Breast Implant Revision

Breast Implant Revision/Removal in Annapolis, MD

When you had your original breast augmentation surgery, it probably wasn’t part of your plans to have another procedure to replace or remove the implants. But lifestyle changes, evolving aesthetic ideals, and, more rarely, medical issues, lead some women to seek breast implant revision or removal surgery.

Dr. Duggal, an experienced, skilled, and caring plastic surgeon, works with each of her patients to understand their needs and goals and plan the procedure for an optimal outcome. Call us today at (410) 266-7120 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

What is Breast Implant Revision or Removal?

Breast implant revision is a procedure to replace or reposition breast implants. For instance, you might want to change the size of your implants or switch to a different shape or material. Dr. Duggal might also make adjustments to the pocket where the implant is to improve the position of the implant (often over time implants fall to the side and patients elect to have them adjusted for more cleavage and better shape). 

Breast implant removal is a procedure to remove breast implants and allow the breasts to go back to their natural size.  For patients with saline breast implants, the implant can be deflated in the office to allow patients to see what they would look like without implants.  The implant can then be removed or exchanged for another implant at a later date.

In some cases, when Dr. Duggal replaces or removes implants, she may also need to remove the thin layer of tissue surrounding the implant, also known as a capsule. Capsule formation is a normal reaction by the body to the presence of a foreign object, and occurs with pacemakers and hip replacements, too, usually with no ill effect. Tissue removal may be necessary when the capsule thickens in a response known as capsular contracture.

Why Might I Consider Breast Implant Revision or Removal?

Most women who choose to have breast implant revision or removal do so for personal reasons. These include:

  • A desire to have a more slender figure
  • A change to a more active lifestyle
  • Discomfort from the size of the augmented breasts

Breast implant revision can also change the position of an implant for better symmetry, to replace a deflated saline implant, or to increase the size of the implants.

woman sitting showing upper body

Other women choose to have breast implant revision or removal for health or medical reasons. These include:

  • Thickening and hardening of the tissue around the implant, as happens with capsular contracture
  • Leaked material from a silicone gel implant
  • Pain from the implants
  • Infection in the tissue around an implant
  • Concern about the accuracy of cancer detection in mammography imaging
  • Evidence of ALCL, a treatable form of lymphoma found to link, in rare cases, with certain textured implants (in particular, Allergan’s BioCell textured breast implants)
  • Concern that their implants are affecting their overall health from a process known as Breast Implant Illness.

How Does Dr. Duggal Perform a Breast Implant Revision or Removal?

Dr. Duggal uses different approaches, depending on the reason for the implant revision or removal and the desired outcome.

Saline implant deflation can be done in the office for women who are not sure if they would like to go without implants vs having new ones placed or have a breast lift done.  Especially if your implants were placed many years ago and you aren’t sure how much breast tissue your have or what your natural breasts look like anymore, deflation can be a simple way to see what you naturally have.  This gives a woman the most control over if she wants another implant or a breast lift.  For this procedure, Dr. Duggal uses a tiny needle to numb an area of skin.  She then inserts a needle painlessly into the saline breast implant and removes the saline.  Initially, the breast will look deflated but the appearance and shape will change over a few weeks to months.  At any point, a surgery to replace or remove the implants can be scheduled.  This procedure is not an option for women with silicone gel implants.

Simple breast implant revision or removal is the most straightforward approach. In this method, the surgeon replaces or removes the implants without affecting any of the surrounding tissue. This method is the one Dr. Duggal chooses when the implants have not ruptured or leaked, and when there are no problems with the surrounding tissue. To minimize additional scarring, she typically makes incisions along the lines of the original ones.  If desired, this procedure can be done under local anesthesia with numbing medicine alone, making the process easier than undergoing general anesthesia.

