Breast Implant Removal | Explant Surgery

The goal of breast implant removal surgery is to remove breast implants and any scar tissue that formed around the implants.

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Dr. Laliberte is a Royal College of Canada trained specialist in surgical procedures of the breast. His artistic and highly technical approach produces natural results tailored to enhance and complement your specific frame, goals and circumstances. At Radiance Plastic Surgery Dr. Laliberte performs over 200 breast procedures per year.

Getting breast implants is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures, however, not all patients wish to keep their implants due to varying circumstances. Having a breast implant removal (explantation) allows our patients to revert to their natural, pre-implant state.

This operation can be combined with removing the scar tissue that has formed around the implant (partial or total capsulectomy), a breast lift (mastopexy) procedure to take away the excess skin that may have developed to give room for the implants, repeat breast augmentation or fat grafting to transfer fat from another area of the body to make up some of the volume that is lost from removing your implants.

What is Breast Implant | Explant removal surgery?

The goal of breast implant removal surgery is to remove breast implants from breast augmentation or breast reconstruction patients. During these procedures, the surgeon may also remove silicone material from implant leaks and the breast capsule, which is the scar tissue that formes after the placement of a breast implant.

During breast implant removal (explantation) surgery, the silicone or saline device is removed from the breast through a small incision in the fold under the breast. A small portion of the scar tissue around the implant at the lower breast is also removed at this time and sent for pathologic examination.  This is called a partial capsulectomy.

If no further procedures are planned a drain is placed in the empty pocket to help remove any fluid build-up and the chest is wrapped with a tensor bandage to provide compression.

Breast implants are not lifelong devices and it is important to have them exchanged or removed approximately every 10-15 years. This decision is typically based on the individual and the patient’s needs and desires.

Am I a good candidate for Breast Implant Removal?

Breast implant removal surgery is a highly individualized procedure. It should be performed if you have capsular contracture (hardening of the breast), pain with implants, imaging has shown a leak of the capsule and/or if you no longer desire implants or wish to exchange them.

In general, you may be a good candidate for breast implant removal if:

  • You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
  • You have realistic expectations
  • You are a nonsmoker
  • You are bothered by the appearance of your implants
  • You have experienced discomfort or pain
  • You feel your breasts are too heavy
  • You are starting to feel your breast scar tissue is getting harder or tighter
  • Imaging suggests a leak or rupture of implants
  • You have experienced a rupture or leak of implants

How Much Does Breast Implant Removal | Breast Explant Cost?

Each of our patient’s cases is unique, however, the average cost for Breast Implant Removal can range anywhere from $5,500 and upwards. This is dependent on if contouring to the breast shape is required due to the loss of volume from the implant, such as a breast lift.

More information on Fees and Financing Options

What should I expect during a consultation?

During your breast implant removal consultation be prepared to discuss:

  • Your surgical goals
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use
  • Previous surgeries – bring previous records if possible

Dr. Laliberte will also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Examine your breasts
  • Take photographs
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of breast implant removal surgery and any risks or potential complications

Do I need a Total Capsulectomy?

A total capsulectomy procedure involves the removal of the entire breast capsule which is scar tissue that forms around the implant. If the capsule has hardened and is causing pain or discomfort, then it is best for it to be removed. This is done through a larger inframammary fold incision (under the breast) or through breast lift incisions.

Do I need a Lift (Mastopexy) or Fat Grafting?

There are many factors that are considered in deciding to perform a breast lift at the time or breast implant removal.  These will be individually considered for you during your consultation with Dr. Laliberte.  Generally, patients that have had their implants for many years, have large implants or have drooping of the breasts are good candidates. Also patients interested in total capsulectomy are good candidates as the breast lift incisions allow improved access to the implant and capsule.

Some patients who are interested in restoring some of their lost volume at the time of the explant surgery opt to have fat grafting to the breasts.  This is achieved by harvesting fat with liposuction from other areas of the body and injecting this fat into the breasts after a purification step.  Only a small amount of fat will fit into the natural breast during the procedure so a small augmentation such as a single cup size is the usual expected outcome.  This type of augmentation can be performed repeatedly to slowly build and increase the size of the breasts.

Will my surgery be covered under my Provincial Health Plan?

Dr. Laliberte performs medically necessary explantation and total capsulectomy covered under provincial health plans for patients with severe capsular contracture (Grade 3 and 4) as determined at the time of your consultation. If you do not meet these criteria but are still interested in total capsulectomy the associated fees will be discussed with you at the time of your consultation.  Additional breast lift, augmentation, or fat grafting procedures are not covered under provincial health plans.

How should I prepare for breast implant removal?

In preparing for breast implant removal, you may be asked to:

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding

What are the steps of a breast implant removal procedure?

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Dr. Laliberte and an anesthesiologist will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – The incision

A breast implant removal requires an incision to be placed along the lower fold of your breast (the inframammary fold) or an incision around or below the areola.

Step 3 – The operation

This will depend on your particular surgery and your surgeon. Often, the breast capsules and implants are removed using a combination of techniques.

Step 4 – Closing the incisions

Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the skin incisions.

What should I expect during my breast implant removal recovery?

Following your breast implant removal surgery, gauze dressings or bandages and you may have drains. You may be placed in a support bra or surgical garment, and there are times that a compression garment may be used to minimize swelling following surgery.

After your procedure, you may need to have drains, which are small, thin tubes temporarily placed under the skin within the pocket to drain any excess blood or serous fluid that may collect.

What results should I expect after breast implant removal?

The final results of breast implant removal surgery will depend largely on the size of the implants being removed and the quantity and quality of the breast tissue that is left. The scar tissue that was surrounding your implants also will play a large role in your overall outcome. Swelling and postoperative changes will also need time prior to the final results. Healing can take up to one year before the final results are visible.

