Breast Implant Removal

Conveniently located to serve the areas of New Bern, NC

Breast implant removal is a procedure that can change a woman’s life for the better. Sometimes, complications and aesthetic issues can develop over time. After breast implant removal, also called explant surgery, some women choose to replace them with newer, more improved implants, while some are completely content with restoring their natural breasts. Today’s implants have advanced features that promote safety and quality, natural-looking results.

At Zannis Plastic Surgery, you can rest assured that we employ well-researched techniques to help women feel and look their best after breast implant removal. Dr. John Zannis, a board-certified cosmetic surgeon with over 11,000 procedures worth of experience leads our New Bern office. To get started with a consultation with Dr. Zannis, give us a call at (252) 633-1197 or book your appointment online.

Before and After Photos

Reasons for Breast Implant Removal 

Modern implants are more resilient against complications, and there are many women seeking explant surgery who have outdated implants that have caused either medical or cosmetic problems. Still, it is difficult to determine the exact lifespan of breast implants in general. Some surgeons believe that they can last 20 years or so, while others think that removal should come much sooner. (1) Implants’ longevity doesn’t solely depend on the quality of the material; sometimes, it depends on the size, texture, and how the woman’s body responds to them. In a study that included over 500 women with breast implants, roughly half of them required explant surgery after the 10-year mark due to medical issues. (2)

On the other hand, cosmetic appearance is important too. Many women choose to remove their implants due to asymmetry, wrinkling, and skin rippling. Outdated implants tend to age worse, resulting in more significant aesthetic changes throughout the years. Others may simply feel that their implants are unnecessary and they find that they appreciate a more subtle breast look.

Cosmetic Reasons

  • Capsular contracture: In certain cases, women don’t respond well to implants and their body responds by creating too much fibrous tissue internally, causing the breast to look and feel tight. In more severe cases, it can distort the breast’s appearance. Most of the time, it isn’t a severe issue. Many factors can contribute to this development, including bacteria, rupture, and hematoma (blood accumulation in one area). Studies have found that women with smooth implants with sub-glandular placement- above the chest muscles- have a higher risk of experiencing this complication. (3)
  • Dynamic distortion: Women who have implants under their chest muscles may experience dynamic distortion, a condition where the implants move around with muscle contraction. Patients can experience some discomfort with certain workouts and physical activities.

Medical Reasons

  • Implant rupture: When saline implants the breast may slowly look more and more deflated over a week. Though the body can easily absorb the saline with no complications, removal of the silicone shell is required. Silicone implant ruptures can negatively affect the lymph nodes present around the breast. These are vital structures of the immune system, so explant surgery is the best course of action. (4)
  • Breast implant illness (BII): Breast implant illness is a rare condition currently believed to be the result of a low-level chronic infection of the implant’s surface. Symptoms include generalized pain, fatigue, chronic headaches, and brain fog. Scientific studies have demonstrated the association of BII symptoms with bacteria, not the silicone contents of the implants themselves. Dr. Zannis is passionate about helping patients with BII symptoms identify the source and remove their implants for a better, healthier life.

Procedure Options

Your explant procedure shouldn’t be just limited to implant removal- there is so much more involved. Dr. Zannis can help you find the best procedure option that aligns with your desires and unique body structure.

Standard Explant Procedure

Sometimes, women only request to have their implants removed- no more and no less. Dr. Zannis can perform this relatively simple procedure by making similar incisions that were used to place them originally to limit scarring.

En Bloc Capsulectomy

For an en bloc removal with capsulectomy, Dr. Zannis will remove both the implant and the surrounding fibrous tissue capsule as a single unit, preventing any spillage of implant material. This method is performed for women who have experienced an extremely rare case of implant rupture. However, Dr. Zannis knows that many women prefer this procedure option since it removes any contamination that could be causing complications. After implant removal, he will irrigate the breast pocket with an antibiotic solution and cauterize it to eliminate any residual capsule and improve tissue adherence.

