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Breast Implant Removal

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» Pre-op/Post-op instructions

» Risks and Complications

» Breast Implant Removal Story From Start To Finish

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Breast Implant Removal Explanation

Breast augmentation remains one of the most common operations plastic surgeons perform. Understandably there will be a group of patients who have had breast implants who choose to have the breast implants removed. Reasons for wanting to have breast implant removal (explantation) may have to do with physical and/or psychosocial concerns.

For example, there are patients who despite best efforts experience repeated complications with the breast implants. These complications may involve leakage of implants, infection, capsular contracture (encapsulation) and/or implant malposition problems. Patients who have had these complications may decide to rid themselves of the breast implants and their associated risks/complications.

Other patients who seek to have breast implants removed for “medical reasons” may feel that the breast implants are causing certain physical ailments. These patients may have undergone extensive medical, laboratory and/or radiological workup of physical symptoms only to be left without a specific diagnosis or cause of their symptomatology. This lack of diagnosis may cause the patient to feel that the breast implants are the “cause” of the physical ailment leading these patients to want to have their breast implants removed. Obviously these patients should be cautioned that there is no scientific evidence that removal of breast implants will eliminate any of the symptoms they are experiencing.

On the other hand, some patients decide that they do not want to “keep” breast implants in place for non-physical reasons. These patients often report that they no longer feel that the breast implants are “necessary” or that they are at a different place in life and no longer want a “foreign body”. These patients may simply wish to have a more “natural” existence, which does not leave any room for breast implants.

There are rare occasions when patients wish to have their breast implants removed only days or weeks after having had them placed. In these cases, it is best to allow several months to pass before making drastic decisions that may be based on strong emotional reactions that tend to occur after body changing plastic surgical procedures. Of course, it is always best to prevent these types of situations by determining patients’ motivations for having a breast augmentation done in the first place. Generally, self motivated patients (seeking the operation for the right reasons) who have been considering the operation for at least a year tend to be less likely to want to have breast implants removed subsequently.

One common question asked in regards to breast implant removal is what should be done with the breast implant capsule. Generally, unless the breast implant capsule is thickened, calcified, or otherwise troublesome there is no indication to remove the thin capsule. Removal of the capsule would unnecessarily increase the risks of the breast implant removal procedure. Nevertheless, some patients may wish to have the capsule removed despite the lack of medical necessity.

From the technical standpoint breast implants can be removed under local anesthesia, under local anesthesia with sedation (twilight), or under general anesthesia. If additional “work” is planned (such as capsulectomy and/or mastopexy surgery) then I prefer to do the operation under general anesthesia.

The decision to have breast implants removed should not be made lightly. The decision should be made after extensive thought and with the help of a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon who may be able to guide the patient with recommendations.What a patient’s breasts will look like after explantation depends on several factors such as: the quality of skin elasticity (the better the elasticity the better the skin will bounce back), the size of the implants used (the larger the implant the more trouble you may have with redundant skin), and the amount of breast tissue present at this time (which may have changed since the time of your breast augmentation).

Life experience since the breast augmentation procedure, such as pregnancy or weight gain weight loss, will potentially influence the factors discussed above. The patient must take these factors into consideration and apply them to her specific circumstances to get a good idea of what to expect after the implants are removed. Again, it may be very helpful to have a trusting relationship with a well experienced, nonjudgmental board-certified plastic surgeon when considering removal of breast implants.


Before & After: Implant Removal

Patient Testimonial About Her Breast Implant Removal Procedure

Patient Testimonal – Images Above With Implants and Then Without
I feel really good. I’m very happy. Going to gym is much each. No longer have big fluffy bags keeping me from laying on my tummy for exercises. I feel thinner, slimmer, although I’ve never been overweight. The implants always made me feel larger. Hoping to get a little more fluff although I don’t expect too much more since, if I remember correctly, I’m about the same size and shape I was prior to implants. Which, even so, is fantastic considering i had my implants for 10 years! No stretch marks. Right back to who I was before!

