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While it is relatively rare, there are factors that may arise that require breast implants to be removed. Whether a woman’s aesthetic taste and preference has changed, or complications with the implants are causing concern, breast implant removal is performed to remove the implants and achieve the necessary implant functionality and the breast appearance you desire. 

What is breast implant removal?

Breast implant removal, also known as breast explant surgery, is performed to remove the implants from the breasts due to malfunction or changes in personal aesthetic preference. Breast implants may be replaced with new implants to change the type, size, or shape. For women who prefer not to have implants any longer but would still like augmentation, a fat transfer to the breasts can be performed. Women who want to remove any augmentation can simply have the breast implants removed or have a breast lift to raise and shape the breasts.

Close up of woman's abdomen and chest, wearing a purple bra

Ideal candidates for breast implant removal

Women who are experiencing difficulty with their breast implants or who would like a different type or size of implant are likely candidates for breast implant removal in Charlotte. Ideal candidates for breast implant removal should meet the following requirements:

  • Are generally healthy
  • Do not smoke
  • Have no serious medical conditions
  • Have realistic expectations of what this surgery can achieve
  • Are unhappy with the appearance of their breast implants
  • Are experiencing implant rupture, hardening, breast pain, or other issues 

Reasons for breast implant removal

There is a range of reasons breast implant removal may be needed, from aesthetic preference to implant complications.

Desire for aesthetic change

Women may want a bigger or smaller breast size, a different breast shape or consistency, or a new type of implant or implant placement. 

Desire for alternative augmentation

Some women may desire to have augmentation, but would prefer to have their breasts augmented by fat transfer instead of implants. 

Implant concerns

Breast implants may cause any of the following complications:

  • Breast pain
  • Breast Implant Illness (BII)
  • Implant folding, rupture, or deflation
  • Infection or buildup of dead tissue
  • Silicone leakage
  • Capsular contracture (a hardening or tightening of the tissue surrounding the implants)
  • Implant shifts caused by weight fluctuations or pregnancy
  • Implant symmetry

Breast implant removal procedure

There are different types of breast implant removal. The type of breast implant removal procedure you require depends on your needs and personal goals for your breast appearance. Breast implant removal procedure types include the following:

Breast implant removal without augmentation

This breast implant removal procedure simply removes your implants and leaves the breasts without a lift, fat transfer, or implants.

Breast implant removal with capsulectomy

Capsular contracture, the painful hardening of the capsule, the tissue that your body forms around the breast implants, requires a capsulectomy to remove it. A capsulectomy starts with an incision at the bottom of the breast, then upward to the areola. Through this incision, the implant and the surrounding capsule are separated from the tissue with meticulous care. The implant and the capsule are then removed together, both intact.

Breast implant removal with breast lift

Once the breast implants are removed, a breast augmentation with lift can be performed to augment, shape, and lift the breasts to a higher, more youthful position on the chest. Your nipples will be repositioned so that they tilt attractively upward.

Breast implant removal with replacement implants or fat transfer augmentation

Once the original implants are removed, new implants of your choosing are inserted to achieve your ideal breast appearance. 

Women who would like to achieve a less dramatic, more natural breast augmentation may opt for fat transfer. During fat transfer breast augmentation, excess fat in an area of your choosing is removed with gentle liposuction. The harvested fat tissue is purified, then injected into your breasts to enhance breast symmetry, shape, and volume.


For some women, breast implant removal has an easier recovery period than their original breast implant surgery. You will still need a friend or family member to drive you home and help you for the day or so after your procedure. There will be swelling and bruising during the first two weeks. Dr. Pratt will put a compression bra in place to help reduce the swelling, which will begin to subside within a few days to a week. Get plenty of rest during this period and sleep on your back or side. Avoid lifting anything over five pounds.

Patients can return to work once they feel comfortable with sedentary work or light activity, usually within a few days to a week. It will be 4-6 weeks until you can exercise again. Although the swelling with fade until you don’t notice it anymore, and you may feel fully recovered, keep in mind that your breasts are still healing and settling into their final position, which may take several months.

Why choose Dr. Broc Pratt for breast implant removal?

Dr. Broc Pratt is an award-winning plastic surgeon in Charlotte whose experience and expertise make him a top choice for breast procedures. As a truly caring doctor, he spends time with his patients during the consultation to ensure they are fully educated about their options and prepared for their surgery. He understands the need for breast implant removal may be a stressful time for his patients and helps guide them through the process from the beginning through their recovery. His meticulous skills and advanced techniques provide beautiful, natural-looking outcomes. 

Dr. Pratt examining female patients chest
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