I am having implants removed that have been there for 2 years. I had a lift one year prior (3 yrs ago). I am concerned that I may need another lift. My surgeon indicated that it is not a good idea to combine the surgeries because it is difficult to mark the breasts appropriately for the lift prior to the explant, as my breasts will be different. I heard many things and just wondered your expert opinion.
Is It Safe to Do Lift and Explant at the Same Time?
Doctor Answers (7)
Breast lift and Explant on the same day
In my own practice we routinely perform Explant and breast lift on the same day. It will not expose you to any significant increase in risk and I have not experienced any increase in the need for revisions with this approach.
Breast lift and removal at the same time
Removing breast implants and performing a breast lift at the same time can be performed safely but does depend on several factors. Are the implants above or below the muscle, how much native breast tissue do you have, and what is your skin quality. The safest and probably most precise method would be to stage the two procedures 6 months apart. This time period allows your tissues to recover and does make marking your breasts more precise. Also after 6 months, you may feel you do not require a lift anymore. The downside of staging is that it requires two operative procedures which costs extra money and incurs greater anesthetic risks.
Explant and Lift
In our practice, patients with implants who would like to have them removed and have a breast lift are commonly treated with one operation. The procedure is performed as an outpatient and typically patients are back to work within a few days though they are asked to wear a bra for about 6 weeks.
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Explantation and mastopexy: 1 procedure or 2?
Your could have a lift and explant at the same time which is what I do most of the time. However, there are several issues that can affect the cosmetic results as well as the risks. For example, the size of the implant to be removed would be important (more issues with larger vs smaller); above versus below the muscle (higher risk above); ratio of implant size to breast tissue, etc.
If your implants are relatively small (and even if they are not), it would be quite reasonable to have the explantation then wait about 6 months during which there will be some tightening of the tissues. At that time, a determination can be made for the need for a secondary lift. The risks for problems at this point in time will be decreased compared to a one stage approach and the precision of results will be increased - but so will the total costs as you will then have 2 instead of 1 procedure.
Breast augmentation together with breast lift
Breast augmentation and lift are frequently performed together. Depending on the patient and the surgeon these can be and in some cases should be performed at separate operations. I can guarantee you that the re-operative rate is greater when these 2 procedures are performed together than when they are performed apart. I have done it both ways. In my mind the main concern is survival of the nipple areola complex. If you are too aggressive performing both procedures at the same time you can kill the nipples. In such cases it is obviously break the surgery into 2 parts. Without a photo or face to face examination it is impossible to say what would be best in your case.
Doing a lift and implant removal is possible and can be done simultaneously; however, there is a risk to the nipples because of damage to the blood supply during the lift and capsulectomy. The safest way would be to remove the implant and after several months, then performing a lift. Since I don't have the benefit of examining you I would recommend following your plastic surgeon's advice. If you still have any doubts, then obtain a second consultation with another board certified plastic surgeon.
A breast lift after removing implants
It is certainly possible to have a breast lift (mastopexy) at the same time as breast implant removal. Some people would argue that it is preferred to do it that way. In my practice I am very comfortable with doing both at the same time. That being said, it is often a good idea to wait and see what the breasts look like after removing the implants. You might be happy with their appearance without having another lift. For that reason you might want to wait and have the lift at a later time (if needed).
I hope this info helps!