Thinking About Removing my Implants and Not Replacing? Will I Have Anything Left?

I want to remove my implants. I am not sure if I will need a lift or not and will I be smaller than before I started. Concerned about scarring. Can they be removed through the armpit? I was a 32A, went to a 32D, wanted a large B. My surgeon put in Mentor Saline Implants under the muscle low profile. 300-325cc. They are too large for me. Im 5"4" and weigh 115lbs. No complications, just dont like the look and I want to go back to the smaller size. Suggestions?

Doctor Answers 9

After Breast Implant Removal Your Breasts Should Look Fine

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Thank you for your question. Your concern "will I have anything left" is very normal when considering removal of breast implants.

Based on your photographs my suspicion is that your breasts will look fine after removal.

The skin may have stretched but should retract with time. The position of your nipple areola is good which should eliminate the need for a lift.

In my experience patients who want their implants removed are relieved and happy once it is done.

Your implants can be removed

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Your implants can be removed and if they were placed through your armpit, then they could be taken out in the same manner. Your breasts may look like they did before surgery, however, some of the skin may be stretched which may give you a non smooth appearance to the skin. I doubt that you would need a lift based on your photos. 

David Rankin, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Will I have anything left after implant removal?

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Breasts should look as they did prior to your implants depending on the size of the implant and the length of time the implants were in place. Discuss with your surgeon for best estimation of what you can expect. 

Richard Zienowicz, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Implant removal.

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Thanks for the photos.  If you have had no weight changes or pregnancy since your implant surgery, you will likely be about the same size.  You will likely be a little saggy after removal. 

Have you considered smaller implants?  Down sizing may get you to the size you were looking for.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Removal of implants

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Thank you for sharing your pre and postop photos.  This is very helpful.  You can expect a longterm result very similar to your preop photos.   I do not think a lift will be necessary.  Although it is possible to use an armpit incision, it may cause less pain and lessen scar tissue by using your previous incision.  


I wish you a safe and healthy recovery.


Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews


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There are so many variables to this question. In order to give you accurate information we need to know how many kids did you have? How long have you had the implants? How old you are?



Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Breast Appearance after Removal of Breast Implants?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

 Yes, assuming no breast implant capsule work is indicated, you can have your breast implants removed through previous trans axillary incisions. Based on your pictures, I do not think breast lifting will be necessary.

The difficult question to answer will be whether or not you will be happy with the results of surgery if/when your breast implants are removed;  ultimately, this will be a very personal decision that only you can make after careful consideration.  I'm sure you know that removal/replacement of breast implants with a smaller size/profile and use of silicone gel breast implants is another option.

My patients who have  had their breast implants removed have considered issues such as how they  may feel feel with clothes on (and off)  as well as their specific/unique psychosocial situation.  Generally speaking patients who are at a “stable” place personally  and psychosocially  do best with breast implant removal ( without replacement).  HimYou may find the attached link (with patients' experiences) helpful.

Generally speaking,what breasts look like after removal or down sizing of breast implants will  depend 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 or replaced with smaller implants.

 I hope this helps.

Likely: You would return to pre-operative state.

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Although it’s hard to know with certainty, your pictures suggest that your breasts would probably return to their preoperative state after implant removal.In this situation, you might have a slight amount of breast sag but probably not enough to justify a breast lift procedure.

This procedure can be easily performed through your original transaxillary incision.When saline implants are removed, they can be easily deflated and then removed without difficulty.

If you’re considering breast implant removal, it’s important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon.This surgeon can perform a physical examination and formulate a treatment plan that addresses your concerns.

Removal of saline implants

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The saline implants are easy to remove. I would recommend using your old incision to prevent any additional scarring. If it was previously put in through the armpit it can be removed from the armpit. The salines are nice in that the implant can be punctured in place to drain the saline and then the empty implant be removed. If it has not been a long time from the initial augmentation, if your weight has not fluctuated over the years, and you haven't had any children in the interim then you should most likely return back to where you were before. Certainly I would recommend removal and waiting 6-12 months before ever considering a lift. Hope this has been helpful.

Ross Horton, MD, FRCSC
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon

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.