Mark Sisco, M.D.
501 Skokie Boulevard
Northbrook, IL 60062
Phone: (847) 504-2333
Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Breast Implant Removal

Even though today’s breast implants are safe and can create beautiful, natural-looking results, some women choose to have their implants removed. Board-certified Northbrook plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Sisco performs breast implant removal surgery for women from Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, and North Shore towns like Highland Park and Glenview. When considering doctors for these complex procedures that may include en bloc capsulectomy, it’s important to choose a top surgeon like Dr. Sisco, who is highly trained and experienced.

Breast Implant Removal
 Before & After Photos


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Why Do Women Choose Breast Implant Removal?

Most saline and silicone implants need to be either replaced or removed at some point. Some women feel that they no longer need the enhancement that implants provide. If their preferences and lifestyles have changed over time, a revision breast surgery may also be an appropriate option.

In some cases, however, the choice to remove breast implants is the result of complications or concerns about potential side effects associated with breast augmentation or breast reconstruction.

Breast Implant Illness

Breast implant illness (BII) is an unusual and poorly defined constellation of symptoms that some women attribute to their breast implants. There is currently no scientific explanation for breast implant illness. However, Dr. Sisco understands the limitations of medical knowledge and respects those women who perceive that their implants are making them ill. For these women, Dr. Sisco offers en bloc capsulectomy, a specialized procedure that involves removing both the implant and the capsule of scar tissue surrounding it in order to leave the body as close as possible to how it was before the implant was placed. Some patients choose to combine the implant removal procedure with breast lift surgery because implants can stretch breast skin.


In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified a possible link between textured breast implants and a rare form of lymphoma known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).  This extremely rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the cells of the immune system. BIA-ALCL can occur in different parts of the body, including the lymph nodes and skin. Even though BIA-ALCL is found in the breasts of some individuals with breast implants, it is not breast cancer.

BIA-ALCL is very rare and the subject of continuing research. Dr. Sisco does not recommend routinely removing textured implants due to the associated risk. However, some women with textured implants are choosing to remove them or replace them with smooth implants.

Dr. Sisco’s expertise on this subject has been included in various media outlets, including the Washington Post.

How Much Does Breast Implant Removal Surgery Cost?

In Chicago’s North Shore area, the cost of breast implant removal surgery varies with the specifics of the procedure. Prices generally range as follows:

Other factors that influence the cost include:

During your consultation, we provide you with a document that details the estimated cost of your breast implant removal surgery. We encourage you to take it home, look it over, consider your options, and make an informed decision.

Implant Removal Procedure

As a breast surgery specialist and Chief of Plastic Surgery at NorthShore University HealthSystem, Dr. Sisco offers his expertise in breast implant removal procedures to women who come to our practice from Arlington Heights and throughout the North Shore.

Removing breast implants often requires a level of technical skill that not all plastic surgeons possess. Capsulectomy, or scar tissue removal, requires finesse to prevent injury to the surrounding tissue, especially when the implant and scar tissue capsule are removed as a single unit. This procedure, known as an en bloc capsulectomy, needs additional care to preserve the implant’s integrity and prevent rupture.

In many cases, implant removal can be combined with a breast lift to re-contour stretched skin. This procedure requires artistry as well as an intimate knowledge of breast anatomy to ensure a good outcome. When performed by an experienced surgeon such as Dr. Sisco, it is a safe surgery that involves less recovery time than even breast augmentation surgery.

Breast Sagging After Implant Removal

For some women who’ve had large breast implants or whose skin has lost significant elasticity, breast implant removal can cause breasts to look saggy or deflated. As mentioned above, combining a breast lift with breast implant removal will reshape the remaining breast tissue, giving the breasts a more appealing position on the chest. It is safe to combine a breast lift with breast implant removal, but some women choose to have their implants removed first so they can determine whether a breast lift is necessary.

Recovery After Breast Implant Removal Surgery

In part, the length and intensity of your recovery will depend on the type of breast implant removal surgery performed and whether a breast lift was included. Recovery for most explant procedures is fairly quick, usually requiring just a few days to a week of downtime.

En bloc implant removals require a longer recovery period and may need drains in place for a few days after to prevent serous (wound) fluid from pooling around the surgical site. Some patients may need to wear a compression or support bra during their recovery to minimize swelling and encourage healing.

In general, patients should expect some soreness, bruising, and post-surgical swelling. Any discomfort is usually well-managed with pain relievers and typically dissipates within a week. Dr. Sisco will advise how long you should refrain from strenuous activity after your procedure and any limits on lifting or movements.

Most of the swelling will subside after the first two months, though just as with your initial augmentation procedure, it may take time for your results to finalize. The scars, too, will continue to mature and fade, becoming much less noticeable within a few months.

Common Breast Implant Removal Questions

If I get my breast implants removed can I decide to get new implants later?

Yes, although we most often replace old implants with new implants during the same procedure, you can usually have implants inserted at a later time. This will depend, however, on your breasts’ condition, your specific needs, and the recommendation of your surgeon. You’ll likely need to wait at least 3 months after your breast implant removal procedure to have new implants placed so your body has time to heal fully before the second surgery.

Is it painful getting breast implants removed?

Most women have some discomfort and soreness after their breast implants are removed, although some say the pain is less than when their implants were initially placed. Recovery pain is usually managed well with pain relievers or medication and diminishes significantly within the first week or so. Soreness may continue for a few weeks, however.

How will my breasts look after implants are removed?

The appearance of each patient’s breasts depends on a variety of factors, including how extensively breast tissue was displaced by the implants and how much the implants stretched the skin and for how long.

How long is it safe to leave breast implants in without removing or replacing them?

Although breast implants are not meant to last a lifetime, they often can last 20 years or more. They are safe to keep in place as long as they aren’t exhibiting any problems, such as swelling, pain, misshapen appearance, or a feeling of tightness.

Is there anything I need to prepare before breast explant surgery?

Preparing for explant surgery is much like preparing for any other procedure. If you’re a smoker, stop smoking several weeks before the surgery. Follow Dr. Sisco’s instructions for taking or stopping any medication and fill any necessary prescriptions before surgery. Have someone drive you home from surgery and stay with you overnight and enlist friends or family to help you with household chores and child care while you are healing.

If you are thinking of removing your implants and want to discuss your options with Dr. Sisco, request a consultation using the online form or call our office at (847) 504-2333 to schedule an appointment.

A Reputation Built on Results

Wonderful, highly skilled and caring doctor. Breast reduction was a great success and I am very pleased...
Dr. Mark Sisco and his staff have provided me with excellent care. I am impressed with my results, and...
Dr. Sisco performed my breast implant removal under local anesthesia. I was initially impressed by his...
Dr Sisco is one of the best surgeons I have had. I highly recommend! Very knowledgeable, kind, and...