What are the pros and cons with regards to performing breast explant/ mastopexy together vs separate procedures?

I would like to understand the risks and benefits of each from a professional, surgical point of view. Which is easier for the surgeon to perform and which gives the safest risk wise and most pleasing aesthetic result? Is one method more risky for side effects like tissue death for example,than the other? . I do not understand how explant and lift are performed step by step when done together. I understand the anaesthesia risk is less but do the cons outweigh this? Will there be more infection possibly?

Doctor Answers 4

Breast implant removal and reshaping, together or separate


Thanks for posting your question. I am happy to try and help you. It is important to remember that a board certified plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to an accurate assessment of your situation, and concerns.

Having said that, I recommend draining the saline filled implants in the office and leaving the breast implants in after deflation.  This is  reasonable to allow for evaluation of the skin, breast shape and life impact of having the breast implants removed.

Once it is determined that the patient is happy without the implants. I recommend simply removing the implants. This can be done in the office and at a reasonable expense. If they shape is something that requires adjustments then the degree of adjustment and results can be discussed before surgery.

If they are silicone, the above is not an option and these decisions have to be made before surgery. I do all of this at one surgery, all the time. No worries.

Best wishes,

Dr. Michael J. Brown
Northern Virginia Plastic Surgeon

Ashburn Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast explant and lift - together or separate

Thank you for asking about your breast implant removal and breast lift.

  • The advantage of doing a breast explant and lift at the same time is that your recovery is over in one operation and your breasts, although smaller have their shape restored.
  • When women have small breasts and moderate size implants, it is an excellent combination.
  • For women with complex problems - such as multiple breast surgery, severe ptosis (sagging), need to remove thick capsules, large implants or large breasts, it may better to separate the procedures.
  • When in doubt, two operations is safer - but harder for you.
  • There isn't a right or wrong - it is a question of your situation, your preference and your surgeon's assessment of what is best for you.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast implant removal and breast lift

IT would be helpful to have a photo and also know of your surgical history.  Did you have a previous breast lift or do you have ruptured silicone implants.
I would say 90% of patients should be able to have the surgery in one stage.  The exceptions would be in situations where one is concerned about blood flow to the nipple and areola.  This depends on how much droopiness is present, whether the implants are above or below the muscle, previous breast lift and scars and if the implant is ruptured.
Infection and anesthesia risk is the same.

Samer W. Cabbabe, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

What are the pros and cons with regards to performing breast explant/ mastopexy together vs separate procedures?

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

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 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.