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Breast Implant Removal

There are many reasons a woman may decide to remove her implants, whether for medical reasons or concerns about the integrity of your implants, we’re here to help.

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Home » Cosmetic Surgery » Breast Surgery » Breast Implant Removal
What’s on this page

Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Advisory Committee for The Private Clinic.
Last Reviewed May 17th 2022

Breast implant removal may also be referred to as explant surgery and is the process where breast implants are removed from the body and not replaced.

There are many reasons why a woman would choose to have her breast implants removed. These include:

  • Unhappy with shape or size
  • Change in lifestyle
  • Capsular Contracture
  • Ruptured implants
  • Implants that have bottomed out
  • Concerns regarding the integrity of the implants

At The Private Clinic we are here to listen to your concerns with no judgement and offer you the best treatment to help you achieve natural results.

Procedure Time
1 – 2 hours

Anaesthetic Type
General Anaesthetic

Hospital Stay
Day case

Driving
1 week

Washing
1 week

Up & Mobile
1 day

Sexual Activity
4 – 6 weeks

Back to work
1 – 2 weeks

Exercise
4 – 6 weeks

Travel
6 weeks

Recovery Time
6 weeks

Final Results
6 – 12 months

Support Garments
Surgical Bra to be worn for 6 weeks

Sleeping
Sleeping elevated on back for 6 weeks

What surgical options are available for breast implant removal?

Breast Implant Removal – Your breast implants are removed, and no further surgery is performed.

Breast Capsulectomy –A capsulectomy procedure removes the implant and the capsule which is the lining around your implant. Capsular contracture is caused by the implant’s capsule tightening and compressing the implant.

Enbloc – An enbloc procedure involves removing the capsule and the implant at the same time with the implant still within the capsule. This can be a very difficult procedure and it is not easy to guarantee that it can be achieved. In some cases the capsule tissue is tightly attached to the chest or very thin and instead a breast capsulectomy will be performed.

Breast Auto Augmentation – A breast auto augmentation procedure is a great option for patients who are looking to maintain some fullness to their breast but don’t want an implant anymore. This specialised technique uses the patient’s own breast tissue and uses it like a breast implant to relocate higher within the breast to give a more uplifted and fuller appearance to the chest.

Breast Implant Removal and Uplift – This combined procedure if often recommended to patients where the breast tissue has stretched. Once the implant is removed then a breast uplift is performed where the nipple is relocated and lifted back up to a higher position.

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Before & After

Our expert surgeons and medical staff offer leading breast surgery procedures.
Take a look at the Before and After photos to see how we have helped change our patients’ lives.



What to Expect

The Private Clinic has been treating patients for over 35 years with thousands of women placing their trust in us each year. We pride ourselves on being able to offer a personalised service. We have a team of friendly nurses and expert breast surgeons who understand the importance of this decision and will support you throughout your journey with us.

The Consultation

Your implant removal procedure will begin with a consultation with one of our expert breast surgeons at a clinic of your choice.
At your consultation you will be able to discuss your concerns and find out your options to see which approach will be most suitable for you.

Your surgeon will then:

  • Review your medical history
  • Examine your breasts
  • Discuss your expectations from surgery
  • Detail the risks and complications of implant removal surgery
  • Go through the aftercare and recovery process

You will then be allocated a dedicated patient coordinator who will be your point of contact should you wish to go ahead with the procedure.

During your journey you may decide to have a number of consultations with your plastic surgeon and their nursing team before deciding to go ahead with surgery.

Consultation Image 1

Pre-Operative Appointment

All breast implant removal patients will be assessed against our patient selection criteria to ensure that you are safe to proceed with surgery.

Once you have decided to go ahead with your breast implant removal procedure, your medical history form will be reviewed by our nursing team who will then select which pre-operative tests you will need to carry out.

The majority of breast implant removal assessments include a blood test, MRSA swabs, urine test and blood pressure test.

They will also advise you of any precautions you need to take in the days or weeks leading up to your breast implant removal procedure and advise on any medication that you should stop taking before procedure.

