Many women get breast implants to enhance the size and shape of their bust line. However, sometimes a woman may desire to have her implants removed (called “explantation”) at a later date for a variety of reasons. Some women may find that with aging, weight gain, or pregnancy, their breasts enlarge over time to a point where they no longer desire the added volume of implants. In other cases, a patient may feel that she was rushed into her decision, or find that her implants are not the size or shape she desired. Whatever the reason, Dr. Temmen recognizes that much like the decision to have breast implants put in place, the choice to have them removed is a personal one. Dr. Temmen’s gentle bedside manner and listening ear ensure that her patients feel comfortable and cared for throughout their entire experience. A key concern many women have who are considering this procedure is that they will be left with saggy, shapeless breasts after the implants are removed. This raises the question of if a breast lift or other procedure is needed in conjunction with explantation to restore the breasts to a natural-looking shape. This post will discuss a few of the surgical options Dr. Traci Temmen frequently performs for her patients to ensure that they are pleased with their result following breast implant removal.
One key point patients thinking about breast explantation should consider is that there is significant variability in breast appearance after implant removal. There are several factors that contribute to this including implant size, how long the patient has had the implants, and how robust the patient’s overlying tissues are, including the thickness and elasticity of the skin. Generally, a young patient who recently had small implants placed will have a better result from breast explantation alone than an older patient who has had large breast implants for a long time. Women with a favorable combination of these factors have the best chance at a result that closely resembles their pre-implant appearance from simply removing the implants. This means that over the course of a four to six-week recovery period, the skin and overlying tissues will tighten and the breasts will “fluff up” in these patients, with minimal sagging or drooping. On the other hand, older women who have had large implants for a long period of time will likely find that breast explantation alone will leave their breasts with a “deflated” appearance that many women would be unhappy with. Fortunately, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen has several options at her disposal to prevent this, allowing patients to have their breast implants removed and still emerge with beautiful, natural-looking breasts.
One of the most common choices women make to restore their breasts to a perkier, more youthful appearance after explantation is a breast lift. In this procedure, saggy excess tissue is removed from the breast after the implants have been removed, and the breast is then lifted to a higher position on the chest wall. This does not increase the size of the breast like an implant, but decreases sagging to help create a more youthful, lifted bust line. Some women with the favorable conditions discussed above may have enough recoil in their tissues to allow the breasts to snap back to their original shape without a lift. However, for many women, a lift is necessary to achieve this result.
Another option some patients are interested in exploring with breast explantation is a breast reduction. This option is best suited for patients who wish to decrease the size of their breasts beyond removal of their implants. Oftentimes these women are experiencing major problems from the heavy weight of their breasts, such as back pain, trouble exercising comfortably, and difficulty finding suitable clothing options. This procedure is very similar to a breast lift, but a greater quantity of breast tissue is removed to reduce the size of the breasts, rather than just the saggy excess tissue and skin removed during a lift.
Finally, a third option available to patients considering breast implant removal who are interested in restoring a little bit of natural volume to the breasts without the use of implants is fat transfer to the breasts. In this procedure, liposuction is performed to remove excess fat from the abdomen that is then transferred to the breasts to add soft, natural-looking volume. This helps fill out the upper pole of the breast which is often what looks the most “deflated” after breast implant removal. An added bonus of this procedure that many patients enjoy is the slimming effects of the liposuction used to harvest fat from the midsection.
As you can see, there are many options for improving the breast appearance while performing breast implant removal. As a highly skilled female plastic surgeon, Dr. Traci Temmen has the technical skills to perform all of these variations of breast explanation as well as the patience and understanding to listen to her patient’s wishes and concerns. Dr. Temmen is an expert in the field, and prides herself on working individually with each patient to design a personalized plan that will give them the most attractive and natural-looking result, leaving them feeling confident and beautiful.
To view some real patient examples, navigate to the tabs under the “Breast” section of the “Before and After” tab of this website. If you are interested in learning more about breast implant removal or any other cosmetic surgery procedure, call 813-877-2277 to book your one-on-one consultation with Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Traci Temmen, MD, today!