Breast Implant Removal

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, CA

Breast Implant Removal

Breast implant removal, also called explant surgery, is a procedure that can restore the natural feel and look of a woman’s breasts. There are many reasons a woman may want to have her breast implants removed that have nothing to do with any medical complications. For one, weight gain or having children can significantly change one’s body composition and the way implants look over time. Some women simply feel that their implants are too big or too small, and they do not fit the ideal vision they have for their bodies. Other times, women seeking explant surgery worry that their various physical symptoms are related to “breast implant illness” or capsular contracture. 

To find out if you could benefit from removing your current implants or replacing them with a safer, more advanced implant design, request a consultation at Plastic Surgery Associates (PSA) in Santa Rosa, CA. The combined experience of our board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Heather Furnas, Dr. Francisco Canales, and Dr. Eric Culbertson take pride in educating their patients on the intricacies of their procedures and the necessary steps towards a healthy recovery. To get in contact with our practice today, call (707) 537-2111 or request a free consultation with our contact form, and we will help you schedule an appointment to learn more about our approaches to explant surgery. 

Before and After Photos

About Breast Implant Removal 

Breast Implant Removal

The surgeons of Plastic Surgery Associates of Santa Rosa have removed hundreds of implants and their respective breast tissue capsules surrounding the implant. This type of removal of the capsule and implant as a whole is a variation of the explant procedure called a capsulectomy. Aside from the implant removal aspect of the procedure, patients will have multiple options to enhance their cosmetic outcome afterward. Patients can opt for implant replacement, an implant removal with a breast lift, or an implant removal and fat transfer to the breast. While a breast lift can typically help remove sagging or excess skin that may remain as a result of stretched tissue from the implants, fat transfer can restore some of the volume that recedes when the surgeon performs explant surgery. I The requirements to achieve optimal results will depend on the patient’s desires, the size of their removed implants, and the state of their natural breast tissue. 

The silicone and saline implants of today are exceptionally durable and resistant to the forces of gravity, but they are not immune to unwanted change. Many surgeons approximate that implants’ lifespan tends to last, at most, about 15-20 years, but other surgeons recommend explant surgery much sooner. (1)  One study consisting of over 500 women found that nearly 50% of them required explant surgery at around the 10-year mark due to medical concerns, highlighting the need for this important procedure outside of merely aesthetic improvements. (2) 

Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is a condition in which too much scarring breast tissue develops around the implant, creating unwanted firmness and even pain and distortion in severe cases. 

Breast Implant Illness

Breast implant illness (BII) is a controversial condition that attributes a variety of symptoms including fatigue, joint pain, and even depression and anxiety to the body’s negative reaction to breast implants. While there is no conclusive evidence that breast implants cause those symptoms, some women may choose to have the implants taken out to remove implants as a possible source of their symptoms. An in-person consultation with Dr. Furnas, Dr. Culbertson, or Dr. Canales is the best way to have your questions answered.

Ideal Candidates

Breast Implant removal surgery

Ideal candidates for explant surgery are women in good health who are generally unhappy with the way their augmented breasts look. Our surgeons prefer to perform on non-smoking patients, but they can make exceptions for those who are willing to quit temporarily to improve their blood circulation and healing capabilities. Patients with distortion, capsular contracture, symptoms possibly related to breast implant illness, or cosmetic irregularities may benefit from this transformative, customizable procedure. Typically, our patients tend to be between 40 and 60 years of age, a period of life when women are looking to restore tighter, more flattering contours. 

Personal Consultation

A meeting with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons will offer you more clarity as to whether or not a breast implant removal procedure is right for you. During this free consultation, your surgeon will speak with you about your desired goals for surgery and review any complaints you may have about your current breast implants. After listening intently to your concerns and answering any questions you may have, they will outline what you need to know to properly prepare for their recommended approach. They will discuss your procedural options for restoring your breasts to a more attractive positioning and shape, providing the necessary details concerning aftercare instructions. Our surgeons strive to be as informative and helpful as possible to ensure you make the right decision concerning your health and aesthetics. 

To take the next step toward improving your body confidence today, call our Santa Rosa practice at (707) 537-2111 or get in touch using our online form. To find out more about our other surgical and medspa services, visit our blog

Explant Surgery Procedure Options

After our anesthesiologist administers general anesthesia, your surgeon will perform the explant surgery itself and any follow-up procedures discussed at a pre-operative visit. 

