The Increase In Breast Implant Removal Among Women Over 50

The Increase In Breast Implant Removal Among Women Over 50

Back in 2018, we witnessed a clear surge in the use of breast implants for cosmetic augmentation procedures performed by plastic surgeons.

But, as of late, there has been a remarkable shift in this trend. The number of implant removal procedures has steadily increased, while implant surgeries have seen a decline.

This change in patient choices raises a pertinent medical question: Why are women, especially those in the midst of menopause, opting to have their breast implants removed in the contemporary medical landscape?

Let’s delve into the diverse factors driving this evolving trend.

Is Implant Removal Trending Among Women Over 50?

According to The Aesthetic Society,’s research, the landscape of breast augmentation procedures has evolved noticeably in recent years.

Their data for 2024 highlights a compelling shift: “there’s been a decrease in the number of breast augmentation surgeries (14.9%) and a substantial rise in explantation surgery (34.4%), which involves removing implants.” This trend is steadily gaining momentum.

While breast augmentation procedures remain popular, Surgery Times has reported “a significant 47% increase in the frequency of breast implant removals since 2021.” Furthermore, there’s a growing interest in fat grafting for breast augmentation, which has become an attractive choice for women seeking non-invasive alternatives. This changing landscape reflects evolving preferences and options in the field of breast enhancement.

So what motivates women to decide to remove their implants?

Top 10 Reasons for Breast Implant Removal

There is no one common cause driving the rise in breast implant removal. Individuals may decide to remove implants for medical reasons or a collection of reasons that are related to physical presence.

Choosing to get implants or not getting breast implants is a very personal decision. These are some of the top reasons given by female patients, along with recent stats on why women are choosing breast explantation.

Celebrity Endorsed Beauty Trends: Because so many celebrities have shared personal stories, there is increased public interest in the decision to remove implants.

Many expressed relief and a desire to go back to their previous states.

Seeking a Different Aesthetic: Women’s impressions of their bodies may change as they approach menopause. Some patients decide they would rather have their implants removed for cosmetic reasons.

Concerns about Clothing Fit: Finding clothes that fit well might be difficult if you have breast implants, especially since fashion trends vary over time. Additionally, as the body ages and a woman’s shape changes, certain materials may not sit on the body the same way.

Fitness and Exercise: Larger, heavier breasts from implants can impede more high-endurance fitness regiments like sports, running, or heavy weightlifting. Removing the implants can enhance comfort and ease of movement, encouraging a more active lifestyle.

Addressing Changes to Breasts: Breasts naturally change over time due to factors such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, and aging.

Menopausal changes, including a reduction in skin elasticity and loss of breast volume, can lead to sagging of the breasts, and this sagging may also affect how the breast implants

sit within the breast pocket. Changes in breast tissue and natural breast size may cause the implants to become more noticeable or change the way they appear in proportion to the rest of the breast.

Relieving Physical Discomfort: The size and weight of implants can cause posture problems, shoulder and neck pain, and other discomforts. Some women over 50 choose to have their implants removed in order to attain greater comfort and to get rid of these physical issues.

Managing Complications Associated with Implants: A woman may decide to have an implant removed in response to complications such as capsular contracture, noticeable rippling, or rupture of the implant. During 

the procedure, the implant is removed and many women forgo getting it replaced, as previous complications

can be a result of breast implant illness and the body rejecting the implant.

Increasing Screening Accuracy: Some women choose to have their implants removed because they are worried about how they might affect mammography screenings. Breast cancer screenings will be more accurate as a result.

Enhanced Symptoms of Breast Implant Illness (BII): Women who experience symptoms typically find relief after having their implants removed, which motivates them to seek therapy even though a formal diagnosis is not available.

Minimizing Cancer Risk: In rare cases, breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) has been linked to certain implant types. Because of this possible risk, some women over 50 choose to have their implants removed in order to prioritize their health and mental well-being.

The Process of Removing Implants

Implants can be safely removed by surgical procedures, although the optimal result depends on the technique chosen. Surgeons who remove both the implant and its surrounding capsule often achieve the best results.

This comprehensive approach eliminates the potential for inflammation associated with scar tissue and allows for a more aesthetically pleasing breast restoration with the utilization of natural breast tissue.

The Future of Implants

If you are satisfied with the appearance of your implants and you are not experiencing any problems, there is no immediate need for removal.

Removing a breast implant is a very personal choice that you should carefully consider after speaking with your physician. It’s encouraging to know that, should you choose removal in the future, you’ll be joining a growing group of women who value the comfort and beauty of naturally enlarging their breasts.

Navigating the Implant Removal Journey

Ensuring a safe and effective treatment is crucial when considering breast implant removal, particularly as women age.

The most successful surgeons are those who are able to remove the implant along with its surrounding capsule. Full capsule removal effectively reduces associated symptoms by removing any possible irritation associated with scar tissue.

When the capsule is removed, all that’s left is the normal breast tissue. This helps the physician restore a visually appealing breast mound while also streamlining the surgical procedure.

When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, this all-inclusive approach has been linked to the best satisfaction rates.

In my practice, I introduce a specialized technique known as BRALAN, short for breast reconstruction anatomical lift augmentation. BRALAN involves the meticulous removal of both the implant and the entire capsule. Following the removal, the breast is immediately reconstructed, resulting in a beautiful and natural appearance without the need for further implants.

The Decision to Remove Implants

There is no pressing need to arrange for an implant removal if you are still happy with how your implants look and are not exhibiting any associated problems.

Many ladies over 50 happily keep their implants for many years with no problems. While there is no set lifespan for breast implants, they usually need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years.

The decision to remove implants is extremely personal and should be made in conjunction with your physician, much like the initial decision to get breast augmentation.

Author

  • Dr. Alan González

    Dr. Alan González has been performing plastic surgery in Colombia for more than 23 years. After completing more than 18,000 successful procedures, he understands cosmetic treatments are a “change for life” – a commitment to personal development, and a tool for success. Dr. Alan is double board-certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

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