Removal of Implants

breast implants sunshine coast

  • There are many reasons for wanting to remove your breast implants and this explained on these pages.
  • Most women will choose to replace their implants, whilst others may find that their natural breast tissue has grown and they don’t need or want to replace their implants, and instead need a breast lift (Mastopexy) or breast reduction.
  • These pages will help you to understand what is involved in all scenarios
  • Feel free to contact us for more information

Reasons to remove old breast implants

  • Your original implants are leaking – whether saline or silicone.
  • Capsular contracture has caused breast deformity or hardening of the breast.
  • Saline or liquid silicone implants needing replacement due to age of implants and possibility of rupture
  • Your needs have changed and you would like larger or smaller size implants
  • Your natural breast size has increased with age and you no longer need implants.

My implants are leaking

  • This may seem like it needs urgent attention, but it is not an emergency.
  • If your implants are saline, they will deflate immediately but the saline leakage will cause no harm.
  • If your implants are liquid silicone, you may not be able to tell visually or even palpably. They do need to be replaced however as the silicone can migrate to local lymph nodes or you can get the formation of a siliconoma.
  • You will require an MRI to show that the implant is leaking. Your GP can organise for you to have this done before you see Dr McGovern
  • Call our rooms to make an appointment 

My implant/s is going hard

  • This is known as capsular contracture.
  • Make an appointment to see Dr McGovern as soon as this is noticed.
  • If this occurs shortly after surgery (within 3 month) , it may be resolved with daily massage
  • If surgery is required you may decide to replace your implants if they are old
  • The latest technology implant – Motiva , may be recommended to reduce your risk of capsular contracture in the future.

I Don’t Want or Need My Breast Implants Anymore

If you have decided that you want your implants removed:

  • Removing implants is a simple procedure performed under general anaesthetic in a hospital under general anaesthetic.
  • You may require a breast lift at the same time if you have a lot of spare skin and a low nipple position.
  • You may require a concurrent breast reduction if you have developed lots of your own breast tissue over the years.

How much does it cost to have my implants removed?

  • If you are removing old implants only, with no other surgery, your procedure will be Medicare eligible.
  • This means your private health fund will also rebate.
  • Your out of pocket costs will depend on whether you are privately insured, the level of cover you have and the extent of the surgery you require.

Will I have to wait long to have breast removal surgery?

  • It may take a couple of weeks to get an appointment with Dr McGovern
  • Once you have seen Dr McGovern, it may be as little as 3 weeks before surgery.
  • We work harder and longer to ensure we don’t have long wait lists.

Can I have my breast implants removed In a public hospital?

  • Yes, you will go on a public hospital wait list
  • The length of these waitlists can vary enormously.

Removal of Implants & Replacement


  • We have established in the previous page the many reasons why women want to remove their implants.
  • If you fall into one of these categories, but can’ bear to think of life without breast implants (like most of us!), this page is for you.
  • Once again, we offer a free consultation with our nurse educator to help you understand the many types of implants available today and why we chose what we do.
  • We actually have all the available implants on hand for you to see and feel and we will explain the pros and cons of each.

I want to change my implants to a larger size.

  • If there is nothing wrong with your implants, but you are unhappy with the size, we can replace these.
  • If this is the case, there is no Medicare eligibility, the procedure will be classified cosmetic and you will be up for all costs without rebate.
  • This secondary surgery is not as painful as the first if the implants are being placed in the same plane (eg in front or behind the muscle)
  • Recovery takes about 1 week, similar to your initial surgery.
  • The cost does not vary according to the size of the implant chosen.
  • If one or both of your implants have problems (capsular contracture/ rupture etc), that side will attract Medicare and Health Fund rebates.

I want to change my breast implants to a smaller size.

  • As above, if you have decided that you don’t like the size of your implants and want a smaller size this will not be covered by any rebate or health insurance.
  • If your surgery was only recent, you should discuss this with your surgeon.
  • If the original implants have been in place for a number of years and you are going down in size considerably, you may require a small breast lift to give you the best aesthetic result.
  • Choosing a qualified plastic surgeon that does lots of implants initially avoids these types of problems.
  • If one or both of your implants have problems (capsular contracture/ rupture etc), that side will attract Medicare and Health Fund rebates.

