MR ADRIAN RICHARDS explains his CUTTING EDGE breast implant removal procedure and how MINIMALLY INVASIVE practice enhances healing and recovery.

Mr Adrian Richards is a multi award-winning consultant plastic surgeon. Based at The Private Clinic with its opulent consultation rooms and state of the art operating theatres, he works with his dynamic team on the world’s most famous medical strip: Harley Street, London.

With a surgical career spanning 20 years, early beginnings at Stoke Manderville Hospital saw him practice in general surgery before deciding which area to specialise in.

A keen interest in plastic surgery affirmed his direction and before setting up his own practices in the UK he gained valuable experience in the USA and Australia.

A gentleman with an impressive collection of accolades including placement in the Realself Top 100 Surgeons in the World along with The Independent on Sunday’s UK’s Leading Breast Surgeon; Mr Richards is hot on the case with all the latest advancements in surgical techniques.

I follow the surgeon’s Instagram and scroll through to a video clip like none other I’ve witnessed before. It is a demonstration of a large silicone breast implant being sucked out of a small, neat incision under a lady's breast fold in a matter of a few seconds. Mr Richards’ steady hand is holding what looks like a giant syringe and the implant literally pops into it.

With iPhone in hand, I am flabbergasted. Granted, for the squeamish among us this may sound a little grotesque but the image is surprisingly clean and there is hardly any visible blood. I have to watch it a second time then tag a few girl friends who I know would be awe-inspired by the spectacle, too.

I comment on the post: “keyhole surgery for breast implants!” - which sparks a private Whatsapp conversation with one, a nurse; on the exciting prospect that after decades of studies and trials, plastic surgery may have hit its peak!

...Specialist breast surgeons are showcasing their competency to remove these sizable foreign bodies by barely touching the surrounding tissues. It is really remarkable!

Mr Adrian Richards in surgery at The Private Clinic. Photo credit: The Private Clinic

Buzzing to find out more and keen to know if this is his own pioneering ‘keyhole’-like procedure, I am delighted that Mr Richards can spare a few moments to discuss.

He explains:

“I heard about this technique from another specialist in the industry. It is used by a number of plastic surgeons in the UK and elsewhere in the world. The concept was quite likely inspired by the keyhole surgeons. It does have the same aim as keyhole, of performing surgery that is minimally invasive to the patient.”

‘Minimally invasive’ are without doubt the words any individual faced with surgery are hopeful to hear. The term is generally understood to equate to minimal everything else including pain, scarring, down time and vitally, infection risk.

“We aim to keep infection risk as low as possible and I believe this is the most sterile method to remove breast implants owing to it being the least invasive. It is also a very quick process which means the patient spends less time with open incisions.”

A cutting edge approach sees the former 5cm incision norms shrunk to less conspicuous 3 to 3.5cm in length. The risk of trauma to the surrounding tissues is diminished which reduces recovery time for the patient. The scar once healed, is disguised within the inframammary fold.

These key benefits would be very comforting to hear in a consultation and the method does not appear to have many limitations, either. Any breast implant type or size with any sub muscular or sub glandular placement may be extracted with the surgical implement Mr Richards describes to me as "an upside-down syringe with a plunger attached to it." Ruptures or ripples in implants are no problem, either.

“This procedure works well for ruptured implants. After removal we irrigate the pocket with antiseptic which further assists to lessen infection risk and washes out any traces of silicone left inside.”

My thought train moves on to the possible next stage: those looking to have their implants exchanged. Every week Mr Richards is presented with patient wish lists of varying degrees of complexity. A few of the straightforward examples may include to up-size, down-size or perhaps to achieve a different shape or placement owing to the body having changed with aging or breastfeeding.

With the talented surgeon having nailed the ‘keyhole’ removal part, I enquire as to how he would ‘keyhole’ the new implants in:

“When we have a removal and replacement scenario, I use a Keller funnel to place the new breast implants. The Keller funnel requires only a small incision so this keeps the same ideals for minimal infection risk along with shorter scar and recovery. The incision is fused together with three layers of absorbable stitches which break down harmlessly in the body and do not require medical intervention to remove.”

It all sounds very reassuring and as I cast my eyes through the abundance of 5* glowing patient reviews it is plain to see how Adrian Richards has achieved his high professional standing and reputation in the industry. The work of a man dubbed ‘the UK’s leading breast surgeon’ is an art form and its positive impact has enhanced the lives of so many individuals.

With thanks to Mr Adrian Richards, MBBS, MSc, FRCS (Plast.)

With thanks to Olivia and Melissa at The Private Clinic

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