What Happens When Implants Are Removed?
-Win Pound, M.D.
I have had several patients recently who have wanted to have their implants removed for various reasons. The question they always ask is, “Will I be sagging afterwards and need a breast lift?” The answer is: not necessarily.
Implants are simply little bags of material (saline or silicone gel) designed to add volume to the breasts. I tell patients that what they look like before a breast augmentation should be what they look like afterwards, only fuller. Take away the implants and the same thing applies in reverse, assuming the patient has good elasticity to the skin. The breasts may look a bit loose and flaccid immediately after surgery but they should shape up over time.
Another way to look at it is to compare it to liposuction. When we remove fat from an area, the overlying skin doesn’t tighten down immediately. It takes time for those elastic fibers to slowly contract and tighten down. In fact, I have my patients wear a compression garment for several weeks afterwards to help compress the skin and aid in the recovery process. I recommend that my breast implant removal patients do the same. Wearing a compression garment may help mold the breast as the skin tightens.
As with liposuction, I tell my patients who have implants removed that they may not see their final results for three to six months. It just takes that long for the skin to tighten.