I want implants removed! Will I need a lift?

I had saline breast implants (450cc) in 2009. I've gained 15lbs since & I cannot seem to lose the weight even though I'm a runner & eat very clean. I feel as if the implants make me look larger then I am. I want them removed. Based on this photo can you tell me if I would need a lift?

Doctor Answers 7

Removing breast implants and needing lifts

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Putting breast implants in does not lift the breasts and bigger implants do not lift it further. Removing implants doesn't make the breasts sag and removing larger implants does not make them sag further. The lift effect is an illusion just as the removal gives the illusion of sagging.

If the implants put in were not too big and stretched/distorted your tissues then removing them should result in breasts that look like your breasts would have looked if they had never been augmented. 450 cc's may have been too big for your tissues when they were placed and time has passed with at least weight changes. You might now benefit from a lift but I would take the simple approach and do a simple removal of your implants and then see how you feel about lifting your breasts or replacing the implants with smaller ones.

Boulder Plastic Surgeon

I want implants removed! Will I need a lift?

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Thank you for the question and picture. Although it is stable to give you precise advice based on the limited information presented, it is very likely that some degree of breast lifting will be necessary. One option is to have the breast implants removed and allow several months to pass before evaluating the need for breast lifting. The other option of course is to have both breast implants removed and breast lifting performed at the same time.

Generally speaking, what 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.

Patience is definitely indicated after removal of breast implants; it will take many months for the skin to “bounce back” and for you to see the final appearance of the breasts.

I hope this, and the attached link ( dedicated to breast implant removal concerns), helps.

Breast Implant Removal and Breast Lift

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Breast implants result in stretching of the skin and thinning of the overlying breast tissue. Therefore, removing them will result in a deflated appearance. As the others have stated a breast lift is performed to either elevate the nipple areolar complexes and/or to remove excess skin. From your photos it appears that your nipple areolar complexes are in good positions. Therefore, it is likely that you will need a bit of the skin removed from the lower pole or lower half of the breasts.

As Dr. Mele pointed out with saline implants we have the ability to deflate them preoperatively. When this is done the breast tissue and skin will immediately begin to contract. I prefer to deflate the implants then wait a minimum of two weeks before performing the removal and lift. This will allow the tissues to contract and thus reduce the amount of excess skin to be removed. Therefore, the incisions/scars will be shorter.

Breast lift after implant removal?

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It is very likely that you will need a lift after your implants are removed. You look from the frontal view that you have some ptosis already.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Implant removal

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It is very possible you will need a lift. But you may just want to have the implants removed and allow time for your won tissue to contract and see where you end up.

William J. Hedden, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 334 reviews

Breast Lift

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having a 450 cc implant and the skin seems to be stretched, a lift may be needed. One can remove the implant first and see what results one gets. Then decide if a breast lift is needed.

Samir Shureih MD. FACS


Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Breast Lift After Breast Implant Removal

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There are two main reasons for breast lifts. One common reason is that the nipples are too low; another is that there is too much skin for the amount of breast tissue. If you think about how breast reduction surgery is performed, a lift is built into the procedure. This is because large breasts tend to have low set nipples, and removing breast tissue leads to a mismatch between skin and breast tissue.

The situation is very similar when breast implants are removed. Smaller implants do not always benefit from incorporating a lift, but larger implants are more likely leave excess skin compared to the remaining breast tissue.

While your nipple appears to be well located currently, removing the breast implant volume will lead to deflation and downward movement of the nipple and breast skin as support is lost. The fact that your breasts are larger now than at the time of implantation is in your benefit, as more volume will be present when the implants are removed, and thus more support provided.

Whether you will need a lift is subjective. Saggy breasts are natural, and many women are not bothered by them enough to have a breast lift. So the question is not if you need a lift, but if you will be happier with a lift.

Saline breast implants offer a unique opportunity. After finding a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon you trust, and after considering your options, and if you are still undecided, consider having the implants purposefully deflated. This will give you an idea of the final shape, and my help your surgeon in planning the lift. Deflated breasts implants should not be left in, because they can fold irregularly and cause discomfort. The deflation however, can be done in the office with very little discomfort or down time.

Additionally, it takes about a year to see the final results after breast implant removal, as the skin can recoil after the breast implant is removed. For more information, click on the link below.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.