Will Breasts Sag if I Decide to Explant?

What if you decided to explant? Will your breasts sag?

Doctor Answers 87

Implants Away

Most of our patients who decide to have their breast implants removed do so because they are having problems or have decided that implants are simply not for them. This is rare. With some education about the possible results we find that our patients are happy with the implants out and the breast appearance. They want to go back to natural so any sag is accepted by the patients. It is not up to plastic surgeons to tell anyone that they need to have breast implants.

Dayton Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Breast implant removal

Many women are afraid to have implants removed because they fear their breasts will sag afterwards.  In my experience, most women who have their implants removed notice their breasts look pretty much like they did before receiving the implants.  If it has been many years since receiving the implants, or if there has been significant weight gain, there may be sagging of the breasts after implant removal.Otherwise, the removal of the implants usually does not result in much sagging.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Breast Implant Removal

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 your surgeon and get good advice.

Implant removal

A breast implant and the breast tissue both combine to give the overall volume of your breast. Depending upon the proportions of each ( i.e. 50% breast 50% implant etc.), the loss of the implant may have little to a huge effect on the breast volume once removed. The breast is like a bucket handle. It hinges upwards with more volume and sinks flat when deflated. The nipple may not change position or it might significantly. The volume may not change much or it may change significantly. This is something that can be predicted with a consultation.

Timothy Fee, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Sagging may occur

Sagging will occur based on the following:

- the size of the implants relative to your normal breast size
- if you have lost weight
- if you had children
- amount of breast tissue you have
- skin elasticity
- and aging

You may want to consider breast lift (mastopexy ) if breast do turnout saggy after removal of implants. Please consult your plastic surgeon.

Chen Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Sagging after implant removal

The extent of sagging will depend on how much breast tissue you have, how big the implants are, how much time has passed, if your weight has changed and if you have had children.  If you went from a B to a C three months ago and have changed your mind, you will likely look pretty similar to your preoperative state.  If you went from an A to a D fifteen  years ago and have nursed 4 children, you should  expect some significant sagging. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Breast Sagging After Implants Removed

After breast implants are removed, the breast loses support. The amount lost is proportionate to the volume lost. The larger the implant, the larger the volume loss and the more sagging expected.

How much sagging you will experience depends on three factors: the volume of the breast implant, the volume of your natural breast tissue and the tightness of your skin. The smaller the breast implant, the greater the natural breast volume and the tighter the skin, the less sagging that will occur.

Deflating the implant is a quick way to see what it will look like before surgery. For patients on the borderline, the implants can be deflated as a way to preview the results of implant removal. Deflation can be done in the office with a needle, but is not reversible. This should only be done if the implants are going to be removed anyway. Alternatively the implants can be removed in the operating room, the breasts allowed to heal, and then the determination made if a breast lift is necessary. This means two operations.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


Your breasts may droop after explantation surgery depending on a number of elements including the size of your natural breasts, your tissue quality, the size of the implants, and the the position of your areola. However, if you are younger with small to medium natural breasts and healthy tissue, you will experience little to no droop.  It is important to dscuss your needs and expectations clearly with your board certified plastic surgeon during the consultation for your physician to advise you properly.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast appearance after implant removal

Breast implants add volume and a little bit of lift, so taking them out means your breasts will be smaller (or "deflated" appearing) and sit slightly lower, but if you have a good amount of remaining breast tissue, no sagging now or before your implants, and excellent skin quality, it may not result in sagging to a degree that you want a breast lift. Important factors include:

1. Did your breasts sag before your implants were placed?

2. Do your breasts sag right now with the implants in place?

3. How large are your implants? If the implants are small and you have a lot of your own breast tissue, you may not notice much droop. If the implants are large, it is more likely your skin is stretched out, and you would have a more noticeable droop.

4. What is your breast skin quality? Young, elastic, healthy, or stretched out, thin, stretch marks, etc.

5. How much breast tissue do you have? Are the breasts "all implant", or do you have a lot of your own breast tissue? (This can change over time, simply due to aging or post-pregnancy, or thinning out of tissue around heavy implants...)

6. Where does your nipple sit in relation to your own breast tissue?

Basically without seeing you in person, it is difficult to say how much sagging your breasts will have, if any. A breast lift typically raises the position of the nipple, and tailors the skin to fit the amount of breast tissue you have in a more youthful and lifted position. The length of the scars depends on how much extra skin you have.

I would recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon in person to answer this question for your case in particular. There are definitely women who have had their implants removed, did not get a lift after, and are perfectly happy. There are others who benefit from a significant breast lift. It all depends on the patient.

Good luck!

Anita Patel, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Will breasts sag after implant removal?

Implants can, to some extent, camaflouge existing sagging of the breast. When the impant is removed, this sagging of the native breast is "unmasked". Removing the impant does not create sagging, it "deflates" the breast volume. You have to be prepared psychologically for this loss of volume.

The next question is, does the breast need to be modified after removal of the implant? It would need to be modified if is has significant, pre-existing sagging or excess skin. So the important thing to determine is whether or not you have sagging now, with the implant in place, of both the nipple and the breast tissue itself.

Also if your breast skin is significantly stretched out, you may need this removed by a lift procedure. If you have some sagging now with the implants in place, you may need a lift at the time of implant removal.

It depends on the position of the nipple and how much breast tissue you have and how this tissue is distributed. Implants do elevate the nipple position, but only a little bit. So if you take out the implant, the nipple will sit a little bit lower. So if your nipple position is good (a ittle low is OK) and your breast tissue is evenly distributed you probably don't need a lift.

Howevery, if your nipple is very low, you would benefit from a lift. If your nipple is good but all your breast tissue is in the lower half of your breast, then you would benefit from a lift. If skin is very stretched, would benefit from a "lift" to remove this. Good luck.

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 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.