Undertaking breast augmentation can be life changing for women with small breasts, however, there may come a time when you feel it is time for a change.  Breast implants are not for everyone, so if you feel the implants are impeding your day to day life it is time to look at having them removed.  If your breast implants have been in for a lengthy period of time, then perhaps some form of reconstruction may be required. Besides removing the implants, some options are removal with replacement, or removal and breast lift or reduction.

The decision to remove your breast implants is entirely personal and together we work out the right pathway for you.

Dr Alastair Taylor FRACS

Tell me about...

  • What is involved in removal of breast implants?
  • Can you tell me about removal with a breast lift or reduction?
  • Can you tell me about removal and replacement of breast implants?

What is involved in removal of breast implants?

There are many reasons why women may want to remove their breast implants. It may be your implants feel harder and uncomfortable, have ruptured or your breasts may have enlarged through menopause.

In recent years there has been a rise in women feeling their breast implants have caused the body’s immune system to weaken resulting in “breast implant illness”. Whilst there have been no conclusive studies to confirm this finding, we certainly have had patients testify an improvement in their overall health after their implants have been removed.

If you are concerned about Breast Implant Associated ALCL, please find further information from Dr Taylor here.

The surgery involves re-excision of the original scar, made slightly longer, removing the implant and all of the scar capsule the body had formed around the implant. Many patients request the scar capsule is removed intact with the implant still inside, an “en bloc” removal. This can be technically impossible as modern implants can be surrounded by a very thin scar capsule also stuck to the ribs and pectoral muscle. It is also important to note attempting ‘en-bloc’ removal requires a much longer incision and the resulting scar may be visible following implant removal.

The breast implant removal is performed under general anaesthetic and an overnight stay is required. You will require 2 weeks off work and up to 6 weeks before returning to normal activity. You have to wear a compression garment after your operation, to minimize swelling and to support your operation site as it heals.

Can you tell me about removal with a breast lift or reduction?

Whatever the reason, removal of breast implants can create an appearance of excess skin or even indents where an implant has eroded the breast material. In this instance Dr Taylor will recommend a breast lift (mastopexy) or breast reduction (mammoplasty) to excise the excess skin and reshape the breast to create a firmer, higher breast with a more pleasing contour. You can learn more about our breast reduction procedures here.

Can you tell me about removal and replacement of breast implants?

Breast augmentation has been around since the mid 1960s. In our practice, we have seen many women who have had the very first breast augmentations in Australia and their implants have lasted them 20 to 30 years.

Compared to modern implants, the original implants used were not fantastic and have often left women with very hard, deformed balls for breasts. Newer styles of breast implants are designed to provide years of soft, natural shape, however, there are no guarantees they will last forever and there are reasons women will need to have surgery again in the future to replace them.

Implants can rupture, become hard and uncomfortable (capsular contracture), displace or suffer sudden fluid collections (seroma) and need to be removed and replaced. This operation is performed through the original scar made slightly longer. It may be necessary to support the new implant internally with suturing or even scaffolding. A breast lift may also be required if the implants were in place prior to pregnancy and breast feeding.

Whatever the reason for replacement, remember every time your breasts are operated on it becomes harder for the surgeon to achieve a natural look.

It is very important to note if your initial surgery was performed for cosmetic reasons, removing and replacing the implants for any medical reason is no longer rebatable on Medicare or a private health fund.

Essential Information

Before Surgery

Call the Clinic

Book an Appointment with Dr Taylor

Consultation

Meet with Dr Taylor and Patient Co-ordinator

Booking Surgery

Arrange Surgery and Presurgery Appointments

Pre-surgery Appointment

Meet with Dr Taylor's Nurses regarding your hospital admission

Admission to Hospital

Surgery performed under General Anaesthetic, Overnight Stay

After Surgery

Discharge from Hospital

Pressure Garment worn 24 hours a day

2 Week Suture Removal

Appointment with Sole'vita nurses, Garment worn only during the day, Return to walking

6 Weeks

Appointment with Dr Taylor, Remove Pressure Garment, Resume Normal Activities

6 Months

Final Post-op Appointment with Dr Taylor

Breast implants are not for everyone, so if you feel the implants are impeding your day to day life it is time to look at having them removed. This decision is entirely personal and together we work out the right pathway for you.

Dr Alastair Taylor

Want to Know More?

Your breast implant removal surgery will be performed at our private hospital, Sole’vita Surgery, a licensed medical hospital accredited under the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. Sole’ vita Surgery is part of The CAPS Clinic, with all services conveniently based in the one location in Deakin, Canberra.

Our facilities include modern surgical theatres, sterilisation services and recovery areas. Our overnight rooms feature flexible privacy glass-panelling and a personal ensuite.

All of the Sole’ vita team are fully qualified and registered medical personnel, with no more than 5 patients staying at once, our patient-to-nursing-care ratio is the best in Australia.

Dr Alastair Taylor (MBBS, FRACS) is a highly qualified, leading plastic surgeon with over 20 years experience in plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, including breast, body, and facial rejuvenation surgery. Dr Taylor qualified as a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in 1998. He holds a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS). Learn more about Dr Taylor.

Dr Taylor leads a dedicated team of qualified health care professionals, including anaesthetic staff and nurses, who work in the Sole’vita Surgery private hospital. His team have built a reputation for quality and are committed to achieving results for our clients whilst providing personalised care, with your safety, privacy and comfort at the forefront of all work.

