Breast augmentation with implants is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries and is a source of confidence and empowerment for many women. However, there are plenty of women who later on down the road, desire to have their implants removed for one reason or another. For some, it’s simply a matter of personal preference as their idea of beauty has changed over time. Others find that their bodies change with pregnancy, aging, or weight gain in a way that no longer makes implants the best option for them. Still others no longer want to be responsible for the maintenance of their implants. Finally, some women believe their implants are negatively impacting their health and have concerns about Breast Implant Illness (see previous posts). Whatever their reason, Dr. Traci Temmen understands that this is a personal choice that deserves the same level of support and guidance as the decision to get breast implants. In addition, she recognizes that this may be a difficult decision for some as they consider what their breasts will look like without implants, while others may feel very confident and liberated by their decision. Dr. Temmen recognizes that all of these feelings are completely okay, and meets every patient where she is to walk their journey together. Regardless of how a woman is feeling about her breast explantation, nearly everyone has questions regarding how the procedure will be done. This post will discuss some of the different options for breast explantation with and without capsulectomy, and discuss the pros and cons of each to shed some light on this important topic.
There are multiple methods for breast implant removal, including varying options for removal of the capsule, which is the natural scar tissue the body forms around any foreign object (ie. Breast implant, knee replacement, pacemaker, etc…). One option that works well for many women is to have their implants removed while leaving the capsule behind. This means that no natural tissue is removed from the body, just the implant itself. An advantage of this approach is that leaving the capsule in place often helps to better preserve the shape of the breast after the implant has been removed. The volume of tissue in the capsule contributes, in some measure, to the size of the breast, and the capsule architecture helps the breast hold its shape without the support of the implant. In addition, leaving the capsule in place also preserves its role in the blood supply to the breast tissue and nipple. This is a great option for a patient whose main concern is having the best aesthetic outcome possible after her implants are removed. However, it may not be a good match for those who have experienced problems with their capsule, such as capsular contracture, or feel that their implants have made them sick (called “breast implant illness”) and therefore want any tissue that has touched their implants to be removed.
As discussed above, some women may prefer for parts or all of their capsule to be removed with their implants. Select problematic parts of the capsule can be removed in a partial capsulectomy, such as when treating capsular contracture (abnormal, restrictive scar formation around the implant). In other cases, a woman may desire for her entire capsule to be removed with her implants, either in multiple pieces or as a whole that is still encasing the implant inside. These two approaches are called a total capsulectomy, and an en bloc capsulectomy, respectively. Some patients who believe they are experiencing breast implant illness advocate for en bloc capsulectomy in order to remove the implant and associated capsule in one piece and avoid the implant touching any other tissue as it is being removed. Dr. Traci Temmen respects her patient’s wishes for how they want their breast explanation to be performed, and makes every effort to honor their personal preferences. However, it is important to note that en bloc capsulectomy is sometimes not able to be done safely as attempting to remove the implant and capsule in one piece could risk damage to important underlying structures like the ribs and lungs. Dr. Temmen always prioritizes patient safety, and so in these cases will change course to a total capsulectomy where all of the capsule is still removed, but it is done so in pieces rather than as a whole.
There are many different options to consider when thinking about breast implant removal, and this can often seem overwhelming. It is important to have a board-certified plastic surgeon you can trust to guide you on your journey. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen listens carefully to her patients and takes the extra time to answer any questions and address any concerns that they have. She is highly trained in all methods of breast implant removal with and without capsulectomy, and is meticulous and precise with her surgical technique regarding this sensitive area of the body. Patients love her gentle bedside manner, and feel reassured and supported throughout all aspects of their care, from initial consultation to post-op result. In addition, she also offers options for enhancing the appearance of the breasts after implant removal, including breast lift and fat transfer to the breast. To learn more about these options, explore the tabs under the Breast heading of the Procedures section of this website and past blog posts on these topics. Example of real patient transformations performed by Dr. Traci Temmen may also be viewed in the Before and After section of this website. If you would like to learn more about your options for breast implant removal or any other cosmetic procedure, call 813-877-2277 to book your one-on-one consultation with Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Traci Temmen, MD, today!