31 January 2020
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If you have had breast implants but decide you no longer want them, whether it is for medical reasons or simply because you want to change them, they can be surgically removed.
Breast implants generally have a life span of up to 15 years so it may be that you want or have been advised to have yours replaced. Other people decide they want larger or smaller breasts. On rare occasions some women suffer complications as a result of their original implants, and so they need to be replaced.
The implants, which sit either directly under the breast tissue or behind the muscle, will be removed through incisions underneath the breasts or around the nipple.
Depending on the exact type of surgery you have, further work - such as a breast uplift - may be required following the implant removal and/or replacement. This is because your breasts can lose their shape with age and the uplift procedure is often performed as part of breast enlargement.
We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see and when you want. They will be with you every step of the way: from giving advice at your first consultation, through to offering on-going support after your surgery.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals. We only work with consultant grade specialists, who are highly experienced consultants who have completed years of medical training.
All our consultants are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council, and many are also members of the UK's leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.
Cosmetic surgery can be a life enhancing decision and we’re here to help you make the right one. Our experienced cosmetic surgeons will guide you through every step of the way.
It’s important to meet with your chosen consultant before treatment so that you are completely comfortable with them and they know what you want to achieve. It’s helpful to bring in some pictures and a friend or family member to your initial meeting to help articulate your thoughts. You should also ask to see some of the surgeon's recent before and after pictures of similar operations they've performed.
This is an important decision and we're here to listen and help you achieve your goals.
If you decide to go ahead with the procedure, we'll give you at least two weeks between consultation and operation date. This is because we want you to be really happy and confident with your decision.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that surgery can be a cause of anxiety – even if it’s a relatively straightforward procedure like this one. That’s why our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.
Depending on the procedure you are having, the operation should take between 1-2 hours to complete and is carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you will be asleep throughout.
The incision is made in the same location as your first breast enlargement, to try to avoid creating any new scars. After the old implants have been removed, new ones can be inserted. The wounds will then be stitched and dressed. See our breast uplift page for details if you're having this procedure done at the same time.
After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.
You will probably experience some pain, swelling and bruising immediately after surgery. This is normal and your symptoms should start to improve over the next few weeks. You will be prescribed painkillers for after the operation. Suffering from pain could slow down your recovery, so please discuss any discomfort with your doctors or nurses.
We will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.
When you get home you’ll need to take things easy at first and it’s a good idea to sit upright as much as possible to minimise swelling. Arrange at least a week off work and you'll gradually be able to return to normal activity within four to six weeks. It’s also a good idea to wear loose clothing while your wounds heal.
Light activity will be comfortable after around two weeks but you shouldn't do anything too active - like go to the gym or do any heavy lifting - for at least a month.
Breast implant removal is usually a very successful procedure. Extra scarring is minimised but healing time will depend on your skin type, age and the efforts you make to eat healthily after the operation. Your doctor will advise you on this and the end result of the procedure.
Once you’re ready to be discharged from hospital, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home as you won’t be able to drive. You should also ask them if they can run some light errands, such as shopping and cleaning, as you won’t feel up to it at first.
Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way. Our consultants will typically want to follow up with you after your procedure to see how you are doing. A date for an appointment will be arranged for you when you leave the hospital.
On rare occasions, complications can occur following surgery. Complications include infection, which may need to be treated with additional antibiotics and sometimes further surgery. Signs of infection include pain that cannot be controlled with painkillers, swelling, oozing from wounds, fever and the breast being unusually hot to the touch. If you experience any of these symptoms – please call us straight away.
We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns about your recovery, we're ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
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