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Breast Implant Removal

Breast augmentation (also called breast implant surgery) uses silicone or saline implants to increase breast volume. Breast implants do not last a lifetime and must be replaced at some point. We do not recommend removal unless the device has failed or has evidence of a problem. A board-certified plastic surgeon should perform breast implant removal surgery. If you want to remove or replace your implants, the plastic surgeons at Arkansas Plastic Surgery in Little Rock can help. Dr. David Bauer and Dr. Zachary Young are extremely skilled in breast augmentation removal and breast implant replacement. With their extensive training and experience, they have helped countless women achieve the look they desire. Schedule your consultation today to get started!

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If you have undergone breast augmentation, there are a number of reasons you may be considering breast implant removal.

  • Your implant is leaking or ruptured – Sometimes, the outside shell of a breast implant can break down, causing silicone or saline to leak. This can cause a distorted appearance and other symptoms. For your general health and well-being, a leaking or ruptured implant should be removed/replaced.
  • You are unhappy with your results – Your implants can appear to be sitting unnaturally high if the capsular contracture distorts the implant position or if the breast tissue is sagging or cascading off the implant. Your implants can also bottom out. This happens when there is poor tissue elasticity, allowing the implant to fall lower on the chest wall. If you do not like the appearance of your implants, having our experts remove and replace them is an option.
  • There is asymmetry – Asymmetry may occur when one implant heals differently from the other one. Getting breast implants removed and replaced can correct the asymmetrical results (but remember, breasts are often “sisters, not twins”).
  • You are experiencing pain – Capsular contracture is when the body reacts to a breast implant in a way that can distort the shape of the breast and cause pain. It may require a capsulectomy or capsulotomy to release the tightness from the scar tissue. A capsulectomy is when all or part of the capsule is removed from your breast and the implant is replaced. A capsulotomy is when the capsule is partially removed or released.
  • You experienced changes in your breasts – Your breast implants may appear to look unnatural on your body after changes that affect your breasts such as pregnancy, weight loss or gain, or just aging in general.
  • You wish to change the type of implants you have – You may want to switch from saline to silicone or a different style of implant.

While the majority of breast implant removal is done to replace implants that are reaching the end of their lifespan with new ones, our plastic surgeons also work to change or improve the appearance of the breasts while updating the implant material. This may include increasing or decreasing the size of the implants and reshaping the breast implant pocket to reposition the implant on the chest, as well as include a lift or reduction.


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Following your breast augmentation, gauze dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions. You will be placed in a support bra or other type of garment. You will be given specific instructions for how to care for your surgical site(s), medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection. You will also be given a list of specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

The final results of breast implant replacement will be initially obscured by swelling. Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling decreases. Healing time is different for everyone and sometimes it can take longer for the breasts to soften, for normal sensation to return, or for scars to fade.

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How do I know if breast implant replacement is right for me?

You might be a good candidate for breast implant removal and replacement if…

  • You are concerned about the integrity or condition of your implants
  • You are unhappy with the size, shape, or appearance of your breast implants
  • You are in good health
  • You have a positive attitude and realistic expectations

How often should breast implants be replaced?

Breast implants typically have a lifespan of about 10-15 years, but they may last 30-40 years. We do not recommend replacement unless the device has failed, or you have other concerns you wish to change.

Will insurance pay for breast implant removal?

Most health insurance policies usually do not cover cosmetic surgery or complications from cosmetic surgery. However, many policies have exceptions for complications from breast implants under certain circumstances that they consider “medically necessary” or “reconstructive surgery.”

The benefits paid by insurance companies for surgery vary greatly from carrier to carrier and plan to plan, so it is best to check with your health insurance provider. However, cosmetic augmentation-related surgeries are rarely, if ever, covered by insurance.

How much does it cost to replace breast implants?

The cost of breast implant replacement varies based on patient needs and implant choice. Schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified doctors to learn more about the breast removal procedure and the costs associated with it. There are various payment options for breast implant removal surgery, including financing plans, credit cards, cash, or check.

How long does breast implant removal surgery take?

Breast implant removal usually takes between one to three hours. For your comfort and safety, you will be asleep under general anesthesia for this outpatient procedure. Because of this, you will need to arrange for someone to pick you up from surgery.

Is breast implant removal painful?

It is normal to experience some pain, discomfort, and swelling after breast implant removal. You can also expect it to be difficult to move your arms and upper body around as you normally do for a few days. While the healing process can vary, recovery from breast implant removal surgery typically takes several weeks.


Whether you are unhappy with your implants or are due for an implant replacement, it is important to choose an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your breast augmentation removal. For over 20 years, Arkansas Plastic Surgery has served the central Arkansas region and you can trust us to effectively meet your needs. Begin your breast implant removal discussion with our experts today!


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We are here to help!