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What Do Breasts Look Like After Implant Removal Surgery?

People decide to undergo implant removal surgery for many different reasons. Sometimes, there are health complications, such as tissue hardening that prompt the decision. Some may decide they no longer want implants. If you're considering breast explant surgery to remove your implants, you likely have many questions about what to expect for the appearance of your breasts afterward. To guide you through your decision and offer peace of mind, let’s discuss the procedure, aesthetic changes you may experience, and post-explant options.

What Happens During Breast Explant Surgery? 

During implant removal, also known as explant surgery, the surgeon will carefully remove both the implant itself and the scar capsule surrounding it through a small incision. This opening is typically made around the nipple-areola complex or in the breast crease fold — the same location as the original breast augmentation procedure. 

Depending on your preferences, the surgeon may also perform a breast lift (mastopexy) at the same time by removing excess stretched skin and tightening the breast tissue through the same incision. If you’re considering mastopexy, our NJ breast surgeons recommend combining it with removal for one surgery when possible for the best aesthetic results.

How Will Breast Explant Surgery Affect the Appearance of My Breasts?

You may be wondering what breasts look like after implant removal. The final appearance and shape of your natural breasts following explant surgery depends on several factors, including:

  • How long your breast implants were in place, as a longer duration stretches tissues more
  • The quality and thickness of your remaining native breast tissue  
  • Factors like pregnancy or weight changes that affect tissue integrity
  • Effectiveness of any internal lifting and tightening done during explant
  • Genetics and skin elasticity as well as healing ability 

While some women end up with a satisfying breast shape and minimal loose skin after explant surgery alone, others find their breasts appear somewhat deflated, saggy, or deformed without implants filling them out. Combining mastopexy with explant helps reshape and support the remaining tissue.

Will I Look Flat After Explant Surgery?

Most women experience at least some degree of breast tissue deflation after the removal of breast implants and their added internal volume. However, it's rare for breasts to appear truly or entirely "flat" after explant surgery by itself.  

Our skilled, advanced plastic surgeons preserve, reshape, and lift as much of the natural breast tissue as possible during implant removal. They may also rescale the breast pocket and skin envelope to help fill things out again.

How Can I Improve the Appearance of My Breasts After Explant Surgery?

While our surgeons are skilled in delivering aesthetic results after explant surgery, you may be concerned about the appearance of your breasts after implant removal. If you wish to restore shape, fullness, and lift after explant surgery, you have several effective options available, including:

  • Breast lift (mastopexy) performed during the initial explant procedure
  • Fat grafting to the breasts, which involves injecting your body's fat to areas needing more volume 
  • Use of external padded inserts or prosthetics for size/shape enhancement
  • For some patients, replacement with smaller breast implants over time

The right choice to aesthetically improve breast appearance post-explant depends greatly on your specific goals, remaining tissue quality, and other unique anatomical factors. Our board-certified surgeons will go over all available options for you to help you make the best decision.

Choosing The Right Surgeon for Breast Implant Removal

Choosing the right plastic surgeon for breast explant surgery is important for ensuring you get the aesthetic result you desire. When evaluating plastic surgeons to perform your implant removal, be sure to confirm:

  • Active board certification in plastic surgery (not just general surgery)
  • Experience routinely performing breast explant procedures
  • Skill with ancillary procedures like mastopexy and fat grafting
  • Warm rapport and clear, informative communication 

At The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, our surgeons are skilled in a wide variety of breast reconstruction procedures. We understand the importance of delivering an end result patients will love. We have years of experience in helping patients feel comfortable and happy with their appearance. If you’re interested in learning more about removing breast implants and exploring options to restore your look afterward, contact our advanced plastic surgery center today to set up a consultation.

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Our world-class surgical team has been widely published and recognized for their exceptional surgical skills and commitment to patient care.