Recovery after Breast Implant Removal Surgery

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 to remove or replace 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

GUIDE Recovery

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 undergoing the procedure.

1. Quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption

Both of these increase your risk of post-op complications. 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.

3. Find someone to support and take care of you

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.

4. 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 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 a 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 to prevent putting pressure on the incision sites. You should 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 painkillers 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.

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 strain early on.

5. Wear your compression garments as recommended

After surgery, fluid accumulation and swelling can occur. 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 pools 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. During your recovery, you should eat the following foods:

  • High-fibre whole grains
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruits
  • Lean proteins
  • Smoothies

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, 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 performing strenuous activities.

Week 2-3 post-op

You can start performing your daily life tasks. Make sure 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 kind of exercise 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. 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:

  • Infection
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • 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 takes around 6 weeks. However, your body may take up to one year to fully heal from the procedure.

What happens to your breasts when you remove implants?

Right after the explant procedure, your breasts will lose volume and there may be excessive descent of the breast skin. This is due to the stretching of the skin due to implant placement, especially if you opted for larger implants.

Will I need a lift after breast implant removal?

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 other symptoms, then the explant procedure may be the right choice for you.

What happens to the capsule after implant removal?

The capsule around the breast implant is basically scar tissue formed by your body. It holds the implants in place and prevents 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 come with a theoretical expiration date of around 10–20 years. 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.

Is breast implant removal painful?

A breast implant removal procedure is a surgical procedure performed under either general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia and intravenous sedation to minimise discomfort.

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.

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Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

  • Download a Procedure Guides to find out more about your surgery.
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  • 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.
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Making The Most of Your Consultation

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  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • 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?

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 1300 437 758 to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.

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