Breast Caved in After Removal? What Next? Can Time Fix This? Lift? (photo)

My breast are caved in after removal. I want to be implant free if possible. Will time heal this? Will they fluff up? Will a lift fix it? Thanks to all you who reply.

Doctor Answers 6

Breast appearance after implant removal

Thank you for your question.

Implants obviously contribute to the volume of your breasts.  When they are removed patients still have a similar skin envelope but with less volume.  This can create exactly the appearance you are struggling with.  


Time will improve things somewhat.  It is hard to know exactly how much.  Other possible treatments include mastopexy (removing some of the skin to change the skin envelope) or fat transfer (adding some of your own fat removed from part of your body to replace some of the volume once occupied by implant).


In our San Francisco practice we use both techniques to improve breast appearance after implant removal.


I hope this helps!

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Concerns about Appearance of Breasts after Implant Removal?

Thank you for the question and pictures.

 Your concern is understandable after viewing the picture. Although you do not say how far out of surgery you are currently, the incisions do appear relatively fresh.  Therefore, you should have some peace of mind that the appearance of the breasts will likely improve to some degree over the course of the next few months and even up to one year after surgery.  Exactly how much skin contraction and “bounce back” will occur is impossible to predict.

 Although easier said than done, I would suggest continued patience; do not rush into any type of surgery in the near future. Again, allow several  additional months to pass before making a judgment.  You may find that massage of the breasts skin  may be helpful. If in the long term, if the degree of skin retraction is not satisfactory, some skin excision (mastopexy) may be necessary/helpful.

 I hope this helps.

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

Fat grafting may be a good option


Thank you for the question and photo.  If you are early after your implant removal then additional improvement may be seen as healing progresses.  Once the healing process has completed and you do not see any additional changes in your breasts you may want to consider fat grafting to add volume to the breasts if you are wishing to avoid the use of an implant.  I do not think you will nee a breast lift procedure.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Yes, time can fix this

It looks like you had relatively large implants and just had them removed days before the photo. This is very early to assess the final result. Expect them to get better every day. It may take up to a year to get their best.

There are several reason why they look like this. First of all, your skin was stretched out over a long time by the implants and the skin will similarly take a long time to shrink back. It may not shrink back completely, but it should shrink some. The amount of shrinkage you get depends on how big your implants were, if you have been pregnant and/or breast fed, and your age (older=less shrinkage, younger=more shrinkage). Another reason they look caved in is that breast implants can actually indent your ribs. This can improve with time, but will take a while. Furthermore, breast implants push on your natural breast tissue and fat and cause atrophy (shrinkage) of both so you have less breast tissue and fat now than you did before implants. In addition, you have aged since your implants were placed also causing atrophy of your breast tissue so you have less breast tissue now than you did before implants.

In summary, this is an expected appearance immediately after implant removal. They will definitely improve over time.

Armin Moshyedi, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews


I dont think this will improve significantly with the passage of time. You need some sort of lift and volume enhancement.

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Deformity after implants removed.

Thank you for your question and for the photo. It would help the surgeons commenting on this problem if we knew how long ago the implants were removed, and what size they were.

From the photo, it appears they were large implants, recently removed. In that setting I would expect some contour improvement, but I expect not enough to resolve the problem, At a minimum, a breast lift will be suggested. Fat grafting to restore some of the lost volume may also be appropriate. Allow at least three months for post op changes before making any decisions.

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.