Should I Remove My Breast Implants?

Should I Remove My Breast Implants?

With so much conjecture about the safety of breast implants these days, more and more women are asking themselves, and their surgeons this question.

From Your Surgeons Point of View:

  • He/she will say that if there is no problem, there is no need to undergo a surgical procedure.
  • Every surgery carries risks, and while if there is a problem, there is no choice but to risk those risks. If there is no problem, why would you?
  • Beware- there will always be someone to take your money. Trust the surgeon that doesn’t want to take your money, as they have your best interest at heart.

From Your Point of View:

  • Any physical problem should be addressed in a timely fashion
  • Emotional anxiety caused by worrying about whether your breast implants are safe is not good for you.
  • Whether you believe that Breast Implant Illness is real or not, if you are suffering emotional trauma and anxiety because you believe your implants are causing you harm – have them removed.

The most difficult questions for a lot of women is – do you replace your implants or just remove them?

  • For many women there is no question about it. They have had implants for such a long time and they are just not prepared to be without them. This is particularly the case for women with very little breast tissue of their own.
  • For others, they have decided that they no longer need or want larger breasts, and indeed in many parts of the world (including Hollywood), small breasts are in vogue.
  • For some it is purely a financial decision. It is costly to have implants replaced.
  • The costs can range from $10,000 To $20,000

Typical Problems That Would Warrant Surgical Removal of Breast Implants are:

Capsular contracture, or hardening of the scar tissue formed around the implant.

  • Every woman has some degree of capsular contracture around their implants.
  • This is graded from Bake Grade I to Baker Grade V.
  • Baker Grade I and II are considered normal and do not require surgery.
  • Baker Grade III and upwards may causes problems included lumps, hardness, asymmetry of the breast and eve pain.
  • If you experience problems, your implants should be removed.

Rupture of the implant shell

  • Any suspected rupture should be addressed and not ignored.
  • Any leakage of silicone may or may not cause long term problems, so don’t ignore this problem and seek advice about the removal of your implants.

How do you know if your implant is ruptured?

  • If you have anything new develop you should make an appointment with your GP asap.
  • Many GP’s will recommend an Ultrasound of your breasts, but these are unreliable in detecting implant rupture and often report a rupture where there is none!
  • An MRI is the only definitive test to reliably report implant rupture.

Do I need an MRI of my breast implants?

  • Not if you are just wanting to remove the implants.
  • If you are wanting to remove and replace, then we will want to know if there is a problem with either or both implants. An MRI would be required.

Is there a Medicare rebate for an MRI of the breasts?

  • Only if there is suspected breast cancer and you have a strong family history of breast cancer, otherwise there is no Medicare rebate on breast MRI.
  • Some GP’s are under the impression that if a specialist writes the referral for the MRI, you will get a rebate, but this is not true (unfortunately).
  • Our staff are familiar with which radiology practices on the Coast charge less and can direct you accordingly.

Should my GP or Dr McGovern write the referral for me to get an MRI?

  • To save you time and money we recommend that you get your GP to write your referral, and that you have the MRI done before you consult with Dr McGovern.
  • This will result in one consultation with Dr McGovern . Having your results with you, he can see the entire picture and you can plan what surgery will suit you best and move forward with booking.
  • If you were to see Dr McGovern without an MRI result, he will send you away with a request for MRI. We then have to find another appointment for you to return with your results and charge you a second consultation fee.
  • We are happy with either, but most women prefer less consultations and associated fees.

Does Medicare and/or private health insurance contribute towards the cost of removing and replacing breast implants?

  • There is a Medicare eligible item number for the removal of breast implants.
  • Where Medicare deems a surgical procedure is Medicare eligible, private health insurance will also contribute (provided you have that level of cover).
  • When replacing breast implants, if there is a problem with an implant that is within the Medicare guidelines (rupture or Grade IV or V Capsular contracture), both Medicare and private health insurance will contribute.
  • If the problem is with one implant only – only that side of the surgery will attract benefits.
  • The side that has no problem will be deemed “cosmetic, meaning no rebates, no health insurance contributions and GST is payable on all fees – surgeon, implants, hospital and anaesthetic fees.
  • This does get confusing, but we are here to help you to understand. Feel free to contact our staff, who having been helping women with this type of surgery for 20 odd years.

If you are thinking of replacing your breast implants, there are a few things that should be considered before making this decision:

  • You may very well have to go through his surgery again in your life-time.
  • Only through time, experience and hind-sight do we know how long implants may last and if any foreign material implanted into your body can cause long-term problems.
  • Most likely, when your implants were first placed, the implants chosen were the best on the market at the time and it was believed they may never need to be replaced and certainly no one expected that they would cause physical harm.
  • The implants used today are different, and modern and again we hope that these will be long lasting and not cause problems in the long term. But the truth is- no one really knows.
  • Further surgery always comes with additional costs and risks.
  • No one is guaranteeing anything these days, and certainly not how long your implants may last, or that they will be found to be safe in the long term.
  • You need to be aware of all the risks before making a decision.

What are your options if you decide to remove the implants and not replace them?

  • If you are considering removing your breast implants, you may be concerned about how your breasts will look without implants, and rightly so.
  • There is no sure-fire way for you to haver clear picture of what your breast will look like after your implants have been removed.
  • You will have some spare skin, but how much and will you be happy with the appearance of your breasts?
  • Many women choose to have a breast lift (mastopexy) at the same time
  • A surprising number actually want a breast reduction at the same time as their own breast tissue has grown since their original surgery.
  • Again, this choice often comes down to a finances.
  • Our staff can help you to understand your options in more detail . Feel free to call for more information or for an accurate idea of costs on any of these options.

As always, by choosing a qualified specialist plastic surgeon, you can rest assured that they will recommend the surgery that will give you the best aesthetic result.

For a visual idea of what can be achieved through all of these options, take a look at the Female Surgery Gallery Page on our website.

Please note that the breast implant “before” photos are generally done by other doctors, not by Dr McGovern.
All “after” photos are Dr McGovern’s surgery.

Dr McGovern performs a LOT of breast implant removal and all of the options mentioned in this article. Please call our rooms our email us for more information on costs and how we can help you.