In 2016, four times as many women in the United Kingdom had breast implants removed than had them added, according to the country’s National Health Service.
Doctors in the United States are also seeing more women who are deciding to reduce the size of, or get rid of their breast implants, according to CBS News.
Several years ago, demand for breast implant surgery was high in the U.K., with twice as many women having enlargement procedures compared with those having implants removed.
The NHS has since begun more strictly regulating the taxpayer-funded surgeries, which experts believe has contributed to the decline in the number of implant procedures.
In the U.K., surgery is now being authorized only for women with significantly misshapen breasts, or for those who are able to prove that they are suffering serious psychological issues related to their breasts.
Last year, 1,602 women were permitted by the NHS to undergo breast implant removal, compared with 390 who had breast enlargement procedures.
Twelve years ago, 633 procedures were performed to remove implants, while 1,778 surgeries were authorized for breast enhancement, the U.K. Daily Star reported.
The rise in the number of women in the U.K. who sought to have breast implants removed was, as CNN reported, due in part to the revelation in 2012 that implants made by the French company Poly Implant Prothese, or PIP, contained industrial-grade silicone, instead of medical-grade ingredients.
According to Gary Ross, a plastic surgeon in Manchester, “There are more removals done in the NHS, mainly due to faulty PIP implants, and women going abroad for surgery who then have problems later.”
CNN reported in March that the FDA had issued an update detailing an increased risk in women with breast implants developing a rare cancer called ALCL.
The surge in the number of breast implant removals in the U.K. and U.S. is also attributable to the decline of the appeal of large false breasts.
Dr. Lisa Cassileth, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, said a growing number of women over 30 are having the size of their implants reduced, or are having them removed.
“There’s that natural desire to be super sexy in your 20s and to be very attractive. In your 40s, you get a little more practical. You’re trying to be healthy, you’re trying to work out,” Cassileth said.
Removal of breast implants allows women to appear “a little more lean, a little more contoured, a little more athletic,” she said.
According to the U.K. Daily Star, women have also been inspired by celebrities such as media personality Sharon Osbourne, and fashion designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham who have openly revealed that they have had their breast implants removed.
Cassileth noted that, regardless of celebrity influence, more women are thinking about their futures in relation to their breast implants.
“An implant only lasts for 10, 15 years,” she said. “So these women are now looking ahead and saying, ‘Wow, I’ve got an implant in. I’m going to have two, three more procedures in my lifetime?’”
Despite the increasing demand for “explants,” more than 290,000 women underwent breast augmentation surgery in the U.S. in 2016, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.