Time, cost and procedure for removal

I am looking at halving my saline implants removed after having them for 18 years I have had significant ongoing health problems for years so I am having them removed as I understand they can begin to break down over time. Are you able to suggest the questions I should ask a surgeon to ensure the best outcome from implant removal? Also how long could I expect the procedure to take, is it day surgery? I had very little breast tissue( 32 AA) before my implants, I am now 34C. Is it best to have a lift done at the time of removal or later? I am currently unable due to work due to poor health and have had 10 weeks in hospital this year. I will need to increase and monitor my medication for an endocrine condition, prior to and after surgery so I am looking for the least invasive but safe removal procedure. What might I expect the removal and breast lift to cost?

SLee August 3rd, 2016 QLD

  • Answer
    Dr. Raymond Goh

    Raymond Goh

    123 answers

    Plastic Surgeon
    Queensland, Australia

    Hi Slee.
    Thank you for posting your questions. 
    A big factor in your case is the presence of your other medical conditions. The details of your health issues need to be outlined to your plastic surgeon so that he or she can select the most appropriate procedure in terms of safety and recovery. The simplest and safest approach is removal of implants alone with capsulectomy (removal of the scar tissue surrounding the implants). This is usually done as a same-day surgery, and under a general anaesthesia. The cost of the procedure varies between practices.
    Of course, after the implants have been in there for some time, removal of them will result in deflation of your breasts. The options following removal, depending on how your breasts look, can include a lift, re-insertion of new implants, or both. These procedures can be done at the same time or as a two-stage procedure, depending on your clinical findings and outcome wishes.
    All the very best.
    Warm regards,Dr Ray GohValley Plastic Surgery
  • Answer
     Robert Drielsma

    Robert Drielsma

    191 answers

    Plastic Surgeon
    New South Wales, Australia

    Thanks for posting your questions and I am sorry to read that you have experienced such poor health over the years.  Your first step is finding a fully qualified plastic surgeon experienced in breast implant removal. Following a full assessment of your overall health and an examination (including imaging) of your breasts you can discuss your surgical options for removal of your implants.  If necessary I would liaise with your various specialists prior to surgery and during your recovery to ensure that your health issues are being addressed. As you have had your implants for 18 years, you can expect that your breast tissue and skin will have stretched to accommodate your implants over time.  Removal of your implants will likely result in deflated breasts.  If this concerns you then it possible to removal your implants and perform a lift at the same time.  Typically, patients are in hospital overnight. Recovery is usually quite swift although vigorous activity needs to be avoided for around six weeks or so.  Costs vary depending on the scope of the procedure involved and the skills and experience of your surgeon.  Medicare rebates may apply so a referral from your GP is essential.