What is Breast Implant Removal Surgery?

Breast implant removal, also known as explantation, is the surgical removal of breast implants from the body. The breast implant removal surgery may also include the removal of the silicone material from implant leaks and removal of the breast capsule, which is the scar tissue that forms around the breast implant after placement.

Reasons for removing breast implants

There are several reasons for breast implant removal, the most common reasons are:

  • Complications, such as capsular contracture or implant rupture
  • Silicone implants being a possible source of health problems
  • Medical necessity; when a patient is undergoing breast cancer treatment
  • Not being satisfied with how implants look, due to asymmetry or size
  • Infection, due to bacterial proliferation
  • Rupture, where the saline solution or silicone gel that fills the implant leaks into the surrounding tissues
  • Extrusion, where the implant pushes through the skin leading to skin erosion
  • Capsular contracture – causes implants to feel hard and look asymmetrical
  • Change of mind or lifestyle

Lately, data is being collected to determine whether or not there is a link between a rare cancer of the immune system called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma and breast implants, particularly implants that have a textured surface.

You may choose to remove your Breast Implants due to Rupturing, Rippling, Capsular Contracture, Double Bubble, or simply because you no longer like the look or size of your breast enhancement

Breast implant removal is an appropriate option as long as it is what you really want and the surgery can be performed safely. If you want to have your breast implants removed, be sure to choose a specialist plastic surgeon who is an expert in breast implant removal procedure.

Are you a suitable candidate for breast implant removal surgery?

You may be a good candidate for breast implant removal if:

  • You are physically healthy
  • You are a nonsmoker
  • You are unsatisfied with the look of your implants
  • You are experiencing pain or discomfort
  • You feel that your breasts are too heavy
  • You have capsular contracture
  • You have a rupture or leak of implants

Browse Before & After Images

Recovery after breast implant removal

Post-operative discomfort is typically within the first 24-48 hours, then gradually improves with time.  By the end of the first 2 weeks, you would probably start to feel almost normal and can resume full activities by 4-6 weeks post-op. If you have had ‘en bloc capsulectomy’ or your breast implants removed due to capsular contracture, there will be more discomfort and the recovery time will be longer.

After your breast implant removal surgery, you will have gauze dressings, bandages and you may also have drains.

Drains are small, thin tubes temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or serous fluid that may collect.

There are times that a compression garment or support bra may be used to minimize swelling following surgery.

You will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • Avoiding certain activities; such as exercising and heavy lifting.
  • Wearing compression garments.
  • Taking pain medication as prescribed.
  • Care instructions for your surgical site(s)
  • Medications to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection
  • The follow-up visits scheduled with your plastic surgeon

Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling decreases. Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling decreases. The scars will fade, however, they will not disappear completely. It is important to regularly attend your scheduled post-operative follow-up visits.

What are the risks and complications of breast implant removal surgery?

When a Specialized Plastic Surgeon performs breast implant removal surgery, the complications and risks will be minimal.  It is important to note that risks and complications can include:

  • Breast sensation becomes less sensitive which may last up to six months.
  • Development of thick, red, and painful scars which may last for a few years.
  • Numbness of the breast area.
  • Breast deformity or sagging of the breasts.

Dr Turner will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. The possible risks of breast implant removal surgery include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Hematoma
  • Anesthesia complications
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • Loose skin
  • Numbness or change in skin sensation or nipple sensation
  • Skin discoloration
  • Scarring
  • Asymmetry
  • Suboptimal aesthetic result
  • Possibility of revision surgery
  • Persistent pain
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications

Next Steps

Your Cosmetic Plastic surgery consultation

During your consultation, Dr Turner will discuss your goals, and provide an in-depth explanation of your desired surgery and what that means for you. He can also discuss different surgical techniques, benefits, and risks of procedures available.

Most importantly, however, this is the time for you to have all of your questions answered and to be completely listened to and understood by your surgeon. We ask that you please come prepared with any questions you may have for Dr Turner, and look forward to discussing your individualised plan.