Implant Removal 

For the implant removal aspect of the procedure, your surgeon will likely make an inframammary incision following the bottom outline of each breast, ensuring that scarring is well-hidden. Depending on the size of your breasts, they may be able to access the implants through periareolar incisions that immediately surround the dark skin of the areola. For a capsulectomy approach, your surgeon will remove the entirety of the scar tissue around each implant to ensure that the removal goes smoothly. If you have saline implants, your surgeon may be able to safely drain the saline from the implants utilizing a syringe. Before removing the shell of the implant, they can better determine if you could benefit from a breast lift in addition to the standard explant surgery. This method also serves to minimize scarring within the breast, helping to prevent the development of capsular contracture post-surgery. 

Breast Lift with Implant Removal 

A breast lift may be the best option for those with aging skin or a “deflated” appearance after implant removal. Your PSA surgeon will correct this issue with a breast lift (mastopexy) that involves skin removal and tightening to elevate the breasts higher on the chest wall, providing a more rejuvenated result. Your surgeon will utilize one of the following incisions to accomplish this: 

  • A periareolar incision surrounding each breast’s nipple-areola complex
  • “Keyhole” incisions that include a periareolar incision alongside an added vertical incision on the bottom half of the breast mound 
  • “Anchor” incisions that include the “keyhole” technique but with another incision along the inframammary crease, the lower border of the breast 

While surgeons perform periareolar incisions to resolve mild cases of breast sagging, the “keyhole” and “anchor” approaches are more well-suited for moderate and severe cases of breast deflation and excess skin. 

Fat Transfer with Implant Removal 

After explantation, you can choose to restore some of the lost volume without the use of new implants. For fat transfer, your surgeon will implement liposuction techniques, targeting an area of unwanted fat such as the midsection, thighs, or hips. After collecting the fat, they will prepare it for reinjection into the breasts. Though it provides more subtle results than implants, the texture and feel are more natural since it involves augmentation using your own fat tissue. 

Breast Implant Replacement 

If you enjoy the look of your implants, your PSA surgeon can help you find the optimal replacement implants to help you maintain the look you feel most confident with. Your surgeon will review the details of your various implant options, surgical techniques, and implant positioning. Implant material, shape, size, texture, profile, and your personal history of any implant complications are important factors your surgeon will consider when searching for the best implants suitable for your body and aesthetic needs. 

Recovery and Results

The recovery period will vary for every individual, depending on the repair required after the procedure. After the surgery, Dr. Canales, Dr. Furnas, or Dr. Culbertson will provide post-procedure directions and might suggest additional treatments to help eliminate scarring as you heal. For the first few weeks, you may experience swelling and bruising, so you must restrict strenuous exercise until otherwise permitted. However, you should stand and participate in light activity to help with overall blood circulation. Your surgeon will provide you with the right medications to ease the recovery process and advise you on which over-the-counter medications are safe to take. Within just a few days, you will be able to return to a sedentary job. The final results, however, will take a total of 4 to 6 months to fully settle in.

Cost of Breast Implant Removal in Santa Rosa 

The cost of your breast implant removal will depend on the surgical techniques applied, follow-up appointments, prescription medications, anesthesia fees, and other surgical factors unique to your situation. During your free consultation at PSA, your surgeon will take these factors into consideration and provide you with a personalized cost estimate. If interested, you can discuss the details of applying for one of our available financing options with CareCredit, PatientFi, or Cherry Financing to make your procedure more affordable. To get started exploring your breast implant removal options today, call our Santa Rosa office at (707) 537-2111 or reach out online, and we will be happy to introduce you to our experienced, attentive team at PSA. 

Schedule an Appointment

Restore your natural look

Numerous factors could cause you to be dissatisfied with your current breast implants. Whether they’re the wrong texture, shape, or size, Plastic Surgery Associates of Santa Rosa can help you to achieve the look you desire with breast implant removal. At a consult, Dr. CanalesDr. Furnas, or Dr. Culbertson will speak with you regarding your choices to renew the appearance and feel of your breasts. To get more information, schedule a consultation with Plastic Surgery Associates of Santa Rosa at your earliest convenience.


  1. Fardo D, Sequeira Campos M, Pensler JM. Breast Augmentation. PubMed. Published 2021. 
  2. Zhang, Z., Qi, J., Zhang, X. et al. What Can We Learn from Breast Implant Explantation: a 28-Year, Multicenter Retrospective Study of 1004 Explantation Cases. Aesth Plast Surg (2023).