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Breast Implant Removal

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One of the best gifts that you can give yourself is permission to change your mind. Even if you were happy with your decision to have breast augmentation, you may decide at some point that you no longer want breast implants. Little Rock Breast Implant Removal Specialist Dr. Melanie Prince offers options for breast implant removal, also known as explant surgery.

Reasons for Breast Implant Removal

Just as breast augmentation is a personal decision that many women come to for different reasons, the motivation for breast implant removal is varied. Reasons for pursuing explant surgery include:

  • Aesthetic Preference Styles and tastes change. Perhaps you were excited for a voluptuous hourglass figure when you had breast augmentation, but now you would prefer a smaller chest that allows you to wear different types of clothing.
  • Lifestyle Changes Sometimes women become more athletic or experience other changes in their day-to-day routine and find that their breast implants no longer suit their lifestyle. 
  • Aging or Weight Gain Weight gain or natural changes in body shape can occur with aging or pregnancy and can cause implants to look out of proportion.
  • Breast Implant Complications Capsular contraction, which is a hardening of the breast, or implant rupture, which is rare, may be corrected with breast revision surgery, but some women prefer removal. 
  • Health Concerns While breast implants are FDA-approved for safety, some women prefer to have them removed when they experience illness and would like to focus on their health.1

How Does Explant Surgery Work?

A consultation appointment with Dr. Prince at our Little Rock office is the first step in the breast implant removal process. You will discuss your reasons for seeking implant removal and Dr. Prince will assess your health and learn more about your original breast augmentation before explaining your explantation options. 

Breast implant removal surgery is typically performed with general anesthesia. The surgical technique used and the incisions that Dr. Prince makes will depend on the type of implant removal procedure you have. Breast implant removal options include:

Implant Removal

If you do not have any complications with your breast implants, the removal procedure may be fairly simple. If possible, Dr. Prince will use the same incision location that was used for your augmentation to remove the implant in order to avoid new scars. 

Breast Implant Removal With Breast Lift

When you remove a breast implant, especially one that has been in place for a long time, it can be a bit like deflating a balloon. Your skin has stretched to accommodate the implant, and it may not bounce back after explant surgery. For this reason, many women choose to have a breast lift performed in order to avoid a flat or sagging look. A breast lift will not provide the same type of cleavage or volume that you had with implants, but it can restore some perkiness. You can also choose to have a breast lift later, after you have recovered from implant removal surgery and had a chance to see how your breasts look without implants. Learn more about breast lift surgery

Capsulectomy and En Bloc Implant Removal

When your breast implants were placed, your body responded by creating scar tissue to surround the implant. We call that pocket of scar tissue “the capsule” and ideally it is soft and helps to hold your implants in place. An implant removal can be performed without removing this scar tissue. However, some women experience complications that require a capsulectomy, which is a removal of the capsule along with the implant. An “en bloc capsulectomy” is a process in which the entire capsule is removed intact with the implant inside. This type of implant removal may require larger incisions. 

Breast Implant Removal With New Implants

Breast implant removal surgery typically refers to implant removal without the addition of new implants. Dr. Prince also specializes in breast revision surgery, in which breast implants are removed and replaced with new implants. Many women opt for new implants because they would like a different size or they experienced complications but they would still like to have breast implants. Learn more about breast revision surgery.

Dr. Prince and her whole entire staff is the best!!! Dr. Prince is so good even the surgical staff at Baptist treat you with extra special care. I am so happy about my new breast, I don’t think nobody will be able to tell me anything this summer. I recommend Dr. Prince for all your cosmetic needs. I will be definitely going back for some more things.


Explant Surgery Recovery

You will need to have a friend or family member drive you home after your surgery. Your post-op instructions can vary depending on the type of procedure you had, and Dr. Prince will give you specific instructions for your recovery. In general, you can expect to rest for at least one week after surgery and restrict exercise, heavy lifting, and strenuous activity for about 4 weeks after your procedure. You may need drains placed to avoid fluid accumulation and you may need to wear a compression garment while you heal.

Explant Surgery Results

Your results will vary depending on the type of procedure you had. You may experience swelling after surgery that will begin to diminish within a few days, but may not completely go away until several months after surgery. Once your breast tissue settles and swelling subsides you’ll be able to see your new, natural breast size and shape.

Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Implant Removal
  • What will my breasts look like after implant removal?

    This is hard to predict because it depends on many different factors! If you had very large implants for a long period of time, you will likely experience more sagging than someone who had smaller implants. Certain things like skin elasticity and natural breast tissue are genetic and can vary with age. If you opt to have a breast lift then you can expect to have breasts that are smaller, but still perky. Dr. Prince will advise you on what to expect given your individual medical history and treatment plan.

  • What will my scars look like after breast implant removal surgery?

    Similar to your overall results, this depends on what type of procedure you have. If you have breast lift surgery or an en bloc capsulectomy then you will have larger scars. Dr. Prince will use her surgical skill to minimize scarring as much as possible.

  • What are the risks of breast implant removal surgery?

    All surgical procedures have some risk of side effects or complications. The risks of breast implant removal surgery include bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, suboptimal aesthetic result, and anesthesia risks.2 Dr. Prince will advise you of all risks and will also prioritize your safety throughout your care.

  • Am I a candidate for breast implant removal surgery?

    If you would like your breast implants removed or if you have been advised to have them removed due to complications, then breast implant removal surgery may be right for you. Ideal candidates are non-smoking and in good general health.

Contact Dr. Melanie Prince for Breast Implant Removal in Little Rock

Dr. Prince is committed to helping women look and feel their best, and she will provide compassionate and expert care if you would like your breast implants removed. As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, she is uniquely qualified to offer a variety of options and give you all the information you need to solidify a personalized treatment plan that gives you the results you want. Contact our office with any questions or to schedule your consultation appointment.

1  U.S. Food and Drug Administration. What to Know About Breast Implants. Available: Accessed December 9, 2019.

2 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Breast Implant Removal. Available: Accessed December 9, 2019.

Dr. Melanie Prince has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.