Complications after breast implants removal

Complications after breast implants removal

10th Aug 2017

Just like any other surgery, a breast augmentation surgery with breast implants comes with accompanying risks and complications, Some of these complications will determine the need to remove the implants in order to replace them. There are some patients who decide to remove and not replace. In this case, the effect after the breast implants removal surgery can be similar to a mastectomy. What’s more, because we are talking about surgery, the breast implants removal procedure will also carry certain dangers and complications.

Complications that occur with breast implants:

Capsular contracture is one of the most common and unpleasant complications of breast augmentation with implants. After the implants are inserted, the body tends to isolate them, in the same way it does to any implanted foreign body. It forms a protective lining of fiber tissue around the implants, or a scar capsule as we call it. The development of the capsule around the breast implants is an absolutely normal phenomenon in the healing process and not a complication in itself. What can later on be considered a complication is not the presence of the capsule, but the behavior of the capsule. In most cases, the capsule is thin and pliable enough to prevent the extraneous movement of the implant to keep it in shape, but there are cases in which the capsule shrinks and tightens. The more it tightens, the harder the breast feels and this can result in distortion and pain.

The phenomenon can be diagnosed a few months or even years after surgery. It is random and unforeseeable and its occurrence rises along with the passage of time. When there is pain and the breast feels hard and looks dysmorphic, it is recommended to remove the implants, excise the capsule and reintroduce new breast implants. Sometimes, it may be necessary to change the positioning of the implant in order to prevent the development of a new capsular contracture.

Rupture of the implants is a rare phenomenon that occurs in the case of violent trauma on the thorax or because of the mishandling of the implant during surgery. The broken shell of the implant can’t be fixed, and the implant will need to be removed. It is important to mention that the silicone content won’t be spreading to the surrounding tissues and it can be removed as a whole.

Rotation or migration and visible rippling of the breast implants are other complications that can necessitate implant removal and changes in location.

Complications after the breast implants removal surgery

When any of these complications occur, the removal of the implant is the safest treatment option. Permanently removing the implants can produce the same psychological traumas as a mastectomy so this is why most patients will choose to replace the implants.

After implant removal, the skin of the breasts that was stretched under the weight of the implant will start sagging and a mastopexy surgery might be needed to correct this. Aside from scarring, the complications that can occur after the removal or replacement of the breast implants are, to wit: bleeding, infection, loss of sensation at the nipple-areola, breast atrophy, deformations of the thorax caused by the pressure exercised by the implants.

Swelling and bruises can occur after the breast implants removal procedure, as well as hematoma and seroma. Most plastic surgeons will choose to leave drain tubes at the incision site to help the body drain the liquid and prevent accumulation of fluids.

If you had your implants removed and replaced with new implants, please note that all the complications associated with breast implants can occur again. If you have decided not to replace your implants after the removal, expect to deal with the issue of sagging skin on your breasts.

Possible infection can occur in breast implants removal as it can, in breast augmentation procedure with implants.

What you need to know about the safety of the silicone implants

It is not realistic to expect the silicone breast implant to last forever, especially since the producers usually offer ten years warranty that can be extended. In the unlikely event of implant rupture, the breast can discreetly change shape, but the cohesive silicone gel will stay inside the implant or inside the capsule that was created by the body to isolate the implant. The rupture of the implant can occur after a severe trauma or as a result of choosing an inexperienced surgeon to perform your procedure.

The condition of the implant can be evaluated with the help of an echography or with an MRI. A surgical intervention is always necessary should you choose or need to replace or remove the silicone implant.


There are multiple dangers and complications associated with the breast augmentation procedure, as well as with the implants removal procedure. The breast implants removal procedure is a surgical intervention that carries the risks of excessive bleeding, infection at the incision site or deeper within the tissue, the formation of seroma and hematoma, as well as swelling and bruising. Drain tubes are usually inserted after the breast implants removal surgery to help the body heal while preventing blood and fluid accumulation at the surgical site.

Breast implant removal procedure can be associated with the replacement of the implants with new ones, or the patient can decide to give up on the implants altogether. Whatever the decision might be, additional complications may occur. When the implants are permanently removed and not replaced, the psychological effect can be the same as a mastectomy, especially if the patient has had breast implants for a long time. At the same time, breast sagging will most certainly occur after the removal of the implants but this can be corrected with a breast lifting procedure.

When the implants are replaced with new ones, the patient should be aware of the fact that the complications associated with breast implants can occur again.

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