Breast Implant Size Reduction


Breast implants have become quite popular with women of all ages. For the young as well as the older women, breast implants can help improve proportions, restore the body after childbirth or weight loss and also can help camouflage congenital issues such as pectus excavatum or tuberous breast deformity. There are many reasons why women choose to have breast implant surgery.

Some women choose to have very large breast implants placed and it is important for them to know the issues associated with having XL breast implants. There are physical issues such as neck, back and shoulder pain that can occur due to the weight of the larger breast implants. Also, the patient may be limited in their activity depending on how the XL breast implants affect their mobility (such as weight lifting, running, Yoga or playing sports). There are also psychosocial affects that patients considering the larger breast implants need to think of. These larger implants may elicit unwanted attention from others in the community.

As life circumstances change, the patient with the very large breast implant may choose to reduce the breast implant size or completely remove the breast implants. We see this happen as patients get older, get married and decide to have children or just change the way they feel about their natural body. Most patients who have had larger breast implants and want to downsize will most likely need a breast lift procedure to address the “stretched out” skin as well as internal capsule work. The amount of breast lifting will depend on the patient’s skin elasticity as well as the size of the XL breast implant.

There are 3 types of breast lifting:

1) Minimal breast lifting with the incision only around the areola,

2) Lolli pop breast lifting with an incision around the areola and vertically down, and

3) Full breast lifting with an anchor scar for removal of the maximum amount of breast skin.

In combination with the external breast lift surgery, internal capsulorrhaphy may also be necessary so that the breast implant pocket size is appropriate for the new, smaller breast implant. The capsulorrhaphy procedure is also known as pocket correction. 2 layers of permanent sutures are placed within the capsule that surrounds the breast implants to create a new breast implant pocket for the best possible placement of the implant on the patients chest wall.

Some patients choose to completely remove their breast implants. This is a personal preference. There are times when the breast implants can be removed and the patient does not need further surgery. Other times, once the breast implant is removed, a breast lift needs to be performed for the best aesthetic result.

Article by
San Diego Plastic Surgeon