Breast Implant Removal & Lift

Procedure After breast implant surgery, scar tissue (=capsule) surrounding the implant can cause discomfort and cosmetic concerns. This is a natural process and happens after about 10-15 years.
Women over 50 or women with a strong family history of breast cancer should have a breast cancer screen prior to cosmetic surgery.
The breast implant is removed with the surrounding scar tissue (=capsulectomy) where possible. The surgery is more complex than the original insertion of the implants. An additional breast lift improves the shape where ptosis (=droopiness) following surgery is a concern. Breast lift scars are usually anchor shaped = around and underneath the areola.
I don’t use drains routinely. The wounds are repaired with sutures under the skin which don’t require removal and dissolve within four months. A support garment following surgery is recommended.
A fluid collection after more than a year following implant surgery can be an indicator of BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant Associated – Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma) which is a rare cancer associated with rough (=textured) implants. The usual treatment is removal of the implant and a total capsulectomy.
Scars Anchor shaped: Around areola & vertical below areola & in breast fold
Operation time 3 hours
Anaesthesia General
Hospital Stay Day Surgery > (Overnight)
Benefits Cosmetic, Psychological, Functional, Symptomatic
Risks Bleeding, Infection, Scar problems (stretched, thick, abnormal pigmentation, red, retracted etc.), Skin discoloration, Skin cones, Skin penetration, Wound separation, Slough, Necrosis (Nipple / skin / fat), Pain, Nerve injury (Numbness, weakness), Bruising, Swelling, Overcorrection, Undercorrection, Asymmetry, Remaining stretch marks, Recurrent redundancy / droopiness, Cosmetic imperfections (higher risk after subsequent pregnancies / weight changes / menopause), Seroma, Shoulder problems, Pneumothorax, Inability to breastfeed, Contour irregularities, Unfavourable nipple shape / position, Need for further surgery, Allergic reaction, Chest infection, Heart attack, Stroke, Blood clots in legs & lungs
N.B. Most complications are unlikely and serious risks are rare
Risk factors Smoking / contraception / flights within 6 weeks of surgery, overweight, high blood pressure, bleeding tendency, diabetes
Optimising factors Diet rich in Vitamin C and protein, plenty of fluids, fresh air, scar massage, sun protection, support garments
Discomfort 1 – 2 weeks
Bruising 2 – 3 weeks
Recovery Light activities 2 weeks, Driving 3 weeks, Physical work & sports & sex 6 weeks, Unrestricted 3 months
Acceptable appearance 2 - 4 weeks for most patients (This is subjective)
Final result 6 -18 months
Alternatives No Surgery, Garments, Implant removal without lift

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