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What Is Breast Implant Removal?

Also known as breast explant surgery, breast implant removal is a surgical procedure that removes breast implants after implant malfunction, breast implant illness, or personal changes in aesthetic taste.

After the breast implants are removed, they may be replaced with new implants to enhance and change the type, size, or shape of the implants. Some women may prefer not to have implants any longer but would still like their breasts to be augmented. In this case, a fat transfer breast augmentation can be performed. Finally, some women may prefer to remove the breast implants and do away with augmentation of any kind. For these women, Dr. Shafa will remove the implants. If desired, he will perform a breast lift to raise and shape the breasts.

Ideal Candidates For Breast Implant Removal

Women who are experiencing any difficulty or unhappiness with their breast implants are candidates for breast implant removal surgery. Ideal candidates for breast implant removal in Beverly Hills & Santa Monica meet the following qualifications:

  • Are generally in good health and have no serious medical conditions
  • Do not smoke
  • Have realistic expectations of what breast implant removal surgery can achieve
  • Are unhappy about the way their breast implants look 
  • Are experiencing difficulties with implant rupture, implant hardening, breast pain, or other breast implant issues 
Woman wearing a workout outfit.

Reasons For Breast Implant Removal

Breast implants may need to be removed for a range of reasons, including the following:

A Change in Aesthetic Preference for Breast appearance

Women may want their breast implants to be larger or smaller, have a greater projection or profile, have a different shape, feel or consistency, or opt for other changes such as implant type or placement. 

A Desire for an Alternative Breast Augmentation

There is an alternative option for women who want to have bigger, rounder breasts but no longer want breast implants. Dr. Shafa augments women’s breasts with a fat transfer procedure. This procedure removes unwanted fat from the area of your choosing, which can include the bra roll, the abdomen, the thighs, or other areas that have enough excess fat to donate to the breasts. This fat is purified, then injected carefully into each breast to achieve symmetrical, round, full breasts.

A Malfunction Or Other Implant Concern

In rare cases, breast implants may rupture or malfunction in other ways. These potential complications include the following:

  • Breast Implant Illness (BII) 
  • Breast pain
  • Breast implant folding, rupture, or deflation 
  • Silicone leakage
  • Capsular contracture (the hardening or tightening of the capsule, the tissue that surrounds the breast implants)
  • Implant shifts (usually caused by weight fluctuations or pregnancy)
  • Implant asymmetry

Breast Implant Removal Procedure

Because there are different types of breast implant removal surgery, your procedure will depend on your customized treatment plan designed by Dr. Shafa. The type of breast implant removal procedure you require depends on your needs and personal goals for your breast appearance. Breast implant removal procedure types include the following:

Breast implant removal with capsulectomy 

Capsular contracture is the painful hardening of the capsule, the tissue that your body forms around the breast implants. This condition requires a capsulectomy to remove the implants. A capsulectomy starts with an incision at the bottom of the breast, then upward to the areola. Through this incision, the implant and the surrounding capsule are separated from the tissue with meticulous care. The implant and the capsule are then removed together, both intact.

Breast implant removal with replacement implants and breast lift

During this procedure, the breast implants are removed using the same incisions as were used in the original breast augmentation procedure, and these are then replaced with new implants to suit your aesthetic taste.

Breast implant removal with replacement implants and breast lift

During this procedure, the breast implants are removed using the same incisions made during breast augmentation, then replaced with new implants of your choice. At the same time, a breast lift can be performed to shape and lift the breasts to a more youthful and attractive position on the chest. As a part of this, your nipples are repositioned to tilt upward to provide a perky appearance.

The breast lift procedure can also be performed to lift and shape the breasts without new implants for women who do not wish to replace their implants.

Breast implant removal and fat transfer

Women who would like a more natural breast augmentation may opt for a fat transfer procedure after their implants are removed. Dr. Shafa will use gentle liposuction to remove fat from an area of your body you would like to shape and sculpt. This tissue is carefully cleaned, then injected into your breasts to increase the size by 1-2 cup sizes, and improve breast symmetry and shape.

Breast implant removal without augmentation or lift

Women may opt to simply have their breast implants removed without a lift, new implants, or a fat transfer.


Some women experience an easier recovery period after a breast implant removal procedure than they did after their original breast implant procedure. 

Once the anesthesia wears off, you will need a friend or family member to drive you home and help you. During the first two weeks, there will be swelling and bruising. Your compression bra should be worn constantly in order to help minimize this. Swelling begins to slowly subside in a few days or a week. During your healing period, give yourself a chance to get as much rest as possible. Sleep on your back or side to protect your healing breasts. Don’t lift anything that weighs more than five pounds.

After about a week, most women are able to return to light activity or sedentary work. Wait for 4-6 weeks before exercising again. The swelling will fade until you no longer notice it, but it will still remain as the breasts complete their healing period and slowly settle into their final position over a period of months.

Why Choose Dr. Shafa?

As one of the top breast surgeons in Beverly Hills & Santa Monica, Dr. Brian Shafa provides beautiful, aesthetic results for women who would like to achieve the breasts they’ve always dreamed of. Dr. Shafa is known for his compassionate manner, meticulous attention to detail, and stunning results. His extensive training and background as a surgeon make him a perfect choice for women who are struggling with or unhappy with their breast implants. Dr. Shafa is a breast surgeon and an artist who truly cares about his patients’ aesthetic goals–his dedication to their results is why he is a trusted plastic surgeon with a reputation for excellence. Reach out today to schedule your consultation for breast implant removal. 

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