Would explant surgery require the same amount of recovery time and discomfort as a breast lift surgery?

I have 12 year old silicone under the muscle implants. I went from a B to a D cup. I want them out. The Surgeon said he suspects one may have ruptured. Should I have a lift done at the same time as the explant. PS said he can do both but it is my decision. I think it has came down to this for me if the recovery time and discomfort is similar in length then I will just get both done at the same time, if explant is easier then I will do only that Thank you for your time.

Doctor Answers 8

Recovery from explantation or breast lift

The recovery after a simple explantation is much easier than the original. However since you have ruptured silicone apparently this will mean more surgery and possibly a capsulectomy  This will extend your period of recovery . If a breast lift is done at the same time the recovery period is the same  you should discuss the recovery period for your particular prep plastic surgeon with each of these procedures before you make your decision 

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Removing breast implants with or without a lift

A simple removal (explant) of breast implants without removing part or all of the capsule around the implants and done through an incision in the inframammary crease involves almost no recovery and is basically healing the incision. This can even be done with local anesthesia. However, if the silicone gel-filled implant is ruptured then the procedure becomes more complex as it does if part or all of the capsule around the implant needs to be removed. A lift procedure is only indicated if the nipple-areola position is too low relative to the inframammary crease or base of the breast. This is a a major procedure comparable to the procedure to put implants in and involves some definite recovery issues, particularly the first week. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review


After breast implant removal surgery, I advise the patients to take one week off from work. The patients may return to work at that point, but may not engage in any strenuous activity. At one month, the patients start low impact cardio. Up to this point you should be sleeping on your back propped up on pillows.  At three months they can engage in more strenuous physical activity. If anything hurts or causes swelling, we ask them to back off somewhat.


If your surgeon think the lift can be done safely at the same time of the removal and capsulectomy, then you might choose to go with just one surgery and one down time. Your surgeon, who has examined you, can tell you if the lift can be done at the same time.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Would explant surgery require the same amount of recovery time and discomfort as a breast lift surgery?

Thank you for the question.  Generally, breast implant removal surgery is associated with minimal discomfort and a relatively rapid recovery experience.  Breast lifting is generally associated with more discomfort and potentially more incision line healing concerns.

 Whether or not breast lifting should be done at the same time as breast implant removal surgery:

-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.  


-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.

Explantation alone

Removal of the implants alone usually is quite painless and quick with recovery. Drains however should be used for about a week to prevent fluid or seroma formation 

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Explant surgery

I agree with your plastic surgeon, it is your call. In our office the majority of patients choose to have both procedure completed in one sitting. Good Luck

Stephen M. Davis, MD FACS

Green Hills Plastic Surgery


I would recommend you have the Explant surgery before deciding on a breast lift.  Once the implants are out, wear the compression bra to promote healing.  Your breast need time to settle and heal .

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