Not everyone decides to keep their breast implants indefinitely. Fortunately, breast implant removal surgery (also known as breast explant surgery) allows anyone with implants to have them removed at virtually any time. The surgery can achieve outstanding results for patients who have come to dislike their implants or those with related medical issues.
Breast implant removal may be performed with or without the insertion of new implants. Some patients may opt for a breast lift or fat transfer. Others may ask for a breast reduction.
No matter how you choose to have your breast implant removal performed, the recovery period following surgery usually lasts for several weeks. As you move toward your date of operation, use the following information to help you better plan for this period and ensure optimal results for your surgery.
What to Expect After Removing Implants
For most patients, breast implant removal recovery typically lasts around one to two weeks. It is during this time that you must refrain from physical activity, get plenty of rest, and ensure your incisions heal well. After the two-week mark, some patients may be cleared to resume exercise and additional activities.
After breast implant removal side effects may include:
- Discomfort (soreness)
- A small amount of bleeding at incision sites
These are all normal symptoms and to be expected after surgery. Contact us if any of these symptoms persist or worsen significantly over time.
Explant Recovery Timeline
First Few Days Post-Op
As a general rule, your first few postoperative days are going to be the worst. This is when you will have the most pain and discomfort. Fortunately, there shouldn’t be much pain with this surgery.
In addition, your breasts will be swollen and may feel tight. This is to be expected. Your surgeon will provide you with pain management options, which may include prescription medications. For the most part, these won’t be necessary for long as the side effects from your surgery will dissipate as the weeks continue on.
Weeks 1 and 2
Throughout weeks one and two of your recovery, expect lots of swelling and some tightness and bruising. These symptoms will dissipate promptly. But swelling, especially, will linger — sometimes for several months.
You must refrain from physical activity during this period. This means you can take short gentle walks, but you shouldn’t be running, playing sports, lifting weights, or lifting anything heavy (including children). Most patients take around one week off from work and can resume work and many of their general (not physically demanding) daily activities after one week.
Weeks 3 and 4
At the three-week mark of your recovery, you can usually go back to a light exercise regimen if you choose. Always discuss this with your surgeon, however, as everyone heals at a different rate.
Weeks three and four will be about integrating additional daily activities back into your schedule. If anything feels uncomfortable or painful, don’t do it, and discuss any concerns with your surgeon as soon as possible.
Weeks 5, 6, and Onward
As you move into weeks five and six of your recovery, you should be feeling good and seeing the majority of your results. Most patients have residual swelling at this point, however. This will last for several more months in most cases. Therefore, it is advised that you don’t go out and buy all brand-new bras and undergarments as your breast size may still change moving forward.
When Will I See My Full Results?
The vast majority of breast implant removal patients will see their full results after the six-month mark. In some cases, it may take a bit longer for all of the swelling to dissipate.
Breast Implant Removal Recovery FAQs
How painful is it to have breast implants removed?
Most patients do not experience much pain after breast implant removal. Any discomfort should be manageable with over-the-counter medications.
When can I go back to work after breast implant removal?
Most patients are back at work a few days to a week after their surgery.
Will I feel better after breast implant removal?
Yes, you should feel much better after breast implant removal, especially if medical or discomfort issues caused you to seek surgery in the first place. Read most any breast implant removal stories, and you’ll immediately see the relief that comes to patients who seek this surgery because of medical issues, pain, or other problems related to comfort and self-confidence.
Will I be flat after breast implant removal?
If you only opt to have your implants removed and don’t get a breast fat transfer, new implants, or a breast lift, then yes, your breasts may appear flat, sagging, and droopy after surgery.
Questions to Ask Your Surgeon
At your consultation appointment, be sure to ask your surgeon the following questions related to explant surgery recovery:
- How much time should I take off work?
- When will I be able to shower after explant surgery?
- When can I exercise after breast implant removal?
- Do you sleep differently after explant surgery?
- Will my breasts appear saggy after explant surgery?
Book Your Consultation Appointment
Thinking about explant surgery? The first step is scheduling a consultation appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Dr. Raja Mohan performs breast implant removals in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex Area. He is one of the only Dallas plastic surgeons with specialized fellowship training in aesthetic surgery.
To book a consultation appointment with Dr. Raj, contact our office today.