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Explantation of Breast Implant

When you have a harmful breast implant condition, a timely and proper explant (removal) of your implants and the capsule tissue that grows around the breast implant is crucial.

As soon as the explantation of the implants and capsule tissue are thoroughly removed, you will most likely feel a reduction or even complete resolution of your symptoms and discomfort. There is a possibility that some symptoms may linger and even return until your body has been able to naturally detox everything out of the system and had time to heal.

There have been thousands of women with major implant problems that have recovered their health within one or two years after proper device removal. This can vary from woman to woman and the convalescence can widely range. Unfortunately, there are a small subset of women who never completely recover from their symptoms related to breast implants.

What about breast revision?

Dr. Brenner also provides breast revision in Los Angeles, for patients who simply want to have poor breast augmentation results fully revised. But this differs from patients who desire to remove their implants altogether, either for personal or health reasons. You can learn more about Dr. Brenner's breast revision surgery here.

More about Breast Implant Removal

If you are reading this you are probably considering breast implant removal surgery. You may need to remedy a medical complication such as capsular contracture, or you may be struggling with some other medical condition, and your primary physician has suggested that removing your implants would be a recommended first step. Choosing the surgeon who will perform your breast implant removal is the most important decision you will make. Thousands of women are delighted that they chose leading Beverly Hills breast implant removal surgeon, Dr. Kevin Brenner.

You naturally want to engage a top Beverly Hills plastic and reconstructive surgeon to ensure you are happy with the outcome of your breast implant removal surgery. Dr. Brenner has all of the surgical qualifications but more importantly, he has a vast amount of experience performing thousands of operations during the course of his surgical career. Double board certified as a general surgeon as well as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Brenner has the training and experience to perform the most delicate and complex cosmetic and reconstructive breast operations.

When is breast implant removal recommended?

Annually, there are over 300,000 breast augmentation operations that occur in the United States. Although relatively rare, there are many reasons that breast implant removal surgery becomes necessary. Breast implants don’t last a lifetime and will need to be replaced at some point even if there are no other problems. Most implant manufacturers identify that breast implants commonly have an implant life of between 10 and 15 years. Breast implant problems do exist and have a variety of causes, although risk factors have diminished greatly over the past 20 years. Still, over 23,000 women had their implants removed in 2013.

Capsular Contracture: Breast implant removal may be needed to relieve a condition called capsular contracture. This is a condition where the capsule, which naturally forms around all implant, begins to contract thereby squeezing the implant. The severity of contracture varies from person to person. This may be completely unnoticeable, may become very painful, and lead to distortion of the implant and breast. There are four recognized degrees of this condition (Baker Grade 1 through Grade 4). The implant will be need to be removed it the breast has become distorted, hard or painful.

Breast Implant Removal Surgery Los Angeles & Beverly Hills

Increased Breast Size: Another common reason for breast revision surgery to remove implants, is overall dissatisfaction with the appearance of the breasts. Breast size, and breast tissue quality can and do change over time, often in response to hormonal changes that are occurring in the body. It is very common to hear from patients who loved their breast size when they underwent breast augmentation initially, and who have noticed enlargement of their own breast tissue over time.

Rippling: Sometimes there is a rippling effect of the implant edges and the implant can be felt and/or seen. In this case, the surgeon will attempt to use the same incision created during the original process to remove the old implant and to reinsert the new one, or to perform other procedures to ensure the breast looks attractive and natural following the procedure (Natural fat transfer, or Renuva injections).

Breast Implant Removal

Implant Rupture: A ruptured implant must be removed. Silicone ruptures can be ‘silent’ as the gel is engineered to remain in place (Cohesive, or highly cohesive silicone gel). In fact, there may be no symptoms at all. These may be detected during routine mammograms or ultrasounds but the most sensitive imaging study to evaluate breast implants is an MRI. It is recommended that women with silicone breast implants have an MRI routinely to detect these types of ruptures. Saline implant ruptures are usually noticeable to the patient, as the device commonly deflates causing the breast to become noticeably smaller. Implants can rupture due to age-related mechanical injury, car accidents, mammograms or from being nicked by surgical instruments when undergoing a breast biopsy.

Breast Implant Illness: In recent years, there has been heightened attention to a non-specific disease labeled as “breast implant illness,” by many patients. This is not an actual medical diagnosis, and does vary between women most likely due to genetic factors.

This likely explains the very low incidence. This may encompass many diverse and unrelated systemic illnesses, in particular, illnesses that are commonly classified as auto-immune. Although there is no clear evidence that breast implants cause any of these disease processes, many patients have difficulty moving past the association. Further, there is some thought that these symptoms may be associated with colonization of the implant with some type of bacteria, which may set up a sub-clinical infection of the implant space. In the course of treating patients, symptoms such as: numbness and tingling of the breast and extremities, headaches, malaise, feeling like they are in a ‘fog,’ memory difficulties, fertility issues, insomnia, muscle aches, joint pains, and breast pain have been described by patients. Most patients who present with these types of issues (usually after a long and comprehensive evaluation by their primary care doctor that rules out other more likely and serious illnesses) often request to have their implants removed. They also commonly request to have their breast capsules removed at the same time. Many patients report improvement in their symptoms following surgery for removal, though this is not universal.

BIA-ALCL: This is an extremely rare entity that has been classified as a T-cell lymphoma that occurs adjacent to breast implants. The exact cause is unclear. In recent studies, although the absolute number of cases is very low, BIA-ALCL has been found more commonly in patients who have had textured implants placed. Texturing of implants does vary depending on the manufacturer, and many of the cases associated with textured implants occurred predominantly with those devices made by one particular company (Dr. Brenner does not use implants from that company). However, some cases have occurred in women with smooth implants as well, both with silicone and saline devices. This entity most commonly presents as a late seroma (fluid collection) around the implant. Appropriate treatment includes removal of the implants, fluid and breast capsules.

Malposition: The Breast implants may have shifted (breast implant malposition) and are now located in an area which is uncomfortable, such as the armpit. Or they may have shifted into a position that is unattractive (i.e. bottoming out, also known as inferior malposition).

During your consultations with Dr. Brenner, he will offer alternatives to implants if reinserting them is not an option. In some cases it is not possible for medical reasons. The important thing to remember, is that Dr. Brenner has extensive experience and success in restoring a normal, natural appearance to breasts following changes resulting from pregnancy, natural aging, as well as myriad post-surgical issues as demonstrated above.

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Additional information on breast implants

About breast implants

Learn about breast implants: how they are used, where they are placed and much more.

Read more

Revision surgery

As a specialist in breast surgery, Dr. Brenner performs a high number of revision or corrective breast procedures.

Read more

Breast augmentation

Breast augmentation enhances the natural breast volume by placing an implant device underneath the breast muscle or gland.

Read more

Learn More About Dr. Brenner

  • Renowned Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
  • Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon
  • Board-certified general surgeon
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Breast Implant Removal
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