Breast Implant Removal in Atlanta - Getting Back to your Natural Self

The nice thing about breast augmentation is that it does not have to be a permanent decision.  Implant removal is an easy procedure for patients with minimal postoperative pain or downtime. If you have decided to have your implants removed, visit Dr. Amy Alderman for explant surgery in Atlanta, GA and Buckhead. With her customized approach to patient care, you can benefit from comfortable treatment and best post-operative outcomes.

Is Implant Removal Right for You?

Dr. Alderman devotes a great deal of time to patient consultations before surgery to make sure they understand what the breast appearance will be like after the implants are removed.  When a patient has a saline breast implant, the implant can be deflated in the office with just local anesthesia.  The fluid from the implant is removed, allowing the patient to visualize how much breast volume they have without the implant.  This is a great way to help a patient decide if she does or does not want a new implant and whether or not she wants a breast lift.  The deflation is relatively painless and takes only five to ten minutes.

Patients come to Dr. Alderman for different reasons for wanting their implants removed.  Most commonly, she hears patients say that their breast size has increased over the years due to weight gain, and they want a smaller breast appearance. In other cases, removing the implant and lifting the breast can give the patient a much more youthful appearance.

aa_showing breast anatomy (1)

The Breast Implant Removal Procedure

Removal of the breast implant is a simple procedure.  A small incision is made in the fold of the breast, which allows access to the implant and the capsule surrounding it.  The capsule is a type of scar tissue that your body creates to surround the implant.   The capsule often does not need to be removed if it is thin.  In cases of a thick capsule, both the capsule and the implant will be removed.  A drain is only placed if a thick capsule has to be removed. 

Most commonly, general anesthesia is used so that the capsule around the implant can be removed.  Usually, the procedure lasts only about an hour.  In some cases, the implant can be removed with only local anesthesia and the patient awake.  However, we find that most patients prefer the comfort of general anesthesia.

Recovery and Aesthetics after Explant Surgery in Atlanta

Many patients are satisfied with a natural breast appearance after removing their implants.  Patients tend to be happy with the decrease in volume after feeling as if they were too big.  In some cases, patients may choose to undergo a breast lift (mastopexy) at the same time.  This procedure will reduce the size of the breast by removing the implant as well as tighten the skin for a more youthful and lifted breast appearance.  These procedures are safe to perform at the same time and are often combined.

Patients experience minimal pain with implant removal and can resume most normal activities within three to five days.  Exercise limitations are gradually removed over two to three weeks after surgery. Generally, Dr. Alderman likes patients to wear a compression bra after the implant removal.  A soft, supportive sports bra provides the best compression after surgery.  After a couple of weeks, patients can transition to the bra of their choosing.

Meet Dr. Alderman

Dr. Amy Alderman is a nationally known, board-certified plastic surgeon located in Buckhead near Atlanta. As a female surgeon and mother of two children, she provides a unique perspective to patient care. Each surgical plan is individually tailored to each patient’s needs and lifestyles and is aimed at enhancing her patient’s natural beauty and restoring confidence. She is known for her personal approach to patient care and has unparalleled commitment to patient safety, which can be attributed to years of education, professional experience and involvement in national patient safety initiatives.

Meet Dr. Alderman

Can You Get Implants again after Removal?

Some patients may experience weight loss and change in their breast volume after implant removal and wish to replace them.  Although it is not that common, some patients miss the fuller volume they had with implants.   As long as a patient is still in good health and a good surgical candidate, it is safe to place implants again after removal. 

Post Explant Surgery: Breast Feeding and Mammograms

You will be able to resume normal mammogram screening about two months after surgery.  Your breast tissue can be adequately screened with the mammogram, and after two months, the discomfort should be minimal.  In reverse, when implants are placed, it is recommended that patients wait about six months before having a mammogram.  Patients should let the radiologist know that they have implants so the appropriate views are taken. 

Breast implant removal should not adversely impact your ability to breastfeed after surgery as long as there is no injury to the breast ducts during the procedure.  Most commonly, an incision is made in the fold of your breasts.  This incision is far away from the nipple ducts, and therefore, won’t interfere with future breastfeeding.

Are you dissatisfied with the result from a prior breast augmentation? Call us today to schedule a consultation to find out more about breast implant removal in Atlanta, GA with Dr. Alderman.

View Gallery

Be sure to view our Before and After Photo Gallery of Breast Implant Removal procedures to see real patient results at North Atlanta Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Alderman’s National Efforts on this Topic:

Subject Matter Expert for the FDA’s ALCL Implant PROFILE Study

Subject Matter Expert for American Society of Plastic Surgery initiative for U.S. National Breast Implant Registry

Surgical Editor, Cochrane Breast Cancer Group

American Society of Plastic Surgery Representative on the Plastic Surgery Foundation’s National Breast Implant Registry — Alderman, A. Invited

American Society of Plastic Surgery Breast Subcommittee

American Society of Plastic Surgery Patient Safety Committee

American Society of Plastic Surgery & Plastic Surgery Education Foundation Breast Surgery Task Force

Vice Chairperson, ASPS Education Aesthetic Council

The Future of Breast Augmentation: The Breast-Q in Aesthetic Breast Surgery.  2012 Atlanta Breast Symposium, Atlanta, GA

Management of Early and Late Periprosthetic Fluid Collections.  Challenging Complications in Plastic Surgery Symposium: Successful Management Strategies.  Washington, DC, July 2012.

