Are you considering having your breast implants removed? This list of the pros and cons of breast implant removal can help you decide whether it’s right for you.
Do you have breast implants, but in recent months the idea of having them removed has been settling in the back of your mind?
You’re not alone!
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), approximately 45,000 women had a breast implant removal surgery in 2017. Of course, you’re probably wondering what the benefits of breast implant removal are and what the problems are.
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the pros and cons of breast implant removal.
Let’s start with the pros first.
Breast Implant Removal Pros:
Depending on the placement of your breast implants, they can make your mammograms more difficult. The type of breast implant, such as silicone or saline, will also affect the results of your mammogram. ‘How?’ you may ask. Breast implants can be placed above the pectoral muscle or below it. If the implants are above the pectoral muscle, then the mammogram won’t be able to see that area using the imaging devices.
Silicone and saline implants also inhibit the x-ray from seeing the breast tissue, and you’ll likely need to see an OB-GYN with an imaging device that can see past the implants. Removing the implants means your mammogram results are clear, which is important if your family has a history of breast cancer.
Pain Be Gone
Is one of the reasons why you’re considering breast implant removal pain? Then you’re not alone here either! It’s no secret that breast augmentation can cause pain later on down the line. Larger implants lead to shoulder, back, and neck pain because of the weight your chest is supporting. Also, the surgery to get your breast implants may have caused capsular contractures around the implants. This stiffens the scar tissue causing pain, and hard, misshapen breasts. Once you get the breast implant removal surgery and have fully recovered, you’ll notice a distinct lack of pain. What a weight off of your shoulders!
Boosts Your Confidence
You don’t have to regret getting your breast implants to want to remove them later on. We’re sure that getting those implants made your day and helped you view your body in a new light. But now that light has diminished, and the implants don’t fit the image you have in mind anymore. Implant removal will boost your confidence in yourself and your body just like it did when you got them.
MRI’s for Ruptures
A breast implant, no matter the type, always have the possibility of rupturing. MRI’s are an expense that adds up over time, and it’s expensive too. The average cost of an MRI in the United States is approximately $2,000. That’s a cost you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket every two years. The cost gets even higher if a rupture is found. Once you get those implants removed, it’s a cost you’ll never have to think about again!
No Fear of Ruptures
Having breast implants, you’ll already know that the implants can rupture. The most common reasons a breast implant ruptures are intense physical pressure, defective implants, aged implants that have weakened, and capsular contracture. We already know that capsular contracture occurs when the scar tissue around the implant hardens. If the condition is bad enough, it can rupture a weak implant. Breast implants are not lifetime devices, and the shell will weaken over the years. Without implants, you no longer need to worry about ruptures and the costs of fixing them.
No More Replacements
As we mentioned earlier, breast implants can and will age over time. It’s recommended for you to replace your implants every 10 years.
However, that’s an expensive cost that isn’t covered by your insurance either. Having breast implant removal surgery means you don’t have to worry about replacing your implants every time they get old.
Recovery Is Short
If you do decide to remove your implants once and for all, you’ll be happy to hear that recovery time post surgery is a whopping 2 weeks. Of course, during this time your doctor will tell you all the things you won’t be allowed to do such as lifting heavy objects, driving, and so on. However, you can always tell your co-workers you went on vacation in the meantime.
Depending on the size of your breast implants, finding clothes that fit and looked good was probably a chore. A cute shirt that was in your size not fitting because your breasts were popping out doesn’t make shopping easy or fun. Then there’s the pain of bra shopping to consider.
Getting rid of those pesky implants will change the world of shopping for you. Of course, it’ll take some time to adjust, but now you don’t have to buy the expensively large bras or go up two sizes to find a shirt that fits your chest too.
Breast Implant Removal Cons:
Just as there are pros to breast implant removal, there are also cons, and sagging is one of them. Breast implants give your chest perkiness and a full look. Removing those implants will return your breast to their original shape, but now gravity has free reign. Your breasts will sag as they did before. However, they may even sag worse than they did before. If you were originally a B cup and went up to DD, then you’ll likely experience more sagging; especially, if you had your implants for several years.
Loose skin is the cousin to breast sagging and will happen for much the same reason. Like with sagging, the size of your implants and the length of time you had them will contribute to loose skin. Another factor is the elasticity of your skin. If there’s too much sagging or loose skin, your doctor may recommend a breast lift if they haven’t already done one.
With this con, we don’t mean you’ll need a mastectomy or that the surgery will be a mastectomy. It’s possible that when removing your implant because of a rupture, your surgeon may need to remove so much breast tissue that it’ll appear you had a mastectomy. Remember how implant ruptures are a problem you’ll always need to look out for with implants? If a gel implant does rupture there will be leakage of the gel into the breast tissue. The more leakage there is, the more tissue your surgeon needs to remove along with the ruptured implants. Losing too much breast tissue will give your breasts a similar look to individuals who had a mastectomy or a partial mastectomy.
Breast implant removal is a major surgery, and like with any major surgery there is the risk of infection. The infection will likely occur around the incision site post surgery or in the cavity the implant was located. Infections will slow down recovery, and the severity of the infection may require drain tubes or antibiotics.
While techniques are developed to minimize as much scarring as possible, there will always be scarring at the incision site. You may even notice more scarring than before as well depending on how your body heals. The breast implant removal surgery will always use the incision sites from your original breast augmentation surgery. However, the scar will be visible and will take time to lessen.
Loss of Feeling in the Nipples
Most breast augmentation surgeries will use one of two incision sites, just under the breast (an inframammary incision) or around the bottom of the areola (a periareolar incision). If your original breast augmentation surgery used the periareolar incision, then you may have already experienced loss of feeling in your nipples. The removal surgery, which often uses the original incision, can contribute to even more loss of sensation or cause it if you didn’t have sensation loss before. The loss of feeling occurs because the nerves that send those signals to your nipple are accidentally cut during surgery. The nerves are so small that it’s difficult to see them. If you still have sensation and don’t want to risk losing it, then the breast implant removal surgery may not be for you.
As we mentioned, breast implant removal is a major surgery. As such, you’ll likely have to be put under either a local or general anesthesia.
With anesthesia, there come potential complications. Such complications may include pain, nausea, vomiting, backache, headache, and damage to your teeth. In more serious cases, you might experience hypothermia, anaphylaxis, hematoma formation, and more.
Loss of Confidence
Just like how the breast implant removal surgery can boost your confidence, it can also lower it too. It’s entirely possible that when you see yourself for the first time in a mirror after fully recovering from the surgery, you won’t like what you see. Sometimes the image you had of yourself isn’t the same as reality. You may even lose confidence in yourself if you have no choice in removing your implants because of a breast cancer diagnosis. Either way, the feeling that your body is wrong now will remain.
Unless your breast implant removal is necessitated by a health problem, you’ll have to pay for it yourself. The surgery can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 depending on the surgeon you go to. If the cost is something you can’t consider at the moment, then you’ll want to put off the removal for later.
It’s Your Body
Before you make any hard decisions about breast implant removal, remember that this is your body. Unless you are 100% confident that this is something you want for yourself, you’ll want to take your time. Be sure that you’re ready to let go of your implants because the most important factor in your decision is how you’ll feel afterward. In the meantime, contact us if you want to know more about the pros and cons of breast implant removal.