Patients may seek breast explant surgery for multiple important reasons, but one thing remains the same: Inevitable scarring after surgery.
Unfortunately, any time a plastic surgeon makes incisions, scars will result. But the good news is, your breast implant removal surgery scars shouldn’t be overly noticeable. In fact, most of the time, plastic surgeons can use the same scars that were required for the insertion of your implants, to remove your implants.
Let’s go over what breasts explant surgery involves and what you can expect your explant scars to look like once your body has healed.
What Do Breast Explant Surgery Scars Look Like?
Scars after breast explant surgery are red or pink and will appear slightly raised directly after surgery. During the initial recovery period, they will remain red or pink in appearance, but over time, they should fade to a dull pink or brown. With time and proper scar care, scars should flatten out as well.
The location of your scars will depend on the expertise of your surgeon. Most of the time, they will be able to reuse the scars from your original breast augmentation. This is good because it will eliminate the need for additional scars because of explant surgery.
Quick Facts about Breast Implant Removal
Breast implant removal surgery removes breast implants from a patient’s breast augmentation procedure. The surgery may be performed in order to permanently remove implants or to change the size or shape of the breasts by replacing old implants with new ones.
Most explant surgeries take around one to three hours to perform, depending on the purpose of the procedure (namely, whether there’s a lot of scar tissue to be removed and whether new implants will be replacing the old). General recovery typically lasts for up to six weeks, though you should see rapid improvements within the first three weeks. Swelling may persist for up to six months after removal surgery.
What Does a Breast Implant Removal Procedure Involve?
The surgery itself requires removal of both the implants and scar tissue around the implants.
First, the patient will be administered medication for their comfort. Some patients opt for general anesthesia, but sedation and local anesthesia are also an option.
To begin the procedure, Dr. Ashley Steinberg will then create an incision on each breast — usually in the inframammary fold (the crease beneath the breast). Alternatively, the incision will be around the areola.
A combination of surgical techniques will then be employed to remove the implants and surrounding scar tissue. The incisions will be closed, and the patient will be taken to a recovery room to await discharge.
En bloc capsulectomy is a method of breast explant surgery that involves removal of both the scar tissue capsule and the implant at one time. This method is often employed when there has been an implant rupture.
Breast Implant Removal Surgery Scars
After surgery, it’s important to rest and follow your surgeon’s directions for healing. Much of how your breast tissue heals will depend on whether the empty space within your breasts has been filled with new implants or adjusted with a breast lift or fat transfer.
For example, let’s say you do not opt to have new implants replace your old implants. The skin on your breasts will have been stretched to accommodate the original implants. This creates more skin than is now required to hold your breast tissue, fat, etc. and this may cause the skin on the breast to wrinkle or create folds.
To avoid this, many surgeons encourage their explant patients to get a breast lift or breast augmentation fat transfer. Other options include special post-surgical massage to break up scar tissue and stretch out skin adhesions during recovery. As always, be sure to consult with your plastic surgeon before moving ahead with massage as it must be performed at the right time to achieve optimal results.
Silicone as a Scar Treatment
Another option to help reduce the appearance of scars after breast explant surgery is silicone. Frequently used after C-sections and other plastic surgeries such as tummy tucks and breast lifts, silicone material has been known to help flatten and fade scars.
You can purchase silicone material patches or topical creams, which can be applied daily during recovery. Just remember that, as with massage post-surgery, you must wait a certain amount of time before using this method after surgery.
Other Tips for Scar Reduction
Overall, the most important step in reducing the appearance of your scars after breast implant removal surgery is following your surgeon’s aftercare instructions. You should receive in depth literature about how to care for yourself and your surgical sites after this procedure. Follow all steps closely.
In addition, consider the following tips:
Keep your incisions away from UV light.
UV light can exacerbate the appearance of scars, so avoid tanning beds or exposing your scars to sunlight.
Avoid straining or stretching your upper body.
After a week or more, patients can return to most regular activities, but you should wait to perform more vigorous exercise until you get the “okay” from your surgeon. Likewise, during the initial recovery period especially, do your best not to strain or stretch your upper body. Doing so may strain your incisions, which can cause problems long-term.
Schedule a Consultation With Dr. Ashley Steinberg
If you want to remove breast implants because of painful scar tissue, capsular contracture (fibrous scar tissue), implant leaks, implant breaks, or dissatisfaction with the appearance of your implants, a breast explant procedure could be what you’re looking for.
Call today to schedule your consultation appointment with Dr. Ashley Steinberg.