What Will Breasts Look Like if Implants are Removed?

I had implants oct 2009 but imcapsulation so had them redone oct 2010, (teardrop) but i am not happy with them, they are very hard and hate them, asked my surgeon if i can have them removed but said please dont have them removed and reccomended i take some drug for 6 months, but have to have a liver test befor!! im not happy to do this and wondered what my breast will look like if removed, was 34b and now 34d behind muscle. hope someone can give me answer. san7

Doctor Answers 13

After Breast Implant Removal Most Patients Are Content with Their Breast Appearance

Thank you for your question.

Most patients are quite anxious about how their breasts will look after breast implant removal.

My experience over 30 years is that most patients are happy with their appearance after implant removal. I believe that patients are relieved at having the implants out and this psychological relief out weighs any concerns about breast appearance.


Not everyone requires a lift after breast implants are removed

Plastic surgeons have traditionally done breast lifts in the same surgery as implant removal.  The theory behind this was that the stretched out skin and breast would be very saggy without the implant.  It is, in fact, possible to just remove the implants and wait to see how the breast reshapes.  I have been amazed at how well breasts tighten up in the weeks after explantation, and so, have stopped doing immediate lifts.  Patients have to understand that a secondary lift procedure can be done later, should the breasts remain overstretched and droopy.  I have not yet needed to do a revision lift.  Also, if your implants are saline filled, they can be easily deflated in the office, allowing you to see how the breasts reshape before going to the operating room to take the implants out.  This gives a patient a chance to see how she looks and feels without the implants so she can decide what operation she would like, lift, repeat augmentation or just implant removal, and have it done in one surgery.  If you hate your implants, taking them out is an option.  If this surgeon will not remove them, see another one.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Removal of breast implants

Dear san7,


If you have your breast implants removed, it may be that they will have stretched your skin and so your breasts may have more of a droop than they had before your surgery.  For this reason, it is sometimes necessary to perform a breast lift at the time of removal of the implants.  Alternatively, you can see how they look and elect to have an uplift later on if required.  I am not sure about this drug that requires a liver test.  It may be worth getting a second opinion. 

Is your surgeon a fully trained plastic surgeon?  Check the BAPRAS and BAAPS website for a list of trained plastic surgeons.  Good luck.

Jonathan J. Staiano, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Don't be afraid of having implants removed

As the years pass after breast augmentation surgery, patients will ask "what will my breasts look like?". They can only remember what their breasts looked like BEFORE the implants, and they don't want their breasts to look that way again.  

However, when implants are removed, the breasts will never look like they did years ago, just like they would never look the same even if a woman had never had implants!  Age, size of the implants, weight gain or loss, breast feeding, genetics--all of these things change the breasts. When the implants are removed, some woman need or request a breast lift, and some do not. Some women have very attractive breasts after the implants are removed and a few do not.  A thorough exam and medical history from a board certified plastic surgeon will give each patient the options that work the best for them. 

Deborah Bash, MD, FACS
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

What Will Breasts Look Like if Implants are Removed?

Breasts should look as they did prior to your implants depending on the size of the implant and the length of time the implants were in place. Discuss with your surgeon for best estimation of what you can expect. 

Richard Zienowicz, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Implants aren't for everyone

It sounds like you have 2 strikes already.  I don't know if you are a baseball fan at all, but it doesn't have to be 3 strikes to be "out."  If you keep having problems like this and "hate them," you should have them removed.  As far as the result with removal, you should expect to have a little less tissue than before the implants because the contracture will usually thin your tissues, unless you gained some weight.  Shape will not be exactly as it was before, but hard to predict.  Since you are on the "other side of the pond," you might want to look into the polyurethane implants, which I believe are available in Europe.  I had a fair amount of experience with them in the US back in the 80's and was always amazed at how they could be used in someone with repeated capsules......and they gradually got softer!  Odds were always against someone with bad capsular contracture, usually recurring with more surgery, unless the polyurethanes were put in.  But that was back in the 80's before the days of submuscular......

Myles Goldflies, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast Implant Removal

Unfortunately a small percentage of breast augmentation patients develop severe capsular contractures which require implant removal.  These cases are often refractory to surgical procedures, medical management and massage. When this situation arises, the only solution may be implant removal.

The majority of patients who undergo implant removal for severe capsular contracture have good aesthetic results and don’t usually require secondary surgery.  When severe capsular contractures occur, the implants are typically forced in a superior direction.  This prevents downward pressure on the implant pocket and breast tissue and ultimately minimizes the potential for breast sag. 

                  Occasionally, breast sag develops in combination with severe capsular contractures and breast lift surgery is still necessary following implant removal.  In some cases this can safely be done in combination with explantation.  In other cases, a breast lift can be avoided utilizing this approach.

                  It’s important to have a thorough discussion regarding this topic with your plastic surgeon.  Your surgeon should be able to outline their plan and alleviate your anxiety.  

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Breast implant removal

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.
Occasionally, I see patients who just want the implants removed because they don't want the implants "to be a part of them" anymore.  Make sure you think about this and that this is the right thing for you.  It's difficult to say if you need a lift after removal -- no one will know exactly what your breasts will look like after the implants are removed until it is done.  Talk to a well-trained and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon and get good advice.
Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

The look of breasts after implant removal

In general, a breast implant is just a pillow, and when the pillow is removed the breast should go back to looking like it did when the pillow was put behind it. The exceptions are distortions caused by the surgery or the implant such as too big an implant or tissue manipulation to get the implant in. The other is the passage of time as breasts and tissue tone will change over time whether there is an implant there or not. I think it's a myth that properly done breast augmentation does anything to the breast that will change the way it looks if taken out (aside from the scar to put it in). Even capsule contracture should not cause distortions if the implant is removed. 

The decision for the need of additional surgery should be made after the implants are removed and settled in nearly all cases. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

What will my breasts look like after removing implants.

First, there are other options.  If you are having problems with capsular contracture, I think a good solution is to use a product called Strattice to help reduce capsular contracture.  As for removing the implants, if you've only had them in for about 1 1/2 years, then the skin may still shrink back you probably do not need a lift.  However, there is a chance that you breast are smaller than they were before surgery.

Bivik Shah, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 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.