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Everything you need to know about breast implant removal

Having a breast augmentation can be a massive decision. But getting those implants removed can be just as momentous, with even more emotions attached to it than the initial procedure.

And why wouldn’t that be the case? Perhaps your initial breast augmentation was meant to solve some self-esteem issues, or give you the breasts of your dreams? You’ve invested time and money; you’ve gone under an anaesthetic and spent weeks in recovery – and now you’re having them removed?

Well, yes, and you’re not alone. Breast implant removal is a procedure thousands of people are having every year.

Breast implant removal – the basics

Breast implant removal is a simple procedure that’s carried out daily, and there are loads of reasons why you might want – or need – one.

Firstly, implants are not made to last forever – the average lifespan of silicone breast implants is 10 to 20 years, so you will need to get them replaced at some point.

You may have also experienced some medical issues that have been caused by your implants or had bad results from your previous breast augmentation surgery.

Finding a surgeon – again

If you’re happy with the implants you have but it’s just time for an update, it can give you confidence to stick with your original surgeon. However, if you’ve experienced medical issues, look for a surgeon who specialises in surgeries for damaged or dislodged implants.

Equally, if you’ve been unhappy with your results, you’ve no obligation to go back to your original surgeon. It’s your body, make the right choice for you.

Once you’ve found the right breast implant removal surgeon for you, take time in discussing your goals for the surgery and your new body. It’s understandable if you’ve been left feeling a little vulnerable due to complications or a previous augmentation, so ask your clinician to walk you through the journey to surgery and recovery. This should also help get you excited about the next steps.

Time to get serious

If you’re getting your breast implants removed for any other reason than they need their necessary update, this might be the time to get serious. Sit down and think about exactly what you want to get from removal – what do you want the new you to feel like? You’ve been through this once before and know what to expect and what it takes to recover. Let’s make sure you’re getting exactly what you want this time round.

So, take time to figure it all out. Looking for a smaller size but happy with the shape? Implants again. You like the size but don’t like the feel? Have you thought about fat grafting? Or are you looking at breast implant removal without replacement and going back to your natural size? Well, there may have been some changes in your body since then, and your skin may have stretched. This may be the time to discuss a breast lift with your surgeon, which can also be done while the implants are being removed.

Reality kicks in

Once you’ve made the ‘big’ decisions, you might feel like reality starts to set in a bit – one of those realities being the cost of the surgery. Although breast implant removal is slightly less expensive that an augmentation, you can still expect to pay around SR30,600.

When thinking about the reality of the surgery itself, you’ll also have to go under general anaesthetic again and spend time in recovery while they heal.

Recovering from any surgery is difficult, as you already know. But if you take it steady and listen to your body, recovering from breast implant removal should be trouble-free and (relatively) easy. Like with your original augmentation, you should stop feeling tender after around the three to four-month mark.

But, most importantly, whatever shape your recovery takes, your recovery journey should be time for you to get to know the new you.

Results and outcomes

The beauty of time

Every body is beautifully different, and you should take this time to re-discover yours again. It’s been through a lot of change and, although you may be happy and relieved to be rid of your implants, some parts of you may take a while to properly recover.

Your self-esteem may have been affected by previous poor augmentation results, or any health issues your old implants could have been causing. These things take a while to build back up so, once you’ve got over initial post-surgery bump, don’t be too hard on yourself if you still don’t feel quite like ‘you’ just yet.

Patience is key, especially when it comes to re-building your own image of yourself after breast implant removal surgery. The passage of time will also help see scars fade and your breasts should become firmer after removal and a lift, as well as possibly seeing implant-induced health issues fade. All these different mental and physical recovery puzzle pieces will eventually fit together to create the you you’ve been looking for.

Other things to bear in mind

So, you’ve made the jump and decided to go ahead with breast implant removal surgery. First, be proud of your decision, second, there are a few other things you might like to know before the big day:

  • Research and ask for your surgeon’s advice on aftercare treatments, such as creams and breast wraps.
  • There are many health benefits that are associated with implant removal – having no implants often make mammograms easier, for example.
  • Breast implant removal surgery doesn’t usually require as much downtime as breast augmentation. Though you should always take recovery at your own pace.

Did you know?

  • 25 per cent of those with silicone implants in the US underwent breast implant removal in 2019.
  • Like with your original breast augmentation, you may have drainage tubes fitted after your breast implant removal to remove any excess fluid. This is a key part of the aftercare process and, in some cases, will need to be kept in for a week to 10 days.


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