What does explant with no breast tissue look like?

I had severe cc for many years and finally had capsulectomy and new implants in 2012. Sadly, I am developing cc again. Soft new breasts getting hard and deformed again. I really just want them out and done but I had zero, I mean ZERO, breast tissue, completely flat when I had them put in. It seems like all the pictures of explant I see the women had fine breasts before the implants and even look better with them out. If I go from 36C to nothing will it look freakish? Can the surgeon make me just flat instead of empty hanging flaps?

Doctor Answers (5)

Breast Implant explantation

+2
In reality no one can tell you how the breast will look after explantation. There are many variable, skin elasticity, amount of breast tissue, the fact that the implant pressure can thin the breast tissue, internal scarring.
You need a good examination and discussion of all the options available.
1: explant and do nothing
2: explant and breast lift
3: explant and use of acellular matrix around the implant (Acellular matrix is expensive). Placing the implant under the muscle. As you see redo the breast implant unsatisfactory results are more expensive.
There are many decisions you need to make.
Samir Shureih MD. FACS
sshureih@msn.com


Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

What does explant with no breast tissue look like?

+2

Thank you for the question but it is difficult to give you good advice without photographs or in-person examination.

 Generally speaking, 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.

 Patience is definitely indicated after removal of breast implants; it will take many months for the skin to “bounce back” and for you to see the final appearance of the breasts.

Consulting with  well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons in person may be helpful.  He/she will be able to give you a better idea of whether breast implant removal alone will achieve your goals or whether some degree of breast lifting will be necessary, either at the same stage as breast implant removal, or at a later date.  The attached link ( dedicated to breast implant removal concerns) may be helpful to you as well.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 718 reviews

What does explant with no breast tissue look like? Can the surgeon make me just flat instead of empty hanging flaps?

+1
The second question is the key.  You can clearly have your implants removed but, based on what you describe with respect to the implants and the capsular contractures, it sounds like you'll have very little left aside from the "hanging flaps."

But that's where the plastic surgery comes in.  A plastic surgeon should (it's difficult to say anything without the benefit of examining you in person or, at the very least, some photos) be able to provide you with a shape that will be more aesthetic than just leaving empty sacs.  There will, of course, be scars associated with that, and at some point, you may even want to consider reinserting implants once the tissues have had a chance to settle down.  As a next step, though, removing the implants may be the appropriate course for you.

You should meet with one or more board-certified plastic surgeons to go over the various options, at which point you'll be able to make a more informed decision.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. Alan Engler
Member of RealSelf100

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

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What do breasts look like after explant surgery?

+1
Unfortunately, because you had very small breasts before getting implants, your breasts will most likely experience ptosis (sagging) and appear empty after explant surgery. If you do not wish to try another capsulectomy, then I recommend that you consult your doctor about other possible options. You may be a good candidate for breast augmentation through fat graphting after your implants are removed.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
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Appearance of breasts after explanted implants

+1
In general, a breast implant is just a pillow behind your breast and if it was fitted properly and didn't stretch or distort your breast, one would expect your breast to look the same after the pillow (implant) is taken out. As Dr. Pousti pointed out, many things can change in your breast, skin, and tissues between when the implant was put in and when it was taken out even if the implant didn't distort your tissues. Thus it's hard to say that your breast would look the same as it did if several years have passed between the first implants and the explant. The best that could be said is that your breast should look the way it would have looked if you never had implants. 
I would recommend a simple removal and see how you feel about the result before considering other procedures on the breast. It is also possible that there will be alternatives to implants in the future. If fat grafting is further developed and proven to have no influence on breast cancer or detection, you might benefit from a volume enhancement without an implant. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
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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.