Periprosthetic Redness/Infection: Strategies for Treatment.  Challenging Complications in Plastic Surgery Symposium: Successful Management Strategies.  Washington, DC, July 2012.

Improving Outcomes and Reoperations in Breast Augmentation Surgeries:  Minimizing Infection and Capsular Contracture. American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Oct 2012.

American Society of Plastic Surgery Presidents Panel: The PIP Crisis and International Perspectives on Implants and Registries: ASPS/PSF Vision for the National Breast Implant Registry.  American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Oct 2012.

Reconstruction Bowl: Academic vs. Private Practice.  American Society of Plastic Surgeons Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Oct 2012.

American Society of Plastic Surgery/Plastic Surgery Education Foundation’s Vision for a National Breast Implant Registry. Georgia Society of Plastic Surgery Annual Meeting, Dec 2012, Atlanta, GA.

Prevention and Management of Capsular Contracture in Breast Augmentation.  QMP Aesthetic Surgery Symposium, Nov 2013, Chicago, IL

Management of the Late Periprosthetic Fluid Collection.  ASPS Management of Complications in Plastic Surgery Symposium.  March 28-29, 2014, Chicago, IL

Management of Complications in Augmentation Mastopexy Panel: panel participant.  ASPS Management of Complications in Plastic Surgery Symposium.  March 28-29, 2014, Chicago, IL

Moderator: Fat Grafting to the Breast.  ASPS Management of Complications In Plastic Surgery Symposium.  March 28-29, 2014, Chicago, IL

Optimizing Outcomes in Breast Augmentation.  Ohio Valley Society of Plastic Surgeons, Greenbrier, West VA, June 6 – 8, 2014.

Management of Late Breast Seromas.  SESPRS 2015 Atlanta Breast Symposium, Atlanta, GA Jan 23-25, 2015.

Subpectoral Device Placement: Minimizing Complications.  Aesthetica 2015, Las Vegas April 30-May 2, 2015.

To texture or not to texture: deconstructing what we know about implant surface characteristics.  Atlanta Breast Symposium, Jan 2018.

Request a Consultation

If you’re in the Atlanta area and have any questions about a Breast Implant Removal or wish to schedule a consultation on a Breast Implant Removal with Dr. Alderman, please contact our office.

Request a Consultation

Frequently Asked Questions | Breast Implant Removal

Your breasts will initially appear deflated after having your implants removed. After two weeks, most patients start to notice a gradual improvement as their body recovers.

You have several options if you’re unhappy with the appearance of your breasts after implant removal. For example, you can choose to combine your breast implant removal with a breast lift. Most surgeons prefer to wait about six months before performing a follow-up surgery to allow the tissues to heal and settle.

A breast lift surgery will address sagging by elevating your breasts to a higher position on the chest. You may also choose to remove your implants and replace them with new ones. Implant exchange can correct postoperative complications and achieve your desired breast size and shape.

An autologous breast lift is another option for restoring volume to deflated or sagging breasts. This technique involves redistributing your existing breast tissue, moving volume that has shifted downward without necessarily adding implants. This surgery is ideal for women who feel they have ample breast size, but in the wrong location.

You can discuss all these options during your private consultation with Dr. Alderman.

Women may choose to have their implants removed due to implant complications, changes in aesthetic preferences, or medical conditions like breast implant illness. Among the most common reasons women choose to have their breast implants removed include the following.

  • Capsular contracture: A medical condition that occurs when the scar tissue formed after surgery thickens and constricts around the implants, causing discomfort.
  • Implant rupture: An implant rupture occurs when the outer shell weakens from wear and tear, causing it to break or deflate.
  • Bottoming out: This phenomenon occurs when one or both implants slip below the breast crease. It can result in physical discomfort and distorted aesthetics.
  • Changes in aesthetic or lifestyle preferences: Some women want to increase their implant size or choose to return to their pre-implant breast size and shape.

Your breast implant removal will take place while you are under general anesthesia. The procedure involves taking the implants out through the same incisions used in your original operation.

Sometimes, it’s safer to keep breast implant capsules in place. For example, if the capsules have become soft and thin, your body will naturally absorb them over time.

Since thick and hardened breast capsules can be a health risk, it’s best to remove them with a full capsulectomy, also known as en bloc removal. This technique involves the total removal of the breast capsule and implant as one comprehensive unit. It allows for minimal contamination of adjacent breast tissue and is ideal for moderate to severe cases of capsular contracture.