What if I Don't Like my New Breast Implants?

I am seriously considering a breast augmentation, but what if I don't like the way the implants look after surgery?  Can the breast implants be taken out, and would my breasts look the same as they used to? I am just getting scared because with plastic surgery, it seems like there is no going back if you don't like the outcome. 

Doctor Answers 17

Implants can be removed; scars cannot

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Don't undergo a procedure that you are  already thinking about backing out of. It sounds as if you have unaswered questions and are quite hesitant pursuing.

Although the implants can be removed, your scars can't and will be a costant reminder of your surgery. 

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Surgery is serious stuff!

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In the past, I have had patients desire removal of implants. Interestingly, the few patients that have requested removal had excellent outcomes without any complications.

One patient wanted them out 2 weeks after surgery because they weren't part of her body. I had her wait 6 months, with the hope that she would adjust to them - but she still felt uncomfortable with them in, so we removed them.

Another patient had cultural issues and the pressures were too much so she had them removed four years after placement.

In both cases, the patients had moderate size implants and excellent elasticity of the skin and they looked the same as before surgery with her new scar.

However, your case may not be as easy and therefore it is important for you to determine if you really want breast implants. Be sure you are not doing this for a boyfriend or lover. The only person that matters is you. Breast implant surgery often, requires reoperations over the course of your lifetime. Lets keep the number of procedures to a minimum.
Good luck in your decision.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

It sounds like you're doubting your decision

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Or maybe you haven't made the decision. Most women who come in for breast augmentation surgery have always disliked their small breasts and can't wait to have them enhanced. With that, the removal rate for dissatisfaction with the implants is very low. It sounds as if you have trepidation about whether you really want the procedure or not. Rest assured that you can always have the implants removed if you don't like them. Good luck!

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Take your time while considering surgery

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When you get right down to it, nobody really needs aesthetic cosmetic surgery.

It is really a matter of whether or not an individual wants aesthetic cosmetic surgery. God makes us all (and all of our parts) in different shapes and sizes, and beauty is not merely in the eyes of the beholder, but also in the eyes of the beheld. That being said, aesthetic cosmetic surgery can have a positive, powerful and lasting impact on a person's life. You may be absolutely certain that you want to have a particular procedure performed, and I am continually amazed at how thoroughly many patients have educated themselves about specific procedures prior to their consultation.

In any case, the only way to truly decide whether or not to "have something done" is to get the best information available from a source with experience and appropriate credentials, whom you trust with your well-being. That information includes a thorough understanding of all options available and it should be provided by a baord certified plastic surgeon that understands your aesthetic sensibility and goals. This is what I do my best to provide for every individual that I meet in consultation.

My personal aesthetic sensibility is this: a good aesthetic cosmetic surgery result is a result that looks natural, not 'done'.

When considering breast augmentation surgery, be sure to look at many ,many before and after photos of work performed by the plastic surgeon you are considering. Some plastic surgeons specialize in very large breast implants. My goal is to provide natural looking results from breast augmentation surgery. A petite woman looking for extremely large implants would not be the ideal patient for my practice since my goal is always to provide a very natural looking result. You may wish to speak to several previous patients of your plastic surgeon so they can discuss their experience with you patient to patient.

You should feel very comfortable with your plastic surgeon and feel like he or she is listening to and understands your concerns and desires. You should feel confident that all of your questions have been answered before proceeding with surgery. You can and should ask questions about lawsuits, complications and reoperations. You also need to ask how many breast augmentation procedures a plastic surgeon performs annually. Of course before proceeding with any surgery, you should go to the website of your state medical board and check out the background of your surgeon there.

A slight bit of nervousness before surgery may be normal but real fear or serious doubt should not be ignored. Take your time when considering plastic surgery and never let anyone make you feel rushed into making a decision.

Although breast implants can be removed , careful consideration about surgery and taking time to research is a far better option.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

A good face to face consult with your Plastic surgeon should avoid you making the wrong choice.