Physically though! I have to say, there has been some amazing improvements. No more back pain, no neck pain, no arm numbness, no “muscle” tugging. No achy breasts. The best hugs I can get!!! And oddly, the circulation in my hands and feet are just unbelievable. Who knew!?

impant removal

“I feel liberated”

implant removal
“I am so extremely pleased beyond words with the result of my implant removal with a lift that Dr. Pousti did for me a little over a year ago.”

Dr. Tom J. Pousti is double board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery and specializes in breast augmentation and revisionary breast surgery. With the amount of patients with breast implants growing the number of those wishing to remove their implants is increasing as well. More and more people are inquiring implant explanation surgery for a variety of reasons. Some interested in replacing the implants and some not.

No other photos on this page are of this patient

breast implant removal

Patient Testimonial:

“I saw Dr. Pousti for removal of 10 year old implants with capsular contracture. He was very professional and knowledgeable. I had 4 consults before seeing him and he seemed to be the most medical as far as doing the overall best thing for my long term health vs trying to sell procedures. I was 100% sure that I wanted him to do my surgery during our first meeting. I had the surgery a month later and have been very happy. I feel better than I have in years. The follow up from his office is terrific. I was called daily for the first week to check and see how I was doing and if I had any questions. I just had my one month follow up with him and he said I was completely complication free and I could return to all normal activities. I see him again in 3 months. He said if I decide I want a lift or anything, that would be the time to start discussing it, but he hopes I will just be happy without needing more procedures.”

Patient Testimonial:

“When I was eighteen I underwent breast augmentation because I was insecure about my body. I felt that breast implants would give me the confidence I lacked and ultimately  make me happy. Bra shopping was a nightmare and when wearing a sports bra or bikini I was flat as a pancake. To my eighteen year old self I felt I was lacking something. Now eight years have passed and I am not the same person I was at eighteen. I am still young, but I feel fortunate to have discovered who I am and what I believe in, and what ultimately matters to me.  I have been married for four years to a man who loves me for me.  And just six months ago we had a beautiful baby girl. I had been thinking of having my implants removed for the last three years and being pregnant with them and breast feeding solidified my decision.
I had my implants removed three weeks ago and I feel liberated! Not only was my husband supportive of my decision, he also was encouraging throughout my appointments, surgery and the outcome of my body without implants.
I would encourage any woman who is toying with the idea of implant removal to do your research and come visit Dr.Pousti He is honest, professional and more than certified.”


The removal of breast implants that have been placed either for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes is a surgical operation. Breast implant removal may be performed as a single procedure or combined with additional procedures such as: removal of scar tissue surrounding the implant, breast biopsy, removal of escaped silicone gel, secondary breast augmentation, and mastopexy.

Before / After Implant Removal

Breast Implant Removal

What To Expect After The Surgery

Rest in bed is the order of the day, along with plenty of fluids and no aggravation. You will be permitted to shower, perhaps as quickly as two to three days post-op. Also, the chest will feel somewhat sore for the first few days. This should abate very quickly, and by the end of the first week you should be very comfortable.

Before / After Breast Augmentation / After Breast Implant Removal

Breast Implant Removal

This is an actual patient of Dr. Pousti.


I grew up very insecure with my focus on fixing physical flaws, rather than working on my inner confidence and strength. I was 17 years old when I found a solution to what I thought was a problem. Throughout this journey I have had a spiritual awakening and came to the realization that I was born with all the necessary tools to live an abundant and more holistic life. These implants have been like training wheels and helped me love myself and I am ready to let go of them.