Breast implant revision with mesh is sometimes recommended for women who have experienced malposition of their breast implants including “bottoming out” (where the implant falls below the crease of the breast) or “double bubble” formation (where the old crease and breast footprint can be seen above the breast implant).  In these cases, Dr. Duggal may need to reconstruct the breast to improve the shape and position of the implant using additional support from a piece of mesh.  The benefits of this type of revision will be determined and discussed at your consultation.

En bloc breast implant removal is the procedure of choice when the tissue around the implant has hardened and thickened, or when a silicone implant has ruptured or leaked. In en bloc breast implant removal, Dr. Duggal removes the implant and any damaged, hardened, or inflamed tissues in the same procedure. She also removes any leaked silicone gel at the same time. The goal is to leave a clean pocket to heal. You may choose to have replacement implants or you could choose to leave your breasts as-is, without implants.

Breast implant revision or removal with a breast lift can correct sagging and create a natural-looking shape to the breasts after the removal or replacement of implants.

What Happens on the Day of the Procedure?

Your surgery will take place in our West Annapolis Surgery Center. Dr. Duggal typically makes the incisions along the same lines of those from the original procedure for discreet healing.

In simple revision surgery, Dr. Duggal removes the old implants and places new implants as part of the same procedure, or repositions the existing implants.

In en bloc breast implant removal, Dr. Duggal removes the implant and surrounding tissue.

If Dr. Duggal is performing a breast lift as part of a combined implant revision or removal procedure, she removes a thin strip of extra skin and pulls up the remaining skin to raise and reshape the breast. Dr. Duggal may also reduce the size of your areolas to be in better harmony with your new breast size.

The surgery usually takes between two and three hours. You may have temporary drains placed to minimize swelling. You will be able to go home, with someone to drive you, once you’ve recovered from the anesthesia.  If you have your implants removed under local anesthesia you will be able to drive yourself home.

Schedule A Consultation

Dr. Claire S. Duggal offers various surgical and non-surgical procedures of the face and body to her many patients in the Annapolis area. To learn more about how her specialties can address your unique needs, we invite you to book an appointment today! Dr. Duggal and our staff look forward to meeting you!

What to Expect in Recovery?

Recovery from breast implant revision or removal will be similar to your experience of recovery from breast augmentation surgery — with a bit more time needed for recovery from en bloc implant removal. You’ll need a few days of rest with minimal activity. We advise you not to drive for the first 10 days after surgery, and to avoid strenuous activity for the first two to three weeks. Most patients can return to office-type work within a week. We’ll ask you to wear a surgical support bra for the first few weeks after surgery until your breasts have completely healed.

What Will My Breasts Look Like After Breast Implant Revision or Removal?

You’ll experience some swelling in the days and weeks after surgery, after which your breasts will gradually assume their new size and shape. Final results will be visible after about a year.

If you’ve had implants removed and not replaced, your breasts may appear deflated at first, with hollowed areas where the implants were. The shape will change and the breasts will improve in appearance over a few weeks to months. Autologous fat grafting can add volume to your breasts, without implants, and to round out their shape.

Your final results will depend on the natural size of your breasts, the size of the implants, and the resilience of your skin. If your skin has stretched from the implants or as a result of aging, a breast lift can restore a younger, natural look. Dr. Duggal will consult with you and help you understand how your breasts will change with implant revision or removal and will talk with you about whether you should consider a breast lift as part of or as a follow-up to the procedure.

Why Choose Dr. Duggal?

Dr. Duggal has extensive experience in performing breast procedures. She takes the time to listen to and understand the goals of each of her patients and makes sure that they never feel rushed in their consultations with her. Dr. Duggal treats patients as she would her family members — with honest guidance as to the best choice of procedures and personal attention throughout the process.

Contact Us Today

The Sandel Duggal Center for Plastic Surgery is one of the top plastic surgery practices in Maryland and Dr. Claire Duggal has extensive experience in breast and body enhancement procedures.  Schedule a consultation to learn whether breast augmentation is right for you, and to find out why Dr. Duggal’s patients rate her so highly. Contact us online or call 410-266-7120.