When is It Safe to Have Breast Implants Removed?

I had breast augmentation recently, and I realized they're not for me. Now, I want them removed. How soon after breast augmentation can I have my implants removed?

Doctor Answers 11

Remove implants as soon as you like

The sooner you remove implants you don't want, the better the chance that your breast will return to their original appearance. If you wait too long (few months), you might have some sagging of the breasts or need a breast lift.

Boston Plastic Surgeon
3.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast Implant Buyer's Remorse

The brief answer is they can be removed at any time.

I clearly understand your predicament and have had this scenario occur frequently. Typically, in the end, patients are generally satisfied with the size; rarely, do patients seek to downsize or remove their implants.

Give it time. Studies have shown that at this point in time you are likely exhibiting a 10% component of swelling. For example if your natural breast is 175 and your breast implant is 375, your augmented breast should be 175 +375 = 550. However, special cameras will likely show your breast at 600 or more. This may take 6-9 months to resolve but reassure yourself that this is the case.

In the event, you feel, they are still too large then surgery may be contemplated but do not rush into this. More often then not when the swelling has subsided patients feel that the size is satisfactory and frequently smaller than they would prefer.

Although you have expressed that your implants were large, I recently informally contacted the breast implant manufacturer and a representative told me that approximately 85% of implants chosen fall between 325-375. Given this, there are other factors such as the profile and your pre-existing breast tissue.

Take a deep breath and give it some time. The additional swelling that occurs in the early postop period (3 weeks) can create the impression of bigger breasts. Some patients describe the implants as "sitting under their chin". As the implants settle, they will drop slightly and this will give the appearance of a smaller breast. IF you have ever built a house, you will know that the house settles. How much? It varies and is unpredictable.

I hope this helps.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Wait at least 3 months before implant removal

Some patients immediately adapt to the new size and shape of their breasts and others take a little longer. Before you make the decision to have your implants removed I would wait at least three months after your surgery . I would also talk to your plastic surgeon about the options and would even consider talking to another medical professional such as a psychologist to help with this decision.

The decision to have implants is a big one and the decision to have them removed is also a big one. Even though the implants can be removed and the breasts again will be smaller, there will be the scars from the placement of the implants. This is a lot to go through and I would encourage you to consider all your options carefully and have good support around you.

Susan E. Downey, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Whenever you're sure

Hi there-

I think it's important to allow an adjustment period of at least a few months....

Obviously you thought you wanted the implants at some point, enough to undergo a surgical procedure... just as you would not want to make an impulsive decision to have them placed, you wouldn't want to make an impulsive decision to have them removed and possibly regret it later.

If a few months have gone by and you really feel you've thought it through and still feel confident you would be happier without them, there shouldn't be any other reason you could not have them out right away.

As mentioned by my colleague, the procedure is usually much simpler than the placement was, with a very short recovery.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Wait a few months before removing implants

You should wait at least four months to six months before considering removal, as it usually takes this long for your breasts to settle. However, if you recovery rate is slow, then you should wait a little longer. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Breast implants can be removed any time.


I answered another of your questions.  As I told you, it is best to wait a few months , because you may change your mind.  But you can do it any time.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Removing implants

If you are unhappy with yoru implants you can really have them removed at any time.  This could be a few days after surgery to years later.  If you just had them done, you  may have a bit remorse which is normal and I would suggest then waiting a bit to see if you are happy with them.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast implants can be removed anytime, if you're sure


The only problem with early removal is the tendency for you to re-consider later. If you are sure, then you can have them out any time. Removal of the implants is easier than placement is, but how things will look afterward varies a bit.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Don't make any hasty decisions

Don't make any hasty decisions right after surgery. You will see changes over the next few weeks to months and may end up liking the implants. As the swelling resolves and the tissues and implants settle, you will notice a more natural appearance and softness. If you do want them removed, then I would suggest waiting at least 3 to 6 months. Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Removing breast implants

Anytime is fine. It is a lot simpler removing them than inserting. But I would recommend waiting until 4 months time to see how things shape out, however, if it is a particular reason you want them out, it is sometimes better to get them out earlier to prevent the skin from stretching excessively. It also depends on how much your skin is being stretched with the implant now. Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 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.