Breast Implant Removal

What are the indications for breast implant removal?

Breast implant removal is indicated for complications such as

  • Capsular contracture, when scar tissue that normally forms around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant resulting in hardening of the breast 
  • Implant rupture
  • Breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)

How is breast implant removal surgery performed?

Breast implant removal surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. An incision is made in the existing inframammart scar. The implant along with its surrounding capsule is removed together (where possible). A drain is inserted. The incision is closed with dissolvable sutures. The procedure takes around 3 hours.

Please note Dr Ling only offers breast implant removal. It is strongly recommended you have a consultation with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon if you are considering replacement of your implants or a breast lift. 

What will my breast look like after breast implant removal?

Your breasts will not look the same as before your original breast implant surgery. The weight of the breast implants stretches your tissue and causes changes in the rib area. After surgery, your breasts may initially look deflated. It can take 3 weeks for the breasts to regain their volume.

What are the risks of breast implant removal surgery?

All surgery has risks despite the highest standard of practice. The following possible complications are listed to inform not to alarm. There may be other complications that are not listed.

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Numbness to the breast area
  • Breast deformity or sagging

What is the expected recovery after breast implant removal surgery?

Hospital Stay. Most people go home the morning after surgery. It is recommended that you be accompanied home by a carer who will stay with you (or very close by) for the first 24 to 48 hours.

Drain Care. You will go home with drains, which may stay in for 2 weeks. You will be taught how to look after the drains prior to discharge. Community nurses will visit you at home, and remove the drains when the drainage is less than 30 ml/day for 2 consecutive days.

Wound Care. Your wounds are closed with dissolvable sutures and skin glue and covered with waterproof dressings. Remove your dressings in 2 weeks - your wounds should be healed by then and you do not need further dressings. You can massage your scar at 3 weeks using a plain moisturiser with firm circular motions for at least 10 minutes twice a day.

Bras. You may feel more comfortable wearing a supportive wire-free bra or crop top for the first few days.

Driving. You should not drive until the drains have been removed.

Physical Activity. You are encouraged to do as much walking as is comfortable. Avoid activities that create a lot of ‘breast bounce’ for 4 weeks.


Dr Mary Ling performs breast implant removal surgery at Gosford Private Hospital, Brisbane Waters Private Hospital and Tuggerah Lakes Private Hospital on the Central Coast. Dr Ling participates in the No Gap scheme if you have private insurance. Dr Ling contributes data to the Australian Breast Device Registry.