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Reasons for breast explant surgery 

There are a number of reasons a woman may need to have her implants removed. Some women may feel their breast implants are of the wrong shape or size. Pregnancy and weight gain or loss may have shifted the implants into the wrong position. Or there may be the following complications:

  • Implant rupture or folding
  • For saline implants, implant deflation
  • Infection or dead tissue buildup
  • Silicone leakage
  • Capsular contracture

Who is a candidate for breast explant surgery?

Women with hardening of the breast or breasts (capsular contracture), pain, a leak, or other concerns are candidates for breast explant surgery. Women who no longer want implants or would like a different size, shape, or type of implants are also candidates for this procedure.

Those who meet the following criteria may be good candidates for breast explant surgery in Miami:

  • are in general good health
  • are a nonsmoker
  • are at a stable weight
  • don’t like the look of your implants
  • are experiencing discomfort or pain
  • feel your breasts are too heavy
  • implants have shifted
  • feel your breast scar tissue is getting harder or tighter
  • breast or breasts have hardened
  • have experienced a rupture or leak of implants
  • have realistic expectations of what this surgery can do for you

Breast explant procedures

Depending on your unique concerns and aesthetic goals, there are a number of different surgical techniques Dr. Maercks may perform to help resolve the situation and bring about your vision for your breasts.

Breast explant for Capsular Contracture

If you're experiencing capsular contracture in Miami, you'll notice thickening, tightening, or calcification of the capsule (the tissue that the body forms around the implant). This tissue is formed around any foreign object in the body. An implant that feels hard may be caused by an infection in the capsule. Breast explant surgery is done to remove the capsule around the implant. 

During the procedure, incisions will be made in the same place as they were made in the original implant surgery. A capsulectomy may be done solely to address the capsule tissue, or the entire implant and the capsule together can be removed.

Breast explant with replacement implants or Fat Transfer Augmentation

During this procedure, the old implants are removed, and new implants of your choosing are inserted, giving your breasts the look and feel you desire. 

For those who want no implants but would like to enhance the size and volume of their breasts, a fat transfer can be done. Fat is removed from one part of the body that has surplus fat tissue. The fat cells are purified and then injected into the breasts, which gives them a rounder, fuller appearance.

What causes capsular contracture?

While it is normal for the body to form scar tissue after breast augmentation — and in fact, the scar tissue helps to keep the implants from shifting — hardened scar tissue can begin to constrict the implants, causing not only cosmetic issues but also discomfort for the patient. The following factors may cause capsular contracture in Miami

  • A low-grade bacterial infection — A biofilm, or thin layer of bacteria, may develop within the breast capsule during the implant insertion process. This may cause infection and lead to capsular contracture.

  • Hematoma and seroma — Hematoma occurs when blood builds up in the body after surgery, and seroma occurs when fluids build up. Drains can help escort these liquids out of the body, but if they don’t, there is the possibility of infection arising.

  • Breast cancer treatment — Those patients who are undergoing breast augmentation after mastectomy or lumpectomy may be at risk of developing capsular contracture if the devices are inserted before they have finished their treatment (radiation.)

  • Genetics — Genetics and pre-existing conditions may play a role in the formation of capsular contracture. Patients with a history of autoimmune diseases or those who easily form thick scars may be more prone to experiencing the condition.

Who is a candidate for breast explant for capsular contracture?

For women suffering from capsular contracture in Miami, breast implant removal can offer a great deal of relief. It can mitigate the hardness and soreness that occur with the condition. It is also the preferred solution for patients struggling with implant leakage, BII, BIA-ALCL, and other complications. A total capsulectomy, partial capsulectomy, or en bloc capsulectomy can be performed in order to remove the implants along with the surrounding breast pocket. Our team will choose the best approach after conducting a thorough physical evaluation and review of your medical history.

What are the benefits of a breast explant for capsular contracture?

  • Reduces pain and discomfort
  • Relieves soreness in the neck, shoulders, and back
  • Removes hardened scar tissue
  • Restores an aesthetically pleasing appearance
  • Restores full health and well-being
  • Leads to a more natural-looking chest
  • Combats infections and inflammation
  • Improves posture and stamina
  • Reduces the risk of BII and BIA-ALCL
  • Makes it easier to scan for breast cancer

Breast explant with breast lift

After a breast explant procedure, it is often the case that the breasts need a lift. If the breast skin is stretched or sagging, a breast lift may be done at the same time as the implant removal. Dr. Maercks will remove excess breast skin in order to tighten, reshape and lift the breasts.

Breast explant alone

This procedure simply removes the implants without exchanging for new ones or doing a lift or augmentation of any kind.

What is the recovery time for breast explant surgery?

For some women, breast explant surgery can be an easier recovery than the original implants. Most women are able to return to work in five days. However, if the breast implants were removed with the capsule, the recovery time will be longer.

After the procedure, your breasts will take several months to fully settle into their new position. You will experience some swelling for the first couple of weeks. A compression bra can help minimize swelling during the first few days to a week. During the first month and a half after surgery, avoid heavy lifting or exercise. 

Breast implant removal scars tend to heal well and are not easily visible. They will fade, but not disappear completely.

Potential Risks

  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
  • Numbness of the lower breast area
  • Bleeding or blood clots
  • Poor wound healing or infection
  • Irregularities of breast contour and shape
  • Scarring, skin discoloration, permanent pigmentation changes, swelling, and bruising
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Excessive firmness of the breast or breasts
  • Potential inability to breastfeed
  • Potential, partial, or total loss of nipple and areola
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Persistent pain
  • Fat necrosis
  • Possibility of revision surgery

Why choose The Maercks Institute for breast reconstruction in Miami?

At The Maercks Institute, our patients and their ultimate satisfaction are the priority. Dr. Rian Maercks is a board-certified cosmetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgery specialist, and a trusted doctor who prides himself on giving the most aesthetic enhancements to the body that are possible. His background in philosophy and the arts gives him a unique and discerning eye for breast implant, explant, augmentation, and enhancement procedures.

Dr. Maercks’ practice includes a specially-trained, caring, and welcoming staff to provide you with everything you need. If you’re interested in learning more about breast explant surgery, we invite you to contact our office in Miami.

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