Breast Implant Removal with a Lift or Reduction (Explant and Lift) – Do you need a Breast Lift after Removing Implants?
Breast augmentation has become the top cosmetic surgery procedure performed today. A well-done breast enhancement often boosts a woman’s self-confidence, self-acceptance, and even her sex drive. Even though it is YOUR choice, it doesn’t need to be a permanent one. If you’re unhappy with your results or no longer want your breast implants, you can have them explanted. However, many women who want to remove their implants have excess skin and saggy breasts afterward. Having breast implants does not stop your breasts from drooping, and removing the implants might make the sagginess more apparent. This is why having a mastopexy (breast lift) after implant removal is quite common.
Dr Rebecca Wyten is a leading specialist plastic surgeon for women’s breast and tummy surgery in Australia, she has dedicated her career to meeting the needs of her patient’s both pre and post-surgery. Dr Wyten can perform breast implant removal to restore your natural breasts along with any desired surgical corrections of the breasts following implant extraction.
Keep reading to learn more about the combination of breast implant removal and lift
Can you get saggy breasts even if you have implants?
We have all heard the saying “What goes up, must come down”! well thanks to the law of gravity this saying also applies to boobs. The heavier the breasts, the stronger the gravitational pull.
Breast drooping, or as it is medically known breast ptosis, is very common. Unfortunately, all breasts age and will sag over time, cosmetic breast sugery does not freeze time it just slows it down or pauses it for a while.
Some women wish to reverse their boob jobs or get breast revision surgery years after getting their breast augmentation. After a boob explant, saggy boobs are often unavoidable. Luckily you can discuss mastopexy, or boob lift, with your surgeon as an option to restore your perky and young-looking boobs after explantation.
Why are breast implants removed?
There is no “reset” button in life, but there is one when it comes to implants! One of the perks of getting implants “in” is that you always have the choice to take them out. But why do some women have their implants removed? Here are some common motives for explantation:
Nothing lasts forever, not even your implants. Same as the rest of your natural body, your implants will age with time and may require replacement. Breast sagging, implant rupture, saline leakage, and change of breast shape are all potential complications that can happen over the years. This is why some women decide to replace or remove their implants and get a lift to complement the results.
Capsular contracture is one of the somewhat common long-term complications related to breast implants. When you get a boob job, your body forms a fibrous (scar) capsule around your implants as a part of the natural healing process. However, in some women, this capsule can thicken over time and cause breast deformity. The degree of severity differs a lot between women, and in extreme cases, implant revision or explantation might be needed.
A Change of Heart
Our definition of beauty is constantly changing and with it so does our body image. After some time, or even no time, some women might become dissatisfied with the way their bodies look with the new boobs or feel that they misrepresent their personal body image, so they choose to remove the implants.
On rare occasions, some women might experience physical discomfort, pain, or numbness after getting implants. Some find it harder to get around or perform some physical activities with their bigger boobs. For these women, implant removal might be the next logical step.
Should you get a breast lift after implant removal?
If you already have naturally lax skin, and your boobs have started to droop, then you should definitely consider getting a breast lift after you remove your implants. After a boob job, the skin covering your boobs stretches over to make up for the new size of your boobs. If you get an implant removal, your skin may retract slightly but not enough for a satisfactory appearance.
As a highly experienced and skilled female surgeon, Dr. Wyten might recommend coupling explant and lift to take care of any excess skin and achieve a tighter and more youthful breast contour.
What are the benefits of Breast Lifting after explantation?
After an explant, breast lift surgery can;
- Get rid of lax breast skin and pull the breasts up into a perkier and more youthful-looking position
- Give you the appearance of fuller breasts with a rounder form
- Have your nipples pointing forward instead of downward
- Relocate the nipples higher on the boobs for a more natural look
- Restore your self-confidence and positive body image
How is Implant explantation and Lift done?
The procedure will be done under general anesthesia for a pain-free and safe in-hospital surgery. Implant removal and lift procedure is a relatively long procedure that lasts for around 3-4 hours.
