Removal of Breast Implants

American TV host and model Chrissy Teigen recently posted on Instagram that she had had breast implant removal surgery.

Teigen, 34, in disclosing her decision to remove her breast implants, posted the caption

“I’m getting my boobs out! They have been great to me for many years but I am just over it.  I’d like to be able to zip a dress in my size, lay on my belly with pure comfort!”

Teigen also explained that motherhood had changed her outlook and also added that if she could do one thing now she would get a lift.

This is now part of a trend that plastic surgeons are seeing.  Just like fashion changes, so preferences regarding the way a woman’s breasts should look are changing.  So it is not surprising that many women are choosing to remove their breast implants and to have a more subtle natural and athletic look.  Sometimes, achieving this perky shape will require a breast lift or mastopexy – especially if the breast skin has been stretched by implants or following breast feeding.

Breast removal surgery (or breast explant surgery) is now performed by a number of surgeons.  It may be necessary because the implants are old or leaking, perhaps they have become hard due to capsular contracture, or perhaps a woman is concerned about her risk of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma.  Some women have symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss, skin rashes and hair loss etc.  These have become known as “Breast Implant Associated Illness”.  Usually the symptoms subside once the implants have been removed.

The question then arises as to what to do once the implants have been removed.  For some women simple removal with or without a capsulectomy is all that is required.  In the past we often used to replace implants with new implants of a different size usually placed in a different pocket such as under the muscle. These days, however, many women would like to be totally implant free.  And for these women fat transfer is the solution.

Fat Transfer involves harvesting fat from areas such as the hips, thighs and abdomen and, following preparation, grafting it strategically into the breasts.  An experienced fat transplant surgeon should be able to achieve a 1-2 cup size increase in breast volume at the time of explant surgery.

If the breasts are saggy, then a breast lift or mastopexy is an ideal solution especially when combined with a fat transfer.   A breast lift is a wonderful way of “auto augmentation” especially when combined with fat transfer surgery.

This blog was written by Dr. Allan Kalus.