What to Expect: Healing After Breast Implant Removal


If you had a breast implant in the past, there are many reasons you may be opting for breast implant removal. That’s nobody’s business but your own.

When an implant is removed, it’s known as explant surgery. And yes, it is surgery. So just as with any surgery, that means you can expect recovery time.

Obviously, every patient is different and there’s no one story that applies to all. There are some basics you can expect though.

The Basics for Recovering from Breast Implant Removal

You had implant surgery so you could use that as a baseline for your explant surgery. However, if your surgery was a long time ago, you may not feel comfortable relying on that.

Plan to spend the first several days recovering at home. It is essential during this period to avoid any excessive pulling or stretching of the area. Your incisions cannot be exposed to abrasion of any kind, so ditch the loofah. And don’t plan to hit the nudist beach for tanning. The incisions cannot be in direct sunlight either.

Compression garments will also be vital. These may seem like an inconvenience, but in the long run, they accelerate the healing process by managing swelling and bruising and promoting blood circulation. These garments are surprisingly comfortable. They do a stellar job at reducing postoperative discomfort. So regard them as supportive friends.

On average, you can expect to return to work in one week, unless you have a job that requires strenuous movement or lifting anything over ten pounds. (This includes children.) It’s important to give yourself extra time if that’s the case.

Further Explant Surgery Recovery Tips

Eating well and staying hydrated is always the rule of thumb. Abiding by your board-certified surgeon’s directions and attending follow-up appointments is also key. But there are a few other things you may not have considered.

Any time you’re healing from breast surgery (of any kind), you need to avoid using your upper body and chest muscles. You’ll need to wait at least four weeks to return to any exercise that uses these. Consider consulting a physical therapist who can design a post-op program that allows you to safely adapt to your new chest contour.

And speaking of adapting, any change to your appearance is going to require some adjusting. Having breast explant surgery can be particularly emotional. This may not be the case at all for you. Just in case you find yourself mentally struggling though, it’s a good idea to reach out to compassionate friends and family members ahead of the procedure to let them know you may need their support. Furthermore, you could also speak with a therapist.

At the end of the day, listening to your body is always the best practice so if you’re feeling that you need more time to rest and recover, honor that. You don’t want to end up with complications because you jumped the gun.

Wrestling With the Idea of Explant Surgery?

The decision to do breast implant removal is an important one and not to be taken lightly.

If you’re debating about whether this procedure might be right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our compassionate and board-certified plastic surgeons.

We will always have your back. (And front.)