Best Tips & Timeline for Recovery after Breast Implant Removal by Dr Scott Turner Plastic Surgeon
A breast implant removal procedure or an explant is a surgical procedure performed with the purpose of removing or replacing breast implants. If you no longer want implants or if your implant has ruptured an explant surgery or enbloc removal can help, Recovery after Breast Implant Removal can take up to six weeks. However, your final results may not be visible until up to a year after the procedure.
To ensure the best possible results, you need to take extreme care during the recovery period to allow proper healing of your breasts. It is highly recommended to follow these best tips from Dr Scott Turner, a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Newcastle and Sydney NSW.
CLICK to Download Dr Scott Turner’s Surgery Recovery Guide
Removal of Implants & BII Symptoms
Another reason to undergo an explant procedure is a diagnosis of breast implant illness or BII. Breast implants can cause fatigue, headaches, bone aches, and body pains in some patients. If you are suffering from these symptoms, you may want to consult your doctor and look into an explant procedure. Many patients seek breast capsure removal at the same time, either Enbloc, total or partial capsulectomy. Many patients report relief from BII after Breast Implant removal and just partial capulectomy.
How to prepare for better recovery after Breast Implant Removal
To ensure optimal recovery, there are certain steps you need to take before even undergoing the procedure. This is because these steps set you on the fast track to a quicker and complication-free recovery period.
1. Quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption
Both of these increase your risk of post-op complications, and you should quit smoking at least 6 to 8 weeks before the procedure.
2. Reduce some medications
Being on certain medications like blood thinners can put you at risk of bleeding either during or after the procedure. You should speak to your primary care physician to adjust the dosages of medicines that you must take, such that they don’t increase your chances of developing complications during the procedure or after.
3. Find someone to support and take care of you
Since you will be resting for a better part of the week and maybe experiencing slight discomfort, it is best to ask a friend or loved one to help take care of you. This is recommended because while performing your daily tasks, you may accidentally put pressure on your breasts and cause complications. A responsible person is also required to drive you home after the surgery.
5. Arrange a comfortable place in your house for recovery
Being comfortable after the procedure is important and you should prepare this place before you even go into surgery. Do the shopping and get everything you need.
Best Tips for a Better Recovery after Explant Surgery
The best tip for a smooth recovery period is to rest and take care of yourself, nourish your body while it heals itself. The following steps are recommended to ensure better recovery:
1. Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water is vital. It is mentioned here because not drinking enough water and dehydrating your skin, especially while it’s supposed to be healing from the incisions, may complicate the healing process.
2. Rest and Sleep well
Getting full eight hours of sleep during the recovery period helps your body be well-rested. This is mainly because our body heals itself while we sleep and depriving your body of sleep is equivalent to depriving your body of the chance to heal.
Moreover, you should sleep on your back, for at least two weeks post-op so as to not disturb the wound healing process. You should absolutely refrain from sleeping on your stomach as that will definitely complicate the healing process and impact the final result.
3. Manage your discomfort with prescribed medications
Your surgeon will prescribe pain killers and antibiotics, to help you manage your pain and reduce the risk of infection. You should take these medications as prescribed, especially the antibiotics, for the recommended period of time. An important note here is to avoid the consumption of alcohol while taking these antibiotics. In general, you shouldn’t be drinking while recovering but you should absolutely abstain from alcohol while taking antibiotics.
4. Refrain from exercising too much
Exercising should be avoided during the first 2 weeks of recovery. No form of exercise is allowed during this period because even the slightest pressure on the incisions could result in wound separation or a poor result. After two weeks, you can perform light exercises, basically, anything that doesn’t involve the chest region. After six weeks, you can resume your normal exercise regimen and training programs. Just avoid stress and straining early on.
5. Wear your compression garments as recommended
After surgery, fluid accumulation and swelling can occur, especially as there is an empty space or cavity. To manage these symptoms, you will need to wear a compression bra, for a minimum of two weeks, day and night. Not only will it help reduce the swelling but also keep your skin tight and prevent any distortion of the breast shape.
6. Keep dry! – Stay away from baths and pools
You should not shower the first day after the surgery, and during the next couple of days, a sponge bath may be the best choice of action for you. Till your incisions are healed, you should avoid baths, spas and poos completely, and take absolute care while showering to keep the incisions dry.
What to eat during the recovery after Breast Implant Removal
A well-balanced diet is needed to provide your body with the nutrition that it needs to heal and recover from the breast implant removal procedure. To obtain maximal benefits, you should eat the following foods:
- High fiber whole grains
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruit
- Lean protein
At the same time, there are certain foods that you should reduce which include:
- Processed foods
- Dairy Products
Exercising after Explant Surgery
When it comes to exercising after the implant removal surgery, it is highly recommended that you avoid exercising completely for at least the first two weeks of the recovery period. This is to allow the swelling, bruising, and discomfort to subside a little, and for your body to start the wound healing process.