Breast implant removal is considered a cosmetic procedure, and does not attract any Medicare, health fund or tax rebates. If breast implants are removed and not replaced for a medical reason, there is a Medicare Item Number.

Fees include Dr Taylor Surgeons fee, Anaesthetist fee, Theatre and the Overnight Stay in Hospital costs.

To receive a formal quote you are required to have a consultation with Dr Taylor. The quote for the cost of your surgery is valid for 3 months. Some fees may not be included in this quote, including medications, pathology, physiotherapy and costs arising from any complications. Further information will be provided to you during your consultation.

Dr Taylor’s fee includes:

  • All pre and post operative care for up to 6 months
  • Access to our 24 hours support line
  • Pre-surgery appointment with Dr Taylor’s nurse
  • Pre-surgery kit (information, vitamins, herbal products, surgical bag)
  • Post Surgical Kit (information, products to aid recovery)
  • Scar Management Program
  • One Surgical Garment

ANY SURGICAL OR INVASIVE PROCEDURE CARRIES RISKS. BEFORE PROCEEDING, YOU SHOULD SEEK A SECOND OPINION FROM AN APPROPRIATELY QUALIFIED HEALTH PRACTITIONER (EG. YOUR GP).

Dr Taylor will discuss the general and specific risks during your consultation, where you can ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have. Is it important that you have enough information to weigh up the benefits, risks and limitations of your surgery. You will also be provided with more information to take home and read, and discuss with your family or loved ones.

Risks specifically associated with breast implant removal surgery may include:

  • Scars may remain red and raised for several months to one year. Ideally, the reduction wounds heal as thin white seams. Scar management is a part of our support we offer to our patients.

Some general risks and complications of surgery may include:

  • Risks associated with general anaesthesia, including nausea. Anti-nausea medication will be administered during the operation, and as required during your recovery. Your anaesthetist will discuss specific risks related to anaesthesia with you further.
  • Pain, bruising and swelling around the incisions and operated site(s). Pain relief will be administered and steps taken to reduce bruising and swelling, including how you can manage this yourself.
  • Heavy bleeding from an operated site. In the unlikely event that blood loss during surgery has been large, a transfusion may be needed. Steps are taken during your procedure to limit bleeding. You may also be asked to reduce or stop certain medications leading up to your surgery.
  • Infection that may require treatment with antibiotics or further surgery in some cases. Antibiotics are administered during the operation to prevent this as much as possible, and wound care instructions provided before your discharge.
  • Allergic reaction to sutures, dressings, antiseptic solutions, or medications. Please notify Dr Taylor and the nursing staff of any known allergies that you may have.
  • The formation of a large blood clot, or haematoma, an accumulation of blood around the surgical site that may require drainage. It is rare that a clot can move to the lungs and become life threatening.
  • Keloids and hypertrophic scars that are raised, red and thickened scars that may form over the healed incisions. These may be itchy, annoying and unsightly but are not a threat to health.
  • Slow healing (often related to smoking or diabetes), separation of wound edges or areas of skin that do not heal and may require a skin graft.
  • Numbness around operated sites. While numbness typically subsides slowly over several months, some numbness may be permanent.

To help you prepare for your surgery and enhance your recovery, we offer you a pre-surgery program to start 4 to 6 weeks prior to your surgery. This includes taking a multivitamin to aid recovery and get you back on your feet faster.  We also recommend an effective herbal medication to reduce the bruising and swelling associated with your surgery. You will also need to stop certain medications leading up to your surgery and we recommend ceasing smoking six weeks prior.

Planning for your surgery and your recovery in advance is vital. Understanding what you can and cannot do will ensure you are not put in a position where you put yourself or the success of your surgery at risk.  All this will depend on your personal situation.

Dr Taylor insists you refrain from any major or minor physical duties and take two weeks off work. You will be provided with a discreet medical certificate to accommodate any time required off work.

On discharge from Sole’vita Surgery we recommend:

  • You have someone drive you home.
  • You have someone with you for the first day at home.
  • Do not drive a car for five days postoperatively.
  • Ensure you can rest for two weeks, getting as much sleep as possible.
  • Do not undertake activities including physical exercise, contact sport or sexual activities for six weeks post surgery.
  • Do not leave Canberra prior to staples or sutures being removed.
  • Do not fly internationally during the six week postoperative period.

 

After your operation, you will have dressings in place and may have drains, which are removed on the day of discharge. You will also be placed in a very tight fitting compression garment. This garment is worn 24 hours a day (excluding showering) for the first two weeks and then during the day for another 4 weeks.

You will stay overnight in our Sole’vita Surgery private hospital. Dr Taylor will check on your recovery the next day, and our nursing staff will assist with your discharge, including wound care and management of your dressings, prescriptions for medications, and follow up appointments.

Bruising and swelling from the surgery is to be expected, and there will be discomfort. Taking regular oral pain medication can assist you to be more comfortable, and steps are taken to reduce bruising and swelling.

You are encouraged to take 2 weeks off work and plan not to be back to normal routine and activity for at least 6 weeks.

Two weeks after your surgery, you will come to Sole’vita Surgery to have your sutures removed and your wounds checked by one of our nurses. You will have follow up appointments with Dr Taylor at both the 6 week and 6 month stage of your journey.

 

Book your personal consultation

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