Breast Removal With Deflation and Then Removal, or Just Removal?

Hi, I have been reading all the blogs and I am confused. I got an augmentation 8 yrs ago and I hate them. Over time they have gotton bigger and some times painful. I am defiantly going to remove them this summer. Some people have said, they had them deflated in the office then removed 2 months later. Is this the correct thing to do? does it save the breast tissue by doing it this way?

Doctor Answers 7

Breast Removal With Deflation and Then Removal, or Just Removal?

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Thank you for your question. Deflating them will increase your risk of infection. Just have them removed at the same time as deflating. You do not want to carry a deflated implant?  See a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for this. I hope this helps.

Removal with Deflation

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    I would just take the implants out rather than deflate and wait.  If you have made the decision that you want them removed then do it.  You will not save breast tissue by deflating them first.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Deflating Implants Prior To Removal

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It's not necessary to deflate your implants prior to removing them.  A very small benefit could be that it can give you a view of what your breasts could potentially look like, but if they are deflated, you would need to remove them either way so the benefit is questionable.  Everyone's tissue responds differently in regards to expansion and retraction of skin.  If you are left with breast ptosis (droopy breasts), then a mastopexy (lift) may be something to consider. Best of luck! 

Implant removal

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Most patients will hae their implants removed and not have them deflated first.  I suppose it makes sense that they could be deflated first if you are going to do a lift.

Concerns about Removal of Breast Implants?

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Thank you for the question.

Most patients who have their breast implants removed, have them removed in one stage. Rarely, a patient will request initial deflation to be followed by removal of breast implants and/or any additional surgery that may be necessary during this “2nd stage”. The rationale behind initial deflation is that the patient and her plastic surgeon will be able to evaluate  her breasts without the breast implants' volume,  thereby determining whether additional surgery (such as breast lifting) may be helpful.

 Generally speaking, what your breasts will look like after explantation  depends 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.

 I would suggest that you meet with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss your goals and concerns.  During these consultations you will be able to receive much more precise advice then you will online.  You may also find the attached link helpful to you.

 Best wishes.

Remove Implants in One Stage

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If you really do not want your implants, just have them removed.  There is no need for you to deflate them first.  Implant removal is safe. The skin may have stretched out, but there will be some shrinking of the skin for at least 6-12 months.  The need for a breast lift can be decided then.

Breast Removal With Deflation and Then Removal, or Just Removal

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  • The primary benefit for elective deflation occurs in the patient with one spontaneous deflation who needs time to decide or schedule the next step, be in removal alone, replacement with silicone, size change, and/or lift. 
  • It can also be temporizing in a patient who wants to see how small she will be without implants which may have been inserted years before. 
  • The third possible advantage is to see how much breast skin shrinkage may occur in helping to decide whether a lift might be useful.

For most patients it seems wiser to just removed them. When these deflate they often fold on themselves leaving edges that may be bothersome or frankly uncomfortable, and in a patient with little residual breast tissue can cause pressure injury to the overlying skin, so it is not a completely harmless procedure.

Discuss your own situation with your surgeon. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.