What Is Breast Implant Illness?

Breast implant illness (BII) is a term that is used to refer to a wide range of symptoms that can develop after undergoing breast reconstruction or cosmetic augmentation with breast implants. It is also sometimes referred to as autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA). BII can occur with any type of breast implant, including silicone gel-filled, saline-filled, smooth surface, textured surface, round, or teardrop-shaped.

BII impacts each individual in a unique way. Symptoms can include:

  • joint and muscle pain
  • chronic fatigue
  • memory and concentration problems
  • breathing problems
  • sleep disturbance
  • rashes and skin problems
  • dry mouth and dry eyes
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • headaches
  • hair loss
  • gastrointestinal problems

The symptoms can appear any time after implant surgery.  Some people develop symptoms immediately, while some develop them years later.  In many, but not all cases, surgery to remove the breast implants and capsule improves or resolves the BII symptoms.

How does explantation for patients with symptoms of Breast Implant Illness differ?

Patients with symptoms of Breast Implant Illness have expressed unique needs that we address with their explantation procedure.

  • When Dr. Laliberte performs explantation with total capsulectomy for BII patients an attempt is made to remove the entire capsule in one piece, intact around the implant.  This is called “En-Bloc” total capsulectomy.  This type of removal is not guaranteed and is more difficult if your implants are placed under the muscle due to the capsule being tightly adherent to the ribs.  Whether en-bloc is achieved or not, the entire capsule is removed every time.
  • Photographs are also provided from the pre and post-operative visits as well as intra-operative photos of the implants and capsules.
  • Dr. Laliberte performs swabs for bacterial and fungal infections at the time of surgery and washes the inside of the breast with 3 different antibiotics to ensure you are returned to your natural state.
  • All photographs, laboratory and operative reports are given to you at your follow-up visit on a secured USB key.
  • Patients that request to have their implants returned can pick these up in Calgary after they are examined by pathology approximately 6 weeks after surgery.
[cq_vc_accordion contentcolor=”#7f7f7f” title=”BREAT IMPLANT REMOVAL / EXPLANTATION – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS” titlecolor=”#0a0a0a”][cq_vc_accordion_item accordiontitle=”How Will My Breasts Look After A Breast Implant Removal Procedure?”]After you’ve had your breast implants removed, the breasts will initially look flattened. It can take two to three weeks for the breasts to get their volume back. If you’ve additionally had a breast lift after the breast explant surgery, your breasts will not have a deflated appearance. Dr. Laliberte will sit down with you during your initial consultation and will be able to give you a more realistic expectation of how you’ll look without the implants in.[/cq_vc_accordion_item][cq_vc_accordion_item accordiontitle=”Will The Removal Of Breast Implants Leave A Permanent Scar?”]The incisions are placed in inconspicuous areas to prevent visible scarring, and commonly, Dr. Laliberte can use the same incision from the breast augmentation procedure to prevent having to add an additional scar. If a new incision is placed, it will either be under the breast along the inframammary fold or around the areola where changes in skin pigmentation will make the scar less noticeable.[/cq_vc_accordion_item][cq_vc_accordion_item accordiontitle=”How Long Does A Breast Implant Removal Procedure Take?”]The procedure itself will typically take one to three hours, depending on if there was leak, rupture, or excess scar tissue. Following the procedure, you’ll have a few hours of recovery time as the anesthesia wears off.[/cq_vc_accordion_item][cq_vc_accordion_item accordiontitle=”Are There Any Potential Complications From A Breast Implant Removal Procedure?”]Removing breast implants is a very safe procedure with minimal risk of complications. The most common complications include infection, pain, hematoma, and unsightly scars. Dr. Laliberte and our healthcare team will discuss complications and address any concerns at your consultation.[/cq_vc_accordion_item][/cq_vc_accordion]

Meet Dr. Michael C. Laliberte

MD, FRCSC

Canadian Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Having operated alongside word-class surgeons throughout North and South America, Dr. Laliberte brings to the Canadian Rockies a practice that encompasses the breadth of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Michael Laliberte is extensively trained in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive surgery. After completing undergraduate and medical school at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Laliberte specialized in Plastic Surgery at the University of Manitoba.

  • “Recently had surgery. My experience with Dr. Michael Laliberte was fantastic! Amazingly skilled, friendly medical professional and a great guy! Thank you!”

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  • I had my hand reattached above the wrist after an industrial accident and have never met such a dedicated and friendlier individual. He must work 20 hours a day. Sask will miss his talents.

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  • Dr. Laliberte was amazing! He fixed my finger. He was very realistic & down to earth. He made me feel comfortable. He answered all my questions. 5 stars all the way !!

  • Recent breast lift in January 2016. Found Dr. Laliberte to be professional and very approachable. answered all my questions, and properly discussed procedure risks. highly recommend.

  • Dr. Laliberte performed a breast reduction on me and I’m so thrilled with the results. He was fantastic in every way. He made my breasts significantly smaller and gave them a beautiful shape and lift. I would highly recommend Dr. Laliberte!

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  • He made me feel important and cared about no matter my age. He did an amazing reconstruction from a very difficult structure.

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  • Very punctual and surgery to excise cancerous growth was masterfully done. Ultra-prompt turnaround may have saved my life.

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  • I highly recommend Dr. Laliberte… I found him to be a very professional, honest, skilled, meticulous and compassionate surgeon.

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  • Dr. Laliberte was very impressive. He comes across as a genius. He is also a straight shooter, so if you can’t handle someone telling you the truth, maybe keep looking.

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  • Recently had surgery. My experience with Dr. Michael Laliberte was fantastic! Amazingly skilled, friendly medical professional and a great guy! Thank you!

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