Breast Implant Removal & Exchange – Watch And Learn!

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries, ranging from silicone implants to saline implants to fat transfer to the breasts. Women have a variety of reasons as to why they choose to receive breast implants, with the most common being dissatisfaction with their breast size. So why do some women want to remove breast implants? Learn more about breast implant removal and implant exchange and see the procedure performed by a top board-certified Orange County plastic surgeon and body contouring specialist! 

Why remove breast implants? 

There can be numerous reasons as to why a patient may want or need to remove their breast implants. To help make things easier, we made a list of them below:

Breast Implant Hardening

Some women may develop capsular contracture, most notably a hardened scar tissue around one or both of the implants. Symptoms may include tightness, tenderness and abnormal changes to the breast. Hardening can occur more than once on the same breast.

Saline Breast Implant Rupture

A saline rupture will likely occur because of a tear or hole in the implant. Once this happens, the implant will usually slowly deflate in size and shape. This can occur over a period of time or all at once. The rupture may not be noticeable until all of the saline leaks out and you begin to notice a dramatic difference compared to your other breast.

Silicone Breast Implant Rupture

Silicone implant ruptures can go unnoticed because of the thickness of the silicone gel. If a silicone implant does rupture, the gel will more than likely stay inside the implant or surrounding scar tissue. The majority of women with silicone implants do not experience symptoms. However, if they do, symptoms may include decreased breast size, uneven appearance of the breasts, tenderness, changes in sensation, etc. 

Desire to Increase or Decrease Size 

Aesthetic trends and personal body goals tend to shift over time. When implants were first popularized there was a tendency for patients to desire a much larger bosom. More recently, smaller breasts have become “fashionable”. Regardless of outside forces, many women find themselves desiring a change in breast size several years after receiving their initial implants. Some find that their first implants didn’t amplify their breasts enough, while others hope to find a subtler and slightly smaller fit. 

Newer procedures, such as fat transfers or fat grafting, are also giving patients an alternative to implants altogether. These treatments enable patients to maintain some volume while still removing their original implants. While the overall results of fat transfers aren’t as pronounced as traditional breast augmentations, they often provide a more natural look and feel. 

It Simply May Be Time 

Nothing lasts forever. No matter the type or size of your implants, they eventually need to be replaced. It’s generally a good idea to remove and replace implants after 10-20 years, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation. Some women end up never needing replacements, while the majority get their breasts redone after a decade or so. According to the FDA, roughly 20% of women find they need replacements around the 8-10 year mark, usually due to unforeseen complications or aesthetic concerns. 

Allergan Breast Implant Recall

On July 24, 2019, Allergan announced a recall of Biocell textured breast implants and tissue expanders at the behest of the FDA. Allergan textured implants were recalled after anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) was linked to textured breast implants, although the risk of developing ALCL was shown to be relatively low. As of this August, 573 cases of BIA-ALCL (Breast implant-associated ALCL) have been reported, with 481 of those cases involving Allergan’s Biocell textured implants. 

The FDA has stated that patients who are not experiencing symptoms do not need to have their implants removed, even if they have the Allergan implants in question. Despite the number of cases at present and the 33 reported deaths from BIA-ALCL, the risk of contracting this illness is statistically very low. Still, many women are finding peace of mind by deciding to remove their implants (textured or not) regardless of their risk for illness or complications. Each woman’s individual situation is unique and that’s why it’s important to know your options and be informed to make the best decision for yourself. 

What does breast implant removal involve?

When considering breast implant removal, it is very important to know that the procedure should be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who is skilled and trained in cosmetic breast surgery. During the removal process, the implants can be removed altogether, replaced with new implants, or replaced by fat transfer. They’re frequently removed by the same incisions used for the initial procedure to avoid any additional scarring.  In some cases, patients may require a breast lift during the procedure. 

Watch: Removal of textured breast implants 

In this video, board-certified plastic surgeon and body contouring specialist, Dr. Burr von Maur, provides a detailed look at a breast implant removal and replacement procedure. The patient receiving this surgery wanted new, larger implants. Prior to the surgery, Dr. Burr von Maur consulted with this patient at CosmetiCare’s Newport Beach offices and ensured that she understood all of her options for achieving her unique aesthetic goals. With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Burr von Maur is a highly sought after plastic surgery expert that places patient safety as the utmost priority. 


If you have any questions or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss implant exchange or removal, call us at (949) 386-2773 or click here.

Back to Blog
Contact us media

© CosmetiCare. All Rights Reserved.

Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at (949) 718-6900.
Contact Us