breast implant.

Removal of the implant or scar tissue

This step depends on the aim of the surgery. Scar tissue naturally develops when the implants are placed. Some surgeons remove the implant and leave the scar tissue, whereas others remove the implant and the scar tissue (partially or fully). Scar tissue removal is a time-consuming procedure.  

Closing the incisions

After the implants are removed or replaced, incisions are closed with the help of sutures or glue-like adhesives. Bandages are placed atop your chest to protect the incisions. Sometimes a drainage mechanism is also applied to help prevent the breasts from swelling or allowing the fluids or blood to drain away from the breasts. 

After the procedure, your vital signs and operation site are closely monitored to avoid possible complications. Your breast profile might change after the breast implant removal. Depending on how much scar tissue is removed, it may have an uneven appearance, indentations, or irregularities. Your breasts may get droopier or flatter too. 

Types of Breast Implant Removal

  • Which Breast Implant Removal is Right for You?

    Breast implants are not lifelong devices. Having them exchanged or removed almost every 10-15 years is essential. This decision is typically based on the patient's individual needs and desires. Some women may choose to have a breast implant revision, replacing the implants with a different size or shape. In contrast, some women choose breast implant removal, also called explant. Choosing the right method for implant removal depends on certain factors:

    • Reason for removal: whether it is due to a complication, personal preference, or health concerns.

    • Implant type: saline or silicone

    • Implant placement: sub-glandular or submuscular

    • Implant condition: intact or ruptured

    • Desired outcome: replacement or complete removal

    Based on these factors, a plastic surgeon can recommend the best approach for the removal, which may involve a simple outpatient procedure or a more complex surgical intervention. It is essential to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon for a personalized assessment and recommendation.

  • Implant removal

    Implant removal, also known as explantation, is a surgical procedure in which one or both breast implants are taken out. This procedure may be done for various reasons, such as to address complications with the implants, to remove implants that are no longer desired, or for personal or medical reasons. Implant removal is typically performed under general anesthesia and can take one to two hours. After the implants are removed, the surgeon may also remove any surrounding scar tissue. The recovery period for implant removal typically lasts one to two weeks, with full recovery taking several weeks. Depending on the individual case, the patient may choose to have the implants replaced with new ones or opt to go without implants. It is important to discuss the options and potential outcomes with a qualified plastic surgeon.

  • Implant exchange

    Implant exchange refers to a surgical procedure where one or both breast implants are removed and replaced with new ones. This procedure is often done for various reasons, such as to change the size or type of implant, to replace old or ruptured implants, to address issues such as capsular contracture or implant rippling, or to remove implants for personal or medical reasons. The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia and can take one to two hours. After the old implants are removed, the new implants are inserted either in the same pocket or in a new pocket created by the surgeon. The recovery period for a breast implant exchange typically lasts one to two weeks, with full recovery taking several weeks.

  • Implant removal with lift

    Implant removal with lift refers to a surgical procedure in which one or both breast implants are taken out and the remaining tissue is lifted to restore a more youthful and natural appearance to the breast. This procedure may be done for various reasons, such as to address complications with the implants, to remove implants that are no longer desired, or for personal or medical reasons. Implant removal with lift is typically performed under general anesthesia and can take two to three hours. After the implants are removed, the surgeon may also remove any surrounding scar tissue and lift the remaining breast tissue to restore a more youthful appearance. The recovery period for implant removal with lift typically lasts one to two weeks, with full recovery taking several weeks. It is important to discuss the options and potential outcomes with a qualified plastic surgeon.

Why Breast Implant Removal?

Breast implant removal or explant surgery is gaining popularity. The trend of explant surgeries is almost the same as getting breast implants.  

Sometimes, it is purely a case when a woman no longer wants a foreign object inside her body, or she changes her mind and doesn't need larger breasts anymore. In other cases, an implant malfunction occurs, like the implant wrinkling, deflation, shifting or rupture of the implant or the hardening of the surrounding tissues. The silicone or saline leakage causes anaplastic large cell lymphoma (a type of blood cancer) or infections. In such a situation, implant removal is necessary. 

In many women, the reason for explant surgery is they are no more satisfied with their breast profile. As time passes, weight gain or loss, old age, pregnancy, or lactation change the breast size, and the implants don't look satisfactory. For many patients, the reason to have breast implant removal surgery is they want to live a chemical-free and more natural life. The presence of foreign objects in their bodies doesn't conform to the trend of living a toxin-free life using natural products only. To summarize, an explant surgery is done for the following reasons: 

  • Hardened scar tissue
  • Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  • Calcium buildup
  • Leaking
  • Movement or shifting

What Conditions Are Breast Implant Removal a Solution to?

