Complications after breast implant removal

Complications after breast implant removal

23rd Oct 2017

Like all other operations, a breast implant removal surgery comes with a host of potential complications. Risks and complications associated with the procedure will determine whether you need to remove or replace the breast implants. There are many women to want to remove but not replace the implants. In such cases, the outcome of the breast implant removal surgery will be the same as that of a mastectomy.

Potential complications after breast implant surgery

One of the most common problems with breast implants is capsular contracture. After a breast implant surgery, your body’s natural healing process leads to the development of a scar tissue, also called a capsule, around the implant and is a completely natural phenomenon. However, the capsule can turn into a complication when it starts to contract and squeeze the breast implant.

In most cases, the scar tissue is small and supple enough to prevent significant movement. However, the capsule can contract and tighten, making the breasts feel harder. It may even squeeze the implant, which can trigger pain and distort the breast’s appearance. The condition can occur months and even years after a breast implant surgery. Capsular contracture occurs randomly, and can occur unexpectedly.

When the pain and discomfort becomes unbearable and the breasts become asymmetrical or hard, your surgeon will recommend you to remove the implant. The capsule will be removed and the implants will be replaced with newer ones. In some cases, it would be important to reposition the implants so that the reoccurrence of capsular contracture is prevented.

Breast implant rupture is yet another condition that mostly happens when the implants receive impact, trauma, or pressure. It can also occur if the implants are manhandled during the procedure. The implant shell cannot be repaired, so the implants must be removed to avoid further complications. However, the silicone gel does not disperse or travel to other areas surrounding the breast tissue.

Other complications associated with breast implant surgery include implant rotation, migration, and rippling. These conditions may also necessitate removal and replacement or changing the location of the implants.

Complications associated with breast implant removal surgery

When any of the above-mentioned complications happen, a breast implant removal and replacement is the best choice. Removing the implants without replacing them can deliver the same mental and emotional pain as mastectomy, which is why most patients opt to replace the implants instead.

After removing the implants, the breast skin will start to sag and become loose. A breast reduction surgery would be required to fix the condition. In addition to the scarring, other complications include excessive bleeding, infection, change in or loss of breast sensation, and asymmetrical breasts.

Inflammation can also happen in addition to the secretion of bloodstained fluids from the incisions. Many doctors leave drain cannulas to remove any fluids that may build up in the surgical site. Breast implant complications can occur even after the removal and replacement of the implants. Patients who have decided to remove but not replace the implants should be prepared emotionally and mentally to cope with saggy, loose breasts. Moreover, the risk of potential infections is higher after implants removal surgery.

Silicone implant safety

Silicone breast implants do not last a lifetime. Manufacturers of these implants normally provide a 10-year extendable warranty. If an implant rupture occurs while under warranty, the manufacturer can provide a replacement free of charge.

When silicone implants rupture, it does not change shape drastically. The gel inside will remain within the shell or capsule. Severe pressure or force can lead to the rupture of a silicone implant. It is also possible that your surgeon may commit an error during the surgery or mishandle the implant. You can keep track of the condition and status of the implant by frequently undergoing MRI scans. If an implant rupture has occurred, you may go for a revision surgery to remove and replace the implant.


There are a number of risks and potential complications associated with placing and removing breast implants. In order to remove implants, you will required to undergo a surgery that entails all the risks and complications associated with the original breast augmentation procedure. Some complications include bleeding, seroma, infection, swelling and bruising.

Your plastic surgeon may place a drain tube inside the skin to remove fluids that may collect after the breast implant removal surgery. This will also help you heal properly. You can either choose to remove the implants permanently or replace them with new ones. No matter what you decide, there will still be potential complications.

If you choose to remove the implants without replacing them, you must be prepared to face having loose, saggy breasts. People who have had breast implants for many years are more prone to face this type of problem.

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