Can or Should You Have Your Breast Implants Removed?

Plastic surgeon hands holding silicon breast implants

Breast augmentation is the most common cosmetic procedure in the U.S. Approximately 17.7 milllion people underwent some cosmetic procedure in 2018. Breast implants can boost your confidence, help you better fit into fashionable clothing, and allow you the body proportions you’ve always


But what if you have breast implants and are no longer happy with them – can you have them removed? Should you have them removed?

The procedure to remove breast implants is called explant surgery. It is an option for most women with implants, and if you are no longer happy with your implants, it’s a procedure you should definitely speak about with your plastic surgeon. Here is a closer look at explant surgery, why women choose it, and what the process involves.

Why Do Other Women Seek Implant Removal?

When you first start to consider having your implants removed, you may feel alone and like you’re silly for no longer desiring a look you craved so intensely some years ago. But you’re actually in good company. Here are a few of the reasons women choose explant surgery.

Changes in Trends

Styles and cultural norms are always changing. In the 1990s and 2000s, having a small waist and large breasts was seen as trendy. Now, fitness and fitness-inspired looks are in fashion. More natural-looking bodies and smaller breasts are not only acceptable, but stylish. As such, if you have breast implants – especially larger ones – you may no longer feel on-trend or fashionable.

Changes in Relationships

Perhaps you got breast implants during a relationship with a previous partner. Now, you’re single or in a relationship with someone else, and having larger breasts is no longer a priority.


Discomfort is especially common in women who have larger breast implants. The weight of the implants can cause discomfort and soreness in the neck, back, and shoulders. Discomfort can become more pronounced as you age, or as you become more active. Sometimes, removing the implants is the best way to alleviate the pain.

What Does the Procedure Involve?

Explant surgery is quite similar to implant surgery. You’ll be put under anesthesia, and then your surgeon will make an incision either under the fold of your breast or around the areola. Often, the incisions can be made right over your existing scars from your previous implant surgery.

After removing the implant, your surgeon may also need to remove scar tissue that has built up around the implant via a procedure called a capsulectomy.

The recovery process usually goes smoothly. You can expect to take about five days off from work following the procedure, although you’ll need to avoid heavy exercise and lifting for about six weeks.

What Results Can You Expect?

Immediately after surgery, you may notice that your breasts appear to sag. However, in the months that follow, your breast tissue and skin will slowly contract and adapt to the absence of the implant. If you are not happy with the way your breasts look a few months after surgery, you can opt for a procedure called a breast lift or mastopexy.

A mastopexy is an outpatient procedure where your surgeon removes extra skin from the top of your breast, and then lifts the remaining tissue. The result is perkier, less-saggy breasts that should look more similar to the breasts you had before getting implants.

Have your thoughts and feelings about your breast implants changed? If you no longer like the look that your implants give you, or if you are concerned about discomfort the implants cause, schedule a consultation with The Plastic Surgery Group. Our knowledgeable doctors can tell you more about explant surgery and its benefits for you.