What Are the Drawbacks of Breast Implants?

I am interested in getting a Mommy Makeover once I return from Afghanistan. I would like to get a tummy tuck and lipsuction on my hips, thighs, flanks and back. In addition I am thinking of getting either a breast lift or implants. Currently my bra size is a 38D, but it's not as perky as it used to be. A firm C cup is nice, but a D is better. My concern is that breast implants are high maintenance. Which has better long lasting and low maintenance results? Breast lift or breast implants.

Doctor Answers 6

Pros/Cons of Breast Implants

If you are in the military, I want to thank you for serving in Afghanistan.  The decision as to whether or not to get breast implants all depends on what you foresee as the final outcome.  If you just do a lift, you won't have the upper breast fullness like when you were young.  That's where breast implants come in.  In addition, when women undergo lifts, their breasts are tighter and closer to their bodies so they usually go down at least half a cup size. As far as breast implant maintenance, I would actually call them "low maintenance".  Many (if not most) women get 10 to 30 years out of their implants before having to replace them.  Plus, they have a lifetime replacement warranty!  

When seeking a plastic surgeon, please be aware that many non-plastic surgeons are now doing cosmetic surgery after attending courses as short as 2 days!  A physician who is board-certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery is your safest bet because he/she has done many years of residency training and passed intensive written and oral examinations. Hope it goes well. 

Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Drawbacks of Breast Implants?

Thank you for the question and for your service.

I tell all of my patients in consultation, that if they can get away without breast implants (in terms of achieving the results they are looking for with the breast surgery) then they will be much better off. In other words, if a patient can achieve the breast size, shape, fullness that they are looking for without the use of breast implants,  they should do so.  Breast implants ( like any other type of form body) can be associated with complications and revisionary surgery at some point in the future should be expected. Revisionary surgery may be necessary for reasons such as encapsulation (capsular contracture),  leakage,  implant displacement/palpability/rippling,  asymmetry,  or simple dissatisfaction with breast size/shape. MRI studies are  recommended to rule out “silence leakage” with silicone gel breast implants ( this should be considered as part of the “maintenance” of breast implants).

You may find the attached link helpful.

Best wishes.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Breast Lift vs Implants

With the amount of tissue you already have it won't be easy keeping it centered over an implant. Be prepared for revisional surgery. Also having implants is a commitment to future surgery as they eventually have to be replaced. Hope this helps!

Marcel Daniels, MD
Long Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Don't implant unless you need volume

You are currently a 38 D, happy with the size but not with the position and shape.  The best alternative would be a breast lift.  There is a new technique called The Ultimate Breast Lift that is done without vertical scars and transfers the weight of the breast to the underlying muscles.  This results in a higher position of the breast, increased projection and relieves the breast and back pain.  Another advantage, it avoids implant complications.

Best of Luck,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 223 reviews

Drawbacks of breast implants?

You are asking some very good questions.  Breast implants are man-made devices; and like everything that is made in a factory, they will not last forever.  What this means is that once you have implants, you will have other surgeries in the future to replace them for various reasons -- capsular contracture, infection, rupture, changes in your body, etc.  No one can tell you how long they will last or when you will need your next surgery -- it could be five years, or it could be 30 years.  


Another thing to consider, is that you said that you are a 38D.  Chances are that you may just require a lift -- I would suggest consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Implants or lift

Thank you for the question.


From you description, it is a no brainer - Breast lift. The amount of droopiness will determine what kind of a lift - Mini-lift vs full lift.


Best of luck,


Dr. Widder

Shlomo Widder, MD
McLean Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 124 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.