Breast Implant Removal - Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re considering having your breast implants removed, you probably have quite a few questions and concerns related to the procedure. To help you better understand what’s involved, Dr. Ortiz, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Raleigh, is sharing the answers to your frequently asked questions.

What is a breast implant removal?

If you have breast implants from breast augmentation or breast reconstruction, and would like to have them removed, we can perform that procedure. Breast implants are not designed to be permanent and may need to be replaced or removed sometimes as early as 10 to 15 years. Often, women who have had physical changes over the years find their implants don’t suit their body anymore and are ready to have them removed or replaced. In rare cases, an implant that has leaked or has caused painful scar tissue would also need to be removed.

What happens at my initial consultation?

Dr. Ortiz will sit down with you to provide you with an in-depth understanding of what the procedure entails. Not only does this include the nature of the surgery, cost, and what you can expect both appearance-wise and for your recovery.

How is the procedure performed?

You will receive anesthesia first, and then an incision will be made either along the inframammary fold under the breast or around or below the areola. Depending on the scar from your breast augmentation surgery, Dr.Ortiz may use that spot to prevent creating an extra scar. The implant is removed as well as the breast “capsule,” which is the fibrous scar tissue that forms around an implant. Sometimes, if a breast lift is recommended, it will be performed during this portion of the operation. Then, Dr.Ortiz will close the incision, and you’ll have the opportunity to rest and recover in a private space.

What kind of anesthesia will be used?

Our licensed anesthetist administers IV sedation for breast implant removal procedures.

How long does it take to remove the implants?

The procedure itself usually takes one to three hours, depending on if there was leaking, a rupture, or excess scar tissue. Following the procedure, you’ll have a few hours of recovery time as the anesthesia wears off.

What kind of scars will I have?

The incisions are placed in inconspicuous areas to prevent visible scarring, and often, Dr. Ortiz can use the same incision from the breast augmentation procedure to prevent having to add an additional scar. If a new incision is placed, it will either be under the breast along the inframammary fold or around the areola where changes in skin pigmentation will make the scar less noticeable.

What can I expect from the results, appearance-wise?

Your results will depend on several factors – the initial size of your implants, how much breast tissue is left, and if there is scar tissue left behind. Initially, there will be swelling from the surgery, so you may not see final results for several weeks to even a year after your procedure.

Dr. Ortiz will sit down with you during your initial consultation and will be able to give you a more realistic expectation of how you’ll look without the implants in.

What is the recovery process like?

Since you will be coming out of anesthesia, you will need someone to drive you home from the center and stay with you for 24 hours after the surgery. You will be on narcotic pain medication for around two days following the surgery and NSAIDs (like Advil or Aleve) are recommended for any pain after this time. You will be able to drive once you have stopped taking narcotics and most patients are able to return to work in two or three days. We will provide you with compression garments to wear for six weeks, and during this time, it’s important to avoid strenuous activity and exercise (besides walking). During recovery, it is important to sleep on your back or side.

How much does breast implant removal cost?

This depends on multiple factors. The type of previous augmentation, how severe is the scar tissue and if there is associated procedures like a breast lift.

What are your payment terms?

We require a payment of 25% of the total cost up front to secure your surgery date. The remaining balance must be paid in full no later than two weeks before the surgery takes place. While most cosmetic surgeries are not covered by insurance, we accept Care Credit, Alpheon, and all major credit cards.

What is included in the cost of the procedure?

The cost of your breast implant removal is comprehensive to include all pre-op and post-op appointments, anesthesia, the surgery and surgical materials, as well as any post-op compression garments. Prescription pain medication is not covered in the cost of surgery and is not dispensed by North Raleigh Plastic Surgery.

Are there complications with a breast implant removal procedure?

Removing breast implants is a very safe procedure with minimal risk of complications. The most common complications include infection, pain, hematoma, and unsightly scars. Dr. Ortiz will discuss complications and address any concerns at your consultation.

How many post-op appointments will I have?

You will have a minimum of 3 appointments with Dr. Ortiz after your surgery: one appointment a week after the surgery, one appointment at 2 months post-surgery, and a possible final appointment at 6 months after surgery. If you need to see Dr. Ortiz at any time between these appointments, please call us and we will accommodate you.

Schedule Your Private Consultation for Breast Implant Removal Surgery Today

If you are ready to have your implants removed and would like to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Ortiz, reach out to us today at (919) 532-2270 or fill out our contact form below to get started.