What Will my Breasts Feel Like After Implants Are Removed?

Doctor Answers 8

Breasts and post explantation

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Your breast will probably feel pretty normal once the  implants are removed. Initially they may be swollen but once this resolves, they should feel like they did before implants.

Feeling of touch or consistency?

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The most important factor as to how they will feel is how much tissue you have.  The internal pressure of implants, especially if there was capsular contracture, tends to thin out the fatty portion of your breast tissue, making them smaller and thinner than before.  If you gained some weight in the interim, that could compensate.  If you have minimal or no tissue, then they will feel essentially like skin only.  If they were under the muscle, you may feel some ridges around where the implants used to be.  The ribs tend to thin a little under the implants and thicken just outside of the base of the pockets.  This can be more prominent when there was capsular contracture.  You may feel this when you press.

As far as the other type of feeling......some lose sensation from the nerves being pushed on from the implants.  Not necessarily numb, but possibly some loss.  Some get hypersensitivity from this pressure.  If you have either, then this might improve with implant removal.

Myles Goldflies, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Will "feel" like normal breasts, but may "seem" and look slightly different

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Dear Littleagain,

There are several issues to consider when you are contemplating implant removal. Some of these issues are subjective and some are physical changes.


-By now you have probably grown accustomed to your new size. Once the implants are removed, the size of your breasts will likely "seem" very small.


-During the time that the implants were in your body, they were pressing on your breast tissue. This can cause a small degree of loss of breast tissue making the original breasts slightly smaller than they were prior to your implant surgery.

-Depending on the size of the implants, your breast skin may have stretched leading to some noticeable sagging of the breasts once the implants are removed. This is usually only a problem with very large implants.

-Natural breast never have the upper pole fullness that is routinely observed with breast implants. Therefore, the upper part of your breasts will appear flatter than it does with implants.

Once the implants are removed, the breasts should "feel" exactly like they did before your implant surgery. However, they may "seem" and "look" slightly different than before your implant surgery.

Good luck with your surgery.

A. Peter Salas, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Depends on your breast tissue

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Dear Little,

It depends on how much breast tissue you have and how large your implants are. Expect your breasts to have some sagging and flattening and loss of fullness. If you had very little breast tissue to begin with i.e. less than an A cup, then your breasts may return to their pre augmentation state. Good luck!

Smaller with less superior fullness

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This all depends upon the size of the implant that was used and how much natural breast tissue that you have. In my experience, removing breast implants typically leaves the upper quadrant of the breast less full. This can be a real concern to some individuals. It your breasts are soft and there is no capsular contracture and there has not be excessive thinning of the tissues your appearance is likely to be okay just smaller with less superior fullness.

Why are you having your implants removed?

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To littleagain,

Hi. In my experience, it is extremely rare for women to just have their implants removed. Perhaps you need a revision. The most common problems with implants is that they are too big, too high ,or not natural. These things can be improved. At least, make sure you live with your implants for 6 months, so you are sure you are doing the right thing.

To answer your question, your breasts will probably feel normal after implant removal.

During removal, it is very important to curette the implant capsules, and to insert suction drains in for one week to prevent fluid accumulation.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Pretty close to normal unless you have hardness now

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If you have hardness or a capsule now, there could be some residual hardness. Some of this could be related to calcification in the capsule.

If you presently have soft implants then the breasts should feel pretty close to normal. Depending on how long the imlpants have been in, the shape of the breasts may be different. If the implants were placed in the past 5 years and you have not had pregnancy or weight gain, they should look close to what you had before.

However, if 10-20 years or more have gone by, your breasts and body will have aged and the breasts may look quite different from what you remember them to have been at the time of the initial surgery.

Make sure you discuss at length with your surgeon what your concerns are:

If you are too big, you could go smaller. If you just want them out, you may need a lift to preserve shape. We have found most women who want their implants out do not want a lift at the same time. It is always possible to return at a later time to do a lift. Best of luck.

Removing Implants

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Thanks for your question -

When considering removing your implants the natural first question is what will I look like after the implants are removed.

Some of the important considerations are how big were the implants that were placed, where were they placed (above or below the muscle?) and how much ptosis (breast sagging) do you have currently?

Removing larger sized implants tend to create more of an unattractive breast when not combined with additional procedures like lift or implant replacement. The reason why is your implants may be helping mask the sagging.

In addition, if you have a significant amount of sagging currently, removing implants that are even medium sized will increase that ptosis.

In terms of feel - There may be some residual scar tissue - if you have a thick capsule your plastic surgeon should also include a capsulectomy to remove this scar tissue.

I hope this helps.

Speak with a board certified plastic surgeon to carefully examine your options and expectations.

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.