My Recovery after Explant Surgery

Recovering after explant surgery

As the anesthetic wears off, you may be given painkillers to relieve the pain.

Nobody should drive immediately after any form of anesthesia, because it affects coordinating and reasoning skills for at least 24 hours. Ideally, you should have a relative or friend stay with you for a day if you have day surgery.

In most cases, you should not engage in strenuous physical activities for about six weeks..

It is important to follow the surgeon’s advice regarding what type of bra to wear, and when to wear it.

If your explant surgeon used sutures that do not dissolve, or placed drainage tubes in your breasts, you will need a follow-up appointment to have them removed.

Absorbable (dissolvable) stitches usually disappear within six weeks.


What is the recovery process like after explant surgery?

After your surgery is complete, you will begin the recovery process. It’s important that you take good care of yourself during this time to ensure that your body has time to heal and look its best. Read on to learn what to expect in the days and weeks following your surgery.

  • You will probably feel fatigued and sore for several days after the explant surgery, so rest is essential.
  • Your doctor may ask you to wear a postoperative bra, compression bandage, or sports bra for extra support and to prevent fluid build up while you heal.
  • Most patients are able to return to work within a few days after their procedure
  • You may experience a sloshing feeling/sound in your chest, this is normal as long as the fluid doesn’t pool and collect in the one area causing a hematoma or seroma. Be diligent and keep an eye on any fluid build up.
  • It’s best to avoid any strenuous activities that could raise your pulse and blood pressure, or which require strenuous use of your arms and chest.
  • Your breasts MAY remain swollen and sensitive to physical contact for a few days, weeks, a month or longer.
  • Your surgeon will be able to provide you with more specific details about the recovery process. Contact your surgeon should any problems occur after your surgery.
  • Important note: If you experience a fever, or noticeable swelling and/or redness in your breast(s), you should contact your explant surgeon immediately.


Now that your explant surgery is behind you, it’s time to focus on getting your life back to normal—the new normal, that is. There’s no denying that the feelings of loss you are feeling are 100% real, because they are. Having your breast implants removed is traumatic and will take some getting used to.

But you may discover a few positives as you adjust to living breast implant free.

You can now begin to enjoy the freedom of wearing all the very cute smaller cup bras again, exercise without discomfort and sleep on your tummy once again. No more backaches or bouncing when jogging! Hugging is so much better without Silicone or Saline torpedoes in the way.

You may worry that your partner won’t find you attractive without your breast implants. Interestingly, many women who have had explant surgery report the same concerns with body image and sexuality prior to explanting, but go on to say that their sex life is better after explant, as they now feel a new sense of freedom and oneness with themselves. Their new found “self love” does wonders for self esteem and this in turn enhances sexuality.

On the other hand, you may be delighted to realize that, in clothes, you can look every bit if not more beautiful than you did before.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be alone as you adjust to life after your explant surgery, we are here to help.

After a post-surgical recovery period of 24 to 48 hours and an additional reduced-activity period of a few days, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks.

Exercise and normal activity can resume at the direction of your explant surgeon. Over time, post-surgical swelling will decrease and incision lines will fade.

You will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • How to care for your breasts following surgery,
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection
  • When to follow-up with your explant surgeon.
  • Be sure to ask your explant surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
  • When will they be removed?
  • Will I have drains? If yes for how long?
  • Will I have stitches? Are the stitches dissolvable or do they have to be removed? If yes when?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

When you go home

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, excessive swelling, redness, hot breasts or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment. It is better to call you surgeon for reassurance than not.

The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

Be careful

Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.