Breast implants removed without a lift or revision: Likelihood of returning to a normal shape?

I received 220cc saline breast implants, under the muscle, 5 years ago. I am currently 24 years old. I have since gained approximately 35lbs and have subsequently gained some natural breast tissue. My breast implants have remained without issue, but I have grown to dislike the shape/general appearance of them and ultimately regret getting them in the first place. I was too young at the time of the implants and unfortunately got them at a point of very low body image.

Doctor Answers 9

Breast implants removed without a lift or revision: Likelihood of returning to a normal shape?

Hi Penelope,

You have several things going for a nice outcome.  Your implants are small, you are young, you have not had babies yet (at least you did not mention that) and you have gained some weight.  My guess is that you will look fine.  I tell my patients to avoid judging their explanted chest for a few weeks.  The breasts look their very worst right after surgery and then over a few weeks, things tighten up quite a bit.  It's very like having a baby.  The first time you see your belly is soooo depressing but 6 weeks later - not so bad.

So is you don't want those implants anymore, say goodbye!


Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Implants removed

As you are young, your skin elasticity should allow your breasts to contract back without much problem. Also you did not have very large implants put in,(although you do not state your size) so this is also in your favour. Once removed wear a sports bra to encourage the breast to retract.

Anthony Barabas, MBBS
Cambridge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast implants removed without a lift or revision: Likelihood of returning to a normal shape?

 At your age your tissue is very elastic and you may not need a lift after explant.  Since you are young your skin should "bounce back".  Also in your favor is that your implants are of modest size.  Wear a good sports bra during the healing process.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Breast implants removed without a lift or revision: Likelihood of returning to a normal shape?

 I am sorry to hear about your regrets after breast augmentation surgery.


Generally speaking, 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.

Patience is definitely indicated after removal of breast implants; it will take many months for the skin to “bounce back” and for you to see the final appearance of the breasts. In the meantime,  

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

Breast implant removal

It is difficult to predict how the breasts will look after explantation.  The fullness at the upper pole will be diminished.  You are young, so that is in your favor for the skin to "bounce back".  Also in your favor is that your implants are of modest size.  Please note that after surgery your breasts may look misshapen which is normal.  It will take 3-6 months before you will be able to see your final results.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Normal shape

There have been too many changes in the intervening years to give you an answer to your question without a complete examination. You should have a consultation with a plastic surgeon well versed in this area to get your answer.

Barry M. Schwartz, MD
Weston Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Removing implants will make you breasts look different in the upper pole

Removing your breast implants will change how full your breast are in the upper part of your breast. Not a bad thing, but different. You may be able to recreate that amount of upper pole fullness (~cleavage) by wearing a bra, but will not have the same fullness without a bra or clothes.

If you look at your photos in a side view, you can see that the slope of the breast is not straight, there is an outward curve- that is the fullness created by an implant. After removing the implants, the slope of the breast will be very straight or may even curve in slightly. Deflating the implants in the office (as Dr. Robbins suggested) would show you what your breast would look like without implants.

Since you are young, have good skin quality and have smaller implants, it is unlikely that you would need a lift.

Also talk with your board certified plastic surgeon in consultation about fat grafting and if that could help you achieve your goals.


Removal of saline implants

Thank you for your question and photo's .  At your age your tissue is very elastic and you may not need a lift after explantation.  When I have had patients who are thinking of having their saline implants removed without exchange, I will remove the saline from their implants and let them see how it would look without a lift or exchange.  If they are fine with it after a month or so , I will just remove the shell, if not, I will remove them and also lift them , with or without new implants.  Make sure you find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

Chad Robbins, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Breast implants removed without a lift or revision: Likelihood of returning to a normal shape?

You are quite young and your skin appears to be of good quality. Couple all of that with small implants and you should have little problem if you have them removed without a lift. They won't look good right away, however, so be patient. It takes 4-6 weeks. Under no condition should you consider a lift at this time. It will not be necessary and will result in unnecessary scars and expenses.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 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.