Consultation Image 1

Breast Implant Removal Surgery

On the day of your breast implant removal procedure you will arrive at the hospital usually an hour before your procedure is due to start.  

Once admitted:

  • The nursing team will record your blood pressure and prep you for surgery.
  • You will meet with the surgeon who will go through the procedure again and answer any questions.
  • Pre-operative photos will be taken.
  • Your chest will be marked up ready for surgery.

The Procedure

  • General anaesthetic will be administered by the anaesthesiologist.
  • Your breast surgeon will use your existing scars to remove your old implant.
  • A capsulectomy or enbloc may be performed depending on condition of implants, capsules, and preference of the patient.
  • Depending on the patient’s preference a breast auto augmentation or breast uplift may then also be performed. Find out more here.
  • The incision will then be closed with dissolvable stitches and covered with tape.
  • A surgical bra will then also be placed onto the patient which will need to be worn during your recovery period.

Post-Procedure

Once the procedure is complete, you will be taken to a recovery room where you will be staying for around 1-3 hours to ensure that you have safely recovered from the anaesthetic.

Once the surgeon and nursing team are happy that you are safe to return home, you will be discharged and allowed to leave accompanied by a family member or friend.

Consultation Image 1

After your breast implant removal procedure

A member of our nursing team will call you usually the day following your procedure to ensure you are feeling comfortable and recovering well.

You will have been given details of our dedicated on-call nursing team who can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week should you have any worries or concerns during your recovery time.

You should avoid strenuous activities and exercise for 6 weeks and ideally have at least 1 week off work to recover.

You will be required to attend a series of follow-up appointments at The Private Clinic which include a 1-week check-up appointment with a nurse and then your 6-week post-operative appointment with your surgeon.

After 6 weeks you should be able to return back to your everyday activities and your surgeon will be able to advise you on anything that you are unsure of and answer any questions.

Consultation Image 1

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FAQs

Is Breast Implant removal right for me?

Breast implant removal is a personal choice but many patients who do decide to have their implants removed are;

• Not happy with the way their breast implants look.

• Have experienced shifting, sagging, or changes due to age, weight fluctuations, or pregnancy.

• Have developed a capsular contracture which means the scar tissue around the implants is getting harder or tighter.

• One or both implants have leaked or ruptured.

• Simply want to return to their original breast size.

Deciding if to go ahead with breast implant removal is generally only a decision that you can make, but to help you feel more informed about the procedure and what to expect we recommend booking a consultation with one of our expert breast surgeons who will be able to explain the procedure in more detail and answer any questions that you may have.

What should I expect during breast implant removal surgery?

Breast implant removal surgery will take place in hospital. After your pre-op checks have been carried out your surgeon will meet with you again to go over what is going to happen and answer any questions. You will then be taken to the theatre and general anaesthetic will be administered.

Whilst under general anaesthetic, the surgical procedure will take place. Your surgeon will aim to remove your implants through your original incision. The implant will be removed and the area cleaned. If requested, a full enbloc procedure will be carried out at this stage. Your incision will then be closed and taped and you will be taken to recovery to recover from the anaesthetic.

After the procedure, you will be returned to your room where you will be under observation until your doctor has cleared you to go. Usually, breast implant removal procedures are performed as a day case procedure so you will be able to return home the same day as your procedure.

How long should I wait before removing my breast implants?

We do advise patients to wait for at least 6 months after having a breast augmentation before considering breast implant removal.

However, if you are looking to remove your implants due to complications such as a ruptured implant or capsular contraction then this can be performed as soon as possible to relieve you of any pain or discomfort.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your breasts following breast implant surgery, then it is important to discuss this with your surgeon. Although the results from breast augmentation are instant, it can take up more than a few weeks for the implants to fully settle and for any swelling to clear before you can see your final results. This is why surgeons do prefer you to wait at least 6 months before deciding on breast implant removal surgery.

What is enbloc surgery?

Enbloc surgery is when the breast implant and capsule are both removed in one piece. The implant should still be within the balloon of the capsule when it is removed from the body.

