Breast Implant Removal (Explant Surgery)

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Pittsburgh, PA

Breast implant removal, or explantation, is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of breast implants. Some women opt for this procedure due to complications or dissatisfaction with their implants over time, while others may choose to remove them as part of a personal decision to return to a more natural appearance. Regardless of your reason for considering breast implant removal, it is essential to work with an experienced plastic surgeon who can guide you through the process.

At Beleza Plastic Surgery, Dr. Anna Wooten is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery. She understands that each patient’s situation is unique and tailors her approach to meet their specific needs. During your consultation, she will discuss your goals and provide you with all the information necessary to make an informed decision about the procedure. She will take her time to provide education on the various options you may have when it comes to breast implant removal.

Dr. Wooten utilizes advanced techniques to restructure the breasts, minimize scarring, and ensure that her patients achieve the best possible results. Her goal is to help you regain confidence in your body.  To schedule a consultation with Dr. Wooten at our Sewickley office, call us at (724) 759-7777. To book an appointment at our Pittsburgh location, call (412) 877-9388. Alternatively, you can fill out our online form to get in touch.

Find out more about Breast Augmentation and the other Breast Surgery options available at Beleza by reading the Beleza Plastic Surgery blog.

Before and After Photos

About Breast Implant Removal (Explant) Surgery

For many women who already have breast implants, revisionary surgery can be a more complex procedure than their primary breast augmentation, and Dr. Wooten has the technology and techniques to ensure lasting and safe results. Breast implant removal surgery (a.k.a. explantation) may be done for a variety of reasons, such as capsular contracture, implant rupture or suspected implant rupture, breast implant illness, dissatisfaction with implant size or expected appearance, or simply because the patient no longer wants the implants. At Beleza Plastic Surgery, Dr. Wooten offers expert breast implant removal services to help clients achieve their desired look and restore confidence.

Breast implant removal, or explant surgery, may be accompanied by other complementary procedures, such as a mastopexy (breast lift) or fat transfer to the breasts to improve breast size and shape. Often, removing a breast implant can leave the breast looking deflated, so Dr. Wooten uses breast lift techniques and fat transfers to re-volumize the breast and/or lift the nipple to a more youthful position.

Why Remove Breast Implants?

Routine Replacement

Breast implants are not designed to be lifetime devices, and silicone implants are recommended to be replaced every ten years. Patients who no longer wish to keep up with this ongoing maintenance may elect to have their implants removed. 

Capsular Contracture

Scar tissue formation in the pocket around a breast implant is a normal healing process which occurs following breast augmentation surgery. Capsular contracture is the term for the condition when this scar tissue hardens and tightens around the breast implant. This undesirable complication following breast surgery causes discomfort and a distorted appearance of the augmented breast. Capsular contracture occurs in about 1 out of 10 cases nationally, (1) however these rates are significantly lower at Beleza under Dr. Wooten’s care. Capsular contracture can be treated through explantation surgery.

Implant Rupture and/or Leakage

Implant rupture and leakage can occur with both saline and silicone implants. If a rupture or leak occurs, the breast implant must be removed and/or replaced. Saline ruptures are often easier to detect, while silicone ruptures may require additional imaging. In addition to ordering breast imaging studies, Dr. Wooten sometimes uses the hand-held Butterfly iQ+ device at Beleza to help evaluate implant integrity for her patients. This imaging device uses ultrasound technology to enhance the patient experience. The Butterfly iQ+ device will not replace the need for ultrasound, mammogram, or MRI imaging, but it can help Dr. Wooten to understand a patient’s issue and have an in-depth consultation.

Breast Asymmetry and Sagging

Breast asymmetry and sagging can occur as a result of aging, weight fluctuation, pregnancy, breast-feeding, or other factors. Breast implant removal surgery may be used to restore symmetry and improve the appearance of sagging breasts. When asymmetry or ptosis (breast sagging) are the primary concerns, breast implant removal is often combined with a breast lift to correct the nipple position.

Breast Implant Illness

Breast implant illness is a generalized condition that some women may experience after receiving breast implants. Symptoms may include fatigue, joint pain, hair loss, or other chronic health issues. Out of concern for these symptoms, some women choose to have their implants explanted. When Dr. Wooten removes breast implants, she may perform a complete capsulectomy as well, which means that she excises scar tissue which has formed around the breast implants.


Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma is a very rare condition that affects an estimated 1 in 500,000 women per year. (2) While this is not breast cancer, it may be found in the breast tissue and cause swelling and pain. The treatment for BIA-ALCL typically involves removing the breast implant and the surrounding capsule of scar tissue as a whole. This type of treatment is called an “en bloc” capsulectomy.

What Are My Implant Removal Options?

Some patients choose to simply have a breast explant surgery, however others choose to incorporate another procedure into their breast implant removal surgery.

Explant Surgery (Breast Implant Removal)

The simplest and most straightforward option is simply to remove the breast implants. Depending on the complexity of the patient’s breasts, this may be done under local or general anesthetic. A straightforward explant surgery with no additional procedures may leave the patient with a deflated appearance to their breasts.

Explant Surgery (Breast Implant Removal) and Fat Transfer

Breast implant removal and fat transfer surgery involves removing the breast implants and transferring fat from another part of the body to enhance the appearance of the breasts. The fat can be used to correct for the volume lost when the breast implant is removed.

Explant Surgery (Breast Implant Removal) and Breast Lift

Breast implant removal and breast lift surgery may be combined to restore the natural appearance of the breasts after implant removal. Along with breast explantation, a mastopexy (breast lift) is performed to raise the nipple to a more youthful position and/or remove excess skin and may be recommended when removing breast implants to optimize appearance.