Dear Dr. Pousti and staff:

In 1995, when I was 25 years old, I had my first set of saline breast implants put in.  Because I was always barely a size A cup, it was something that I had wanted to do as long as I could remember.  I was pleased with the results until the day I was in a car accident and one of my breast was damaged.  Because of this, in 1998 the implants had to be removed.  I had originally wanted them just removed without replacing them, however, the doctor at the time (not Dr. Pousti) talked me into removing and replacing the implants instead of removing them only.  I had a very difficult surgery as well as recovery.  I have regretted ever since then that I let the doctor talk me in to new implants.  They have since been uncomfortable; I have not been able to sleep on my stomach; as a runner, it has been hard running with the implants, they have been in the way; and I just have not been able to wear anything that I wanted without it being too tight in my chest and too big in my waist.  I was just a different person when I got the implants, and implants were not fitting in with my lifestyle any longer.  I had been beyond ready to go back to my natural body for a long time.  Finally, fourteen years later, when we were finally in a position where I could have them removed, we began to research and pray that we would find a great surgeon.  Due to the fact that I had such a horrible experience with my last surgery, we wanted to find a doctor that we could trust and one in which we would feel comfortable.  In Dr. Pousti and his staff, we found much more than we could have ever imagined or hoped for.  We have been so blessed that we found Dr. Pousti.

I would like to thank Dr. Pousti and his staff so much for all that they have done and continue to do for me even though my surgery is over.  While I was researching and looking around for the best surgeon that could perform my surgery, I kept coming back to Dr. Pousti.  I was impressed with the extremely large amount of positive comments that were on many websites. Fact is, honestly in all of the many reviews that I read through, I did not come across even one negative comment.   Also, his own personal website was amazing and filled with so much information about any surgery that you could possibly think of.  Once I went in for my first appointment, I knew for sure, no question that I wanted Dr. Pousti to perform my surgery.   Dr. Pousti, from the very first appointment made me feel beyond comfortable.  He and his staff explained everything and answered any question that I had, and I had many.  I had such a negative experience due to a very bad surgery in the past, and felt very very anxious.  Dr. Pousti took so much time to help my husband and me to feel as stressed free and relaxed as possible.  This amazing Dr. and his staff has called me everyday since my pre-op appointment just to check in on me, making sure that everything was ok and to rest any worries that we may have had as they knew that I was extra anxious. Since my surgery, they have continued calling and checking in on me to make sure that all was well.  They even called on both Saturday and Sunday.  From my first appointment until today, which is a week today since my surgery, Dr. Pousti and his staff have just gone above and beyond what they needed to do; way more than I have ever experienced from any other doctor’s office.

If Dr. Pousti and his staff were not enough, the Surgery Center where he preforms his surgeries is absolutely top of the line.  Again we were astonished and amazed at the treatment that we received there.  Dr. Pousti shared with them my concerns, and the staff from the Surgery Center went above and beyond what they needed to assure me and help make sure I was comfortable. They called me the night before and listened to my concerns.  The next day they were perfectly punctual, and everything went according to schedule.  Dr. Pousti and the staff from the Surgery Center were there by my side the whole time.  They even held my hand as I drifted off to sleep.

My husband and I will always be thankful and blessed that we found Dr. Pousti to perform my surgery, and we would not hesitate for even one second to refer anyone who is looking for a plastic surgeon to Dr. Pousti.  He is truly a one of a kind Dr. with a one of a kind staff.  We searched form many other doctors, and Dr. Pousti was like night and day compared to the others that we visited.  We are absolutely sure that anyone who does choose him will be extremely satisfied, thankful, and blessed.

Extremely Grateful

PS:  A side note from my hubby —

It was very important as we searched for a doctor that we found one in whom I could feel safe in trusting my wife’s care too.  Dr. Pousti and his staff were very professional with high quality and standards which exceeded our expectations.  Thanks for taking care of my wife.

God Bless

Medically reviewed by Tom Pousti, MD, FACS, and written by The Pousti Plastic Surgery Team.

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Complimentary Consultation with Dr. Pousti
Consultation with Dr. Pousti


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Pousti Plastic Surgery of San Diego
8851 Center Drive, Suite 300
La Mesa, California 91942
Phone: (619) 466-8851 or Email
Dr. Tom Pousti is a San Diego and La Jolla Plastic Surgery specialist. He has provided plastic surgery treatments to many San Diego and La Jolla facelift, tummy tuck, liposuction, breast augmentation, and rhinoplasty patients. His office is located in San Diego, serving the La Jolla, Riverside, Inland Empire and Temecula areas. Disclaimer

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