Ensure you have done your research, both on your desired surgery, as well as your surgeon.


Book a consultation

Submit an enquiry through our website or give us a call before booking your consultation. To ensure you are a suitable candidate for your desired procedure, Dr Turner asks to review your images before making a booking. This saves time and money if you are not a suitable candidate, in which case our lovely team will help direct you to an alternative procedure.


Meet with Dr Turner

Once your images have been approved and your consultation has been booked, we ask that you prepare any questions you may have for Dr Turner, as well as some images of desired outcomes for your surgery, this helps ensure you and Dr Turner are on the same page when discussing realistic results.


More questions?

Looking for more information before your consultation? You can book an additional 15min complimentary consultation with one of our patient liaisons here https://calendly.com/patients-bookings/patient-consult?month=2023-02


Keep up-to-date

Keep up-to-date with what’s happening in Dr Turner’s clinics around NSW by following our Instagram @faceplus.aesthetics and @drscottjturner

Ready to take the next step?

Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions About Breast Implant Removal Surgery

What is the breast implant capsule?

The capsule is a layer of scar tissue, blood vessels, and connective tissue, that form around (foreign bodies) Implants due to stimulation of the body’s immune response.

What is Capsular Contracture?

This capsule is normally flexible, soft, and goes unnoticeable. But, sometimes it becomes hard and painful, which is an uncomfortable condition known as ‘capsular contracture’.

There are four grades of capsular contracture

  • Grade I: Breast is normally soft and looks natural
  • Grade II: Breast is a little firm but looks normal
  • Grade III: Breast is firm and looks abnormal
  • Grade IV: Breast is hard, painful, and looks abnormal

What is en bloc capsulectomy?

When removing ruptured silicone implants en bloc capsulectomy is sometimes necessary.

A total capsulectomy ‘en bloc capsulectomy’ is removing all of the capsule and implant as one single piece (en bloc means “all together”) to minimize exposure of the body to the loose silicone. A complete capsulectomy is a time-consuming and diligent procedure.

The capsule may include fragments of silicone, bacteria, inflammatory cells or it may be hard and calcified. This can form a biofilm where bacteria and other organisms are embedded. Sometimes women worry that the capsule may cause problems if left in the body and they prefer to have it removed.

Typically, the breast implants and capsules can be removed through the same incision that was used for implant placement, which minimizes new scarring. Most breast augmentation surgeries will use one of two incision sites, an inframammary incision (just under the breast) or a periareolar incision (around the bottom of the areola).

What is breast implant-associated ALCL?

Breast implant-associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL, is a rare disease that may occur in patients with breast implants, especially textured breast implants. It typically presents as a swelling usually only on one side of the breast and often occurs many years after the breast implants were placed.

When patients undergo imaging examination, fluid is seen in the breast and this may be sampled and the fluid sent for analysis. Treatment for Bia-ALCL is a total (en bloc) capsulectomy and sometimes chemotherapy may be needed. This is usually performed by a multidisciplinary team including a plastic surgeon, surgical oncologist, and medical oncologist.

Expand to learn more

When should I have a facelift?

There is no defined age that is best to undergo facelift surgery – we all age differently according to our genetics and environmental experiences such as sun exposure, skin care and smoking. Facelifts can be performed from early 40′s to late 70′s. Benefits usually last longer when a facelift is performed on a younger person who still have good skin elasticity.

How long will my facelift last?

Due to the natural ageing process and the effects of gravity. Facial ageing will unfortunately continue. With that being said, your face will always look younger than it did if you had never had a facelift done. Overall, this procedure tends to reset the clock, leading to a 10+ year advantage over individuals of the same age. If, over time, you would like an additional facelift, it is generally not as comprehensive as the initial surgery.

Will people be able to see that I’ve had a facelift?

After getting a facelift, many patients mention that their friends and family make remarks about how they look fresh and rested. People might ask if you have been away on holiday or if you’ve “changed something”. There is no characteristic look of a facelift. Forget about the problems with the old fashioned unnatural face lifts. Modern procedures are undetectable. The procedure simply restores your youthful look and no one will be able to tell you’ve had anything done. You’ll just look like a well-rested and fresh version of you.

