I'm wondering if it's better to take breast implants out first and then a lift later or do it at the same time?

I received implants about 10 years ago. however, I never wanted them that big. I already know I will need a lift because of how big these things ended up. It took a year to have them "drop" and heal. My skin tone is very good, the implants are well done, but I went from a 34B to a large D cup and I'm 117 pounds. There's a part of me that just wants them out and do a lift later to see how it heals, but maybe that's not the best approach.

Doctor Answers 6


You might just want to remove and lift at the same time to avoid an additional surgery. i would suggest meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon and discussing all your options. You also have the option of exchanging for a smaller implant. Going smaller might minimize the lift needed.

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast implant removal with lift later/

Thank you for asking about your breast implant removal and breast lift.

I truly think you should have the lift done at the same time. 
Your implants will have stretched the breast, making it wider -
A small vertical lift at the same time will give you a much prettier breast and get this behind you.

Always see 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'm wondering if it's better to take breast implants out first and then a lift later or do it at the same time?

Thank you for the excellent question. Short answer: much will depend on your physical examination ( factors such as degree of breast ptosis, current position of breast implants, number of previous operations, assessment of breast skin quality/elasticity…) and your plastic surgeons' clinical judgment. 

Longer answer: in person consultation will be necessary to provide you with precise advice. The main issue of concern is adequacy of blood flow given the extensive breast surgery planned. In my opinion, if the degree of breast lifting ( distance of movement of the nipple/areola complexes) is significant, then you may be better off having the procedure performed in 2 stages. If the degree of breast lifting is relatively small ( shorter distance of movement of the nipple/areola complexes) then it is likely that the procedure can be performed in one stage. If in doubt, in my opinion, the two stage approach is safer.
In "borderline" cases where there is doubt whether breast lifting is necessary or not, I advise patients to undergo explantation only and to give their breasts the benefit of the doubt (allow for about six months to pass after breast implant removal) before deciding whether breast lifting would be beneficial.
I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast implant removal surgery concerns) helps. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

I'm wondering if I should stage my implant removal and breast lift?

Thank you for your excellent question.  Staging procedures is the more conservative approach and often leads to more predictable long-term results as your natural breast tissue and skin has an opportunity to retract after the implants are removed.  That said lifts are commonly done at the same time as implant exchange and an in-person examination would offer the best recommendation. Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Breast lift staged after implant removal

If a patient does not have a lot of breast tissue, then I will often stage the lift so that the breast can close down the "dead space" left by removing the implant. If the patient has a lot of breast tissue, then it is possible to perform a lift.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Removal with or without a lift

You are asking a common question.  Pictures, would be helpful, but if your breasts are very large and have stretched thin skin, removing the implants is likely to leave a very loose skin envelope and may well require a mastopexy.  Sometimes, this best performed at a second stage to give the most predicable and safe operation/outcome.  

Jeffrey D. Wagner, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.