Will Breasts Droop After Removing Implants?

I had a breast lift and Saline breast implants 3 years ago, going from 34B to 34DD. I'm unhappy with the size, and wish to take out the implants. I am 43 years old and the size of the implants were 250cc & 300cc. Do I need to worry about droopy breasts again after explanting them? Do people usually need to do another lift?

Doctor Answers 14

Will I need a lift (mastopexy) after removing my breast implants?

With this volume, it is not a dramatic decrease in size. However, the cup increase you experienced from the procedure seems somewhat dramatic and does not necessarily make sense.

You will likely lose some upper pole fullness. However, the nipples should be able to maintain theire positions. In cases such as yours, I frequently advise that patients remove the implants and give it time to assess the potential and results of the skin contraction process. This is difficult to predict and if you have good skin quality and elasticity may prevent you from having unnecessary surgery. Of course, this means you may need a second procedure if your breasts demonstrate minimal contraction. However, many consider the scars of a breast lift to be undesireable and would prefer to wear a bra to achieve fullness rather than have the scars.

If you visit the link below, you can view a video with results of short term and long term implant removal. These are located at 1min and 1'30" into the video. Both were performed without a lift.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Ptosis Following Implant Removal

When exchanging larger implants for smaller ones the concern is always the degree of resultant ptosis (droop). Elastic recoil of the skin envelope occurs to some extent, more so in the younger patient, but a breast lift (mastopexy) is commonly performed when an implant is replaced with a smaller one.

Drooping breasts after implant removal

If you already neded a lift and now you want the implants taken out, you will almost certainly need to re-tighten the skin to get the best look. 

Removing implants does not guarantee droopy breasts

Removing breast implants does not guarantee drooping of the breasts. You may not need a lift after having the implants removed. You've already had a lift and you don't have very large implants. However, your skin/tissue response is best determined by a plastic surgeon who can examine you. You can always remove the implants and let everything heal. If you are unhappy with the shape/position of your breasts, a lift can always be done later. You may be surprised.

Parham Ganchi, PhD, MD
Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Removal of breast implants

Hi, unfortunately you probably will have some breast drooping after removing your implants. The implants stretch out your skin and "thin" your breast tissue, so the breasts tend to fall after they lose the volume of the implants. You can go down in size to smaller implants which may reduce the need for a lift, or you can have a breast lift done at the time of implant removal. How much of a lift you will need depends upon how much elasticity you have in your skin, and this is hard to determine without a physical examination. Good luck, /nsn.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Removing Breast Implants

Anytime you remove volume (implants) from the breasts they are going to have less support. The younger you are, the more elasticity your skin has. However, removing your implants will likely lead to ptosis (drooping) of your breasts. It is possible to do a lift when the implants are removed. Good luck with your procedure.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

What happens after removal of implants

There are a number of factors that contribute to the appearance of the breasts after removal of implants. The natural elasticity of the skin is important. The fact that you have had one lift already suggest your breast skin has lost some of its elasticity. Another important contribution is the amount of natural breast tissue you have.

Either return to your initial surgeon (preferred) or find a member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery(ASAPS) or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons(ASPS) and have a consultation which will include an exam and measurements of the breast. The evaluating plastic surgeon can give you a general idea of how you may look after removal.

If you are absolutely certain you want the implants removed-you may consider having your plastic surgeon puncture the devices in the office. This can be safely and comfortably done. It is no more uncomfortable the having blood drawn. It will allow the saline to leak out and be absorbed over time. Only have this done if you are certain you want the devices removed.

In theory it may give your skin a better chance to contract.

If you choose to have the implants removed, in general i would not recommend a lift at the same time. Give your breast skin and tissues some time at least 3-6 months to shrink and settle.

John E. Gross, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Droopy breasts after explantation

There are three ways to approach your situation. Just have the implants removed and hope the skin envelope will tighten up, or remove them and have a lift (you already had one which indicates that your skin is not elastic). My preferred choice with saline implants is to stick them with a needle through the skin and let them deflape slowly over a 2-3 months period. This gradual deflation will allow better tightening of the skin and might avoid a lift. The implant shells can be removed through a small incision under local anesthesia only if they bother you or are palpable. Best of luck.

Lift after a lift and removal of implants

You may get lucky and not need a lift since you already had one with your implant placement. But, it is difficult to know without examining you. Even still, the best thing would be is to remove the implants and see how you do. You can always get the lift later on when the tissues have had a chance to settle.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Revision breast lift after explantation

Whether or not you would need to have a revision breast lift after removal of your implants would be best determined by examining you to see how much laxity you have now. You might have the explant and see how you feel after you heal. You may benefit from a tightening of the lower part of the breast alone if your nipple is in good position now. I think a visit to your plastic surgeon would be your best approach at this time.

Best of luck.

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.