How Long Does It Take for Skin and Tissue to Shrink After Explantation?

I've only had the implants for a month. I had my implants explanted because of an infection and blood clot.

Doctor Answers 5

Tissues return to normal in a few weeks after breast implants removed.

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Answered another of your questions. Since you only had breast implants for one month, things should look normal pretty quickly. Women who have had implants for a long time sometimes need a breast lift.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Shrinkage after implant removal

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The concept of shrinkage is very variable.  It depends upon how long the implants were in for, how big they were, the quality of the skin to name a few.  I would give it a good six months.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Skin and tissue shrinks, on average, a few months after explantation

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Sorry to hear of your infection and need to remove your implants. If you only had them for a short period of time, the tissues should shrink back over a month or two. You may need to wait up to six months if you plan on having them replaced however.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Initial skin quality matters in explantation

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The speed with which skin shrinks and recovers following explantation of breast implants is very much dependent on the quality of the skin prior to surgery. I take it from your question that you are not planning on having the implants replaced. If that is the case, you should see gradual shrinkage of the expanded skin over a period of several months. It may not, however, return to its initial appearance since there has been a period of time during which the skin has been stretched and expanded.

If you are planning on having your implants replaced, then the breasts should come fairly close to approximating their appearance prior to explantation.

Mitchel Krieger, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon

Time is required after implant infection

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A breast infection after augmentation clears rapidly after implant removal and appropriate antibiotics are taken. Inflammation and stiffness can remain in the breast tissue for many weeks after. Bleeding into the breast or hematoma can cause even more bruising and inflammation making the process even longer.

We recommend a wait of three to six months before replacement of the breast implant if an infection occurs. This is a very difficult time, especially if you still have an implant on the other side and feel very lopsided.

If both implants are out you can try a firm compression or sports bra and you should be in fairly good shape in about eight weeks.

Complications can happen to all of us despite our best efforts. Going forward, do make sure the surgeon you select is board certified in plastic surgery, and uses a facility which is fully accredited and meets the highest safety standards.

Best of luck!

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.