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Can Breast Implants be Removed Permanently?

January 15th, 2013 Miguel A. Delgado Jr, MD

Bilateral Capsular Contracture

Over 5 million women have breast implants, nearly 400,000 women have breast augmentation surgery annually. There are about 40,000 women a year that have their breast implants removed permanently, there are several reasons women may decide to do this. They may have a rupture or deflation, financial concerns; they may be prone to capsular contracture or breast cancer, or maybe a change in lifestyle.

As with any surgery there are risks and complications, they may be left with loose skin, sagging breasts, infection, scarring, loss of sensation in the nipples, anesthesia complications.

Insurance may cover the removal if it is being done for a medical reason such as, infection, leakage or cancer. Removal of breast implants requires removal of the capsules to prevent them from filling with fluid.

When implants are removed, the breast is left with no volume and may be quite droopy. The skin may have lost its elasticity and not contract well if at all, looking somewhat like a deflated balloon. Many women opt to have a breast lift after implant removal.

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