Breast Lift

After removing the implant, Dr. Zannis can remove excess, sagging skin that may have developed over the years. With a breast lift, he can either make: 

  • Periareolar, or “donut” incisions on the outline of each areola
  • Vertical, or “keyhole” incisions that include the donut technique with an added vertical incision towards the bottom crease of each breast. This is the most commonly used technique.
  • “Anchor” incisions are similar to keyhole incisions, but there is an added incision that travels along the bottom crease of each breast.

Dr. Zannis will discuss with you his recommendations for incisions depending on how much ptosis, or sagging skin, is present. With a lift, he can elevate the areolas if they have descended.

Breast Implant Replacement

With an implant replacement or breast implant revision, Dr. Zannis will provide you with updated, safer implants to give you the enhanced appearance you’re looking for. Modern cohesive gel implants (“gummy bear implants”) are very durable and meant to last forever. They all have a lifetime warranty against failure.

Dr. Zannis will first address any excess fibrous tissue development. If you desire a larger size, he will surgically expand the breast pocket. He can utilize internal biocompatible sutures to better accommodate smaller implants to provide a snug fit. An implant revision can also involve a breast lift that includes repositioning the areolas and removing excess skin if necessary.

Personal Consultation

When you schedule an appointment with Dr. Zannis, you can expect a comprehensive evaluation of your history with any breast implant issues and your overall health. You will be able to discuss your specific concerns and your aesthetic goals with the breast implant removal procedure. He will ensure that you are thoroughly informed about his recommendations and the surgical techniques he will apply. From your very first meeting, Dr. Zannis and his staff will provide quality, individualized care throughout the preparation process and well into your recovery.

Reserve your appointment today, or call his practice in New Bern, NC at (252) 633-1197. Your journey toward renewing your sense of body confidence is just one phone call away. 


Regardless of the surgical technique, preparing for your explant procedure is still the same. Dr. Zannis will order blood tests to rule out any health issues that require prompt attention. He will also evaluate your current medications and supplements, ensuring you aren’t taking anything that can cause blood-thinning. Taking any type of blood thinner can place you at a higher risk of experiencing more bleeding and complications during the procedure. If you smoke or regularly use nicotine products, he will require that you quit for at least 1 month to promote better quality healing during your recovery. Since you won’t be able to take yourself home after your procedure is finished, you should make travel arrangements with a trusted individual. Finally, pick up any pre-operative prescriptions you’ll need for your recovery.

Recovery and Results

After the anesthesia wears off, your chest will feel tender and swollen, so you should focus on rest and taking your prescribed medications. Depending on your surgery, you will need 2 to 7 days off from work if you have a sedentary job. For more labor-intensive work, you should wait at least 1 month to allow the incisions to heal properly. Dr. Zannis will require that you wear a compression bra for the first 2 to 4 weeks after implant removal to prevent fluid accumulation and reduce swelling. In rare cases, you may have surgical drains for up to a total of 10 days to speed up this process as well. After about 6 months, your surgical scars will begin to fade; they will reach their final appearance after about 1 year. You should consult Dr. Zannis on when you can begin using scar-fading treatments such as silicone gel sheets and scar cream. These treatments can promote healthy collagen formation and scar repair healing processes.

Cost of Breast Implant Removal in North Carolina

The cost of your explant surgery will depend on the specific procedure that you require. During your first appointment with Dr. Zannis, he will be able to give you an estimate with your concerns and procedural needs taken into consideration. The staff at Zannis Plastic Surgery understands that many patients can’t make out-of-pocket payments, so we offer financing plans with CareCredit and Prosper Healthcare Lending.

If you are an out-of-state resident, consider requesting a virtual consultation with the same benefits as an in-person visit but from the comfort of your own home.

If you are interested in premium care, Dr. Zannis and his staff offer versatile explant surgery options. Call (252) 633-1197 or book an in-person consultation through our website today. 


  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).
  3. Headon H, Kasem A, Mokbel K. Capsular Contracture after Breast Augmentation: An Update for Clinical Practice. Archives of Plastic Surgery. 2015;42(5):532. doi:
  4. Swezey E, Shikhman R, Moufarrege R. Breast Implant Rupture. PubMed. Published 2023. Accessed July 20, 2023.