How long until I can remove my breast implants? And can I make them perky?

I got under the muscle silicone implants when I was 30. I'm 38 and want them removed. Before the surgery I was a very stretched out droopy A cup. Now I'm almost a D. I've just had another baby and my breasts are huge and heavy. I'm still breastfeeding. How long must I wait after weaning my baby, and is there any way to make my breasts perky at all? I don't care about size, just about the saggy skin. I want them to look better than they did before I had the implants done. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 9

How long until I can remove my breast implants? And can I make them perky?

Thank you for the question. Good advice will require in-person evaluation or viewing photographs but, based on your description, it sounds like you will benefit from breast reduction/lifting surgery.  I would suggest that you wait at least six months after you have stopped breast-feeding and have achieved a long-term stable weight. Then, seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you will be pleased with. Then, communicate your goals carefully. For example demonstrate what you mean by "perky" and "better than they did before". Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Breast surgery

You will want to wait 3-6 months after you are finished breast feeding before considering surgery.  As far as the outcome after the implants are removed, it sounds as though your breasts weren't perky before implants, and now that the skin has stretched to accommodate the implants, along with other factors such as time and breastfeeding, your skin will most likely be saggy.  You can consider a lift, but remember that breast tissue is needed in order to shape the breast.  You may need to consider a small implant in order to achieve the look you desire.  I would recommend meeting with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area for a consultation.  She can recommend what might be best for you based on the amount of natural breast tissue you have.  Best wishes.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

How long

Ideally your breasts have stabilized with regard to size and shape before you have implant removal and a lift.  Weight loss may be a factor here as well.  At least 3 months of a stable breast appearance and no milk production is a good starting point.  If your implants are saline, you may find a surgeon to deflate them in the office.  At least that can reduce the weight some before you proceed to an operation.

Nathan W. Patterson, MD, FACS
Pensacola Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breast surgery

All very good questions.  Congrats on your baby!  I prefer to wait at least 6-12 months prior to any type of breast surgery after breast feeding.  This is for many reasons that include 1- lactation increases the risks for infection, 2- the more time, the higher the possibility of skin retraction, 3- better idea of what type of procedure needs to be done, lift, augmentation or both.  Wait 12 months and you will have the best results!

Payman Danielpour, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

New baseline will take time

thanks for your question. Congratulations on your new baby. I would wait 3-6 months after breast feeding before having surgery. Hormonally things will change as will your overall weight. The breast itself will go through and involution period likely that will result in some deflation. Unfortunately as we age our elasticity gets worse and we simply can't rebound back to where we were 10 years ago. Perky can be achieved with a lift but only if the nipple areolar complex is below the crease. It is the implant that provides the upper pole fullness that most women want following deflation from nursing. Over the last 8 years you may have gained more native breast tissue and it could be that the implant could be downsized. Use the Smart Beauty Guide to find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area that specializes in cosmetic breast surgery to go over your options. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

How long until I can remove my breast implants?

Dear Stinkyskip,
You are going to want to wait at least 6 months after completing breast feeding before having additional breast surgery. If you were a "stretched out droopy A cup" before your first augmentation, it is unlikely that your natural state has gotten much better with time. Unless you are significantly heavier now (without the baby weight) the changes due to the presence of an implant, age, and pregnancies may have left even more deflated than before your first surgery.
Hopefully you still have information on your current implants, and if not see if you can still get these records (implant info, photos, and op report are great) as it will be very helpful information in planning your next surgery. Also, if you are planning on having more children, it is smartest to wait until you are done before revising your breasts.
When you are breast feeding of course your size is temporarily increased, but another problem is that your breasts have significantly higher bacterial counts which can wreak havoc on the healing process. I personally have patients wait at least 6 months. Once you are at your pre-pregnancy weight and your breasts have returned to their normal size you can consider your options. If shape is most important a smaller implant with a breast lift may be a good choice. If your implant is relatively small and there is not room to downsize, removal and a lift is a possibility if you have gained a lot of weight and your breasts are naturally much larger that they were 8 years ago. Sometimes fat transfer with this procedure can improve fullness at the upper aspect of the breast while not increasing the size significantly.
Even though you are not ready for surgery having consultations now may still have value so that you can consider your options and find the right surgeon that you would like to work with. 
Best of luck!

Stacey Folk, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast implant removal and breast lift

The reason to wait a period after breast feeding is to make sure the breasts have come down to their normal size before doing a lift. I generally recommend 2-3 months. Mastopexy will go a long way to achieving the perky look you desire. Seek a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery, as evidenced by membership in The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Ask to see many pre and post op photos and speak with previous patients.

John Squires, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Want to look better than before?

Hello stinkyskip and thanks for sharing. It sounds like your breasts have sagged after having children. I'm sorry to say that you're not likely to have "better" breasts than when you were younger. The matter-of-fact is that as you get older the tissues change and usually things do get worse. That does not mean there's no room for improvement, but it is always important to have realistic expectations in order not to be disappointed with plastic surgery results. Removing your breast implants will decrease their size and reduce the perkiness level. Exchanging breast implants might be a better choice and perhaps considering the firmer/perkier shaped breast implants might be a consideration for perkier breasts. You should seek a PS with plenty of experience in the use of these breast implants. Best, Dr. ALDO.

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 202 reviews


Removal of implants should be at least 3-6 months after breast feeding.  I would prefer you lean more toward
the 6 months to give your breasts time to contract.  Since your breasts were slightly drooping before
your augmentation, I would imagine that with the hormonal changes of child birth, you will have significant
drooping when implants are removed.  My conclusion without a consultation would be that you will need
a lift.  Try to find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who performs a lift without using the anchor approach.
The least amount of scars on the breasts makes for a happier patient.  I perform my lifts with the scar around the areolar and in the crease, or imframmary fold.  If you are looking for the, "perky" look, a modest sized implant
can be put in at the same time.

Charles A. Wallace, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 6 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.