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Sieber Plastic Surgery San Francisco

The Pros and Cons of Breast Implant Removal

Have you been contemplating the idea of altering or completely removing your breast implants?

Whether you’re seeking a change in size or shape, or considering complete removal, breast implant removal surgery is a commonly performed procedure.

Before delving into the specific pros and cons of breast implants, let’s first explore the procedure itself and understand why some women opt to undergo it.


Breast implant removal surgery involves the removal of saline, silicone gel, or gummy bear implants from patients who have had breast augmentation or reconstruction surgery in the past. The implants may be removed completely or simply so that they can be swapped out for differently sized or shaped implants. Often, leaked fluid and scar tissue will be removed at the same time as the implants themselves.



There are a number of reasons why some women consider breast implant removal. First and foremost, many patients simply want to change the size and/or shape of their breasts. They may have changed their mind about their desired silhouette, and this surgery is a first step in making those adjustments.

Alternatively, some women experience pain or discomfort with their implants over time. This may be due to a hardening effect that can sometimes happen with the scar tissue surrounding breast implants.

Finally, in rare cases a woman with saline implants may have a medical problem in the implant area — perhaps an infection or in a worst-case scenario, a detection of breast cancer. In these situations, it’s important to remove the implants to make treatment easier and safer.


Below, we’ve outlined the major pros and cons of breast implant removal surgery.


  • Reduced costs with no need to get MRIs

Having breast implants requires occasional MRIs to ensure the silicone implants themselves have not ruptured. Without the implants, the MRIs are no longer necessary.

  • Reduced pain (in some cases)

In some cases, the scar tissue that builds up around breast implants can cause pain and discomfort. This is in large part due to something called capsular contractures. Furthermore, if the implants a patient has are rather large, this capsular contracture can cause back, neck, and check chest pain due to the excess weight as well.

  • Smoother mammogram experience

In some cases, mammograms are a challenge for those with breast implants. This usually happens when silicone breast implants are above the pectoral muscle, making it difficult for imaging devices like mammogram machines to see through the area.

Although mammograms can still generally be completed even when the patient has breast implants, there is a slim possibility that the results may be skewed.


  • The need for additional surgery

In general, both breast augmentation surgery and breast implant removal surgery are safe and common surgeries that produce positive results patients are happy with. Still, as with any cosmetic procedure or any type of surgery, there are always risks and the possibility of complications.

Most notably, major surgeries that require anesthesia have the potential to be associated with risks. Of course, surgery in general requires a lot of downtime, including time away from work or school and time that can’t be spent exercising, lifting anything heavy, etc.

Lastly, there is the added cost of breast implant surgery and removal surgery.

  • Smaller breasts

If one of the reasons you wanted to get breast implants in the first place was to change the size and/or shape of your breasts, whatever features of saline breast implants you initially disliked will, of course, come back. For this reason, many women who choose to move forward with breast implant removal simply change the size and/or shape of their implants and don’t get them removed completely.

  • Loose skin and sagging

By taking out your implants, the skin on your breasts that had formed itself tightly around the shapes of the implants have become slightly stretched into position. Unfortunately, in most cases, that stretched skin will hold the same shape after your implant removal surgery. This will cause your breasts to appear loose and sagging because nothing will be there to fill them and make them tight and taught.

  • Reduced self-confidence

One of the most amazing things about breast augmentation surgery is how it can boost a woman’s confidence overnight. For women who choose to have their breast implants completely removed and not replaced with anything else, there can be an abrupt loss of confidence. Unfortunately, this can seep into other areas of the woman’s life, including her personal relationships, career, and overall self-esteem.

  • Possible loss of feeling in some areas of the breast

Most notably, you may end up losing feeling in your nipples and around the nipple area. This is due to the fact that the areola area is a common place for incisions during both breast tissue augmentation surgery (during the insertion of the implants) and breast implant removal surgery. Loss of feeling and overall sensation can be a symptom of consistent incisions in this area as the extremely small nerves are sometimes cut.

  • Additional scarring

Although most breast augmentation surgeries result in only slightly noticeable, generally discrete scars, it is true that if you get breast augmentation procedure also choose to get breast implant removal surgery, you’ll need additional incisions, which will result in additional scars.

 Questions and Answers

What are the disadvantages of breast implant?

  • Scar tissue that distorts the shape of the breast implant (capsular contracture)
  • Breast pain.
  • Infection.
  • Changes in nipple and breast sensation.
  • Implant position changes.
  • Implant leakage or rupture.

Pros and cons of breast implantAre breast implants worth the risk?

Breast implant surgery has never been safer, because the implant technology has improved and leak rates are lower than ever.

Are breast implants good for life?

While most silicone and saline implants hold FDA approval for 10-20 years, but this does not mean that you have to get them replaced every 10-20 years.

What happens when breast implant rupture?

In the event of a silicone breast implant rupture, the thick gel leaks slowly, and the body does not absorb it. Indications of a rupture may involve alterations in breast shape and size, accompanied by escalating pain, firmness, and swelling over several weeks.

When a saline implants rupture, it leads to the release of a harmless isotonic saline solution, which the body can naturally reabsorb over time.


As you can see, the surgical procedure of breast implant removal may not be for everyone, but it can certainly help some patients. If you are interested in breast implant removal or breast reconstruction surgery,  can help.

Dr. Sieber a board certified plastic surgeon is a specialist in the areas of cosmetic surgery of the breast. He is one of the only double board-certified plastic surgeons in the San Francisco Bay area with unique specialized training in his areas of expertise.

For more information about your breast implant surgery, removal surgery or breast implants surgery, contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Sieber.

Dr. Dave Sieber and his staff are so awesome! Dr. Sieber is personable yet professional, his work is impeccable. He listens to his patient and works with them to achieve what they want. He’s like my hair dresser, a magician, you just want to do a happy dance with the results, only these results are lasting. Ok, but seriously, the procedure was very smooth, the staff and the doctors (Dr Sieber and the anesthesiologist) had great communication and made sure I was comfortable with very clear and concise pre op and post op directions. The healing process was very easy and the results are FABULOUS. Side note, Dr. Sieber has really awesome skin, I feel like this is impressive and important because really, would you trust a dentist with bad teeth? I am so elated and satisfied with the results, the size is perfect and they look and feel very natural. They are exactly what I wanted.*

SF Scientist

Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is attentive, responsive, and well trained. I had seen him for Botox and filler and he had done both without any pain or bruising and more importantly the results were fabulous. He has met with me on time at each appointment. He communicates what to expect, made sure I was comfortable throughout the procedure, checked on my healing every day post procedure. He couldn’t be more delightful not more talented. I had seen other plastic surgeons for in office treatments over the past decade and Dr. Sieber is at the top of the list in terms of delivering the desired outcome and high quality care.*

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