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Prevention is the best medicine to prevent a bad choice. When considering a breast augmentation it is critical that you first find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Then you should have a personal face to face meeting with the surgeon. He or she should have ample time to discuss with you the procedure and possible complications in detail. You should spend time with your surgeon exploring the different approaches, trans axillary sub muscular, peri areolar sub muscular or sub mammary, infra mammary sub muscular or sub mammary. You should also discuss in detail the size and shape of the implant that will be used. You should see and feel the different implants, silicone gel filled or saline filled. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your choice of surgeon, the procedure, the implant and the size and location of your implant. When you are comfortable with these then you should choose a time that is good for you which doesn't put you under time pressure. When all these pre operative conditions are met, you almost always will find that your results will full fill your expectations and you will be delighted with your results.

Carl W. "Rick" Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

You don't sound quite ready for breast implants yet

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Breast implants are certainly removable and most of the time there are no consequences from their removal. However, while most patients have an appropriate level of preop anxiety, it is usually about the safety, the anesthesia etc.

If you have a significant concern that you might not like your result, wait until you feel more comfortable with the process, and more comfortable with your doctor and that they have properly informed you as to what to expect postop. This is not emergency surgery, and you might want to wait until you are more at ease and feeling more positive about the potential change in your body.

Consider surgery carefully

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While the overwhelming majority of women are very happy with their implants and do not want them removed, if you do have them removed, it is unlikely that your breasts will look like they did before surgery. Implants are a commitment, and you should carefully consider whether or not to have augmentation. That being said, breast augmentation is among the most common procedures women ask for, and most women are very, very happy with the results.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Soul searching before breast surgery

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Plastic surgery is almost never a "one way street." Most patients are pleased with their breast implants and the impact on their look. In fact, in twelve years, I have never removed a pair of breast implants I placed just because the patient didn't like them. I have done "fix it" jobs for patients - primarily for those done elsewhere.

The most important thing is for you to give some thought as to what you are trying to accomplish and why before surgery. As long as your reasons for surgery are internal (i.e. you are not doing this for someone else,) the results tend to be positive. Don't jump in until you are ready. There is no rush.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implant Regret

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Thanks for the question -

You're right to be cautious. Surgery - any surgery - is something that can never be completely undone. You should be sure about why you're doing it, you should be sure you've found a board certified plastic surgeon who can answer all of your questions and you have good communication with.

Smaller breast augmentation is more "reversible" than larger breast augmentation. The skin envelope stretches more to accommodate larger implants and a larger pocket must be created to hold larger implants.

Scars in any size breast augmentation are permanent, whether the implants are removed in the future or not.

Be sure you've had all of your questions answered by the surgeon that you're planning on doing the surgery and make sure you understand all the risks and benefits to breast augmentation. You should never be pressured by a surgeon to proceed with surgery.

Best of luck.

Steven Williams, MD

Don't Get Talked Into Anything!

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Patients considering Breast Augmentation have generally thought about the procedure for several years. Most patients also have one or several friends or family members with whom they have consulted regarding their motivation for and experiences (positive or negative) with Breast Augmentation. A multitude of websites, including RealSelf, are available as additonal resources to patients considering Breast Augmentation. By the time they enter the Plastic Surgeon's office for a formal consultation, most patients have already made the positive decision to have Breast Augmentation, and they are simply searching for the right doctor at that point.

If a patient comes to my office still uncertain about whether or not she wishes to have a Breast Augmentation, my duty is to inform her of the potential risks and benefits of the procedure. However, my practice under this circumstance would be to advise the patient not to proceed with Breast Augmentation until she had no doubt it was the right procedure and the right time for her.

Although the implants can certainly be removed within days or weeks of a Breast Augmentation, with minimal residual effect on the breast other than the permanent scar from the incision used to place and remove them, it would be far better to NOT do the surgery in the face of doubt, or based on an impulsive choice by the patient.

The overwhelming majority of Breast Augmentation patients are extremely happy with their surgical results, because they have chosen to have breast implants for the right reasons for themselves. Even so, it is not unusual for patients to "second-guess" their decision, while they adjust to their new appearance in the first few days or weeks after surgery. These temporary misgivings about the decision to have Breast Augmentation are natural, but if a patient seriously doubts that she will be happy BEFORE the surgery, it is better to avoid the surgery entirely.

Athleo Louis Cambre, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.