Does Breast Implant Removal Require Breast Lift Surgery?

i want to remove my breast implants. too big. if i do this will i most likely need a breast lift? is my skin stretched permanently as a result of implants?

Doctor Answers 55

Will a patient need a breast lift? #explantation

There are several factors that determine the result of a breast implant removal. Your skin could stretch back under several conditions: (1) if your breast tissue did not decrease over the 8 year period from your original breasts; (2) if your pectorals major muscle maintained its bulk; (3) if your pectorals major was not cut during insertion; (4) or if it was cut during insertion, it was repaired successfully after explantation; (5) if your rib contour was not altered by the implants. In other words, your skin has to be supported by adequate volume in the breast. In general, breasts with sub pectoral implants tend to do better than sub glandular implants after explantation, because the breast tissue is less stretched by the implants. Breasts that had no contracture tend to do better. Your question is a good one but complicated to answer.


Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Breast Lift with Implant Removal

This will depend on three factors:

1.  Time since Augmentation.   The longer the implants have been in place, the less likely the tissues are to recoil to their pre-augmentation shape.

2.  Implant Volume:  If you have a very large implant and little breast tissue, the skin will be much more redundant that if you had a smaller implant.

3. Amount of loose skin:  If your nipple is at or below the crease/inframammary fold, then you will most likely need to consider a breast lift for optimal aesthetics.

I recommend visiting with a board certified plastic surgeon for exact recommendations.

I wish you a safe recovery.

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

You had breast implants placed for a reason.

If your breasts were too small initially, and your implants were simply too large for your liking, smaller implants may solve the problem--BUT, if your breasts were borderline in need of a breast lift (mastopexy), and larger implants were chosen to try to fill your loose skin brassiere without the expense and additional scars of a breast lift, you may well need a lift depending on how much smaller (or none at all) your new implants are. The point is that everything depends on your anatomy, your requests, and a detailed evaluation by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Online research is great, but should NEVER replace detailed consultation with your surgeon until ALL of your questions are answered. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Breast Lift after Implant Removal

Many women who have their breast implants removed do opt for a breast lift, though it is certainly not mandatory. The choice is often dependent on how much a patient’s skin was stretched by their implants. Women with smaller natural breasts who choose larger implants usually experience more stretching. When the implants are removed, your skin will retract somewhat. If it doesn’t retract enough for you to be satisfied with the appearance of your breasts, a breast lift can help. 

David Whiteman, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

It depends

Good afternoon!


Implant removal can be a difficult decision- the overwhelming majority of women love their implants and removing them can be a trying experience.  The question of whether you may need a lift or not depends upon the elasticity of your tissues as well as the nipple position in relation to the rest of your breast tissue.  It also depends upon the type of look you are comfortable with after your procedure.  Some of the factors that may increase the chance of one needing a lift with their explantion include having thin tissues, a nipple close to or below the level of the inframammry fold, and having a relatively large implant in relation to ones breast tissue.


I hope this helps

Robert Steely, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Breast lift after removing implants

It largely depends on how much your skin was stretched by your implants.  If you went from very small to very large breasts then your skin was likely stretched quite a bit.  When you remove the implants your skin will retract somewhat, but in might not be enough to the point where you are happy with the appearance of your breasts.  A good number of women desire breast lift surgery after their implants are removed.  If you happen to have saline implants, one option is to deflate the saline before surgery and let your skin retract.  Then you will have a much better idea if you will desire a breast lift as well.  Good luck!

Josh Waltzman, MD, MBA
Long Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast Implant Removal

Hi There,
This will depend on the size and positioning you'd like to achieve and your current size and positioning.
I would suggest seeing a surgeon at a consultation and discussing all options.

Best of luck!
Dr. Daniel Barrett MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Daniel Barrett, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Does Breast Implant Removal Require Breast Lift Surgery?

If your breasts were not sagging before, then it is more likely that you will just have an empty upper pole. If they sagged a little before surgery then you will go back to that shape. The real problem is loss of volume and shape.  Be sure to consult with a Plastic Surgeon Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who is also a Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and is experienced in Aesthetic Breast Surgery.

Laurence Kirwan, MD, FRCS, FACS
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Does implant removal require a lift

Not all breast explantations require a breast lift. It can be difficult to anticipate the amount of ptosis the breast will experience after removal implants.  However, the larger the implant, the more likely a lift may be required. A board certified plastic surgeon can help you decide if a lift is required or not.

Robert Najera, MD
Frisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast LIft Surgery Following Implant Removal

Breast implant removal does not always mean you need a lift afterwards. A number of factors will contribute to this such as implant size, weight fluctuations, skin elasticity, and the amount of time since augmentation. Only evaluation by your plastic surgeon can determine your need for a breast lift procedure.

Jeffrey Weinzweig, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 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.