Breast Implant Removal FAQs – Questions about Explant

Breast Implant Removal Surgery or Explant is surgery to remove a breast implant. This is commonly combined with a rejuvenation surgery like Breast Lift or Fat Transfer to the Breast. Dr Scott Turner is a Breast Implant Surgery expert and Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Newcastle and Sydney NSW. Here are his answers to common Breast Implant Removal FAQs.

General Breast Implant Removal FAQs

What happens if I remove my breast implants?

  • Your breasts will naturally look deflated once the implants are removed. Within 2 to 3 weeks, your breasts will eventually regain some of their volume. Many patients opt for a Breast Lift or Fat Transfer to Breast to reposition or inflate their breasts.

Should I get my breast implant removed?

  • You may have them removed if:
    • They cause physical discomfort.
    • They feel too heavy for you.
    • You developed capsular contracture.
    • Your implants have ruptured.

Can you leave breast implants in forever?

  • Breast implants have no expiry date. However, they will not last forever. Breast implants can last for 10-20 years. If you develop a complication related to breast implants, they should be removed or replaced.

Do you have to change your breast implants every 10 years?

  • No, you don’t have to replace your implants every 10 years. However, factors like ageing and pregnancy might cause some changes in your breasts’ appearance. If this is the case, replacing your implants may be a great choice to address these changes.

When should you have breast implants removed?

The following are signs that your implants need replacement:

  • Your implant has ruptured.
  • Your implants have deflated.
  • You developed capsular contracture.
  • You want to change the size of your implants.
  • Your breast has become misshapen or uneven (asymmetrical)

How often should breast implants be checked?

  • Most Australian Plastic Surgeons recommend an Annual Breast Implant Checkup. The USA FDA highly recommends having your implants screened via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) three years after your surgery, and every two years thereafter.

How do you remove saline breast implants?

  • Saline breast implants are usually removed under general or local anesthesia. If possible, your surgeon will use the same incision site from your initial breast augmentation procedure to remove your current breast implants.

Do breast implant capsules need to be removed?

  • Thin and soft capsules can be left after removing the implants. They will usually dissolve away once the implants are removed. Some patients wish to remove their capsule and choose an “enbloc” removal or a full capsulectomy, Others choose a partial removal – partial capsulectomy.

What is en bloc breast implant removal?

  • This method removes the implant and the capsule all at once. The implants and capsules will be taken out of your breast without opening the capsule. The advantage of this breast implant removal method is that it prevents further contamination of surrounding tissues.

Are you Suitable? – Qualifying for Breast Implant Removal FAQs

Can you get breast implants removed while pregnant?

  • It is not recommended to have your implants removed during pregnancy.

Questions about Post Breast Implant Removal Surgery

Will I need a breast lift after implant removal?

  • To bring back the younger and fuller look of your breasts, having a breast lift after breast implant removal is a great choice. Your surgeon will create a customised treatment plan during your consultation to address your specific needs.

Is a breast lift necessary after implant removal?

  • This will depend on your desired results. If you want to achieve younger-looking breasts after implant removal, then a breast lift is necessary.

Breast Implant Removal Surgery FAQs

How are breast implants removed?

  • Breast implant removal requires performing a long incision along the lower fold of the breast. Through this incision, the implant will be carefully removed. In most cases, the breast capsules will be removed too.

Where will the Breast Implant Removal surgery be performed?  

  • Dr Turner performs Breast implant removal inside an accredited operating room facility under general anaesthesia. Please avoid choosing a doctor performing the procedure in an unlicensed facility or under local anaesthesia.

What are my options for pain relief during BIR surgery? 

  • Breast implant removal can be done under general or local anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you won’t feel any pain because you will be completely unconscious. With local anaesthesia only your breasts will be numbed and you would be wide awake during the procedure.

How long does implant removal surgery take? 

  • It usually takes 1 to 2 hours to perform. Around 3 hours if further rejuvenation surgery is required

How do I prepare for Breast Implant Removal Surgery? 

  • First, you may need some lab testing or medical evaluation. This is to adjust your current medications or to take necessary medications before the surgery. You should also need to avoid smoking and alcoholic beverages to prevent complications.

Is Breast Implant removal a day surgery or will I be admitted overnight? 

  • If your condition is stable, you may be able to come home the same day of the surgery.

What is involved in breast implant removal surgery?

  • Breast implant removal requires performing a long incision under the lower fold of the breast. The implant will be carefully removed through this incision. In most cases, part or all of the breast capsules will be removed too.

When will I see the final result after BIR Surgery? 

