Is Breast Implant Reduction Too Risky?

I had 500 grams silicone high profile implants place about 3 months ago. They feel a little too big and firm. I would like to downgrade them to maybe 425, maybe same projection but lesser diameter, since my ribcage is rather small. I am not necessarily looking for a conservative look; I just don't want to look too big. Is the procedure of downsizing an implant complicated or risky? I would probably do it in a couple of months.

Doctor Answers 25

Downsizing breast implants 3 months after surgery

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The "risks" are small. The question is what is the correct decision about this. You must establish with your surgeon exactly what your goals are. Ideally, this should have been done prior to surgery. There are several considerations.

First of all, 3 months is very early post-op to make a determination about size. Secondly, downsizing by 75cc is not that much. I find that when patients want to downsize, they need a significant size change to be happy-on the order of at least 150cc. I would consider doing a downsizing in the early post-op period if the patient was very, very large. This does not happen in my patients as we spend a lot of time pre-op determining the correct size.

However, I do see revision patients in my practice, who had surgery elsewhere, and come to me with this issue. My general feeling is that this is not the same as buying a different dress. Please have an in-depth discussion with your plastic surgeon about your concerns so you can choose the best solution for you. Hope this helps.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Downsizing breast implants

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Decreasing the size of your implants from 500 to 425 should not be a problem.  This is a relatively small size decrease and your skin should be able to contract and shrink to accommodate the new implant volume. I would wait around six months after your initial surgery to perform this downsizing procedure.  In the long run, you will have less complications in general with  smaller sized breast implants.

Please see a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your specific case in further detail prior to surgery.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 410 reviews

Downsizing your breast implants

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Assuming that your current breast implants are soft (not encapsulated) and well positioned on the front of your chest, implant exchange should be technically straightforward.  Discuss your aesthetic objectives with your PS before proceeding, to avoid disappointment and potentially more expense.  Be sure that you have optimized your health as weight gain can layer fat and volume on your breasts. Good luck.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Getting smaller breast implants very good idea.

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No, it is not complicated or risky. Revision breast augmentation to put in smaller breast implants is a very good idea.  Very large breast implants don't age well at all. So do it!

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Breast implant reduction should be low risk

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For the record, you are talking about an implant exchange and a small one relatively-speaking. You should be OK, but of course have your surgeon explain risks and benefits for your particular case. Most women in your situation would do well.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Removing and replacing an implant

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Revisionary breast surgery is very safe as long as you pick the right plastic surgeon. The procedure would be very similar to the original breast augmentation surgery and involve removing your current 500 high profile implants and replacing them with smaller (moderate profile) implants. Since you are only 3 months post-op surgery, you may want to wait a few more months to see the final result. Over time, your implants will become softer and settle into the pocket. Massage the breasts to prevent encapsulation and to soften up the breasts. You may be happier with the results at a later time. It you are still unhappy with the size and shape of the breasts, then you can proceed with revisionary breast surgery. Please check out for more information on the procedure.

Probably best to wait

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You should wait at least 6-9 months before making any final determinations about downsizing your implants.  You won't really know until then if this surgery is really necessary.  Remember that any surgeries carry risks and expenses so it is best to keep them to a minimum if at all possible. 

You should allow some time before changing your implants

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You should give it some time before rushing in for another surgery. Of course, you can have another procedure and change your implant to a smaller size, but your body is still accomodating to having your implants placed. You may feel that you actually like your size in a few months. Although an implant exchange can be relatively 'easy', any surgery entails some risks and costs, of course. The other thing to consider is that the difference between a 500cc and 475cc high profile implant is not that significant.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 242 reviews

Breast Implant reduction is a relatively safe operation

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With any surgical procedure, there are always potential risks and complications. Assuming that you are in excellent health, the medical risks are relatively low with the exchange of your existing mammary implants for smaller ones. It is important that you have detailed discussions with your plastic surgeon. Your goals and expectations of the surgery must be realistic. You must be willing to accept the concepts of “improvement versus perfection” and the potential need for additional revisions (procedures).

I hope this helps!

Stephen A. Goldstein, MD
Englewood Plastic Surgeon

Implant size can be reduced safely

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If you are unhappy with the fuller implant you should easily be able to drop down a size to the 425cc implant that you suggested. This may be just enough to please you yet be only a modest reduction in size.

The firm feeling may also be a consequence of the high profile implant. I know they are very popular where you live, yet the high profile contour is almost a round appearance which lack flow with the breast tissue, and give a look to the breast rather like, well, a breast implant. Natrual is not the first word I would use to describe them and a lower profile implant, perhaps a moderate profile plus may have a softer feel in a 425cc gel that the higher profile style. The projection of the implant may be what appears "big" to you so be sure to discuss this with your surgeon.

Take your time deciding as there will be little risk changing the imlants.

Best of luck.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.