Implant removal, flat chested before. Will I still need a lift? (photos)

I was flat chest prior to implants & first got saline implants in 2003 had issues so got them replaced with silicone implants. 10 yrs later & I want to get them removed as they have been uncomfortable for years & I fear they may be leaking, I have a pinching in my cleavage area which you can see from the photos which is painful. My previous surgeon who I sent photos to said he always does a donut mastopexy when he removes implants? what would you recommend I do? Your help is much appreciated!

Doctor Answers 10

Implant Removal

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You can have Explantation without a lift.  A doughnut mastopexy will not add much to your outcome other than a scar.  Best wishes.

Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Implant removal, flat chested before. Will I still need a lift?

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Thank you for posting your question and photos.  It does not appear from your photo that you would need a lift after implant removal. I would suggest that you have your implants & the capsule out.   Re-evaluate  after 6-12 months the need for a breast lift after the skin has retracted.  Best wishes. 

Jeanette Padgett, MD, FACS
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews


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Good evening,

I have 10-15 patients see me each year for implant removal, and the vast majority of the do so without needing a lift. I remove the capsule and the implants, place a drain for five days, and have you wear a compression bra 24/7 for 12 weeks. After that only about 1 in 20 patients will need a real breast lift.

Hope this helps!

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Implant removal, flat chested before. Will I still need a lift?

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I am sorry to hear about  the difficulties you have experienced. At this point, I would suggest that you have the breast implants removed; I would not recommend any type of breast lifting, based on your photographs. Have the breast implants removed and wait six months to one year to see how the breasts "bounce back". It is most likely, in my opinion, that breast lifting will not be necessary long-term.  You may find the attached link, dedicated to breast implant removal surgery concerns, helpful to you as you consider options. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Avoid the lift

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You were not flat chested before surgery.  I would proceed with implant removal and see what the breasts look like at 6 months.  You should avoid the scars of the lift is possible.  I would predict that you would not need a lift.

#Explant #BreastImplantRemoval - Will I still need a lift?

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It's hard to say for sure but possibly not.

Even with an in person consultation it can be difficult to predict exactly what someone will look like after implant removal.  However, based on the position of your nipples, I would say it's hopeful and, at any rate, you have little to lose by waiting for some time (6 months or so) after the implant removal.  That gives your body a chance to heal on its own, and for the tissues to contract.  You can then decide what you want to do: nothing, a lift, wait longer, reinsert implants, fat transfers, etc.

I added the last two because although I see irregularities in the cleavage area and I am sympathetic to your wanting the implants out - it's a big change.  And it's very difficult to get back to the way you look with implants, in case you change your mind.  You are used to having a certain size now; that affects your clothes, proportions, etc. 

It is of course your call completely.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. Alan Engler
Member of #RealSelf100

Implant Removal, Will I need a Lift?

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Whether or not you will need a lift after having your implants removed is highly variable.  Your skin, breast tissue and muscle have been stretched out with the implants.  When the implants are removed your tissue will tighten to some extent over time.  I would wait at least 6-12 months to see what your body is able to accomplish on it's own.  If you are not happy with the appearance after waiting you could have a mastopexy performed at that time.  I would guess you have a good chance of not needing a lift.  Visit with a few board certified plastic surgeons in your area for an in-person evaluation.  Best of luck!

Jeff T. Healy, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Implant removal

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You can have the implants removed and give your body time to heal and then decide if you want a lift.  There is a good chance you will be happy without one.

Adam L. Basner, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Mastopexy after implant removal

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Thanks for the question.  Based on your pictures, your nipple position is still very appropriate and most likely you will not need a lift after implant removal.  You obviously would need to be examined to determine how much extra skin you might be left with before a final plan is made.

I have a pinching in my cleavage area---

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Hi There in Kiwi-land
Thank you for your question, and you bring up an important tissue that deserves a careful answer. I think that the traction wrinkles on the right are very noticeable and I support your implant removal plans. I am confident that simple removal (and nothing else) will result a return to the pre surgical state. I have done a lot of removals over the years (during the silicone ban years in the US) and I have been delighted on how well this goes! Do not do the pexy--You don't need it and it can always be added later (you won't) Please let us know how it turns out.

Max Gouverne, MD
Corpus Christi Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 36 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.