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Breast Implant Removal
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breast implant removal

Breast Implant Removal, or ‘explanation,’ is a surgical procedure designed to safely extract previously inserted saline or silicone implants with or without the replacement of another implant.

There are any number of reasons why a woman may seek this procedure.

Other reasons why patients seek to have their breast implants removed is because the breasts may have developed some sort of deformity, such as rippling, or the device may have failed causing capsular contraction.

The most common reason to remove or exchange implants is for a change in the size of the implant. Other common reasons for this procedure are because the implants were previously too large or too small, causing the chest to be not proportionate to a patient’s body. It is also normal for a woman to feel that the breasts no longer present the image she desires.

Age, health, and physical trauma may also play a large part in a woman’s desire to remove implants. Whatever the concern, women today have the option of safely removing their implants to restore their natural chest, or exchange the implants for a better fitting size/shape.

While breast implants are not created to last forever, they are designed to be long-lasting. Women can have a saline or silicone implant for fifteen years or more without any problems. There is never a need to replace an implant within a certain time frame.

Top five reasons to remove implants

  • A change in desired breast shape (larger or smaller)
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Capsular Contracture (scar tissue) around the implant
  • Leaking or ruptured implant
  • Implant displacement or ‘bottoming out’

The Ideal Candidate

Any woman who is unhappy with the size, shape, feel, or general appearance of her breasts may make an excellent candidate for this procedure. As with any surgical procedure, a woman should be in generally good health, a nonsmoker, have reasonable expectations for the procedure, and come to the decision for breast augmentation on her own (not urged to do so by someone else). At the consultation appointment with Dr. Lohner, it will be decided if removal of the implants is the right procedure for your individual situation.

Getting Started

When a woman believes the time has come for removal of breast implants, she should begin by taking a few minutes to research the options available. Read up on the reasons for the surgery, the techniques performed today, and what the recovery process entails. Luckily, using a discerning eye, most of this information can easily be found online.

Vital to the success of this procedure is the choice of physician. A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, like Dr. Lohner, brings years of specialized training and a strong commitment to excellence into each procedure, guaranteeing the safest and most satisfying procedure available.

Prior to scheduling the removal, a consultation appointment will be set up with Dr. Lohner. This will provide one-on-one time to get to know the surgeon, and a great opportunity for you to address any of your questions and concerns.

He will review the medical history, past surgeries, perform a brief physical examination, and discuss your aesthetic goals. Dr. Lohner will also clearly explain his procedure. If it is determined that the patient is a good candidate for an implant removal, a unique surgical plan will be created.

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Preparing for Your Removal Procedure

  1. Ask questions
    Listen carefully during your consultation appointment and read through your surgical instructions. If there are any questions, contact the office immediately.
  2. Put your appointments on the calendar
    The sooner you can get your surgery, and all follow-up appointments onto your personal calendar, the easier it will to make all of the appropriate arrangements.
  3. Take time off work or from school
    Dr. Lohner will review what to expect from the recovery period. Set aside the amount of time suggested to rest and heal.
  4. Decide what you will tell people
    Even though you may feel your procedure is private, certain people around may notice a change, especially during the recovery period. Be prepared for questions, and know exactly what you will tell close friends/family.
  1. Arrange transportation
    After an implant removal, even with an overnight hospital stay, you will not be able to drive yourself home. Arrange for a ride home from the surgical center, as well as for follow-up visits, if necessary.
  2. Pick up prescriptions prior to surgery
    Discomfort after surgery is common, so be ready and have all medications picked up from the pharmacy at least the day before.
  3. Set up assistance
    Chores around the house, cooking dinner, and picking up the kids can be extremely challenging the first few days after surgery. Have a close friend or family stop by, or even briefly, to help out.
  4. Gather important numbers
    While the chances of an emergency are rare, you need to be prepared by having all important phone numbers and insurance information in an easy to find location.

Before & Afters

Breast Implant Removal Before and After Results
Nipple Repair Before and After Results

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how breast implants are removed

How Breast Implants are Removed

The removal of breast implants is performed very similarly to the initial Breast Augmentation procedure. This procedure is completed under general anesthesia and usually takes one to two hours to complete. Dr. Lohner generally utilizes the same incision from a patient’s previous breast augmentation procedure to remove a breast implant. Patients may choose to have an implant completely removed, or an implant replaced or exchanged for a different size.

Once the incision is made, he will remove the breast implant, as well as any excise scar tissue, as necessary. At this time, a replacement breast implant will be inserted, either subglandularly (over the pectoralis muscle) or submuscularly (under the pectoralis muscle). If the type of implant desired is different than that originally used, the location of Dr. Lohner’s incisions may be altered. Once the procedure has been completed, Dr. Lohner may reposition the nipple/areola, creating a Breast Lift as needed, and will suture the area for proper healing.

The Potential Risks of this Procedure

Dr. Lohner has been performing breast augmentation and implant removal surgeries for over 20 years. Between his extensive experience, and the cutting-edge technology available today, this is a very safe procedure.

As it is a surgical procedure, however, there is always a small risk for complications. Issues that could potentially arise include: delayed wound healing, infection, excessive bleeding, chest asymmetry, breast sagging, and loss of nipple sensation. By choosing only a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, like Dr. Lohner, the chance for complications decreases dramatically.

Recovery After the Breast Implant Removal Procedure:

The exact recovery from an implant removal will vary. Recovery from this surgery is specific to the patient, and depends if replacement implants are added. In general, women should expect the full recovery period to take about three weeks.

Initially, patients will experience swelling and bruising, although this will subside over the next several weeks. Drain tubes are rarely inserted, but some are necessary. Moderate ache and tenderness in the breast is normal at this time. Dr. Lohner will prescribe the appropriate mediations to keep a patient resting comfortably at home. Women normally feel well enough to return to work or school a week after their surgery.


  • How much does it cost to have implants removed?

    At your initial consultation, Dr. Lohner will go over the procedures and the costs involved. This procedure varies according on the use of a replacement implant.

  • Am I a good candidate for this surgery?

    Women who have previously received breast implants, and have become unhappy with the look or feel of their chest, may make an excellent candidate for removal surgery.

  • How long is the recovery period?

    After the first five to seven days, patients normally feel well enough to return to work or school. Total recovery time after surgery is approximately three weeks.

  • How long is the procedure?

    Generally, the removal of breast implants will take between one and two hours to complete.

  • Will insurance pay for my implant removal procedure?

    There are occasions when a health insurance company will pay for the removal of implants. This will depend on the reason an implant was originally placed, either for reconstructive or cosmetic purposes, and what type of implant (saline versus silicone). Contact your insurance carrier or Dr. Lohner’s office to find out more.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you are considering this surgery, contact Lohner Plastic Surgery to schedule a confidential consultation appointment. We will be happy to answer your questions and concerns. Lohner Plastic Surgery is conveniently located in Bryn Mawr, right outside of Philadelphia; our office is an easy commute from Rosemont, Main Line, or Havertown. Call Dr. Lohner at (610) 519-0600 today.

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