Breast Implant Removal

Call for an Appointment 855-855-6484

Duke Health plastic surgeons surgically remove breast implants when you want to return to your natural breast shape and breast size when they are affecting your quality of life, or if you have experienced complications with your implants. Your plastic surgeon will explain your options and can recommend other procedures to meet your aesthetic goals.

Find a Breast Implant Removal Doctor
Matching Results
Filter Results
Filter by:
Use My Current Location
Located Near You
Loading Results
Showing of Doctors
Load More View All

When to Remove Breast Implants

Silicone and saline breast implants should be evaluated for exchange or removal 10 to 15 years after they were implanted. This is true whether you had implants placed following breast reconstruction or for cosmetic reasons. 

You may want your breast implants removed earlier if: 

  • Your breast appearance has changed since they were implanted, and you are no longer happy with the result. 
  • You want to return to your natural breast shape and breast size. 
  • They are causing you pain or discomfort. 
  • You are experiencing complications, such as an implant rupture or the formation of hardened scar tissue. This is called capsular contracture. 
  • You are experiencing breast implant illness and symptoms such as “brain fog,” memory loss, and joint pain. 

Optional Procedures Following Breast Implant Removal
Once breast implants are removed, your breasts will sag, look less full, and, in some cases, appear deflated. For this reason, some people have new implants put in. Alternatively, you may consider undergoing a breast lift or natural augmentation to improve the position and shape of your breasts once the implants are removed. Your plastic surgeon will discuss these options with you during your consultation.

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Consultation and Pre-Surgical Testing

What to Expect at Your First Consultation
During your initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will discuss your reasons for removing your breast implants, your desired outcome, and the expected results. We take time to understand your breast anatomy, skin elasticity, and body type. We conduct a thorough medical history, including your family history, general health status, previous operations, and any medications you may be taking. We examine your breasts and take measurements of their size, shape, the placement of your nipples and areolas. Photographs will be taken for your medical record. 

Personalized Procedure Recommendations
After the consultation and physical exam, your surgeon will determine if your implants should be removed through your original scar or through a new incision. Removing the capsule that surrounds the implants may be recommended depending on your situation. Additional procedures such as replacing the implants, fat grafting, or a breast lift may be performed to improve your breasts’ appearance after removal. These may need to be done at the same time of removal or during a different surgery. 

Cost of Breast Implant Removal
Insurance will cover the cost of removing your breast implants, but it will not cover the placement of new implants or any additional procedures. The cost depends on which procedures you need to achieve your goals. Our financial counselor will help you understand your financial responsibility. 

Pre-Surgical Testing
To ensure you are in optimal health for surgery, blood work will test your liver and kidney function and will determine if you have any infection, blood disorder, or anemia, that may have gone previously undetected. A mammogram may be recommended to detect underlying breast abnormalities.

Call for a Consultation

Breast Implant Removal Surgery and Recovery

How Is Breast Implant Removal Surgery Performed
How the surgery is performed will depend on your anatomy, and the additional procedures you may undergo. Typically, is it performed at one of our accredited ambulatory surgery centers. You will undergo general anesthesia. Ideally, your plastic surgeon will remove the implants and scar tissue through the same incision. That may change if you are getting an additional procedure at the same time. 

If your implants have ruptured or you have developed thick scar tissue around them, your surgeon may discuss removing some or all of your scar tissue. If you choose to have a lift, your surgeon will discuss the scars and timing of your lift. In patients who have had very large implants or complications related to their previous surgery, our surgeons may suggest doing your lift in a separate surgery. 

Often, lifts are performed using incisions that will leave a scar around your nipple and depending on the size of your implants and the shape of your breasts, a scar down the front of your breast and one that hides in your breast fold. If fat grafting is done at the same time as your lift, your surgeon will need to obtain fat using liposuction from areas like your abdomen or thighs. Depending on how much fat is required, this may change the shape or contour of the area they use. 

Recovery Following Breast Implant Removal
You will feel sore, swollen, and bruised immediately after your surgery and will continue to feel mild discomfort for the first week. You may wear a compression garment after surgery. You may be able to start light exercise after four weeks. You should be able to resume all your regular activities after six weeks.

Consistently Ranked Among the Nation’s Best Hospitals

Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why we are once again recognized as the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 11 adult and 10 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2024–2025.

This page was medically reviewed on 02/09/2024 by