  • After the surgery, your breasts will initially look deflated. After several weeks, your breasts will regain their volume and improve in appearance.

Recovery After Breast Implant Removal FAQs

How long is recovery after breast implant removal?

How much time will I need off work for BIR Surgery? 

  • Most patients can go back to work after a week of rest. This allows your body to fully heal.

What exercise can I do after Explant surgery? 

  • It is advised that you perform short light walks right after the surgery. You can do this every hour for two weeks. After two weeks, you are expected to be able to do more intense cardio exercises like uphill walking or walking on a treadmill.

When can I shower after Explant Surgery? 

  • You may take a warm shower 2 days after the surgery. Just make sure not to shower for more than 10 minutes.

When can I drive after Explant Surgery? 

  • It is recommended to wait at least a week before you drive again.

How can I minimize the likelihood of scars after BIR? 

  • To reduce scar formation after breast surgery:
    • Always monitor yourself for signs of infection and other complications.
    • Avoid hot shower.
    • Avoid smoking.
    • Drink lots of water.
    • Eat healthy foods.
    • Use prescribed creams.
    • Wear compression garments.

How can I massage my breast after explant surgery?

  • To massage your breasts properly after the procedure:
  1. Cup your hands over the top of your breasts (either one or both on each breast at a time).
  2. Push downwards for a few seconds.
  3. Release and repeat.
  4. Do the same maneuver, but this time push the breast upward.

How do you sleep after an explant surgery?

  • You should sleep on your back for 2 months after the surgery. This is to prevent excessive pressure on your breasts that may cause reopening of the surgical wounds and significant pain.

How long after breast implant removal can I exercise?

  • Doing short light walks are recommended after the surgery. You may do this every hour for 2 weeks. After two weeks, longer walks will be possible.

Can I sleep on my side after breast implant removal?

  • You can sleep on your side as long as it won’t apply pressure to your breasts.

Do breasts go back to normal after implant removal?

  • Your breasts may still go back to being similar to their original form (pre implants) . However, there is a high chance that your breast skin will sag worse than it did before.

How do I tighten skin after breast implant removal?

  • After a breast implant, your breasts may look saggy because of the stretched skin. To address this problem, undergoing a breast lift might be your best choice.

What bra to wear after breast implant removal?

  • You need to wear a compression bra to support your breasts as they heal. Make sure to choose those that clasps in the front because they are easy to wear and remove. This also prevents you from moving your arms too much.

When can I start jogging again after breast implant removal?

  • It is recommended to take a rest for 4-6 weeks before going to the gym or engaging in strenuous exercises. If you feel any discomfort while doing so, immediately stop your activity and consult with your health care provider.

Breast Implant Removal Longer Term FAQs

How will my breast look after implant removal?

  • Your breasts may look deflated after the surgery. This will eventually improve within a few months.

How long does it take for breasts to fluff after explant?

  • This varies from patient to patient. It may happen within 6-9 months while some patients may experience it within a a few months.

What do breasts look like after implants are removed?

  • Ageing, weight fluctuations, and hormonal changes can make your breasts look saggy. Without the extra volume of your implants, your breasts might look deflated.

What happens to your body after implant removal?

  • You will feel completely normal after your surgery. The surgical area might have bruises for a week or two.

How soon after implant removal will I ovulate?

  • In most cases, it will take 3 to 8 months after the surgery before you can get pregnant.

How long does it take to get pregnant after implant removal?

After the removal of your implant, you could get pregnant after 3 to 8 months.

How soon can you get pregnant after implant removal?

  • You need to wait 3-8 months after implant removal before you can get pregnant.

Will my breasts sag after implant removal?

  • Not necessarily, your breast might look deflated at first but after several weeks, it will regain its lost volume. 

Breast Implant Removal FAQs about BII Risks & Concerns

Is breast implant removal painful?

  • Most patients report that breast implant removal is more comfortable than breast implant surgery.

Is breast implant removal safe?

  • If performed by a qualified surgeon, the procedure is safe. However, it has the following risks and complications:
    • Bleeding
    • Bruising
    • Changes in nipple sensation
    • Fluid accumulation
    • Infection
    • Persistent pain
    • Swelling

Breast Implant FAQs About Issues & Concerns

How do you know you have breast implant illness?

  • Common symptoms of breast implant illness are the following:
    • Anxiety
    • Chronic fatigue
    • Depression
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Dry eyes and mouth
    • Hair loss
    • Headaches
    • Insomnia
    • Joint and muscle pain
    • Poor mental abilities
    • Skin rashes

Can breast implants cause fatigue?

