I have had saline breast implants for 8 years and am scared of the aesthetic outcome should I have them removed. I am 29 years old, I have very little breast tissue and stretch marks on my breasts from having a baby. I have constant aches and pains in my left breast. I have considered get revision surgery, but what I really want is them to be taken out. I have been researching this for a year now and would really like some advice (especially when it comes to finding the right surgeon to remove them).
Normal Looking Breasts After Explant Surgery?
Doctor Answers 39
Do I need a lift after removing implants
It is not uncommon for plastic surgeons to stage or separate these operations.
No one can predict for sure, how your breasts will look after downsizing.
It may depend on the size of your implant. Removing a 200cc implant is very different than removing a 600cc implant.
Let me offer an analogy which may help to explain:
If you look closely at your friends or women after the health club, you will see a variety of different looking stomachs following pregnancy. I have seen women who have had 3 children have an absolutely flat stomach that is more attractive than many 20 year olds. And I have seen women with one pregnancy who have had stretch marks extend over their entire stomach after one child. Do you think you could predict this before having their first child?
After you "deliver" the currentl implant from your breast, it will be difficult to predict the contraction of your breast skin.
Therefore you can pre-emptively perform a breast lift or wait and see what will be required at a later date. Obviously, I understand the inconvenience of a two stage operation but if you want to do all you can to minimize scarring this may be your best result. I have been impressed, in my personal experience, that after removing implants that have been in place for over 20-30 years, the skin will contract better than I would have predicted. Of course, it may look as if they had some loss of upper fullness but they appear age appropriate for a 50-60 year old. This is just one surgeon's opinion so take it for what it is worth. This is an artistic as well as a medical judgement.
I hope this helps.
Approach to breast implant removal
If your implants are removed, you are probably concerned about the sagginess of the breast tissue that may remain afterward. This is a legitimate concern. There is a way to potentially minimize your need for a lift or the type of lift you may require. One way is to have your implants deflated (with a needle/syringe) by your plastic surgeon in the office. This will allow the soft tissue and skin to contract, which will give you a good idea of how much actual breast tissue you have. Then, 6-9 months later, you can have your implants removed and since the skin/tissue will have had a chance to shrink,you may not need a lift or at least, the type of lift you need may be minimized. Either way, you can accomplish removing your implants and/or lifting your breasts with one trip to the operating room, instead of two.
Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon prior to your implant removal.
Many women have the same concern about having implants removed that you do. They are worried what the breasts will look like. In my experience, they usually look like they did before the implants were placed, and not at all like the disaster you picture I your mind.
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You can have nice outcomes after implant removal
These questions are much easier to answer when a person has saline implants, like yourself. When that is the case, it is possible to rupture the implant percutaneously (without a major surgery). This removes the fluid from the implant and allows you to see the volume of breast tissue that you naturally possess. It is also remarkable how much your breast and skin may rebound from the stretching by your implant. It takes 3-4 weeks to see what your breast will look like without your implant after the rupturing procedure has been performed.
You can then meet with you surgeon, assess your breast aesthetics without the implant in place, and decide how you want to proceed. Some patients are perfectly happy with their natural breast after it has recovered and simply wish to have their implant removed. Others find that they may want a smaller implant. Yet others decide that they want a lift to restore a perkier contour to their breast. These are individual decisions, but decisions that are much easier to make when you truly can see what your natural starting point is.
Explantation May Not Alleviate Symptoms
All your concerns need to be addresed; this would be best done in face-to-face consultation with your plastic surgeon:
- It is important to evaluate the cause of your pain; explantation may not necessarily alleviate your pain.
- Stretch marks my not change in appearance after explantation.
- In addition to loss of fullness, you may have drooping, after explantation
Breast shape after explantation
If you are planning on having your implants removed permanently, you may need to have the following done:
1) Implant removal;
2) Capsule removal;
3) Breast lift.
Without examining you, it is difficult to say which of these you will require. Some patients will require all three. Some patients can avoid a mastopexy (breast lift) by allowing their surgeon to remove the implants and capsules and wait. In certain situations, the skin envelope may tighten up over time. However, be prepared to possible need a second operation to lift the breast back to an aesthetically pleasing position.
Do I need a lift after removing breast implants?
Removing your implants
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.
It is possible to have normal-looking breasts after implant removal
You don't have to commit to having any other procedure done from the start. If you want your implants removed, that's a pretty straight-forward procedure to have done. Then just wait and see how your breasts change after that surgery. Give it at least 4-6 months. You may find you're happy with your new breasts, or you may decide to have new implants placed for more volume or that you need a lift due to pregnancy changes.
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.