Breast Implant Revision

Breast implant revision surgery is performed to address issues that arise after breast augmentation. This may include implant displacement, malposition, rotation, deflation, extrusion, infection, or other complications. Revision surgery may include replacing existing implants with a new pair. Often, Dr. Wooten uses reconstructive scaffolding mesh when performing breast revision. This mesh helps to ensure the stable long-term position of the breast implant. 

Benefits of Implant Removal

Breast implant removal is a procedure that can offer various benefits to patients who are not satisfied with their implants or who are experiencing complications. Dr. Anna Wooten at Beleza Plastic Surgery is an expert in breast explant (breast implant removal) surgery, and she will provide you with a customized treatment plan that suits your individual needs. Here are some of the benefits you can experience from this procedure:

  • Improved physical comfort: If your implants are causing discomfort, pain, or other health issues, removing them can help to alleviate these symptoms.
  • Restored natural appearance: Explant surgery can restore your natural breast shape, feel, and size.
  • Enhanced body confidence: Some women feel self-conscious about their breast implants and prefer a more natural look. In this case, removing the implants may increase self-esteem and overall body confidence.
  • Reduced risk of complications: Implants can rupture, leak, or cause infection. Explant surgery can eliminate these risks and prevent further surgeries.
  • Customized results: Dr. Wooten will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that matches your goals and preferences.

At Beleza Plastic Surgery, we are committed to providing you with the highest quality care and support throughout your journey. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how breast implant removal can benefit you.

Candidates for Breast Explant Surgery

Candidates for breast implant removal are women who have previously undergone breast augmentation and who now wish to remove their implants due to a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Implant rupture or leakage
  • Capsular contracture
  • Desire to remove old or damaged implants
  • Changes in personal preferences or lifestyle
  • Health concerns related to implants
  • Displeasure with the size, shape, or position of implants

It is important for candidates to be in optimized health and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. To ensure patient safety and beautiful cosmetic outcomes, Dr. Wooten recommends that patients considering explant surgery be at or near their goal weight and avoid nicotine use prior to the procedure. 

Personal Consultation

During your consultation at our Sewickley or Pittsburgh location, Dr. Wooten will take the time to discuss your medical history, listen to your concerns and goals, examine your breasts, and educate you on your explant options. Together, you will determine the best course of action for your individual needs.

Dr. Wooten understands that breast implant removal can be a sensitive topic for some patients. She wants to ensure that each patient feels comfortable and informed throughout the process. That’s why she takes the time to explain the procedure, including any potential risks or complications, as well as what to expect during recovery.


If you have decided to remove your breast implants, it is important that you properly prepare for the procedure to ensure a successful outcome. Here are some tips on how to get ready for breast implant removal surgery:

  • Schedule a consultation with Dr. Wooten to discuss your concerns and goals.
  • Provide a complete medical history, including any medications or supplements you are taking, allergies, and previous surgeries.
  • Follow all pre-operative instructions provided, which may include stopping certain medications/supplements, avoiding smoking, and arranging for transportation on the day of surgery.
  • Plan for a time off from work or other activities to allow for recovery, which may include rest and limited physical activity.
  • Make arrangements for a ride for the day of surgery, and for someone to help you during the first few days after surgery, as you may experience grogginess from anesthesia, discomfort and limited mobility.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure a smooth and successful breast implant removal surgery.

Breast Implant Removal Procedure

During the surgery, Dr. Wooten may make an incision in the same location as the original breast augmentation incision. She will then carefully remove the implant and any surrounding scar tissue or capsule. If necessary, she may perform a breast lift or fat transfer to restore symmetry and fullness to the breasts.

It is important to note that breast implant removal surgery can sometimes be more complicated than the initial breast augmentation, especially if the patient has experienced complications such as capsular contracture, implant malposition or rotation, implant deflation or rupture, or breast tissue damage. In these cases, Dr. Wooten will work closely with the patient to develop a customized treatment plan.

Recovery & Results after Explant Surgery

The recovery process after a breast implant removal procedure is similar to that of any breast surgery. Following the procedure, you can expect mild to moderate discomfort, swelling, and bruising around the surgical site. During surgery, Dr. Wooten often injects a nerve blocking medication called Exparel. Exparel improves the recovery experience for patients, as it dulls pain for up to three days after surgery. Additionally, Dr. Wooten prescribes pain medication to help alleviate discomfort you may experience during your recovery period. You will also be provided with specific aftercare instructions on how to care for the surgical site to promote speedy healing.

Avoid any strenuous activities or heavy lifting for six weeks post-surgery. Patients should also plan to take time off from work to ensure proper rest and recovery. It’s important to follow Dr. Wooten’s guidance regarding your individual recovery timeline.

After the initial recovery period, patients will notice an immediate change in the appearance of their chest. Upon full recovery, patients will enjoy a more comfortable and natural-looking chest, free from the potential future surgeries which may be associated with breast implants.

Cost of Breast Implant Removal in Pittsburgh

The cost of breast implant removal will vary from patient to patient based on several factors, such as the extent of surgery required, the complexity of any complications they may have experienced (such as implant migration or capsular contracture) and whether other procedures are performed at the same time. During your personal consultation with Dr. Anna Wooten, Beleza will provide you with an accurate estimate for the price of your procedure.

If you are considering breast implant removal, entrust your care to Dr. Wooten and the experienced team at Beleza Plastic Surgery. Contact us today at (724) 759-7777 to schedule your consultation and take the first step toward achieving your aesthetic goals.


  1. Headon H, Kasem A, Mokbel K. Capsular Contracture after Breast Augmentation: An Update for Clinical Practice. Archives of Plastic Surgery. 2015;42(5):532. doi: 
  2. Swanson E. The Case for Breast Implant Removal or Replacement Without Capsulectomy. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Published online February 11, 2021. doi: