Chances are, if you’re considering breast augmentation surgery, you aren’t pondering reversing that surgery down the road. However, it’s important to take the step to acknowledge that at some point, you may want to exchange or remove your breast implants. Dr. Golosow is experienced in not only breast augmentation but also exchange and explant procedures. There are many reasons women may want to exchange/downsize or remove their implants. Let’s explore some of those reasons below!
In 2015, more than 38,000 breast explant procedures were performed in the United States alone. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, growing numbers of women are requesting removal of their once-coveted larger breasts. The trend appears to be taking the internet by storm as well, with over 400,000 visits to the Breast Implant Removal forum on RealSelf.com. The site, which functions as a discussion board for consumers who’ve undergone plastic surgery, has seen a substantial rise in traffic over the past several years. There, consumers can find information on the removal process and converse with other individuals who share their sentiments. Many forum users express a desire to feel “normal,” or “less fake,” while others simply feel their implants no longer serve the purpose for which they were originally intended.
According to Dr. Daniel Mills, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, women in the 35-50 age group generally have the highest number of explant requests. The statistics aren’t shocking either, considering the fact that implants generally have a life expectancy of about 10 years. According to Mills, most women who request explant surgery have had their implants for years, and as they age, have come to the realization that larger implants no longer fit into their lifestyles. Weight gain may also leave women feeling as though their breasts are too large for their bodies, necessitating either reduction or removal. Not to mention, retaining implants past the 10-year mark may come with complications, including rupture, hardening of the area around the implant, scarring and asymmetry, according to manufacturers.
Culturally, the big-breasted look is just as popular as ever, but many women are now expressing a desire for full, curvy chests, just on a smaller scale. Breast augmentation surgeries are still among the most popular cosmetic procedures in plastic surgery, with over 300,000 procedures performed in 2015 alone. What surgeons are finding, however, is that women initially request smaller implants, and those who request explant surgery are often seeking a simple downsize, not a full removal. Even in the retail market, sales of barely-there bralettes and daintier sports bras have begun to soar — signs that the trend is undoubtedly shifting toward smaller breasts. It’s not surprising, either, given the fact that growing numbers of women are participating in high-intensity training, where larger breasts can present a significant challenge.
Among women considering explant surgery, a common worry appears to have emerged: impending regret. Many women who’ve had their implants for a long time are concerned they’ll regret the procedure after having it done; however, this doesn’t appear to be the case. The majority of women who undergo explant surgery report feeling satisfied with their results, whether they opt for just a downsize or full removal. At the end of the day, that’s what truly matters, women feeling satisfied and proud in their own bodies.