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Reader Question: Deformity With Breast Implant Removal Alone?

Posted Nov 06 2009 12:00am

Reader Question:

I’ve had saline breast implants (pre-filled) since 1998 at the age of 23. I didn’t do my research and went with a “plastic” surgeon that a family member went to and was happy with.

It turns out that his medical license has been revoked and you actually blogged about him a while back. I have a smaller frame 5′2″ and weigh 115lbs. I went from a 32B (smaller side) to a full 34C possibly 34D. I’ve had capsular contracture and symmastia. Implants are over the muscle. Anyway, I’d like to get my implants removed completely and not replaced.

Will I have deformity since I’ve had them for 11 years over the muscle plus the symastia? What is the recovery time? And what type of work is required? I have not had children but plan to in the next two years. What is the likely hood that I can breast feed?

I am sorry to hear of your complications, but even on a basic level breast implant removal without replacement is not a cosmetic operation. It can amount to damage control. How you might look afterward will vary based upon how stiff your tissues are with scar tissue in some areas and how much stretching and distortion has occurred in others. It will also vary with the skill of your surgeon, but you knew that.

At the minimum you will likely need a scar capsule removal operation (capsulectomy) and removal of the implants. To minimize the symmastia (also called uniboob,) you might need part of the capsule left in place to allow a suture repair. Sometimes the addition of a breast lift can help with excess stretched tissue. Not all patients end up looking poorly, but the possibility of contour irregularities is there. Recovery time will relate to how much surgery you have and what kind of activity you are looking to resume. On average I would say a month or so.

On the possibility of breast feeding, this would depend upon how much surgery you have had and will have before you try and the resultant damage to the breasts.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

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