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What is a breast explant / breast implant removal?

Breast implant removal (breast explant surgery) is a procedure done to remove the breast implants and revise their size and shape, or to remove the implants and leave the breasts without implants at all.

Women can also experience the following complications that require a breast explant procedure/breast implant removal:

  • Implant rupture or folding
  • For saline implants, implant deflation
  • Infection or dead tissue buildup
  • Silicone leakage
  • Capsular contracture
  • Fluctuations in weight or pregnancy that shift the implants
  • The implants appear asymmetrical
  • Hardened breast tissue
  • Discomfort or pain
  • The breast scar tissue is getting harder or tighter

Who is a candidate?

Candidates for breast explant/breast implant removal should meet the following criteria:

  • You are generally in good health
  • You don’t smoke
  • Your weight is stable
  • You have realistic expectations of what this surgery can do for you
Breast Augmentation Maryland

Breast implant removal procedure

There are a number of breast implant removal procedures, depending on your unique needs and goals for your body.

Breast explant with capsulectomy (for capsular contracture)

Capsular contracture is the tightening and calcification of the capsule (the tissue that your body forms around any foreign object in the body, such as breast implants). If the capsule becomes infected and the implant feels hard, breast explant surgery is done to remove it.

During the procedure, incisions will be made in the same place as they were made in the original implant surgery.The implant and the capsule together are removed and the incisions are closed.

Breast explant with breast lift

If the breast skin is stretched or sagging, which is often the case, a breast lift may be done at the same time as the implant removal. The excess breast skin will be removed to tighten the breasts and the breasts will be lifted higher on the chest wall. The nipples will be repositioned for a perky, youthful look.

Breast explant with replacement implants or fat transfer augmentation

If you wish to continue to have augmented breasts, once Dr. Shermak removes the old implants, new implants of your choosing are inserted, giving your breasts the look and feel you desire.

If you don’t want to have implants but still want enhanced size and volume, a fat transfer can be performed. During this procedure, fat is removed from one part of the body that has surplus fat tissue, which gives you the added benefit of sculpting and shaping that area. The fat cells are purified and then injected into the breasts, which gives them a fuller, more natural appearance.

Breast explant alone

During this procedure, Dr. Shermak will remove your implants without adding a lift or replacing the augmentation with implants or fat transfer.


In many cases, breast explant surgery is an easier recovery than the original implant surgery. You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours after the surgery.

After the procedure, your breasts will take several months to fully settle into their new position. You will experience some swelling for the first couple of weeks, and a compression bra will help minimize this swelling during the first week or two. During recovery, it is important to sleep on your back or side. During the first month and a half after surgery, avoid heavy lifting (anything above five pounds for at least several weeks) or exercise. You will be able to drive once you have stopped taking narcotics. Many patients can return to work in a few days.

Why choose Dr. Shermak?

Dr. Shermak is an understanding, board-certified, outstanding plastic surgeon whose mission it is to restore your beauty, self-confidence and positive self-image. She is known for her expertise, excellent results and attention to detail. Her individualized approach and experience make her one of the top ranked plastic surgeons in Baltimore.


How painful is breast explant surgery?

Recovery from breast explant surgery includes some pain and discomfort and typically takes several weeks, but tends to be less painful and take less time than the original surgery performed to place the implants.

Will my breasts sag after implant removal?

Yes, your breasts will usually sag after the implants are removed.

How long do you wear a compression bra after implant removal?

You will wear your compression bra for 2-3 weeks following the procedure. This allows the tissues to shrink back and maintain the shape and lift of the breasts after the surgery.

How long does it take to remove the implants?

The procedure itself usually takes one to three hours.

What kind of scars will I have?

Dr. Shermak can often use the same incision location as your previous lift to avoid additional scarring. If a new incision is needed, it will either be under the breast along the crease of the skin or around the areola, where changes in skin pigmentation will make the scar less noticeable.

How much does breast implant removal cost?

This depends on multiple factors, including the type of your previous breast augmentation, the severity of scar tissue, and whether you would like to have new implants placed or a simultaneous breast lift. During your consultation with Dr. Shermak, you will be able to cover the details of which procedure or combination procedure you choose and what the cost is.

When can I return to work?

Many patients can return to work after a few days or a week.

Do I need a lift after implant removal?

If your nipples are sitting low on your breasts and the breasts themselves are sagging, a breast lift is needed to reshape and lift the breasts and relocate the nipples higher on the breasts for a perkier look. This is quite common after implant removal.

1304 Bellona Avenue, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093

Dr. Michele Shermak offers some of the top cosmetic procedures Baltimore, MD has to offer
including Baltimore breast augmentation & liposuction

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View Update Virtual Consultation

We are officially open, thanks to Governor Hogan!

We welcome new patients and are looking forward to performing elective surgical procedures, starting the week of May 11.

This is a new day, with new safety protocols. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and respect the continued risk COVID-19 presents. For this reason, we will be instituting the following protocols:

  • We will have Sandy stationed at our entryway with sterilizer and a COVID-19 survey for our new patients to fill out. Sandy will also check your temperature and collect your paperwork at the door – our medical intake form can be filled out prior to your coming to the office, or you can fill it out after you arrive.
  • Please bring a mask for any in-office visits. If you are coming for surgery, please bring a paper mask if you have one. For any other visits, cloth masks or paper masks are fine.
  • We need any patient waiting to be seen to wait in your car until we can safely accommodate you in an exam room. We need to respect social distancing and are spacing our patients out to assure safety.
  • We can only allow the patient to come in to the office for examination. Friends or family will need to wait outside the office.
  • For those assisting our postoperative patients on the day of surgery: we ask that you kindly wait in your car and we will call you in to discuss postoperative instructions.
  • I am continuing to schedule Virtual Consultations which is exciting and new! Check out my Resources section or header at drshermak.com to get started!

I look forward to seeing you soon!


As of July 1st, the staff members at The Plastic Surgery Center of Maryland will no longer routinely be wearing masks following the state guidelines per Governor Hogan.

All of our staff members are vaccinated.

If any patient would prefer that the medical staff member caring for them wear a mask, please let us know and we will gladly do so.

We treat patients with compormised immune systems and we need to be respectful of their needs.

We are asking patients who are not fully vaccinated to please wear masks while in our office so that we may continue to safely accomodate our patients with weakened immune systems.

Thank you!

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