Implanted breast enlargement is one of the most frequently done operations. Despite how experienced a surgeon is, difficulties may still arise due to the fact that each person's body is structured differently. The structure of the connective tissues between individuals also differs significantly. Moreover, everyone's immune system responds variably to stimuli, and this is because some people may have a negative reaction to breast implants. Similar to any other surgical procedure, implant-based breast augmentation has been associated with numerous difficulties and potential risks. In some female patients, silicone breast implants have been linked with side effects like exhaustion, cognitive issues, dry eyes, and dry mouth. The most common problems associated are: Capsular contracture, Autoimmune disorder, and Rheumatic disorder. Surgeons usually treat these problems with breast implant removal. Patients feel relieved after explant surgery. Read on to learn in detail about the complications breast implant removal offers a solution to

  • Capsular contracture

    During the recovery process, it is typical for a scar to be formed around any implanted device. This scar is usually soft and slightly firm, not visible, and helps the implant stay in its place. For some women, the scar is very dense and tight, squeezing the implant and altering the breast's shape. This condition is known as capsular contracture, which causes pain and distress. To fix the problem, the implant must be removed with the capsule — a procedure known as capsulectomy. The surgeon then reconstructs the breast with a flap of tissue transplanted from another area of the body, such as the stomach or backside.
  • Autoimmune disorder

    Research has found that breast implants have the potential to increase the risk of autoimmune diseases. According to a study, silicone implants can bleed, i.e., rupture and spread throughout the body and, in turn, trigger inflammatory syndrome and autoimmune disorders. One in four breast implantation patients is at risk of having autoimmune diseases. Women with implants are 45% more likely to develop such diseases than those without implants. If a woman has an already existing autoimmune disease, a leaking implant can worsen the condition. Removing a breast implant can eliminate the risk of developing autoimmune diseases.
  • Rheumatic disorder

    Despite the immense popularity, patients have voiced concerns about the possible association between breast implants and rheumatic disorders. Women with breast implants are at a 45% higher risk of developing rheumatological diseases. After implant removal, patients report rapid improvement in their symptoms and return to their normal active lifestyle.

Steps to getting your procedure


Step 1


Step 2

Matching with a doctor

Step 3

Getting financing

Step 4

Booking a consultation

Why Yes Doctor for Breast Implant Removal

Getting financing for your dream procedure has never been easier. Yes Doctor provides end-to-end support to make your dreams come true. 

Yes Doctor offers the Buy Now, Pay Later—a payment solution to split the purchase cost into multiple easy installments. It enables patients to pay their medical bills over time rather than all at once, lowering their monthly bills and letting them continue moving forward with their healthcare journey. Yes Doctor serves as a financial bridge between the patient and doctor to get the proper treatment right when needed

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether or not a breast implant removal is an emergency depends on the nature of the problem created by the breast implant. If the situation arises due to bleeding or infection, you should immediately go to an emergency room for proper treatment. If you are looking for explant surgery for the reason that is not an emergency, you should consult your surgeon for adequate guidance regarding the treatment plan.
Breast implant removal is performed under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. You don't feel anything during the surgery. However, after the surgery, it's normal to feel soreness and discomfort lasting for about a week. Your surgeon probably will prescribe you painkillers to help relieve the pain. You may be placed in a support bra or surgical garment and have bandages to minimize swelling and pain. Healing will continue for several weeks. It's necessary to follow your surgeon's instructions and visit them for the follow-up as per schedule.
Many women show concern regarding how their breast profile would be after implant removal. It mainly depends on the size of the implant removed and the patient's age. In some cases, breasts go back to their previous shape and size after the removal. However, in many instances, breasts get indentations, irregularities, and sagging due to stretching caused by implant removal. After implant removal, a breast lift is almost always recommended to enjoy a perkier and firmer appearance.
In most cases, there is no need to remove the implants as no health issue is associated with the remains. However, some regulatory authorities require you to remove the implants before burial. Most of the implant material isn't organic and doesn't decay naturally. If you want a green burial (returning the body to the earth in the most natural way), it is recommended to have the inorganic substances removed from the body.