Implant Removal

Breast augmentation with implants is one of the most in-demand cosmetic procedures in America. Patients consistently report high satisfaction with their results, however, if you are unhappy, uncomfortable, or concerned with your implants, Dr. Leffel is here to answer your questions. If necessary, she can also perform a safe, comfortable implant removal procedure. 

Implant removal surgery may be performed for a number of reasons. Implant removal is most often incorporated into traditional implant exchange, a procedure performed to refresh implants every 10 to 15 years. Dr. Leffel meets annually with her breast augmentation patients to assess the health of their implants and give them continued peace of mind.

If you are considering changing or removing your implants, Dr. Leffel will take the time to thoroughly examine your case and help you plan the appropriate next steps. To learn more if you are a candidate for implant removal, contact The Leffel Center today. 

In early 2019, the FDA announced it observed a small but concerning correlation between textured implants and Breast-Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). On July 24, 2019, Allergan issued a recall on their BioCell textured implants and tissue expanders. If you have questions about what this means for you, Dr. Leffel is here to help you find answers. 

About

Implant removal is a surgical procedure which will remove and/or replace patients’ breast implants to address health, cosmetic, or personal concerns. Implant removal is commonly incorporated in implant exchanges and breast revision surgery. 

The steps of implant removal are individualized to address the needs of the patient. Dr. Leffel maintains lifelong relationships with her patients to make sure they are 100% happy with their implants. If you have questions or concerns at any point about your implants, please do not hesitate to contact The Leffel Center.

Why Should I Have My Implant Removed?

Implant removal may be recommended if patients are experiencing:

  • Capsular Contracture, or hardening of the breast
  • An implant leak 
  • Pain within the breast
  • Dissatisfaction with breast shape or size
  • Swelling, asymmetry, or lumps within the breast

If you wish to exchange your implant type, or no longer want breast implants, Dr. Leffel will assess your case and help you accomplish the beautiful results that are right for you.  

FDA Announcement: What it Means for You

As of 2019, The US Food & Drug Administration has observed an increased risk of Breast-Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) in patients with textured breast implants. Textured implants are known for creating a small amount of scar tissue in the breast, thereby helping the implant stay in place. BIA-ALCL has been found to develop in the scar tissue that forms between the implant and the breast tissue. The majority of patients diagnosed with BIA-ALCL had Allergan implants at the time of their diagnosis. In light of this, Allergan has released a recall of their BIOCELL textured implants. 

FDA Announcement: Implants

At this time, the FDA does not recommend removal of textured implants as a precautionary measure. If you are experiencing BIA-ALCL symptoms, seek further evaluation from your healthcare provider. If you received breast augmentation with Allergan BIOCELL textured implants or a different brand of textured implants, Dr. Leffel is here to answer your questions.

Symptoms of BIA-ALCL include persistent swelling, pain, asymmetry, or lumps around the implant. Some changes in breast shape and appearance are normal with time. However, if you experience abnormal or sudden changes, contact The Leffel Center.

While BIA-ALCL is rare, Dr. Leffel prioritizes the health of her patients. If you are experiencing discomfort or breast swelling, you are encouraged to seek a doctor’s opinion. In most cases, these concerns are not a threat to patient’s health, but preventive care is always the best care. 

Candidates 

The need for implant removal is determined on an individual basis. You are a candidate for implant removal if you are a non-smoker in overall good health and at a stable weight.

If you currently have breast implants, it is best practice to have your implants removed and exchanged every 10 to 15 years. 

You may be a good candidate for breast implant removal if you are dissatisfied with the look of your implants. If an implant leak is detected, implant removal is advised. If your breasts feel too heavy, your breast scar tissue has hardened, or you have experienced discomfort or pain, you may be a good candidate for implant removal. 

Benefits of Implant Removal

  • Correct soreness or physical discomfort caused by implants
  • Feel more comfortable with your body
  • Receive the implant size and shape that is right for you
  • Exchange your implant for one that will give you peace of mind
  • Safe procedure with minimal scarring
  • Long-lasting improvement

Implant Removal Surgery

Breast implant removal is a careful surgery. Dr. Leffel utilizes sterile, artful surgical techniques to remove patient’s breast implants while minimizing strain on the body. Implant removal surgery is performed under general anesthesia to keep patients completely comfortable. 

Implant Removal Surgery

Dr. Leffel will address both implants or a single implant during the procedure. Implants will be removed through an incision made in the underside of the breast, also known as the inframammary fold, or through an incision around the areola. Patients who desire larger, smaller, or differently shaped breasts may undergo implant removal, after which they will have their implants replaced with their desired type and size. Implant removal is often a step of breast exchange surgery, a procedure performed every 10 to 15 years to refresh and replace breast implants with a new, healthy implant. 

The details of implant removal surgery will depend on the goals of your procedure.

Once the implant has been removed and the desired results have been achieved, the incisions will be closed with fine sutures and wrapped in a compression garment. Drains may be placed and will be removed in a few days of surgery.

At this time, the FDA does not recommend removal of Allergan textured implants as a preventative measure. Dr. Leffel is available to answer any questions you have about the Allergan recall and best practices concerning BIA-ALCL. 

Recovery 

Patients will receive personalized recovery instructions to help their body heal following their implant removal. Dr. Leffel’s careful surgical techniques have her patients back to work within a week of their surgery. Patients are advised to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for one month. If you have small children, you may need to ask for assistance with them for the first few weeks of your recovery. Most regular activities can be fully resumed within six weeks.

Results 

Results of implant removal will become apparent as post-procedure swelling subsides. Dr. Leffel’s careful techniques will maintain a beautiful, flattering breast shape and produce minimal-to-no scarring. Results will last for years!

The Leffel Center: Dedicated to Your Health

Dr. Leffel puts your health first. If you have received reconstructive or aesthetic breast surgery, it is important to attend follow-up appointments with your doctor. Dr. Leffel meets annually with her breast implant patients for implant check-ups. Regular follow-ups are the key to a happy, healthy, breast implant experience. 

If you have questions about the Allergan recall, the FDA’s findings on BIA-ALCL, or about your implants in general, Dr. Leffel is available to answer your questions. 

Cost

The price of implant removal will depend on the details of your case. Pricing will vary based on your goals, such as if you would like to change your implant size or type. Implant warranties will cover the life of the implant, but will not cover the costs of implant removal or implant exchange. Once you have discussed your desired results and customized your procedure plan with Dr. Leffel, you will receive an appropriate pricing quote. 

FAQS

Does insurance cover breast implant rupture?

Most insurance policies will not cover breast implant rupture. Some providers will cover breast implant removal if it is “medically necessary.” If you are experiencing consistent breast pain, severe capsular contracture, or are showing signs of infection, insurance may help compensate breast implant removal. 

How do I know if my implants should be removed?

In order to assess the health of your implant, your surgeon will perform a physical exam, as well as run an imaging test to see the internal breast structure. Patients are advised to return for regular follow-up appointments following their breast augmentation. These follow-ups will detect any issues with the implant. 

If my breasts are sore, do I need to get my implants removed?

Not necessarily. Breast soreness may be an indicator of a number of things that are not related to the implants. Implant-related issues are rare, but it is always better to be safe than sorry: if you are feeling any discomfort or have questions about your implants, schedule an appointment at The Leffel Center to put your mind at ease.