This can be a very difficult procedure and there are some cases where an enbloc is not possible. This usually occurs when the capsule is attached to vital tissues, or it is too thin and delicate to be removed in one piece.

When an enbloc is not possible, surgeons will instead work to remove as much as the capsule as possible from the implant before removal and then remove remaining scar tissue from the rest of the breast pocket.

In some cases the removal of the capsule could case damage to vital tissues like the rib cage which could lead to unnecessary damage to the lungs if there is any attempt to remove it. In cases like this, the capsule will remain in place, but surgeons will take steps to allow proper healing including sterilising the remaining capsules.

To find out more about enbloc procedures please contact us to book a consultation with one of our expert breast surgeons.

Do I have capsular contracture?

What is capsular contracture?

All breast implants form a capsule around the implant which is a natural process. Capsular contraction occurs when the tissue of the capsule becomes tight and distorts the shape of the implant. Those that have capsular contracture may find that their breasts change in shape, feel hard and they may also experience pain or discomfort.

Capsular contracture is a rare side effect but is more common in those who have experienced it before which is often why implant removal is advised instead of implant replacement. However implant replacement is still possible, and the full risks and conditions of surgery will be explained in more detail during a consultation with your surgeon.

Capsular contracture is one of the most common reasons for breast augmentation revision surgery and surgeons use a grading system known as The Baker System to assess the severity of capsular contracture on their patients.

  • Baker I / Grade 1 – This is when there is scar tissue surrounding the implant but there is no change to the shape, size or texture of the breasts. There is no firmness and breasts should feel soft.
  • Baker II / Grade 2 – Firmness may be felt around the implant but there is so change to the appearance of the breast
  • Baker III / Grade 3 – Breasts will be form and start to change shape such as becoming rounder, sitting higher or becoming bulgy on the top of the chest.
  • Baker IIII / Grade 4 – As well as firm breasts and an abnormal shape, the breasts will also become sore and tender.

How is capsular contracture diagnosed?

Your surgeon will perform a physical examination of the breasts to diagnose capsular contracture. No further testing is required. It is common for capsular contracture to occur within the first 2 years after breast implant surgery. Capsular contracture that is diagnosed after 2 years will often require further testing to ensure there is no rupture to the implant.

Ruptured implants are a big cause of late-onset capsular contraction.

In most cases Baker 1 and Baker 2 do not require surgery but more severe cases of capsular contracture will require surgery of capsular removal and implant removal or replacement.

Breast Implant Removal is Available in these Clinics

Things to Consider

Our advice on what to consider when deciding to have a breast implant removal procedure:

1. When choosing a clinic, you should always do your research, and only go to an established, reputable clinic.

The Private Clinic has been in the cosmetic surgery industry for over 35 years. We are here to answer all of your questions and give you peace of mind.

2. When choosing a surgeon, make sure you know who you’ll be seeing. Their expertise, qualifications and patient satisfaction rate are important factors to take into consideration.

At The Private Clinic, we only source the most experienced and specialised surgeons. Find out more about our plastic surgeons here.

3. Price should never be the deciding factor when choosing where to have your treatment. Safety should be your number one priority and feeling confident that they will look after you – not only before, but also after your procedure

4. When it sounds too good to be true, it often is. Always find out what implants are going to be used and what your clinic’s reputation is.

Our excellent reputation for patient safety and satisfaction, honest advice and outstanding care means your journey with The Private Clinic will be an exciting experience to a newfound shape.

Why Choose The Private Clinic

  • Expert Cosmetic surgeons, see our before and after results.
  • Dedicated care with your expert breast surgeon and nursing team, and a 24 hour help line.
  • We have state of the art hospital facilities.
  • Variety of procedure options to suit you.
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Meet our Surgeons

We have a dedicated Plastic Surgeon and medical team who will be with you throughout your journey.

At The Private Clinic breast implant removal surgery is performed by some of the UK’s top consultant plastic surgeons who have decades of experience.