Summary: When can you get your breast implants removed? You might ask this question even before you undergo a breast augmentation procedure, just to make sure you have a clear idea on the timelines for everything. But it’s also a question that you can ask at any point after your breast augmentation procedure.
When Can You Get Your Breast Implants Removed?
If you’ve had them for a while, you might start wondering when you can get your breast implants removed. Now, you might not be wondering that for any particular reason. It’s not necessarily that your breast implants are giving you problems. But they do have a finite lifespan. Even the best silicone breast implants will have a shelf life of some kind, usually recommended by the FDA.
So many patients are already thinking about when they should get their breast implants removed, not necessarily when they want to. There are several ways that patients can deal with their implants when the time comes, but it usually boils down to one of two decisions: replacing the implants or removing the implants.
That decision is usually pretty personal and will depend almost entirely on your own preferences. After all, who better to have control over how you’ll look once your procedure is finished than, well, you. And that holds true whether you’re undergoing your first breast augmentation procedure or you’re getting your implants removed. When can you get your breast implants removed? It depends on your breast augmentation surgery and what you want your results to look like.
Timing of Breast Implant Removal
Most breast augmentation surgery patients have a fairly specific goal in mind: they want larger breasts. Sometimes they’re trying to even out some asymmetry. In other cases, they’re trying to improve the proportions between their hips and their bust. And in still other cases, patients simply feel as though larger breasts more accurately reflect who they are.
Breast augmentation is most commonly accomplished with the help of silicone breast implants. In some cases, saline implants are used, but they are much less common. (Silicone is usually the default, unless a patient has a preference or need for saline.) The FDA generally gives silicone implants–including modern “gummy bear” implants–a shelf life of roughly 15 years or so.
That shelf life does come with a couple of caveats. First and foremost, most surgeons won’t feel an urgency to remove the implant until it starts to show signs of wear or something goes wrong. So it’s not uncommon for patients to keep their implants for longer than fifteen years. Second, that shelf life can vary–so make sure you talk to your surgeon about how long your breast implants are rated to last.
Motivations for Breast Implant Removal
Just as with any other plastic surgery procedure, the motivations behind breast implant removal or revision procedures vary considerably. Generally speaking, patients will often be motivated by some combination of the following:
- The desire to decrease the size of their implants. Often, as patients age, they feel that larger implant sizes no longer reflect who they are as a person.
- A rupture of an implant has made replacement necessary. When silicone implants rupture, there are almost no symptoms. Saline ruptures tend to deflate the breast, requiring a faster response.
- Defects with implants (especially those for breast augmentation procedures which were performed overseas) may arise and force patients to make a change.
- Patients may simply decide that breast implants no longer reflect how they feel about themselves.
There are plenty of reasons why patients would be motivated to make a change–and not all of those motivations are tied to the shelf life of the implants themselves. In those cases, it’s important that patients have discussions with their surgeons in order to decide on timing.
Timing of Breast Implant Removal
Your body usually heals pretty quickly after a breast implant removal procedure–at least as quickly as it did during your breast augmentation procedure. Patients typically have two options:
- Breast implant revision will replace the implants
- Breast explant procedure will remove the implants
In the case of a breast explant procedure, breast will return to their original, pre-augmentation size over the course of a few weeks. Breast implant revision patients may experience a slightly faster recovery period, but that’s only because the new implants will be taking advantage of pockets created by the old ones.
Whatever your desire–whether you wish to remove or replace your breast implants–it’s incredibly important that you have fully transparent discussions with your plastic surgeon about your desires. If you’re wondering, when can you get your breast implants removed, then ask about that question. You can always store that information away for later.
About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about plastic and cosmetic surgery for nearly four years. As a marketer, he’s constantly in communication with surgeons, helping to communicate the latest and most up to date information possible.