I am going to have my 13 year old saline breast implants removed.

I have been doing a lot of research and was wondering your opinion on having them deflated first and then surgery to remove 3-6 months later. I have seen varying opinions on this but have heard this will help the tissue shrink back easier. I am 45 years old no kids and I am 5"4 109 pounds. I was a full B cup before and am now a full C . I have implants that are 325c size. Are there any risks to having them drained at the doctors office? Thank you

Doctor Answers 9

Breast implant removal

When patients are uncomfortable with how the breasts may look after explantation, draining the implants gives them a chance to see how they will look once the skin has contracted.  At that point they can decide if they want further surgery at the same time the drained implants are removed (such as differently sized implants or a lift).  If you are planning to have the implants removed regardless and are not planning further breast surgery there is no need to have them drained first.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Removing saline implants

Thank you for your question.  Yes, it is safe to have the saline implants deflated in your Plastic Surgeons office.  It is a good way to see how much tissue will shrink back and if you would need a lift during implant removal surgery.  Make sure he or she is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery.  Good luck!

Chad Robbins, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Breast implant removal

Thank you for asking about your breast implant removal.

  • If you are sure you do not want implants, there is no need to deflate the implants in advance.
  • But if you want to know what you will look like and if you can live with it, your surgeon can definitely deflate them in advance to give you an idea.
  • You will be surprised by how flat you look - having had implants for so long.
  • I recommend however doing the deflation weeks - not months - before surgery.
  • Leaving deflated implants in place can be uncomfortable - you can feel the edge of the deflated implant through your skin and it rubs on the skin and ribs.
  • You will get a better result if you have a small, vertical breast lift at the time of implant removal than if you rely on skin shrinkage after deflation. 
  • In my experience, once the implants have been in for a year, skin and breasts are permanently stretched.
  • Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

I am going to have my 13 year old saline breast implants removed.

Thank you for the question. I think your plan is a good one.. but as you can imagine, it is not possible to give you precise advice without direct examination and a full communication of your goals.

Generally speaking what breasts 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.

Sometimes patients in your situation are pleased with the results of surgery after removal of the breast implants; sometimes patients request breast lifting and/or re-augmentation with smaller breasts implants.  

Consulting with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon in person will be helpful.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Saline implant removal


Implant deflation can be a helpful tool if you're not sure how you will feel without the extra volume your implants are giving you. If you think you might want to downsize to new implants, or if you think you might want to add some volume with fat instead of implants, it may be helpful to deflate. This helps the implant pocket contract and also gives you a better idea of how much breast tissue you really have. If you're completely sure that you don't want anything else put in, you could go ahead and deflate and remove your saline implants in one sitting- this can usually be done under local anesthesia in the office and is well-tolerated.

I hope that helps-

Susan MacLennan, MD
Banff Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Deflate first

The reason one would have them deflated in the office is to see what you would look like if you were having them removed and part of your decision is whether to have new implants, etc. Otherwise just take them out.

Barry M. Schwartz, MD
Weston Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

To deflate or not to deflate?

If you are planning on having these saline implants removed and not having either new implants placed or a breast lift performed, there is no advantage to having them deflated in advance.  The skin and breast tissue will not contract better over the 3 month period, although the pocket that the implants are in, probably will.  Since the implant pocket is frequently removed at the same time as the implants are, there isn't much benefit to allowing it to shrink over several months.  However, if you are considering a breast lift, then deflating them either a few days before surgery, or on the day of surgery can help your surgeon plan that operation better.  While no procedure is entirely risk free, if done with proper technique, saline implants can be deflated safely in a doctor's office.  Please make sure that you are seeing an experienced board certified plastic surgeon,

Isaac Starker, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

I am going to have my 13 year old saline breast implants removed.

The only reason to remove the saline first is to give you the opportunity to see what your breasts look like without the implants.It will also allow the pocket to contract .You and your surgeon can then better decide on implant replacement,fat grafting and or breast lift

Hilton Becker, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews


My advise would be to have the implants surgically removed.   Your skin will take on the new shape whether you have them deflated or removed.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 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.