Breast Implant Removal

Even though the vast majority of women who get breast augmentation are happy with the results, some of them ultimately choose to undergo breast implant removal surgery. In Houston, TX, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Camille Cash uses her extensive training and experience to perform this specialized and complex procedure.

Cost of Implant Removal in Houston

As with most plastic surgery procedures, a specific price quote is only possible after an in-person consultation to determine the extent of surgery needed. Breast implant removal and replacement surgery costs start at $8,000 but the cost varies depending on the complexity of the surgery required. For example, the cost of the breast implant removal procedure may change if a breast lift or a capsulectomy is included as part of the surgery. 

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Breast Implant Removal
 Before & After Photos

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Why Are People Getting Their Breast Implants Removed?

A woman’s decision to have implants removed is one that’s extremely personal. Dr. Cash understands that and is sensitive to the uniqueness of each patient’s case. The reasons for removing breast implants vary considerably and generally fall into one of the following categories:

Change in Lifestyle and Goals

Our lives and bodies change over time, and occasionally, women decide that breast implants don’t fit their lifestyles. A woman who decided to get breast augmentation in her early 20s may believe that she is now more comfortable without implants. Women who become more active may feel like large breasts make it uncomfortable to participate in certain sports or types of exercise.

Unsatisfactory Results

A woman may discover that the outcome of breast augmentation surgery doesn’t live up to her expectations. It may be that she thinks the implants feel or look unnatural or that she gets unwanted attention.

Complications

Risks associated with breast augmentation are relatively rare, but they do exist. Complications can develop within a year or 2 of breast enhancement surgery or 10 or 20 years later. The most common complication is capsular contracture, which occurs when scar tissue that naturally develops around the implant capsule begins to tighten. In moderate to severe cases, the tightening can be painful and create an unnatural appearance.

Other concerns include:

Breast Implant Illness: Women with implants concerned about a range of symptoms associated with autoimmune or connective tissue diseases believe removing their implants will improve their health. Breast Implant Illness (BII) is not an official medical diagnosis and there is currently no diagnostic testing specifically for BII.

BIA-ALCL: Breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL, is an extremely rare condition that is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that’s been linked to textured breast implants. It is not breast cancer. Some women with these types of implants are choosing to remove them, even though they haven’t been diagnosed with this condition. Dr. Cash can answer patients’ questions about this condition.

Other aesthetic or medical complications: Again, these are rare occurrences that can be corrected with either revision surgery or breast implant removal, depending on the patient’s goals.

Why Choose Dr. Cash for Explant Surgery?

Because breast implant removal surgery is often more complex than primary breast augmentation, it is important to choose a top breast surgeon like Dr. Cash, who is experienced in performing this type of procedure for Houston patients. The specialized nature of the surgery is due to the presence of scar tissue, which forms around the implant capsule.

Implant Removal Procedure

Dr. Cash performs implant removal surgeries using a general anesthetic for her patients, and the procedure can take 1 to 3 hours. Some patients, especially those who’ve had implants for a long time, may choose to combine a breast lift with implant removal surgery. Implants stretch the skin, and removing them can result in deflated, sagging breasts.

Dr. Cash begins the surgery by making an incision in the same location used for the breast augmentation procedure.

Basic Explant Surgery

The simplest breast implant removal procedure is to simply remove the implants, leaving the capsule of scar tissue behind. This requires a small incision to remove the implants.

Implant Removal With Capsulectomy

Another technique for removing breast implants is to remove the breast implants via a small incision below the breast, then remove the scar tissue capsule. This requires more time than a basic explantation procedure.

En Bloc Capsulectomy

The most invasive technique used for implant removal is called en bloc resection, which involves removing the implant and the fibrous capsule that forms around the implant as one.

As Seen on TV

Watch Dr. Cash help patients on TLC's Skin Tight program regain their confidence through body contouring procedures. Learn more about her appearance.

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As Seen on TLC

Breast Implant Removal Recovery

You will return home on the day of surgery in the care of an adult friend or family member. You will have bandages and a compression wrap around your breasts. Dr. Cash provides detailed post-op instructions that should be closely followed to minimize any risk of complications. There is typically less discomfort after getting implants removed compared to augmentation surgery. 

Recovery Milestones

While experiences vary with the complexity of the surgery, breast implant removal patients typically reach the following recovery milestones along this timeline:

  • Take a shower: 48 hours after surgery
  • Discomfort peaks: 3 to 5 days
  • Swelling resolves: 3 to 5 days
  • Suture & dressing removal: 5 to 7 days
  • Return to work, school, and nonstrenuous activities: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Ready to stop wearing compression wrap: 2 weeks (as directed)
  • Resume strenuous exercise: 6 weeks
  • Final results: 6 to 9 months
  • Scars fade: 6 to 12 months (or longer)

Common Questions

What will my breasts look like right after surgery?

The appearance of the breasts after implant removal depends on the size of the implants, the elasticity of the skin, how long the implants were in place, and other factors. In some cases, the breasts simply return to their original size. Many women are left with sagging, which may be corrected with a breast lift.


Will my breasts fluff after explant surgery?

Within 6 to 9 months of implant removal, the breasts soften and look less flattened as swelling diminishes and tissues relax. Patients may be satisfied with their breast size and shape at that point or may choose to discuss surgical breast enhancement options with Dr. Cash.


Is it safe to remove breast implants?

When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience performing implant removal, the procedure is considered safe. Safety is an important consideration when determining how much of the capsule, breast tissue, and breast skin to remove. Dr. Cash’s training and experience help her provide the best possible outcome for her patients. 


Can you treat capsular contracture with medication?

If it is detected early, capsular contracture can sometimes be treated with an asthma medication called Singulair® (montelukast). When symptoms first begin, the medication can help some patients control inflammation around the implant before the contracture becomes too advanced and requires surgical treatment.


Can you restore fullness after explant surgery without implants?

After explant surgery, Dr. Cash can add fullness to the upper breasts using excess breast skin and tissue instead of implants. This technique, called an auto-augmentation breast lift, is appropriate for patients who have enough of their own natural breast tissue.

If you’re looking in the Houston, TX, area for a breast implant removal specialist, request a consultation using the online form to discuss your options with Dr. Cash. Or call our office at (713) 571-0600 to schedule an appointment.

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