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Breast Implant Removal

Houston Breast Implant Removal by Dr. Christopher Livingston

Though most women never envision removing breast implants after breast augmentation surgery, up to 40,000 patients undergo breast implant removal annually. The reasons vary, ranging from complications from the initial surgery, dissatisfaction, or a change in their lifestyle. Whatever the motivation, a board-certified plastic surgeon is necessary to ensure the best result with this complex procedure.

Houston Board Certified and recertified plastic surgeon and breast surgery expert Dr. Christopher Livingston is experienced in complex and challenging  breast revision procedures for women in Houston, Southeast Texas, and beyond. 

To learn more about breast implant removal, schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Livingston today.

Dr. Livingston

Christopher Livingston, MD

“The most important part of plastic surgery is achieving a youthful, refreshed look, with minimal downtime.”

Board-Certified Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon

Chris Livingston, MD

I believe that every design is personal. The connection we have with clients determines how the projects will look at the end of the design process. We must understand the clients and bond with them, be a part of their dream. Their dream is our dream.

Are You a Candidate?

Women with saline or silicone breast implants that are unhappy with the shape, size, location (animation deformity), ptosis (sagging), have pain and/or deformity associated with capsular contracture, and may have had complications from prior breast surgeries are excellent candidates for breast implant reduction:

  • Are at a healthy weight
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Don’t smoke
  • Are not happy with their breast appearance
  • Have heavy breasts causing discomfort
  • Have ruptured or leaking implants
  • Struggle with hardened tissue
  • Are making lifestyle changes

If you’re considering the operation, you will need to weigh your options carefully. Dr. Livingston will discuss this with you during your breast implant removal consultation.

Dr. Livingston is an amazing surgeon, with a phenomenal bedside manner, and office staff you’ll fall in love with.

– Meredith (Google Reviews)

The Breast Implant Removal Procedure

Dr. Livingston usually performs breast implant removal as an outpatient surgical procedure with general anesthesia.  This surgery has several different forms ranging from simple to complex:

  • SIMPLE: This involves only removing the implant and leaving the capsule inside. It has the shortest recovery and less risk.
  • INTERMEDIATE: This involves removing the implant and the anterior capsule while the posterior capsule remains on the chest wall.  This method avoids injury to the ribs, pectoralis muscle (s), or lung if scar tissue is thick and adherent.
  • COMPLEX: This involves removing the implant and entire anterior and posterior capsules (en bloc).  This process allows the internal tissues to heal simultaneously and seal the pocket.

Although the en bloc technique is typically optimal, it is not always practical for safety concerns. If Dr. Livingston determines the capsule has firmly adhered to the chest wall; he may suggest another safer technique.

Following implant and capsule removal, the pockets are irrigated with triple antibiotic solution, drains are placed, and a breast lift (mastopexy) with or without implants is performed depending on the surgical goals.

After Breast Implant Removal

Because aesthetic goals differ from patient to patient, Dr. Livingston offers many options for women after having their implants removed.

Women may want implants removed and replaced due to age of the implant, change in size, or rupture.  A trending style for women is to go smaller because larger implants could interfere with their lifestyle and activities.  Whatever the rationale,  replacing  the older implant with a newer and smaller device will achieve the patient’s aesthetic goals.

Some women may choose to not only remove the implant and capsule but also reduce the breast gland size.  Excessive breast volume may impede lifestyle choices, including physical training and outdoor activities like kayaking or hiking.  Breast reduction  surgery will decrease the size and weight of the breast gland, lift the breast and improve shape, and significantly reduce discomfort. Smaller breasts allow women to become more active and increase mobility.

Once breast implants have been removed, some patients may require volume to restore the size and shape.  Dr. Livingston will discuss your surgical goals and may consider using your own fatty tissue rather than implants.  In this procedure, fatty tissue is harvested by liposuction from the abdomen, thighs, arms, and/or back and transferred to the breasts following implant and capsule removal and/or breast lift (mastopexy).  This procedure is excellent for women that do not want implants but want to remain a similar size and shape and have excess fatty tissue for liposuction and transfer.

Unfortunately as we age, gravity along with loss of skin elasticity may cause women’s breasts to sag and droop causing discomfort and a loss of confidence.  In a breast lift surgery, some breast tissue is removed and some is reshaped to lift and cone the breast with repositioning the nipples to a youthful appearance.

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Breast Implant Removal Recovery

After breast implants are removed, Dr. Livingston applies gauze bandages and  a compression garment to minimize swelling and provide support.  He will schedule follow-up visits to remove drains and sutures. You will be given recovery instructions that may include:

  • Incision care
  • drain are
  • Oral medications  for discomfort and prevent infection
  • A list of signs that may reveal complications

The area will continue to heal for several weeks as inflammation and swelling decrease. Remember to continue following Dr. Livingston’s instruction and attend follow-up visits as instructed. 

For Houston breast implant removal surgery, trust Dr. Livingston. Request a consultation today to learn more about how we can help you love your results.

Livingston Plastic Surgery: Breast Implant Removal FAQs

That may be optimal in some cases, but not in all. When you desire a removal because of complications, it may be wise to seek another surgeon’s recommendations and services.  Furthermore, there are times when the original surgeon has retired or the patient has moved to another state or city.

Scarring occurs in all surgeries.  Depending on your examination and goals, the scars should be very similar to the original surgery.

If you are asking this question, it’s because you’re not happy with your initial surgery’s results.  First, wait until your implants settle before determining whether your operation achieved your goals.  If you’re still not happy, you should wait at least six months before considering a revision surgery that involves implant removal.