Skip to main content

Breast implant removal

If you change your mind about breast implants, you can have surgery to remove them. We look at what to expect during breast implant removal surgery.

Woman measuring her bust before her breast implant removal surgery
Sometimes, a person who has previously undergone breast enlargement surgery may decide that they now no longer want the implants. In such cases, surgery to remove them is possible. It should be noted that it is possible to have new, different-sized implants inserted following the removal of the previous ones.

There are a number of reasons a person may wish to have their breast implants removed including:

A medical reason: such as a diagnosis of breast cancer or complications with their current breast implants

Personal preference: they may now wish to change the size, shape or feel of their breasts, and this can be achieved by removal of their implants.

Before the procedure:

It is always important to be fully aware of the implications of choosing to have cosmetic surgery, and our cosmetic surgery team will ensure you have the information you require at every stage. Should you choose to have your breast implant removal with us, you will have an opportunity to discuss your decision with a breast or plastic surgeon. They will be able to talk you through the options available to you, explain the surgery and answer any questions you may have.

The procedure:

The operation normally takes between one and two hours and is performed under general anaesthetic, meaning you will be asleep throughout the procedure.

Your current implants will sit either directly under the breast tissue or deeper behind the chest muscle. In order to remove them, your surgeon will make a precise cut (incision) underneath your breasts to allow access to the implants.

Further surgery might be required following the implant removal. An example of the type of additional surgery sometimes required is a breast uplift (mastopexy), a surgical procedure to correct the position of the breast by removing excess skin and repositioning the nipple to give a lifted and firmer appearance.

After the procedure:

Once the procedure has been completed, you will be taken from the operating theatre into the Recovery Suite where you will be looked after until you are fully awake following the anaesthetic. Once you are fully conscious, and the staff are happy with your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate etc.), you will be taken back to your private room to rest. Throughout the day, nursing staff will check your dressings and monitor your pulse and blood pressure at regular intervals to ensure you are well and that your recovery is proceeding as expected. Should you have any concerns, you are able to press a button at any time to call one of the nurses to your room.

Following any surgery, you are likely to experience some discomfort, and this is to be expected and completely normal. Your anaesthetist will prescribe painkillers to help reduce any potential discomfort and you should take these regularly for the first few days to help your comfort. Excessive pain can slow down your recovery, so it is important to discuss any unexpected or severe discomfort with your nursing staff as soon as possible.

You will have wound dressings in place You may also be advised to wear a support bra to help with your healing and recovery.

Breast implant removal is a common procedure. You will need to stay in hospital for one night to ensure you are recovering as expected. You will also need to plan additional time off work to allow you to recover further at home.

Any surgery takes time to recover from and breast implant removal surgery is no different. After your breast implant removal, you may experience any, or all, of the following in the breasts:

  • Discomfort;
  • Swelling;
  • Bruising or
  • Pain or twinges.

These are all completely normal responses to breast implant removal surgery and should subside after the first few weeks, although it may take several months for the shape of your breast to fully settle.

Driving: You should follow your surgeon's advice regarding how long to avoid driving but you certainly should not begin driving again until you are confident that you can safely perform an emergency stop without experiencing any discomfort.

Exercise: You must avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, swimming and vacuuming for four to six weeks after surgery.(Although ‘vacuuming’ doesn’t really qualify as exercise, it is a good excuse to have a few weeks off doing it!)

Support bra: Your surgeon will advise you as to how long you will be required to wear your support bra and whether it is to be worn day and night. You must avoid wearing an under wired bra until you are informed otherwise.

Breast implant removal is a commonly performed and generally safe procedure. However, all surgery carries with it an element of risk and it is important you are aware of these.

Possible complications of any surgery can include:

  • an unexpected reaction to a general anaesthetic;
  • excessive bleeding and
  • developing a blood clot (usually in a vein in the lower leg, known as a DVT - deep vein thrombosis).

A small number of patients may develop thick, red and painful scars that can take years to improve.

You will receive a post-operative telephone call from the Cosmetic Surgery Specialist Nurse one to two days after your discharge home to ascertain your progress and wellbeing. Should you have any queries or concerns, you will be able to discuss these with the nurse.

You will also have a post-operative follow-up appointment with your surgeon, who will assess your progress and give advice on when you can start to resume your normal activities. You should be aware that you may need to take one to two weeks off work, depending on your type of employment.

It is easy to book an appointment with one of our plastic surgeons at a time that is convenient for you. If you are considering breast implant removal, or would like to discuss cosmetic surgery options with a qualified and nationally registered plastic surgeon, why not book a time to visit your nearest Circle hospital?

Our staff will be able to talk you through your options, advise you of the different procedures available to you, and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Contact the friendly team to arrange your consultation.

Specialists offering Breast implant removal

View all specialists

{{ error }}

Find a specialist