After the first two weeks, you can start with your light exercises, anything that doesn’t put pressure on your breasts. During this period, your incisions are still in the healing phase, and any extra pressure on them could result in complications such as dehiscence or separation of the wound.
After six weeks, you can consult your surgeon or support team and resume your daily life activities, including exercises and training programs.
Timeline for Recovery after Breast Implant Removal
Day 1 post-op
This period is marked by discomfort, pain, and swelling. You should be resting and refraining from all forms of exercise.
Day 3 post-op
Your swelling and pain may subside a little by this time. You should still be resting and taking time off work.
Week 1 post-op
You can resume going to work, only if you work in an office or low-intensity workplace that does not involve you performing strenuous activities.
Week 2/3 post-op
You can start performing your daily life tasks as far as you remember to not overdo anything and put pressure on your incisions.
Week 4-6 post-op
You can change your compression bra for a sports bra and can start performing light exercises.
You can resume your normal life and start doing any kinds of exercises or training programs that you like. By the sixth week, your breasts should have healed. However, you may not see the full results of the procedure just yet as they can take a minimum of a year to appear.
When to seek medical help
Breast implant removal surgery is a surgical procedure and all surgery has certain risks and complications associated with it. Although these are rare conditions, the occurrence of some of them during the recovery period can be a sign of a bigger underlying problem. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should seek help immediately:
- Breathing difficulties
- Sudden, one-sided pain in the legs
FAQs about Recovery after Breast Implant Removal
How long does it take to heal after breast implant removal?
- Healing after a breast implant removal procedure, much like most cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures takes around 6 weeks. However, your body may take up to one year to fully heal from the procedure, and you may experience rare mild discomfort or swelling throughout this period.
What happens to your breasts when you remove implants?
- Right after the explant procedure, your breasts appear deflated and saggy, as the implants were responsible for the perky appearance of your breasts. Eventually, your breasts will adopt a more normal appearance but there may be excessive sagging. This is due to the stretching of the skin due to implant placement, especially if you opted for larger implants and the effects of gravity. Many patients choose to have a breast lift or fat transfer at the same time as implant removal.
Will I need a lift after breast implant removal?
- Breasts, especially after the removal of large implants from naturally small breasts, can appear deflated and saggy. The sagginess may be further exaggerated by the effect of gravity, resulting in breasts that have lost their shape and aesthetic appeal. In this cases, you may be suitable for a breast lift either simultaneously with your breast implant removal or after you have recovered from the explant procedure.
Will I feel better after breast implant removal?
- If you struggle with symptoms of breast implant illness such as fatigue, headaches, joint pain, and so on, then the explant procedure may be the right choice for you. Undergoing this explant procedure has been shown to help relieve these systems for many patients and make them feel better overall.
What happens to the capsule after implant removal?
- The capsule around the breast implant is basically scar tissue formed by your body. It mostly proves to be beneficial as it can hold the implants in their place and prevent any distortion or disfiguration of the implants. During the explant procedure, your surgeon may choose to keep the capsule in place, and it will eventually shrink down. Or you could choose to undergo a capsulectomy, wherein your surgeon will remove the capsule along with the implant. You can discuss both options with Dr Turner beforehand.
What happens if you don’t replace your breast implants?
- Breast implants are basically medical devices placed in your body to enhance the appearance of your breasts. All of these devices come with a theoretical expiration date of around 10 – 20 years, after which they may be less effective, Keeping them in place increases your risk of rupture leakage or scar formation. They are not supposed to last a lifetime and you should consider replacing them or having them removed completely, based on your preferences, eight to twenty years after getting them placed.
Is breast implant removal painful?
- A breast implant removal procedure is a surgical procedure performed under either general anesthesia or local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. The procedure in itself is not painful due to the anesthesia, however, the recovery period may be characterized by slight pain. Discomfort, and bruising. All of these symptoms can be managed by following your doctor’s orders and taking the prescribed pain killers.
How long do you wear a compression bra after implant removal?
- Compression garments are important for the management of swelling and fluid accumulation after surgery. After the explant procedure, you should wear a compression bra for a minimum of two weeks, 24 hours a day.
Always Do Your Research
- Enquire to find out more about your surgery
- Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure
Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?
- A GP Referral is required to Consult with Dr Turner (under new AHPRA Regulations)
- 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
- 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 and payment plans
- Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us
How to Book Your Consultation
- You can book your initial consultation by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment
BOOK A PHONE CALL FOR MORE INFO
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Contact us or call on 1300 437 758 to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.