Sometimes, breast implant surgery does not work out.
Implants can rupture. The surgery could be performed in a way that is unsatisfactory. Dr. Robert Whitfield offers implant removal for women who are uncomfortable with their implants or could be experiencing BII.
It is sometimes necessary to remove breast implants. Dr. Whitfield has performed over 500 explants to reverse a prior augmentation or relieve patients from medical issues. Many women choose breast implant removal to decrease their breasts, experience relief of pain or BII symptoms, decrease the weight of their breasts, have experienced capsular contraction, have an infection, have a ruptured or deflated implant, and to release tension.
Some women who receive breast implants report symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, hair loss, swollen glands, or IBS that cannot be explained from a medical standpoint. This condition is known among professionals as Breast Implant Illness (BII). Though BII has not been officially classified as a medical illness yet, Dr. Robert Whitfield believes that each patient deserves to be heard by their doctor. Sometimes, that means breast implant removal surgery.
Breast implant removal begins with a consultation. Dr. Whitfield will sit down with you and listen to your situation. If you decide to proceed with surgery, Dr. Whitfield will make sure you have the information you need to have a safe procedure with the desired results in a timely manner.
After you arrive at the hospital, Dr. Whitfield will meet with you and help prepare you for surgery. The process will likely feel very similar to your breast augmentation surgery. Dr. Whitfield will conduct an examination and draw the incision lines.
Then, a board-certified anesthesiologist will gently ease you into a deep sleep. You will be under general anesthesia for the duration of the surgery. Each case is different and the scar tissue that forms after breast implant placement may remain soft and not require explant. Breast implant removal often involves the removal of the implant as well as the capsule in their entirety.
This is known as an en bloc capsulectomy, which is a removal of the implant and the scar tissue that surrounds it. This is often the tactic used in cases of capsular contracture, where the scar tissue that forms around the implant following placement can harden, causing pain and discomfort. On your surgery day, it will be important to arrange transportation to and from the hospital. Breast implant removal is typically an outpatient procedure, but it requires general anesthesia. While most Austin breast implant removal patients don’t require an overnight stay in the hospital, you will need someone to drive you home following your surgery. Many patients also take time off work and arrange for someone to stay with them for a few days to care for them during the recovery process.
Much like how years of wearing heavy earrings can stretch the skin around the earlobes, your breast skin can become stretched after supporting the weight and size of implants for years.
“Because no two individuals are the same, every procedure must be approached with meticulous precision and personalized care.” - Dr. Robert Whitfield, MD, FACS Plastic Surgeon - Austin, TX
As a result, many patients decide to combine their breast implant surgery with a breast lift (mastopexy) to restore their breasts to a full, natural feel. If you specify a lift as part of your breast removal surgery, Dr. Whitfield will perform the mastopexy concurrently with your removal. With more than 20 years of experience performing breast lifts, you can feel confident that Dr. Whitfield will be able to guide you through your removal and lift with an expert hand. You can read up on breast lifts on our breast lift page.More About Dr. Whitfield
Fat transfer surgeries are hardly new - plastic surgeons have been pulling fat from one part of the body and injecting it into another since the late 1890s. However, the use of fat transfer for breast augmentation didn’t really catch on for another hundred years, due to complications that could arise from the procedure.
Recent innovations have addressed those risks and made fat transfer breast augmentation one of the most exciting and fastest-growing methods of reshaping the breasts in recent memory. Dr. Whitfield offers his patients in Austin breast implant removal with fat transfer for those who wish to maintain a full figure without implants.
With this surgery, Dr. Whitfield will carefully remove the implants, then use fat from other parts of your body to help reshape your breasts to a natural, full look. Because the material used to replace the implants comes from your own body, the procedure is a great fit for any woman concerned about the possibility of rupture or breast implant illness resulting from the use of implants. Also, the results look and feel exactly like your natural breasts, because they are your natural breasts. They just have a little extra fat in the right places.
Austin, TX Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Whitfield believes it is very important to help you uncover the information you need about the issues that led to your breast removal surgery. Following your surgery, Dr. Whitfield will take samples for bacterial and fungal analysis to evaluate for implant-related inflammation. The capsule will also be sent for testing, to rule out BIA-ALCL, or other potentially malignancies - like breast cancer.
The bacterial and fungal analysis to identify these conditions is performed with a PCR test. You may have heard of PCR testing, because it is the same type of test that is used to detect COVID-19. PCR testing is the most reliable method of testing we have for determining the presence of abnormalities in the body, because it searches for the specific types of genetic material that the bacteria and fungi associated with implant-related inflammation produce. Dr. Whitfield may also refer this information to other providers to conduct tests on environmental, diet, and nutritional factors where you decide it is appropriate. If the procedure is done at the surgery center, the implants will then be returned to you if you desire.
Recovery time varies based on the patient. Since many women come in with their immune systems already suppressed it may require a bit longer to recover. After breast implant removal Austin patients recovery will generally take between one to four weeks. Symptoms related to autoimmune disorders require longer periods. Drains may be used in the case of rupture, obvious infection, or complicated surgery like some en bloc capsulotomies. These options will be discussed with you prior to your surgery, and Dr. Whitfield will give you specific instructions for your recovery before your surgery.
Breast Implant-related Illness (BII) is a term for a number of symptoms that some patients experience following breast implants. The most common of these are:
It’s important to note that there are other medical conditions that have these symptoms, so they may not be a guaranteed indicator of breast implant illness. However, many women who have shared their breast implant illness experiences report increases in these symptoms following their surgeries. Many of these patients experience relief from these symptoms following breast implant removal.
Breast Implant Removal surgery typically takes REPLACE. The operation can include a breast lift or fat transfer if the patient desires. Dr. Whitfield will explain the entire process during the consultation, including the length of time, and recovery.
A breast implant rupture is when a tear or hole causes the implant to leak or rupture. This will cause the implant to lost its original size and shape. It can cause hard lumps, an uneven appearance, pain, or sensation differences.
Many times women are not satisfied with their implants, some may experience pain, fatigue, and other Breast Implant Illness symptoms over time, if there is an infection. Some women prefer to go back to their original appearance, decide they want the implants removed for personal or medical reasons, or prefer to not carry the weight.
Dr. Whitfield helps these women reach their personal goals.
Sitting down for a talk with Dr. Whitfield is the first step on the path to the body you want. No matter your desired results, Dr. Whitfield’s years of experience and research into the latest developments in plastic surgery will help you along your journey. Contact us for a consultation today, and you’ll see why Dr. Robert Whitfield is widely regarded as a “Texas Super Doctor.”
2530 Walsh Tarlton Ln, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78746