Will my Breasts Sag After Implant Removal?

Some basic stats about me: 25, Asian, slender, 5ft8 58kg, silicon implant 230cc for 1&half years. Now looking to have them removed. Pre op I was 32B (or A), post op I'm 32D. Implant was done under muscle. So far they look natural and no complications. Doctors I need your expertise on what should I expect realistically? I want my natural figure bk regardless how small the breasts are. It's just not me having them in. But I don't want a lift. Don't want any more surgery...

Doctor Answers 14

Breast implant removal myths

With simple breast implant removal, you can be fairly assured that your breasts will return to the size and appearance they would have had 1 1/2 years later if the implants hadn't been there aside from the scar to put them in. Assuming the breasts were not distorted by the procedure to put the implants in they should have had no effect on the size and shape of the breast. They act like a pillow. 

It amazes me that experience plastic surgeons believe certain myths about breast implants. Breast implants do not lift the breast when they are put in and they don't make the breast sag when they are taken out. They also don't make breasts sag because of their size or location or type. It's an illusion that breasts look lifted after an augmentation and it's an illusion that they sag because the implants are taken out. Breasts sag for other reasons and might need a lift several years later after implants but might need a lift then but not because of the implant. 

There is no need to do anything other than reopening the incision (if it's in the inframammary crease), remove the implant, and close the incision which can be done with simple local anesthesia. It's harder if the implant was placed through some other incision or the type of implant is not known. 

Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breasts can regain normal shape after implant removal.

When I was in training we were taught that removing implants required an immediate breast lift for a pretty result. Early in my practice, I had a patient who wanted no additional surgery only implant removal. I was very concerned that her breasts would be very unattractive but she was more concerned about recovering as quickly as possible than about appearances. I removed the implants and was amazed to see that within weeks her breasts regained a nice shape. Not all patients are appropriate for this treatment plan but if your breasts were small and not droopy before augmentation and the implants were small you are likely to have a nice result without a lift. It may take a month for things to shape up so you have to have patience. Also know that if you end up with a shape you don't like, a lift can be done later with probably smaller incisions than if the lift were done at the same time as the implant removal.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Most likely will not need lift

Without pictures, it is hard to know for sure, but if your nipples are well positioned near the center of your breast mound, you probably will not need a lift.  Good luck.

AMount of sag with breast implant removal (explantation)

Given the relatively modest size of the implants and the relatively short time they have been in, I believe you will experience minor loss of upper fullness but shoul dnot need a lift.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Breast lift not required after implant removals

With your description, it is very possible that you will have your original figure back after the implants are removed.  This is based on the fact that you are young and still can count on adequate elastin in your skin.  You also did not have huge implants over a long period of years for gravity to pull on.  There are several non-surgical options available to assist in your recovery after the implant removal that can help firm the loose skin.

Breast implant removal

It is difficult to say what the final shape of the breasts will be after implant removal.  They may look ok and they may not.  But, you can always have a lift at a later time.

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

What will breasts look like after removal

Given the information you provided there is a good chance that your breasts will look like they did before your implants where placed (aside from the scar for your BA procedure). Implant removal can often be done in an office setting under local anesthesia. Good luck to you. 

Mary Gingrass, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Sag After Explant??

For most patients, your breasts will return to their pre-augmented condition. I will often wait to address droop until 3-6 after explant as the tissues often contract nicely. However each patient is unique.

Breast Sag Following Implant Removal

Plastic surgeons occasionally see women who request removal of their breast implants.  They may want their implants removed for a variety of medical, surgical and aesthetic issues.  It’s not unusual for these women to be concerned about the development of breast sag following removal.

In any particular case it’s virtually impossible to know if breast sag will develop without pictures or a physical examination.  The presence of a nipple areola complex that sets below the infra-mammar fold, poor skin tone and a high ratio of implant volume to native breast tissue volume all suggest that breast sag is likely.

Breast sag following explantation is more likely in patients who have had multiple pregnancies, have breast fed, have had weight fluctuations and have had implants for longer periods of time.  When implants are large and placed on top of the muscle the incidence of breast sag following implant removal is higher as well.

If you’re considering removal of your breast implants, consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate.  This surgeon should be able to determine the likelihood of breast sag following implant removal.  

Breast implant removal: to lift or not

I come across this question in my clinic.  What I tell nearly everyone is that they will not like the shape of their breast after removing the implant.  However with some time the skin will contract.  Given that you are young, not overweight and only had 230 cc implants, I think there is an excellent chance that over three months your breasts will develop a nice shape.  I often suggest the use of a shaped bra to support the skin as it contracts.

If you don't love the shape of your breasts at 3-4 months you may wish to consider a small fat transfer to the breast.  The results can be beautiful and feel natural without any further scars.   

I suggest you discuss this with your surgeon before committing to the scars of a mastopexy as they may not be required.  You should also go over the pros and cons of fat grafting to the breast in detail.

Rodger Shortt, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 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.