Will I Need a Breast Lift After Explant? (photo)

I am 24 and have 300cc one side and 325cc on the other saline implants placed under the muscle for just over 4 years. I have decided to explant only at the end of August because i am not happy anymore. I am worried of the outcome of the explant, is it possible to tell from the attached photo if i will need a breast lift after 3-6 months? There is and has been for a few years some visible rippling at the top and side of my breast.

Doctor Answers 7

Breast Lift after Implant Removal

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Thank you for your question. Your Breasts will deflate following removal of your breast implants.

However, your Nipple-Areola position is quite good so I doubt that you will need a breast lift. Of course you need an examination in person by your plastic surgeon for a more accurate opinion.

Needing a breast lift after explant

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In general, putting breast implants in does not lift the breast and removing them does not make them sag. There is a lift effect from filling out the breast with an implant and there is a sag or deflation effect from removing them but no actual lift or sag occurs. 

Also in general, properly fitted implants do not stretch or distort the breast and therefore if they are removed later the breast should return to what it would have looked like years later if the implant is removed. Of course breasts change over time so even in four years the breast might not look the same as when the implants were put in but the change in the breasts would have occurred anyway. Even a weight change can do this, not just the passage of time or pregnancy effects.

If the implants put in were too big for the breast as it appears yours are, then the breast tissues and skin may have been stretched or distorted. In this case the breast will not return to its normal if the implants are removed. This is why implants should be properly fitted for a first time augmentation. 

I would agree that one of the advantages of the saline-filled breast implant is the ability to deflate them without an operation and see what the breast will look like. This commits the patient to at least a removal or replacement procedure, but will give at least some idea of the deflation/sag effect of removing breast implant volume. It doesn't appear that a true lift will be needed in your case but often the lift is recommended for the deflation/sag effect and doesn't really do much for it. I would recommend considering a replacement to a smaller forward-projecting implant. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Appearance of Breasts after Removal of Breasts Implants?

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Thank you for the question and picture.  The decision to proceed with removal of breast implants and whether or not you will be pleased with the outcome of surgery  is a very personal  “issue” that is hard to advise you about online.

Generally speaking, what breasts look like after removal or down sizing of breast implants will  depend on several factors such as: the quality of skin elasticity (the better the elasticity the better the skin will bounce back),  the size of the implants used (the larger the implant the more trouble you may have with redundant skin), and the amount of breast tissue present at this time (which may have changed since the time of your breast augmentation). 

Life experience since your breast augmentation procedure, such as pregnancy or weight gain weight loss, will  potentially influence the factors discussed above. If you take these factors into consideration and apply them  to your specific circumstances you may get a good idea of what to expect after the implants are removed or replaced with smaller implants.

I hope this helps.

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Staging breast implant removal and breast lift

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Breast implants can 'perk up' the breasts and my experience has found that removal of implants may lead to premature deflation of the breasts and increased droopiness. It is possible to stage the explantation of the breast implant with the lift.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Will I need a breast lift after explant

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Thank you for the question and the photo. Generally speaking, some of the skin will retract after explanation, but it would be difficult to tell how the shape will be. If you are planning on taking them out either way and have nothing placed then you will have your answer after the surgery. 

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Deflation of saline implants before explantation

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  An advantage of having saline implants is that they can be deflated in the office and then you can see how your breasts will look if they were removed.  This can allow you to make a decision as to whether you would like to have new smaller implants placed or would  request a lift.    The implants will slowly deflate and so you can adjust to your new "normal" and decide if this is the look you want before you go to the operating room. If this is not the look you want then you will have the chance to talk to your surgeon about either new implants or a lift  which could be done at the same time as the explant.  This means just one trip to the OR !  Silicone implants cannot be deflated in the office so this option is not available for women with silicone implants. 

Susan E. Downey, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Can't tell

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A lot depends upon the elasticity of your skin. A way to tell before you make a decision is to have your surgeon deflate your saline implant before your surgery so you will have an idea of what you look like without implants.  You may decide that actually want to have an implant, but a smaller and less projecting one.  A silicon implant will help with the wrinkling probelm your having.

Good Luck,

Dr T

Scott Tucker, MD
Winston Salem Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 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.