Do you do fat transfer as part of a facelift?

Fat transfer are an integral component of any facelift surgery, to give complete rejuvenation of the face. The concept of the volumetric facelift, combines the benefit of restoring facial volume associated with ageing with fat injections combined with lifting and tightening the deeper facial structures with a SMAS facelift procedure. There are very few patients that don’t benefit from the addition of fat grafting as part of a facelift procedure.

Will I have any scars?

The incisions used during a facelift, will depend on the procedure and the technique used. For instance, the incisions made for a traditional facelift will differ from a short-scar facelift or midface lift. With incisions made in natural borders, hairlines, and folds, once fully healed, they will be barely noticeable. At first, they may be pink and slightly raised, but within the first few months, they will begin to quickly fade.

How quickly will stitches be removed? How quickly will I heal?

Once you leave the hospital, a follow-up appointment will be made within the first 7 days. At this time, Dr Turner will assess your wounds and remove stitches. After this step is completed, it’s recommended that you commence topical silicone ointment along the incision line. Overall, most patients look presentable after the first 2 weeks. The full healing time for soft tissue and skin will be around 6 months. Although scaring may be red and itchy at first, within the first few months, they’ll begin to lighten. After 1-2 years, they will soften and be barely noticeable.

How long will I need to take off work?

More patients can return to work after 2 weeks following surgery. Within the first 3 days, you will likely experience swelling, which then settles after approximately 1 week. Overall, the healing process is rapid, and you will be able to return to your regular routine within 2-3 weeks. At 2 weeks, for instance, you can generally begin to perform light exercise, gently increasing activity levels over 6 weeks.

Will I need a drain after my facelift?

Yes, in most cases. Drains are used to gather excessive fluid after a facelift procedure. Your drain will be removed the day after your procedure. If you’re having a short scar facelift in a limited area, you might not need a drain. Dr Turner will advise you before the procedure so you know exactly what to expect.

Do hairlines shift after a facelift?

During your consultation with Dr Turner we evaluate which incision placement is best suited for you. If you require a large amount of skin removal than an incision placed along the hair line will minimize any hairline shifts which are an unfortunate stigma of having a poorly executed facelift surgery.

What is breast implant illness?

Some women with silicone implants have experienced nonspecific immunologic symptoms, obviously without explanation. Recently, two new hypotheses came out as potential explanations for these symptoms:

  • Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA), and
  • Low-level bacterial contamination.

In Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA), silicone is stimulating the immune system and is causing symptoms such as fatigue, joint or muscle pain, memory loss, or other symptoms. Diagnostic criteria include some combination of exposure to silicone before the onset of clinical symptoms and improvement with silicone removal.

Do Breast Implants affect Breastfeeding and Babies?

Some women who undergo breast augmentation can successfully breastfeed and some cannot. At this time, it is not known if a small amount of silicone may pass through from the breast implant silicone shell into breast milk during breastfeeding. Studies did not indicate higher levels in breast milk from women with silicone implants when compared to women without implants.

In addition, concerns have been raised regarding potential damaging effects on children born to mothers with implants. Two studies in humans have found no increased risk of birth defects in children born to mothers who have had breast implant surgery.

About Dr Scott Turner FRACS (Plas) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Scott J Turner has spent a lifetime acquiring the qualifications, education, training, and hands-on surgical experience to perform superior cosmetic plastic surgery to give you  beautiful results. He is one of Sydney’s great Specialist Plastic Surgeons with a focus on face surgeries in New South Wales.
Achieving this personal goal requires not only in-depth knowledge of human anatomy and refined surgical techniques but an ongoing commitment to learning the latest procedures around the world. This is why Dr Turner regularly attends both local and international surgeon meetings – discussing these advances with the leaders around the world in order to offer you the most effective and safest surgical procedures. 
Dr Turner and his highly trained staff will do everything to ensure that you are fully informed, while providing exceptional cosmetic plastic surgery, in a personal and caring environment.