Do I need a lift? (photo)

I have 700 cc's under the muscle since 2010 and 400 cc's saline before that since 2005. I was 32 A-B before and I'm 32 G now. No kids and 47 years old. I'm getting explanted next month and I'm wondering if I need a lift and if it's best to wait, better results or should I do it at the same time as explanting.

Doctor Answers 10

Breast lift after implant removal.

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In most cases, I am very happy to do a lift at the time of implant removal.  In your case, however, I would recommend having your implants removed and then waiting several months before having a lift.  Your implants are really big and my guess is that your breast tissue is thinned out a lot.  Doing a lift at the same time as implant removal cannot involved much tissue manipulation and shaping because of blood supply concerns. If you allow your breasts to heal down to the chest wall and tighten up some on their own, I think your surgeon will be able to get you a nicer shape with less risk.  Also, if you want to go a little larger than your natural self, fat transfer may also be an option at the time of a delayed lift.  Often the upper pole of the breasts benefits from a little boost with fat transfer.

In any case, my guess is that once everything is healed up you will love being implant free.  Once a woman is a "certain age" a large bust is more matronly than sexy. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Planning breast explanation

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Thank you for asking about your breast implant removal.

  • I strongly recommend a small vertical lift to restore the breast shape to all my patients.
  • It makes a big different in how women feel after having implants removed.
  • With such large implants in the past your breasts will be much wider and flatter than you expect -
  • Even with a lift, it will take a little getting used to the small size again.
  • I find it easier to get a nice result doing the lift at the same time - there is less scar tissue to deal with, compared to a lift done later.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

#Explant #BeastImplantRemoval - Do I need a lift?

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It's hard to say for sure.  As another surgeon noted, though, you seem to have a nice result; one that many women would like to achieve.  Of course, this is only based on one photo, and without a clinical exam or discussion but it would be interesting and perhaps relevant for those answering your question if you could explain why you're having them removed (ie, capsules, pain, etc).  With the amount and degree of skin stretch from these implants you may well benefit from a lift following removal.  It is appropriate to have them removed (if they're saline you can have them deflated and wait 2-3 months to see what your result is like before proceeding with a lift) and then wait to see what your result is like.  Since you do not appear to have ptosis now (sagging, such as when the nipples point down) you may be happy enough with the contraction of your tissues that you won't need a lift.  You should discuss this with your own board-certified plastic surgeon and then make your decision(s) based on his or her recommendations.  I hope that this helps and good luck.  Dr. Alan Engler, Member of #RealSelf500

Will I need a lift after impant explantation?

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HI ,

  You may indeed need a breast lift after explantation. I usually make this decision after I remove the implants at the same operative setting; Scars can be small and just around the nipple or you may need lollipop scars depending on your skin laxity. Sometimes, your surgeon can also put fat into the breasts at the same time to give you a bit more volume.

You should definitely discuss your options with your surgeon in detail before proceeding.


Dr. Christine Rodgers

Implant removal

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It is likely that you will need some sort of lift after the implants are removed due to the tissue being stretched by the implants.  It is up to you whether you want to have that done at the same time as the explantation, or if you prefer to wait.  If you don't want to consider a smaller implant, you may want to explore some fat grafting for volume.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Implant Removal/Lift

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It is possible with your saline implants to have your surgeon rupture the implants a few weeks before surgery to get an idea of how much breast tissue you currently have and whether a lift would be needed.  However, if you currently have 700cc implants you most likely will lose 2 cup sizes and will feel deflated without a lift.

If you are not able to deflate your implants before surgery, you can always just have them removed and do a lift at a later date.  There are benefits of doing these procedures separately and letting the breast heal for 3-6 months before doing the lift.  I definitely would have another conversation with your surgeon about the pros and cons.

Do I need a lift?

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Thank you for your picture and questions. Before I answer your question, I have one for you. You seem to have a very nice result, is there a reason why you are proceeding with explantation? 

I think whether or not you will need a lift depends on your ultimate goals and expectations. Usually after removal of large implants such as 700 cc implants, there is significant deflation of the breast envelope as the implant has thinned out the tissues over time (6 years or so). If this is something you are ok with, then you may not need additional procedures. If you are not happy with that outcome, then you may need a lift, which could be done in a delayed fashion.

Hope this helps!

Needing a #BreastLift ?

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From your photo, you will likely not need a lift, but there is no way to predict this especially with 700 cc implants. If you currently have saline implants, you can deflate these and see how your skin responds after several months. Otherwise, it is worth seeing how tissues contract and then decide on a lift later. This will possibly save you scarring on the breast. 

You should see a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to get a formal opinion through an in-person consultation.

Best of luck,

Vincent Marin, MD

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Do I need a lift?

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You don't mention what type of implants you currently have. If they are saline, have the doctor deflate them in the office and wait 6 weeks to see if you need a lift. If they are silicone, we encourage patients to wait after the implants are removed to determine if a lift is needed. It often is not. BUT I think you will be left with basically no significant projection. Oversized implants like the 700s thin the natural breast tissue over time.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


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It is very difficult to predict the result if you remove and lift at the same stage. If in doubt removing only and letting things settle may be your best option and consider a skin tightening procedure / mastopexy later. Possibly deflating the saline implant preop initially is a reasonable option to aid the planning and allow you and your surgeon to talk through the pros and cons of skin tightening. I doubt your nipple would need to be moved much higher.

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 177 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.