I have a ruptured implant and want to have this fixed

  • Dr McGovern will want you to have an MRI to confirm the rupture to your implant.
  • You can ask your GP for a referral to have this done and bring the results with you to your appointment with Dr McGovern.
  • Generally only one implant is ruptured. If the implants are old (more than 10 years) it may be worthwhile replacing both as implant technology has changed over the years.
  • Dr McGovern will discuss this with you at consultation
  • All implants have some sort of warranty. This is generally 10 years.
  • Our nurse educator can help you to confirm this if you can provide information on the type of implants you have.
  • It is a good idea to contact the surgeon that performed your initial surgery to find out exactly what brand, style and size implant you have in place. Have this information at hand when you see Dr McGovern

If your implants are under warranty

  • The manufacturer will replace the exact same implant only.
  • They are not obliged to provide you with a smaller or larger size and will not replace with a different implant.
  • They will only replace the implant that has a malfunction
  • The implant replacement on the side with the problem will attract Medicare and private health fund rebates.
  • If you choose to have both implants replaced, the other side will be deemed cosmetic and GST will be payable with no rebates.

How much will I have to pay for new implants?

  • Most implant manufacturers have some sort of warranty in the case of fault of the implant. You will need to know what type of implants you have.
  • If there is a problem with an implant and it is under warranty, the same implant will be replaced at no cost.
  • You will have other out of pocket costs associated, eg hospital, anaesthetic and surgeons fees.
  • Our nurse educator can help you ascertain these costs.

If you are wanting to remove your implants, or have a problem with your implants, please call our rooms. Our experienced staff will advise you of the best course of action and make an appointment for you to see Dr McGovern as quickly as possible, even though this is never an emergency situation.

Removal of Implants & Breast Lift or Breast Reduction

  • If you no longer need your implants because your own breast tissue has increased in size over the years, it is a simple procedure to remove these.
  • Some women don’t mind that their breasts may sag once the implants are removed, and are happy to live with this. This is a small percentage of women only.
  • Others want the implants removed and still want to have good looking breasts.
  • Depending on your individual circumstance, Dr McGovern will discuss with you either breast reduction or breast lift.

What is the difference between breasts lift and breast reduction?

  • Both procedures remove the same pattern of skin, and result in the same pattern of scars.
  • The aim of both is to move the nipple back to a more normal position and remove any sagging skin. Giving the breast a more youthful position.
  • Breast lift – only the skin is removed.
  • Breast reduction the skin is removed with the underlying breast tissue to reduce the size of the breast.
  • If you want your breast size to be to be a lot smaller, breast reduction will generally be the procedure of choice.
  • If you want to lift the breast position, but want to keep as much breast size as possible, then breast lift or Mastopexy will be the procedure of choice.
  • The size of the areola can be reduced with either procedure if desired.
  • Discuss this with Dr McGovern.

Is there a difference in cost between removing breast implants and breast reduction and removing implants and breast lift?

  • Breast reduction takes a little more time than a breast lift so some of the costs will be more.
  • Your hospital and anaesthetic fees may be slightly higher for breast reduction
  • Dr McGovern’s fee is the same for both procedures
  • Breast reduction attracts Medicare and health fund rebates, which reduces your out of pocket fees, and hospital fees are paid for by health funds
  • Breast lift is very rarely Medicare eligible and so does not attract rebates and GST must be applied, taking your fees up.
  • Often times women will choose breast reduction over breast lift for these cost reasons.
  • The cost of the removal of the implants

What is the recovery after removal of implants and breast lift or breast reduction?

  • Most people are back to normal after a week following removal of implants and breast lift or reduction.
  • Dr McGovern can give you a certificate for time off work as necessary.
  • This generally isn’t a painful procedure, but you will be provided with pain relief after surgery
  • This is performed under general anaesthetic as a day procedure generally at the Sunshine Coast day Surgery.
  • Expect to be at the hospital for most of the day.
  • You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you overnight.

If you have any further questions about the removal of your old breast implants and surgery to lift your breasts back to their former position, please call our rooms on 54792922. Our friendly team have been working with us for years and they are happy to answer your questions.