breast. surgery

Breast Implant Removal

Implant removal surgery involves removing existing breast implants and the surrounding scar tissue (capsule). The breasts are often re-shaped to optimize aesthetics.

Common reasons women undergo implant removal surgery include:

  • No longer wish to have breast implants.
  • Desire a smaller breast size.
  • Aged implants.
  • Ruptured implants.
  • Implant-related health concerns.

Breast implants are not lifetime devices and as such ultimately need to be replaced or removed. Additionally, patient’s attitudes regarding their breast implants may change with time, prompting them to seek implant removal. In patients who choose to have their breast implants removed, a discussion regarding the expected appearance of the breasts following surgery is essential. Following a breast augmentation, the implant acts as an internal tissue expander that pushes out against the breast tissue, muscle and skin. Over time, this stretches the skin and thins the native breast tissue. This phenomenon is easily recognized as the period in which the implants “drop” following their initial placement. When the implants are removed, these changes are unmasked, leaving a breast shape that is unlike the pre-augmented version. Therefore, breast tissue reshaping is an integral part of implant removal surgery. The goal is to safely remove the implants and surrounding scar tissue while elevating and re-centering the breast tissue and nipple to create an aesthetically pleasing shape.

Breast implant illness (BII) is a term used to describe a collection of systemic symptoms thought to be related to breast implants. Although implant-related systemic disease has been an area of intense research focus as well as patient interest, a causal linkage between breast implants and systemic disease has not been elucidated. Nevertheless, there are studies that demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in subjective health following implant removal in patients distressed by their implants. Unfortunately, it remains unclear which patients will benefit from implant removal and why. Although some patients experience significant improvement in their health, others do not. This is important as it sets expectations for the prospective surgical patient. Hopefully, further research in this area will add clarity for both patients and providers.

Implant Removal Procedure


Patient’s attitude regarding their breast implants may change with time. As such, some patients may request implant removal and breast reshaping. During this procedure, implants and scar tissue are removed with a focus on preserving breast aesthetics. Your breasts, according to you.

What to Expect

All procedures are done in a balanced fashion to create a natural esthetic.


During the in-depth consultation we will thoroughly review your reasons for undergoing breast implant removal. Expectations following your procedure will be discussed as this will determine if additional breast re-shaping will be required. Breast implants add volume to the breast and when removed, the remaining breast tissue is often much less than anticipated. This can impart a lack of fullness at the top portion of the breast. It is important to realize that your breasts will not look like they did prior to your augmentation when the implants are removed. Breast re-shaping can dramatically improve the post-operative result and this will be discussed.

During your consultation, many measurements are recorded, which ultimately facilitate incision location and lift technique, if required.


Surgery is performed at an accredited surgery center in Newport Beach, California, USA and typically lasts 1-3 hours depending on the degree of shaping required to achieve your desired look. Under the care of a Board Certified Anesthesiologist, general anesthesia (fully asleep) is used to ensure maximal comfort and safety. Upon request, En-bloc removal of the breast implant and capsule (scar tissue) will be performed if determined to be safe. The capsule will be sent for pathological evaluation in order to identify any abnormalities.

There are several different ways to approach a breast lift, if required, following implant removal. The incisions used will depend on the existing breast size and shape.

Crescent Lift

The incision is disguised in the upper areolar margin and generally heals very well. A crescent lift is only used in cases that involve minimal nipple malposition.

Lollipop Lift

The incision is disguised in the areolar margin with a vertical extension to the breast crease, allowing the skin to be more aggressively tightened while simultaneously elevating the nipple and areola. There is less scarring than the anchor lift and the areola can often be reduced in size if the patient desires. This technique is useful in patients with mild to moderate breast ptosis.

Anchor Lift

The incision is similar to the lollipop incision in that it is disguised in the areolar margin with a vertical extension to the breast crease. There is an additional horizontal incision that is hidden in the breast crease, which allows for maximal skin removal, tightening and nipple/areolar repositioning. The areolas can be reduced in size if the patient desires.  This technique is useful in patients with moderate to severe breast ptosis.


Patients are discharged home the same day and generally experience very minimal discomfort, often returning to light work within a week following surgery. Post-operatively, patients are advised to avoid strenuous exercise or heavy labor for 6 weeks following the procedure in order to ensure proper healing. I ask that my patients wear a supportive bra without underwire for 6 weeks following surgery.


The results are expected to be long lasting provided patients maintain an active lifestyle and avoid significant change in natural breast volume (e.g. pregnancy and significant fluctuations in weight). Skin gradually loses its innate elasticity as we age, which unavoidably compromises the robustness of the lift, if performed. As such, patients may desire additional revisionary procedures to re-elevate and tighten the breasts.


It is without a doubt that many patients who seek breast implant removal and capsulectomy for health-related concerns experience improvement in their symptoms following surgery. Unfortunately, symptom relief is not guaranteed, and it’s impossible to predict an individual’s response to surgery. As such, it is important to be prepared for partial, temporary or no improvement in your health.
During your consultation we will discuss your goals and expected result. The need for a lift is determined by your desired breast shape, skin quality and the current position of your nipple with respect to your breast crease. Some patients wish to simply undergo implant and capsule removal, which is perfectly acceptable. During your consultation, we will discuss the expected appearance and the decision to pursue breast re-shaping to improve aesthetics will be yours.
Yes. Drains will remain in place for approximately 5 days in order to assist with fluid egress. Preventing post-operative fluid build-up is important and increases the safety of the procedure. It is important to know that drains do not hurt. Removal is simple, painless and done during your office visit.
Before & After

Stunning, natural breast results from patients.

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Receive an in-depth consultation where we will thoroughly review your goals to personalize a plan focused on a natural and aesthetic result. Dr. Donald S. Mowlds, MD is located in beautiful Newport Beach, CA but is also available via a virtual consultation for out-of-town patients.

    Types of Breast Surgery

    All procedures are done in a balanced and natural esthetic.

    Breast augmentation utilizes silicone or saline implants to enhance both breast volume and shape.

    A breast lift, or mastopexy, involves repositioning the breast tissue and nipple on the chest wall, restoring a youthful appearance and feel.

    Breast implants are not lifetime devices. As such, many women ultimately require revisionary breast procedures to replace their implants. Breast shape changes with time so revision breast surgery often includes additional procedures designed to create a natural, youthful breast.

    Implant removal surgery involves removing existing breast implants and the surrounding scar tissue (capsule). The breasts are often re-shaped to optimize aesthetics.

    During breast reduction surgery, breast tissue and skin are removed, contouring the breast into a smaller more aesthetically pleasing shape.

    Restoration of form and function is one of the tenants of plastic surgery and breast reconstruction, specifically, epitomizes this mantra.

    Breast Implants & Placement

    Silicone vs Saline Implants. Over or under the muscle?

    Silicone gel breast implants consist of a durable silicone shell filled with a pre-determined volume of silicone gel. The properties of the gel differ between companies as well as within their distinct implant product lines. This provides the surgeon and patient latitude in customizing the final result. In general, silicone gel implants provide a more natural look and feel when compared to saline breast implants. The newer generations of implants are filled with a more cohesive gel that behaves like a “gummy bear,” maintaining its shape and firmness.

    Silicone implant ruptures are difficult to detect and often “silent,” meaning there are no telltale signs. If you think you may have an implant rupture, we should discuss options for investigation and treatment. Silicone implants are FDA approved for breast augmentation in women age 22 years and older or in patients of any age who are undergoing breast reconstruction. Silicone breast implants have been extensively researched and have an excellent safety profile.

    Saline breast implants have a silicone shell that is filled with sterile salt (saline) solution in the operating room. Compared to silicone gel implants, saline breast implants are placed through a smaller incision since filling occurs after they are positioned in the breast. Saline is not compressible and as such these implants tend to maintain an augmented look.

    Compared to silicone gel, saline implant rupture is easily detected through complete implant volume loss. Saline implants are FDA approved for breast augmentation in women 18 years and older and in women undergoing breast reconstruction at any age.

    Implant removal surgery involves removing existing breast implants and the surrounding scar tissue (capsule). The breasts are often re-shaped to optimize aesthetics.

    Common reasons women undergo implant removal surgery include wanting a smaller breast size, they have aged implants, ruptured implants or implant-related health concerns.

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    Services & Procedures

    All procedures are done in a balanced and natural esthetic.