Removing implants, doing lift. Is this standard?

I had breast implants 20 years ago, I am wanting to go smaller and have a lift, the doctor I am seeing wants to remove implants,leave breast alone for 8 weeks and then do lift and then later put a implant if I want. Is this standard??

Doctor Answers 10

Please send more information

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We do not have all the information regarding your breast size, shape and your expectations. It would wise to remove implants and wait to see the amount retraction. This will give you time to make better decision about the size of the implants if you wish one.

New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews


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If you are going to have another implants placed, then I will often perform a lift at the same time. Best of luck.

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

Removing implants, doing lift. Is this standard?

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Thank you for the excellent question. Short answer: much will depend on your physical examination ( factors such as degree of breast ptosis, current position of breast implants, number of previous operations, assessment of breast skin quality/elasticity…) and your plastic surgeons' clinical judgment.  I would say, in our practice, the majority of patients are able to undergo a single stage breast implant removal and breast lifting operation.

Longer answer: in person consultation will be necessary to provide you with precise advice. The main issue of concern is adequacy of blood flow given the extensive breast surgery planned. In my opinion, if the degree of breast lifting ( distance of movement of the nipple/areola complexes) is significant, then you may be better off having the procedure performed in 2 stages. If the degree of breast lifting is relatively small ( shorter distance of movement of the nipple/areola complexes) then it is likely that the procedure can be performed in one stage. If in doubt, in my opinion, the two stage approach is safer.

In "borderline" cases where there is doubt whether breast lifting is necessary or not, I advise patients to undergo explantation only and to give their breasts the benefit of the doubt (allow for about six months to pass after breast implant removal) before deciding whether breast lifting would be beneficial.

I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast implant removal surgery concerns) helps. Best wishes.

Removing implant and performing a lift procedure

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It is important to understand what breast implants do and what a lift does. There is no "standard" approach to such things. Breast implants are like pillow volume behind the breast. They do not actually lift the breast when put in and don't cause the breast to truly sag when they are taken out. The effect of implants is an illusion due to filling out the volume of the breast in the forward dimension and the opposite when they are taken out. The need for a lift has to do with where the nipple-areola sits in relation to the inframammary crease behind it when you are upright with arms down. If it is 2 cm or more below the crease level when upright then you would benefit from a lift procedure. It is also often wise to do the simple procedure of simply removing the implants (which can be done with local anesthesia for at least for saline-filled implants) and then reassess regarding the need for a different implant and/or a lift procedure. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon


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It is not typically necessary to wait after removing implants before doing a lift.  These are usually done in one step to avoid numerous trips to the OR.  

Hard to say without examining things....

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Couple of questions:

1. Are your current implants saline or silicone gels?

2. What size are implants, what size are you currently, what do you want to be?

All of these things are critical in determining the best way to approach your situation.  Knowing your goals is critical.  I would have to say that by reading the plan so far, I think it is probably a lot of separating surgeries that could all be done in one.  That's giving advice without seeing you though.  Hope this helps.


Implant exchange

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You had the implant 20 years ago, it is natural that you need revision to rejuvenate the breast after many changes, including aging of 20 years.

What type implant? is it ruptured, what is the problem? what is the skin breast condition?

Under normal circumstances, the implant can be removed, capsulectomy, and replace the implant and do a Taylor tuck breast lift.

That plan can vary based on the particular patient circumstances.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon


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In my experience, there is no reason to stage these procedures.  They can be done safely in one procedure.  This opinion is based on experience which varies from surgeon to surgeon.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Ali Mosharrafa

Ali Mosharrafa, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Removing implants, doing lift. Is this standard?

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The amount that can be done at one time depends on the quality of your breast tissue. In cases with very thing breast tissue, a staged approach may be appropriate. If concerned, get a second opinion. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Staging surgery

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The procedures can either be performed on the same day or in stages.  Did the surgeon provide rationale for the suggestion of doing them 8 weeks apart?  You may want to have a discussion before deciding to proceed.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 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.