Can a lift be performed after over the muscle implants have been removed?

I recently had a PS tell me that sometimes a lift is not recommended after over the muscle implants? Why is this? Does it make a difference If the implants are removed & the body has time to heal prior to performing a lift?

Doctor Answers 10

Breast lift after removing over-the-muscle implants

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Thank you for your question about a lift after having over-the-muscle implants removed.

This can definitely be done.
Usually only a small vertical lift is needed -
It involves little manipulation of the nipple except removing a rim of skin around it.
The implant pocket actually makes the surgery easier to do -

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Breast Lift at the Time of Breast Implant Removal

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Thank you for your question about Breast Lift.

Yes, a breast lift can be performed at the same time as subglandular breast implant removal.  Care must be taken to preserve the blood supply to the nipples.

To be sure what might be best for you, see two or more experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeons in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have Breast Lift Surgery.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Lift after implants

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This should be ok either way.

An exam and consultation with a/your plastic surgeon is recommended to discuss your options and expectations. 

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Lift after implants

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It should be ok to perform a lift procedure with implants that are already in a subglandular pocket. There is a small risk of implant rupture during the procedure. 

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

Breast lift after subglandular implants

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While every surgeon is different, in general, there are some potential risks in performing an immediate breast lift when removing implants that were placed over the muscle.  This is because of the disruption of some of the blood supply to the nipple and areola that occurs from placement of implants over the muscle, and the further compromise that can occur from making further incisions and tightening the breast tissue when performing a lift.  Some surgeons prefer to wait for tissue to settle to allow for better healing and blood supply.  Make sure to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to review the best option for you.  Best wishes.

Jeffrey Ridha, MD
Saratoga Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast lift after implant removal

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There is no absolute reason why you cannot have a lift after removal of your implants. I'm guessing that the surgeon you spoke with might be concerned about partial disruption of the blood supply to the breast from the first procedure. If this fact is kept in mind it should be safe to perform a lift if it is well thought out and executed. It is a good idea to allow 3-6 months to go by following removal to allow your body to heal and your skin to equilibrate. 

Mastopexy after implant removal

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The answer is yes. Mastopexy can either be performed during the operation to remove the implants or at a later date. Most of my patients opt for simultaneous mastopexy.  The risk in leaving implants in place while performing the peck us for rupture or possible infection; that does not mean that it cannot be performed but back up implants must be available.

Best wishes,
Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
Graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine and Columbia University

Breast lift after implant removal

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It is common to perform a breast lift after removal of over the muscle implants.  However, there may be an advantage in delaying the lift for several months.  The  first reason to delay is the probability of the skin shrinking.  If the breast skin shrinks, at it will more or less, the eventual lift may be easier.  The second reason to delay is the risk of skin/nipple death if the tissue below the skin and above the implant is thin.  If there isn't an inch or so of tissue between the skin and the implant, there is a higher risk of blood supply problems after the lift if its done at the time of implant removal.

If you wait several months, at least 3, a lift can be done.

Samuel Beran, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast lift

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Every surgeon is different and has his or own technique.  I recommend an in-office examination as well as a detailed discussion with a board-certified Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Best wishes!
Dr. Desai
Harvard Educated, Beverly Hills & Miami Beach Trained, Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


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I do this a lot, but would wait 3-6 months before a lift. This is done because the skin will shrink and mold and the amount of lift needed may be much less. Hope this helps.

Leland Deane MD FACS
New York, NY
Garden City, NY

Leland Deane, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 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.