Does Breast Implant Removal Require Breast Lift Surgery?

i want to remove my breast implants. too big. if i do this will i most likely need a breast lift? is my skin stretched permanently as a result of implants?

Doctor Answers 45

Does Breast Implant Removal require a Breast lift?

Depending upon the size of the breast implant removed and the amount of your natural breast tissue, you may or may not need a breast lift or mastopexy.

A thorough discussion with your plastic surgeon is necessary to understand your treatment alternatives, their risks and advantages.

New York Plastic Surgeon

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Breast lift after explant

A breast lift is needed if the volume of implant is generally over 300 cc, if the nipple areolar complex is too low, if there is too much skin that does not tighten up (often due to poor skin quality and stretch marks), and if there are dents or tissue deficiencies that can be corrected with an internal lift.

Susan Kolb, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Is a Lift required after implant removal?

Great question. The answer depends on your anatomy, the quality of your skin, and the size of your implants. In most cases, I would predict that there will be sagging after implant removal. The breast tissue/skin has likely been stretched by your implant. In these cases, if the patient no longer wants implants, perhaps a breast lift would be in order. You will need to be evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon to review your options.

Lift After Explantation

Sagging is possible, not definite, after removing implants.

The important considerations include:

  • the degree of sagging you had before implantation
  • the degree of sagging you have before explantation
  • the size of your implants
  • how your skin has changed with aging
  • your skin elasticity
    • the ability of your skin to maintain tone after the implants are removed

Sometimes the answer is obvious to the plastic surgeon; other times, even the most experienced plastic surgeon can't be certain.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Most likely you will need some type of breast lift after removing breast implants

depending on the size of your breast implant as compaired to the size of your native breast, usually it is necessary to perform a breast lift or mastopexy in order to prevent sagging of the breasts. In order to prevent loss of breast projection, it is a good idea to replace the implant with a smaller one and perform a breast lift.

S. Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

It all depends.

This is a very common question. It really depends on your breast, size of the implant and how long it has been there. The larger the implant and longer it has been in place, the more likely you would need some type of lift. If you began with minimal breast tissue, removing your implants and not replacing it with something smaller (to shape the breast) can give you a very deflatted appearence. The best thing is for you to be examined and have your surgeon review your old records to see your implant size. If it is a different surgeon, photos of your breasts before the original surgery can be helpful.

Scott R. Brundage, MD
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Implants can be removed without need for a breast lift

The need for breast lift after removal of breast implant depends on the following

  • The Nipple distance from the sternum
  • The position of the nipple in relation to the implant
  • The number or severity of stretchmarks
  • The length of time the implant have been there
  • and The quality and resiliency of the skin

You may be able to have the implant removed without needing to have a breast lift done. Without examination and pictures, it is impossible to guess...

Hope this helps.

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Breast implant removal may not require a breast lift

You will not necessarily need a breast lift after implant removal. The skin has some intrinsic elasticity that will allow it to contract after the weight of the implants are removed. If you were not droopy prior to your breast augmentation and your skin has good elasticity, you have a good chance of not needing a breast lift. I recommend waiting up to a year after implant removal to see whether or not you want or need a breast lift. Your doctor can give you a better idea after he sees you.

Randy J. Buckspan, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast implant removal doesn't always result in need for a breast lift.

Removal of implants for aesthetic dissatisfaction is decidedly uncommon in my practice.  Usually, the women have gained weight and their breasts have grown larger.  Removal of the implant restores the size they originally wanted.  Occasionally a life is aesthetically beneficial but it certainly is not necessary.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Have them deflated and find out

I won't elaborate on the several other answers that were provided, as they are all accurate and sound advice. A consult with a board certified plastic surgeon may answer your question outright. However, if there is still any question after you have the consultation I will offer you a possible way to find out if you will need a lift after implant removal. The method will ONLY work if you have purely saline implants. If this is the case, then you can speak to your board certified plastic surgeon to request that he/she deflate one or both of the implants. The deflated implant(s) may be left in place for a few months to see how your breast(s) and skin respond to the loss of volume. After that time your plastic surgeon will have a better idea of your tissue characteristics and will be better able to guide you in your decision for either implant replacement alone, lift alone, a combination of both or simply removal of the implants.

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.