First, Dr. Rebecca will start by removing your implants. She will perform one of several incision techniques (discussed below) to access your breasts. When reaching the fibrous tissue capsule around your implants, she will cut the bands and remove any scar tissue. The implants are then taken out. The remaining empty space is sutured together to prevent a deflated breast appearance after surgery.
After that, Dr. Rebecca will perform the breast lift. She will pull the internal breast tissue and fix it higher up on your chest wall with sutures. She will then cut out any excess skin, and pull the remaining skin together for a tight and perky appearance.
Breast incision techniques
Dr. Rebecca will choose one of the below techniques.
The Inverted T
This is a great technique in cases of excessive ptotic breasts with a lot of breast laxity. The incision is made around your areola (the ring of pigmented skin around your nipple), then vertically down your breasts reaching the breast fold (inframammary fold). There, a horizontal incision is made to access your breast. (If you draw an inverted “T” from your areola to your breast fold, you can see what your incision lines would look like).
Excess skin is then removed and pulled tight together. The nipples are then repositioned into a higher location. After this, the skin is closed around it and down the center of the breast.
This technique allows you to benefit from maximum excessive skin removal and leaves your breasts high, perky and tight.
The Vertical Mastopexy Breast Lift
The vertical lift, also known as the “lollipop” lift, is the preferred technique for women with moderately saggy breasts and mild breast ptosis. Although it is similar to the Inverted T incision, it leaves you with less scarring. A keyhole-shaped incision is made above and around the areola straight down to your breast crease (no horizontal incision will be made).
After the extra skin is removed, some of your deeper breast tissues will be pulled together and sutured to reshape your breasts. The areola is then repositioned the same as with the Inverted T technique. If you trace your incision lines with a pen, you will see a lollipop-shaped figure, hence the name.
This technique leaves you with youthful and natural-looking breasts and less visible scars.
The Peri-areolar Breast Lift
The circumareolar mastopexy isn’t an option most women are offered when they’ve walked in for a lift, since it’s a technique that requires a lot of skill and experience. However, Dr. Rebecca Wyten has spent years perfecting her techniques in breast shaping and lifting. This is a less invasive technique for women with mild to moderate ptosis. A doughnut-shaped piece of breast tissue around your areola is removed, and then the remaining tissue is pulled closer and sutured to your areola.
This technique helps you get perfectly positioned nipples and well-hidden scars.
How is recovery after breast implant removal and lift?
After your procedure, it might be recommended that you spend the night in hospital for observation, wound care, and pain management.
It is normal to experience some swelling and bruising in the first few days post-surgery. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to choose a surgeon who will provide you with the best post-op care and a customized pain management plan.
Although some pain is to be expected post-surgery it’s manageable if you follow Dr. Rebecca’s instructions. The swelling and soreness can last up to four to six weeks but will gradually become less annoying during that time. There are also several high-tech scar minimization procedures that Dr. Rebecca can recommend to ensure great results.
What are other good surgical options after Breast implant removal?
It’s good to have options. Luckily, in the world of plastic surgery, there is always more than one! Here are some of your options, other than lifting, after you get your implants out:
- Implant Replacement
- Out with the old, in with the new! You can replace your breast implants with new ones. You don’t have to get the same type you had before, you can choose a different fill, size, shape, or projection.
- Fat Grafting
- If you don’t want to go for the replacement option, you can opt for fat grafting instead. Through typical liposuction, excess fat is removed from a chosen area such as your; hips, belly, or waist and transferred into your breasts by injections.
- You will end up with fuller and rounder breasts while maintaining that natural look.
- This is a great option for women who want a more natural boob job with a special focus on their cleavage.
- Breast Reduction
- This is a very good option in case you feel like having smaller and tighter breasts after your explanation.
- Dr. Rebecca will get rid of the excess breast tissue left after your implants have been removed and then reshape your breasts.
- The non-surgical option
- If you’re genetically blessed with elastic skin and are satisfied with the appearance of your breasts after your implants have been removed, you can choose not to have any further surgeries.