  • Yes, it is possible to experience fatigue as a symptom of breast implant illness.

Can breast implants cause mental health problems?

  • Women who have breast implants are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

Can breast implants cause weight gain?

  • Most women experience weight gain after having breast implants. They usually gain 3-5 pounds after the procedure.

Can free silicone be detoxed after removal of breast implants?

  • Silicone is toxic and needs to be removed from your body. If you have high levels of silicone in your body after breast implant removal, you may need to undergo a special detoxification treatment.

Do breast implants cause autoimmune disease?

  • Silicone breast implants are associated with autoimmune or connective tissue disease.

What are the chances of getting breast implant illness?

  • The risk of having breast implant illness is around 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 86,000, depending on the kind of implant and the manufacturer.

Will I feel better after breast implant removal?

  • Most patients report an improvement in fatigue, headache, and joint pain after breast implant removal.

Funding your Breast Implant Removal  FAQs

Does medicare cover ruptured breast implant removal?

  • If you meet the strict criteria, Medicare may partly cover breast implant removal for medical conditions like
    • Painful capsular contracture with disfigurement
    • Implant rupture

Which MBS Medicare Item Numbers cover Breast Implant Removal Surgery?

  • 45542Breast Reconstruction (unilateral), the following mastectomy, using tissue expansion – removal of tissue expansion unit and insertion of the permanent prosthesis (Anaes.) (Assist.)
  • 45548 Breast Prosthesis, removal of, as an independent procedure (Anaes.)
  • 45551Breast prosthesis, removal of, with excision of at least half of the fibrous capsule, not with the insertion of any prosthesis. The excised specimen must be sent for histopathology and the volume removed must be documented in the histopathology report (Anaes.) (Assist.)

Which MBS Medicare Item Numbers cover Breast Implant Replacement Surgery?

  • 45553Breast prosthesis, removal of and replacement with another prosthesis, following medical complications (for rupture, migration of prosthetic material or symptomatic capsular contracture), if: (a) either: (i) it is demonstrated by intra-operative photographs post-removal that removal alone would cause unacceptable deformity; or (ii) the original implant was inserted in the context of breast cancer or developmental abnormality, and (b) photographic and/or diagnostic imaging evidence demonstrating the clinical need for this service is documented in the patient notes (Anaes.) (Assist.)
  • 45554Breast prosthesis, removal and replacement with another prosthesis, following medical complications (for rupture, migration of prosthetic material or symptomatic capsular contracture), including excision of at least half of the fibrous capsule or formation of a new pocket, or both, if: (a) either: (i) it is demonstrated by intra-operative photographs post-removal that removal alone would cause unacceptable deformity, or (ii) the original implant was inserted in the context of breast cancer or developmental abnormality, and (b) the excised specimen is sent for histopathology and the volume removed is documented in the histopathology report, and (c) photographic and/or diagnostic imaging evidence demonstrating the clinical need for this service is documented in the patient notes (Anaes.) (Assist.)

Will my health insurance cover breast implant removal?

  • Health insurance policies will not cover cosmetic surgeries. However, some policies have exceptions if the breast implants cause complications and you meet the .medicare criteria and have the right level of cover.

Does health insurance pay for implant removal in Australia?

  • If removing the breast implants is medically necessary and you meet the strict medicare criteria then your health insurance provider may cover some of the costs of the procedure. Please contact your Health Fund.

Dr Scott Turner FRACS (Plas) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

biggest trends in plastic surgery Dr Scott Turner - Trends Expert and Best plastic surgeon Newcastle

Dr Scott J Turner has spent a lifetime acquiring the qualifications, education, training, and hands-on surgical experience to perform superior cosmetic plastic surgery to give you natural, beautiful results and the improved sense of well-being you want. He is one of the top Specialist Plastic Surgeons with a Breast and Body Surgery focus in New South Wales.

Achieving this personal goal requires not only in-depth knowledge of human anatomy and refined surgical techniques but an ongoing commitment to learning the latest procedures around the world. This is why Dr Turner regularly attends both local and international surgeon meetings – discussing these advances with the leaders around the world in order to offer you the most natural, effective and safest surgical procedures.

Dr Turner and his highly trained staff will do everything to ensure that you are fully informed, while providing exceptional, world-class cosmetic plastic surgery, in a personal and caring environment.

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Scott
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

  • Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
  • Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us

How to Book Your Consultation with Dr Turner

  • You can book your initial consultation with Dr Turner by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.

Contact us or call on  1300 641 199  to arrange your consultation in Sydney or Newcastle.

Email us for more information:  [email protected]