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Breast Implant Removal

There can be many reasons why you might want to have your breast implants removed. It could be that you are really unhappy with the results of a previous breast augmentation, or feel that your breasts are too large. You may, in fact, need your breast implants removed because you have complications from your implant surgery (rupture of your implants or a capsular contraction - a tightening of scar tissue around the implant). Many women also seek out Mr Ghattaura for breast implant removal as they have concerns over silicone safety and the possible associations silicone has with autoimmune diseases or breast fatigue syndrome.  

What's involved in the procedure?

Breast implant revision surgery such as this requires experience, judgement and an in-depth knowledge of the current literature on implant safety. Through his work in the NHS, using a a wide range of breast implants to reconstruct after breast cancer as well as developmental disorders, Mr Ghattaura has developed a specific expertise in this field.

During your consultation, Mr Ghattaura will identify your specific areas of concern and then carefully study the details of your previous surgery, with operation notes if possible. He will then formulate plan, tailor made to your personal goals. This may involve a removal of your implant with the surrounding scar tissue (capsule). This is called an en-bloc breast implant removal. Mr Ghattaura will then discuss the option of an uplift (mastopexy) at the same time as your implant removal if you are expected to have significant breast droop once the implant comes out.  

The breast implant removal and capsulectomy procedure takes around 2 hours and is performed under general anaesthesia (with you asleep). Mr Ghattaura typically begins by removing the previous implant with the surrounding capsule (en-bloc) though your old scar. He then extracts the implant from within the capsule and studies it carefully for any ruptures, folds or gel bleed and records the serial number if available. The surrounding capsule is then sent for histological analysis to the pathology laboratory. Mr Ghattaura then sterilises the old implant pocket and repositions the pectoralis muscle if necessary.

If you have agreed an uplift procedure at the same time, Mr Ghattaura will then remove the excess skin on your breast, usually by making an incision around the nipple with an extension of this scar between the lower part of the nipple and the lower breast fold scar. Finally, there is likely to be an extension of the scar within the lower breast fold. The final scar is anchor shaped if you have an uplift procedure as part of your implant removal. The nipple and remaining breast tissue is then re-shaped, placing the nipple higher on the breast. Dressings will be applied once the surgery is finished, and you will need to wear a supportive sports style bra for 6 weeks afterwards. 

Time to recover

You will generally need to stay in hospital for 1 night following surgery to ensure you feel well rested after the surgery. You can expect some swelling, bruising, and some soreness for the first few weeks. Oral pain medication can be used to alleviate the side effects, which should begin to resolve quickly. The scar is often red and raised initially, but should fade as your body heals over the following year. Typically, patients recover for about a week at home before returning to work and resuming normal activities. Exercise and strenuous activity is to be avoided for at least a 4-6 weeks following surgery.

Available at HMT Sancta Maria, Spire Cardiff Hospital, Nuffield Health and BMI Werndale

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