When should you wait to get another surgery after breast implant removal?
One of the very first questions that may come to mind while considering explantation and breast lift is whether you should get them at the same time or wait a bit before getting the lift.
A board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience, such as Dr. Wyten, can pull off this combination of procedures without a problem, so this is definitely a decision that you should consider. You can use these two lists to help you ask the right questions and make the right decision:
The pros of getting both surgeries at the same time:
- You undergo only one surgical intervention and one recovery period
- More cost-effective since it’s only one surgery rather than two separate ones
- No additional risk to your health compared to having the surgeries separately
- No additional blood loss
- Faster final results
Waiting six months between surgeries:
- If your breast skin and tissue are significantly thinned out from the breast implant
- If you have diminished blood circulation
- Or, if you want to give your skin enough time to heal from the explant
- Then you can tell exactly how much lift you need after you’ve healed
- This can be a great option as you may realise you don’t need any lifting at all after you see your breasts change
- Furthermore, waiting may be a good idea if you want to avoid any unnecessary scarring, as it may turn out that you don’t need a lift after all
What are the risks of implant removal and lift?
As with all surgeries, implant removal surgery and mastopexy have some possible risks including but not limited to:
- Anesthesia risks
- Unfavorable Scarring
- Seroma (Your wound might fill up with some fluid and become swollen)
- Hematoma (Your wound might fill up with blood which could sometimes leak out)
- Numbness (Especially your nipples)
- Your milk ducts might get damaged during such surgeries so you wouldn’t be able to breastfeed anymore
- Skin discoloration
- Prolonged swelling
How will my Breasts look after implant removal?
If you are careful in your choice of surgeon and pick a certified and experienced surgeon, your breasts can become perkier, tighter, and younger-looking after you remove your implants. Being specialized in female plastic surgery, Dr Rebecca Wyten ensures the utmost focus, skill, and care for her patients and leaves them very confident and satisfied with their post-surgery results.
How much do implant removal and lift cost?
Although you cannot put a price tag on your mental well-being and positive body image, you should expect that the price of such procedures varies depending on your specific case and whether you get lifting and implant removal together or separately.
The cost also varies depending on the hospital or clinic where you get your surgeries done and the anesthetist’s fees.
Dr. Rebecca’s patients usually find the costs affordable, and you can freely discuss an approximate quotation with her when you come in for a consultation.
Does medicare or health insurance help cover the costs?
Usually, cosmetic surgeries are not covered by Medicare and insurance. However, in Australia, Medicare rebates might be issued to you in case your surgeon decides that there is a clinical need to remove your implants. The Medicare benefit might cover the removal of each breast implant and its surrounding capsule. Talk to our patient advisors or Dr Wyten for more information.
Breast Implant Removal with a Lift FAQs:
Will my breasts sag after implant removal?
- When you remove your implants, your breasts return to their original shape.
- So, yes, your breasts will continue to sag as they did before and not because of the implant removal.
What happens if you don’t replace breast implants?
- Although implants are not lifetime devices, if taken care of properly, they can last you anywhere from 10 to 20 years.
- You only need to replace your implants in case of leakage, rupture, or if you simply don’t like them anymore.
How long does it take for breasts to fluff after explant?
- This period will vary depending on your skin elasticity and your body’s natural aging process.
- Physiologic and physical changes (such as pregnancy or weight gain/loss) also influence this duration.
- In general, it usually takes a few months for your breasts to bounce back.
- Patience and a good sports bra could help you get there faster!
How does a breast explantation scar look?
- This depends on the type of incision used during your explantation.
- Dr. Rebecca avoids making new incisions and cuts along preexisting incision scars from your initial implant surgery.
- In that case, your explantation scar will look almost the same as your boob job scar.
Is lifting after implant removal worth it?
- Simple answer: Definitely yes! Accepting your body image after removing your implants will be so much easier if your breasts look even better than they did before, and lifting gets you those results.
Further Reading & Medical Sources: