Breast Implant Removal explained by Dr Paul J. Belt

Explantation involves the removal of a previous breast implant.

Whenever a breast implant is placed into breast tissue a fibrous scar forms around the implant (capsule).

Explantation may require removal of part or all of this capsule (capsulectomy).

A capsulectomy can either be a complete or partial capsulectomy depending on the clinical need.

Other procedures that may need to be combined are replacement of an implant, change to create a new pocket and occasionally an uplift (mastopexy) to the breast.

The indications for explantation or removal of an implant can include –

  1. Patient’s request
  2. Complications relating to the implant

Complications related to an implant can include capsular contracture where the fibrous sleeve becomes hard and creates a “rock in a sock” appearance to the breast.

This is graded I through to IV depending on the severity of the contracture.

Grade I is where the contracture is not really obvious, Grade II is where the contracture can be felt, Grade III is where it is visible and Grade IV is where it is painful.

Other complications include mal position or rotation of the implant.

Rupture of the implant can occur. In the case of a saline implant this simply causes deflation of the implant.

Where a silicone implant has been placed the silicone can either leak into the capsule (intracapsular rupture) or beyond the confines of the fibrous capsule (extra capsular rupture).

Medicare and/or private health fund refunds are available for some explantation procedures depending on the clinical need and situation.

Dr. Belt is happy to answer any email enquiries you may have.

It is also helpful if you can also email images. I can assure you that the images will be treated with the utmost confidence.

Dr. Belt’s team would be happy to provide you with an estimate of fees.


Dr. Paul J. Belt

Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Mechanic

M.A., B.M., B.Ch. (Oxon), FRCS (Eng), FRACS (Plast)

Tel. 07 3852 6800

Level 1, 38 Misterton Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Queensland 4006


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