I want my saline implants removed, no replacement & a lift done at the same time. Surgery length & recovery time? (photo)

I believe they are making me sick (joint/muscle pain, mild burning sensation, "tired/foggy" feeling with no other explanation for these symptoms). I'm 50 yrs old & have had the implants for 19 yrs. After all this time I'm scared I'll look horrible after they're out, even after a lift. But, my health is most important.

Doctor Answers 11


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The surgical time will vary depending upon the surgeon, the quality of your tissue, how much skin needs to be removed.  Recovery time back to a non physical job is 4-5 days.  Non impact workout in 3 weeks, and no restrictions within 4-6 weeks.
HOWEVER, the larger question is what is actually causing your illness.  I believe you should visit an internist who specializes in fatigue syndromes, rheumatoid diseases, etc.  Issues with implants causing these symptoms are generally quite rare and it is worth the research to find other causes.  And if there is another treatable cause , you are likely to find the operation best for you could be much different and much more satisfying than implant removal and lift.  

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Removal of Implants with A Lift

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Hello there,
Each surgeon will require a different amount of operating room time for this procedure.  The average for implant removal with a lift is probably between 2-3 1/2 hours.  Recovery takes about 5-7 days and then 3-6 weeks avoiding very strenuous exercise. 

Larry Pollack, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

I want my saline implants removed, no replacement & a lift done at the same time. Surgery length & recovery time?

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Surgical times will vary; in our practice the operation you are considering takes 2.5 to 3.5 hours. Removal breast implants/mastopexy surgery is generally a very well-tolerated operation with very little discomfort associated with the operation, in comparison to first-time breast augmentation surgery. Select your plastic surgeon carefully.  You may find the attached link, dedicated to breast implant removal surgery concerns helpful to you as you learn more.  Best wishes for a successful outcome and return to full health.

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I want my saline implants removed, no replacement & a lift done at the same time. Surgery length & recovery time?

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It is an accepted medical fact that breast implants do not have any association with the symptoms that you relate. The Mayo clinic study was definitive in that regard. If you still feel that you MUST have them removed, then a breast lift will likely be helpful. Good luck!

Breast implant removal

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Removal of breast implants and a capsulectomy with a lift takes approximately 2-3 hours. Recovery time is a week or two.   From the pics I see of you , you have a lot of skin .  You may be very small after the surgery is performed.  An A cup.  Look for a Board certified plastic surgeon.  

Good luck!

Andrew Cohen MD

Andrew T. Cohen, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Breast implant removal -what to expect when implants removed after 20 years

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Thank you for asking about your breast implant removal.
  • You may have a biofilm around the implants - this can make you sick.
  • If this is the cause, removing the implants should make your feel better within days.
  • You will need removal of the implants and the capsule around them and a lift.
  • With a lift, your breasts will be small - much smaller than you realize - but the shape should be pretty and you should be happy.
  • Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.


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Thank you for your question and pictures.  There are a lot of women who choose to have their implants explanted with a lift and they are very pleased with their result.  I would say if you are having these symptoms and you feel that it is related to your implants then you should have them removed but with a lift to completely reshape your breasts.  There are plenty of photos on my website that show explantations with lift. Best of luck to you!

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Saline Implant Removal

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Your skin may take up the slack within weeks of the removal.  I would recommend having the implants removed, and the breast re-evaluated 6 to 9 weeks later regarding the lift.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

I want my saline implants removed and a lift done at the same time.

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The fact that you have saline implants can be very helpful in this situation. Saline implants can be drained in the office. This gives the skin of your breast time to shrink before performing the implant removal, and possible lift. Some patients find that they no longer desire a lift after the skin of the breast contracts over time.

I want my saline implants removed, no replacement & a lift done at the same time. Surgery length & recovery time?

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Since your implants are saline, the best approach is to have your surgeon deflate them in the office with a needle and wait 6 weeks before considering a lift. You will be surprised how bad they look immediately and how much better they look over time as the tissues contract. You will not need nearly as much lifting as you imagine. I never let patients do a lift at the time of the explant, and 50% of the patients feel they do not even want a lift after a few weeks, so thousands of dollars and a major surgery are saved. Also, it is important you are aware that the vast majority of patients who have their implants removed because of symptoms find their symptoms do not change, the only difference is their breasts are smaller. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 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.