Explantation, or breast implant removal, is typically an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia and takes approximately two hours. The procedure involves making an incision through the skin, usually through the existing scar, and then identifying the capsule, which is scar tissue that naturally forms around the breast implant. The capsule is separated from the surrounding tissue and removed in either an en bloc fashion, with the capsule intact and the implant inside, or by total capsulectomy, which results in both the implant and capsule being completely removed from your body in one operation. Once the implant and capsule have been successfully removed, the incisions will be closed, and you will be placed in a compression bra. Drains will be put in place to prevent fluid accumulation and discourage the formation of another capsule.
En bloc and breast implant removal restores patients’ natural aesthetics but may create some changes to soft tissue. Due to skin stretching to accommodate the implant, sagging or drooping is common after implant removal. There are options to to improve cosmetic result that don’t involve implants. The first is a breast lift, which involves removing excess skin and repositioning the nipple and areola to create a perkier breast. The second is to use fat grafting to create more volume in the breast, partially replacing what was created by the implant, but with a subtler and more natural effect.