Is it Worth it to Remove Your Breast Implants?
When you’re considering any elective medical procedure, you need to know the risks, and weigh them against the benefits. The choice of whether or not to have elective surgery is very personal, and every person will make their choice differently. Here, we’ll discuss the major risks and benefits of having a breast lift. If you want to learn more about what the procedure and the recovery are like, please visit Breast Implant Removal: the Procedure and Recovery.
Please note that this page is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for qualified, individualized medical advice. You should discuss your potential elective surgery with your own doctor(s), including your primary care physician and the surgeon who will perform your surgery if you decide to proceed.
Just like your breast augmentation surgery, the surgery to remove breast implants carries the usual risks of any surgery. Any surgery has risks, and they should be carefully weighed before you decide to proceed. There is a chance of infection, which may require antibiotics and may also lead to a less aesthetically-pleasing result. There is also a chance of excessive bleeding during the surgery, which occasionally requires a blood transfusion. Some women react badly to anesthesia. There is a small risk of death due to any surgery. Although it’s important to be informed, these risks are small in most healthy people; talk with your surgeon to determine your personal risk.
There is also the risk that you won’t be happy with your breast implant removal result. After taking your implants out, you may feel that your breasts are too small. There may have been scar tissue formed around the implants, and it may be difficult for the surgeon to remove this completely, and so some scar tissue might remain in your breasts. This tissue would be hardened compared to the tissue around it, and it might be possible to feel the scar tissue in your breasts from the outside. Your incisions may not heal well, leading to scars which aren’t aesthetically pleasing.
Some women experience changes in sensation in the breasts and/or nipples after breast surgery. This could include numbness or pain. It may not fully resolve after you heal from your surgery.
You may wish to remove your breast implants for several reasons. You may have decided that, aesthetically, you would prefer a body with smaller breasts. There may have been undesirable changes in your implants over time, such as scarring, rippling, or rupture. In either of these cases, you will benefit from an improved body image and improved confidence. You may wish to breastfeed a baby, and find that the implants are in the way, and so the removal will benefit both you and your child. Your implants may be large enough to cause back pain, and then you will feel more comfortable after their removal.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a breast implant removal in 2013 was $2,354. This varies between surgeons and in different regions, so check with the surgeon you’re considering to find out the exact price. Additional costs, including the anesthesia, operating room fees, medications, and possibly additional items, may not be included in this fee. For more detail, please see our Breast Implant Removal Costs page.