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What Would Happen if 20 Year Old Breast Implants Were Removed?

I have 20 year old silcone capsulated Breast Implants. I'm sixty years old. I'm considering having them removed and not replaced.

This will leave very flat, saggy, unattractive breasts. Suggestions? Alternatives?

Doctor Answers (11)

What Would Happen if 20 Year Old Breast Implants Were Removed?

+1
The answer here depends on many factors including the quality of the breast tissue and general position of that tissue over the implants.  In general, you suggest that the implants are capsulated and capsular contracture tends to hold the scar tissue, implant and breast tissue higher on the chest wall.  With removal, there is a good chance for the breasts to look deflated and saggy.
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Removal of implants after 20 years

+1

You have said it all.  If you implants are small, you may not have flat or saggy breasts.  There is nothing wrong with leaving them out.  Discuss this with yourself and your significant other.  The alternative is to replace them with a smaller implant but you will run the risk of encapsulation again.  This is a personal matter.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breast implant removal

+1

What your breasts will look like after explantation  depends on several factors such as: the quality of skin elasticity (the better the elasticity the better the skin will bounce back),  the size of the implants used (the larger the implant the more trouble you may have with redundant skin), and the amount of breast tissue present at this time (which may have changed since the time of your breast augmentation). 
Life experience since your breast augmentation procedure, such as pregnancy or weight gain weight loss, will  potentially influence the factors discussed above. If you take these factors into consideration and apply them  to your specific circumstances you may get a good idea of what to expect after the implants are removed.
 
Occasionally, I see patients who just want the implants removed because they don't want the implants "to be a part of them" anymore.  Make sure you think about this and that this is the right thing for you.  It's difficult to say if you need a lift after removal -- no one will know exactly what your breasts will look like after the implants are removed until it is done.  Talk to a well-trained and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon and get good advice.
Best wishes.

Web reference: http://www.poustiplasticsurgery.com/Procedures/procedure_breastrevision.htm

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 626 reviews

Removing breast implants

+1

It is difficult to predict the final shape of the breast after implant removal.  If you have had them for a long time and your skin has lost elasticity they may appear saggy.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Removing 20 year old breast implants (explant)

+1

There are so many factors that will effect the ultimate outcome and appearance of your breasts following implant removal. These include:

1.Age (yes, over 40 does mean less elasticity/contractility than a 25 year old but usually more than a 60 year old)
2.Size of implant
3.Number of years implant is in place
4.Over or under the muscle placement
5.Length and duration of nursing while implants are in place
6.Natural volume of breast tissue


In summary, it is my experience that If you go with a conservative volume implant (that is a subjective and not objective term) relative to your breast tissue, it is likely that you will have some loss of upper fullness with implatnt removal but not a drastic amount of sag (ptosis).

I have prepared a video on youtube entitled Breast Augmentation Overview in which I show the consequences of two patients who have undergone implants removal:

1.Scroll to 1 min into the video and you will see a 40 year old who underwent implant removal 1 year after placement. I do not have the pre implant photos because the augmentation was performed elsewhere and the patient preferred to have me remove the implant rather than the initial surgeon

.
2.Scroll to 1 min 30 sec into the video and the second patient is a 42 year old who had implants in place for 20 years.

Occasionally, it is obvious that a person will need a lift and implant removal and replacement can be performed simultaneously although there are some concerns about the circulation to the nipple areolar complex. I generally prefer a two stage approach with implant removal followed b 6-9 months of observation and then decide on a lift at that point in time. If there is a question about the need for a lift, saline implants can be deflated with a needle to get a rough idea bout the degree of sagging or droop (ptosis) followed by observation for 1-2 weeks to observe the effects of immediate contraction

Web reference: http://www.bodysculptor.com/breast-surgery-chicago/implant-replacement/

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Removal? Replacement? Breast Implants.

+1

Petey60,

The answer to your quesiton really depends on your goals.  If you never want to have another breast surgery, take them out, get a lift, and be happy with smaller, perkier breasts.  If you enjoy a fuller look, consider a capsulectomy and replacement of implants.  Many things have changed in breast surgery  over the last 20 years.  Implants are now idealy placed in the submuscular or subfascial plane.  You can also visit the FDA's website (fda.gov) regarding the findings of breast implant studies:

Seek the opinions of several board certified plastic surgeons.  More information is always better than less.

Good luck!

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Removing silicone breast implants; the need for breast lift surgery

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The breast skin may be excessive when compared to the deflated breast implant. In these cases, a breast lift procedure is warranted to restore the cosmetic contour and shape of the female breast.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast implant removal

+1

The appearance of your breasts after implant removal depends very much on the size of your breasts before you had augmentation. If you were very small, then the chances are that you will return to your pre-augmentation size and shape - except aging has occurred. However, if you were larger to begin with, then once you remove the implants, you are more likely to need a breast lift to avoid significant sagging and an unsightly appearance. Sometimes the better option would be to stage the procedures - first undergo the implant removal and just see how you heal and what the final shape will be. Many times you may not need any other procedures. If you do, then you can decide along with your surgeon what procedure would ideal for you. Although that means two surgeries, the results are often better that if you perform everything all at once.

Web reference: http://www.stcharlesplasticsurgery.com/html/breast-augmentation.html

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Breast Augmentation, breast lifting, fat grafting to the breasts

+1

Dear Petey60, The implants can be removed- ultimately the volume of the implant and possiby some of you breast tisssue will be removed- this depends on the degree of capsule formation and the implants- whether they are intact or not.

You may have a breast lift at the same time and also include micro fat grafting (your own fat used to add volume to the breasts) to achieve a nice shape and size of breast.

With Warm Regards,

Trevor M Born MD

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Appearance after removing 20 year old Breast Implants

+1

All depends on how much breast skin you have and how much breast tissue is left above the implants.

Removal of the implants is usually done just outside the capsule breast junction to avoid encountering the gel. There is some bleeding, depending on how inf lammed or not this plane is. When all is done drains are usually left in for a few days.

This MAY leave you with a "rock in a sock" deformity. If you are OK with it and do not want new implants than stop here. On the other hand, if you want them replaced, it would be useful to know the make/model of the old implants as a starting point. The removal of the implants would be followed by using intraoperative sizers to see which implants to use. The implants chose (saline or gel) will then be placed.

You must be in good health to have this procedures.

Hope this was helpful.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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