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About Breast Implant Removal (Explant)

These procedures can also include the removal of silicone material from implant leaks and removal of the breast capsule (called a capsulectomy), which is the scar tissue that the body naturally forms around the implant after it is placed.

Is Breast Implant Removal Right for Me?

Breast implant removal surgery or explant surgery will vary from patient to patient, depending on your reason for the procedure.  You may be a good candidate for breast implant removal surgery if:

  • You have been diagnosed with capsular contracture, or hardening of the breast implant
  • You no longer want breast implants
  • You desire a different size breast or breast implant 
  • One or both of your implants have ruptured and/or are leaking
  • You feel weighed down from your breasts
  • You are experiencing pain or other symptoms you feel may be related to your implants

If you believe you are a good candidate for breast implant removal in Tampa based on the qualifications outlined above, we suggest you schedule a consultation with Dr. Buchanan to discuss the possibility of implant removal surgery and the added benefits it could bring to your life.

Implant Removal + Lift

Implant removal with a lift is a surgical procedure that involves removing breast implants, also known as explant surgery, and lifting the remaining breast tissue to create a more youthful and natural-looking breast shape. Women who have experienced complications with their breast implants, such as ruptures, leaks, or capsular contracture, or who wish to remove their implants for personal reasons may seek this procedure. During the operation, Dr. Buchanan will remove the breast implants and any scar tissue that has formed around them and then lift the remaining breast tissue to create a more aesthetically pleasing contour. Implant removal with a lift can restore confidence and comfort for women who are unhappy with their breast implants.

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How Much Does Breast Implant Removal Cost? Prices starting at $10,000

The cost of breast implant removal in Tampa can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the case. Since it is a cosmetic procedure, health insurance does not cover the cost. The total cost may include:

  • Anesthesia fees
  • Operating room costs
  • Compression garments for post-surgery
  • Surgeon fees

However, additional expenses like:

  • Blood tests
  • Pre-operative testing
  • Medical clearance exams
  • Prescription medications may not be included in the initial cost

Several other factors can influence the cost of the procedure, such as the surgeon's experience and reputation, the techniques used, and the case's complexity. For example, highly experienced or reputable surgeons may charge more, and the case's complexity can affect the procedure's cost. Additionally, the location of the surgeon's practice can also impact the cost of the procedure, as larger cities often have higher operational costs.

If you have financial limitations but are interested in breast implant removal, you can discuss financing options with Dr. Buchanan or any of the VIVIFY staff members. They offer financing plans to help patients achieve their surgical goals.


Breast implant removal surgery is not a decision to take lightly. The actual procedure as well as the outcome of the surgery can vary depending on several factors, your desired result being a primary factor in addition to your overall health. You are the only person who can decide whether the desired outcome is worth the potential risks and side effects associated with any major surgery. Potential complications associated with breast implant removal surgery can include: 

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Asymmetry, or uneven breasts
  • Excessive Bleeding
  • Cardiac or vascular complications
  • Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • Hematoma
  • Infection
  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Loss of nipple/areola tissue
  • Pneumothorax (damage to lining around lung)
  • Dull or consistent pain
  • Unsightly healing of incisions or nipple
  • Possibility of revision surgery
  • Skin discoloration and scarring
  • Skin loss, or loose skin
  • Undesirable aesthetic result

Prior to your surgery, Dr. Buchanan will discuss these risks with you and answer any questions you have related to the surgery.

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With this particular surgery, it is difficult to predict what the exact result will look like. The outcome will depend heavily on the size of the implants being removed, the presence and amount of scar tissue, the amount of time the implants have been in your body, and the quality of the remaining breast tissue. However, as with any procedure, adhering to Dr. Buchanan’s instruction is vital to the success of the surgery. It is critical that limitations outlined on activity are strictly followed as excessive force or motion can be a detriment to the healing of your surgical incisions.


Recovery will vary from patient to patient depending on the complexity of your surgery. In general, it is recommended to take it easy for the first 2 weeks after surgery. Most breast implant removal patients can expect the swelling to subside between 3-4 weeks; however, slight swelling may be evident for up to 6 months. Most patients should be able to return to all normal activities within 6-8 weeks after surgery. Continue to follow Dr. Buchanan’s instructions on caring for your surgical site. Expectations on when you can return to work and activity will be discussed prior to your procedure. Be sure to attend follow-up appointments as scheduled.

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Finding the Right Plastic Surgeon

When searching for breast implant removal or explant in Tampa, it is important to only consider a plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Board-certified plastic surgeons undergo extensive training for a minimum of 6-8 years after medical school, ensuring that they are proficient in both aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. It is not safe to assume that a "cosmetic" or "aesthetic" surgeon is equivalent to a board-certified plastic surgeon.

What is Breast Implant Illness (BII)?

Breast Implant Illness (BII) is a term used by women with breast implants who describe a variety of symptoms including (but not limited to) fatigue, chest pain, hair loss, headaches, chills, photosensitivity, chronic pain, rash, body odor, anxiety, brain fog, sleep disturbance, depression, neurologic issues and hormonal issues that they believe are the result of their saline or silicone, textured or smooth breast implants. BII is NOT BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma). BII is a completely separate entity.

There is no diagnostic test specifically for Breast Implant Illness (BII). There are, however, tests for autoimmune diseases. Some patients who report having Breast Implant Illness (BII) have positive tests and others have negative tests for autoimmune diseases. Until recently, BII has not been studied as a specific entity. There are currently several ongoing studies by board-certified plastic surgeons looking at the effect of implant removal on symptoms. Many patients appear to have some improvement lasting at least 12 months, but response is variable.

Some patients report no improvement after implant removal. The reasons for this varying post-op response is still not well understood.  A preliminary study of 100 patients with self-reported BII in one surgeon’s practice revealed that 89 percent of patients undergoing implant removal and capsulectomy experienced improvement in some of their symptoms within 3 months of surgery. The symptom relief seems to be equally likely in early studies regardless of the type of capsulectomy (“en bloc” vs. total capsulectomy).

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