Breast Implant Removal

In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of women coming in for an evaluation to have their implants removed. Women from Boise, Pocatello, and surrounding areas have many reasons for choosing to have their breast implants removed through “explant” surgery at our Idaho Falls practice. The most common reasons include the implants feeling too large or heavy, gradually getting harder due to capsular contracture, or even the woman’s feeling that her overall health has declined since having implants placed. Whether it be from weight loss or gain since surgery or simply being “over them,” board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Freeman is committed to providing a seamless and rewarding explant process.

What Happens During Breast Implant Removal Surgery?

Implant removal after breast augmentation can be performed through multiple procedure techniques. Dr. Freeman will work closely with you to determine your best approach.

Simple Explantation

Two new breast implants before being placed in the body

Breast implants are removed, leaving the scar capsule in place.

The quickest and simplest approach is to remove the implants through a small incision under the breast, leaving the scar tissue capsule in place. Most of our patients who are concerned about size and shape after augmentation choose this simple method.

Explantation With Capsulectomy

A new breast implant displayed next to a breast plant encased in a scar capsule

The breast implant and scar capsule are removed from the breast separately.

The next option is to remove both the implant and the breast implant capsule at the time of surgery.  The incision has to be slightly larger to remove both the implant and capsule. This procedure takes roughly 60 to 90 minutes to perform and therefore requires more cost and recovery time than a simple explantation.

En Bloc Explantation

Two breast implants encased in scar capsules

The breast implant and scar capsule are removed intact from the breast.

This is the most complicated and lengthy approach to removing breast implants. In this procedure, we attempt to remove the capsule entirely intact with the implant inside of the scar tissue pocket. Dr. Freeman has vast experience in performing the en bloc technique, though there is no way to guarantee that this type of resection can be performed in every situation. This procedure usually takes the longest to perform, is done through a longer inframammary incision, and has a slightly longer recovery.

Frequently, patients who feel their health has suffered due to breast implants choose this technique, although currently there is little data to prove that en bloc explantation is superior to a traditional capsulectomy.

Meet Our Surgeons

Mark E. Freeman, MD Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Mark E. Freeman, MD Meet Dr. Freeman

Matthew Hagan, MD Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Matthew Hagan, MD Meet Dr. Hagan

Credentials You Can Trust

Dr. Freeman's and Dr. Hagan's credentials Dr. Freeman's and Dr. Hagan's credentials

Will I Have Drains After Explant Surgery?

With all of our explant surgeries, we attempt to avoid drainage tubes whenever possible. We employ advanced techniques to progressively close down the space in order to facilitate healing, decrease postoperative sagging, and prevent fluid formation. With this type of internal imbrication, we are able to avoid using drains in over 95% of our explantation surgeries.


As we have seen a drastic rise in the number of patients choosing implant removal, most have been pleasantly surprised by just how attractive the natural result is afterward, with no additional surgery needed. In many patients, we recommend removing the implants and then evaluating the result in 3 to 6 months. At that point, we can discuss your options, including fat transfer or breast lift procedures, or even a combination of both. However, we find the vast majority of our patients are pleased with their new appearance without ever having additional surgery.

Most explantation patients are very happy with their decision and with the appearance of their new breasts. Removing the implants often leads to a more perky and compact-looking breast without the need for routine screening or concern.

Vectra® 3-D

Visualize the results of your facial, body, or breast procedure before surgery. The VECTRA system combines your image with medical data to create a highly realistic 3-D simulation.

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What is Explant Surgery Recovery Like?

Most of our explant patients report minimal discomfort after surgery compared to their original implant surgery and are usually back to work in 5 to 8 days. The sutures used are all absorbable, so they never have to be removed, and we rarely use any drainage tubes. Therefore, patients from far away can easily have explant surgery done in Idaho Falls and return home to recover.

Traveling in for Surgery

At Freeman Plastic Surgery, many of our patients travel to Idaho Falls from Jackson Hole and surrounding areas to have breast implant removal surgery.  We also have some patients from as far away as Canada or Hawaii. We have the ability to determine the type of explantation and surgical fees via telephone interviews and confidential email conversations. Most of the paperwork and documentation can be done via email prior to your visit, while the in-person consultation, consent forms, and photos can be done the day before your surgery. Most traveling patients come in a day prior to surgery and leave for home 1 to 2 days after surgery.

How Much Does Breast Implant Removal (Explant Surgery) Cost?

It is hard to know exactly how much the surgery will cost without knowing exactly what you are looking for and the condition of the breasts and implants. Usually, breast implant removal pricing ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. However, an exact quote will be given to you at the time of your consultation. Learn more about financing options on our Patient Forms & Financing page.

If you would like to learn more about your breast implant removal options in Idaho Falls or Jackson Hole, please request a consultation online or call (208) 881-5351.

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