Breast implant removal is a topic that has been gaining more attention lately within the realms of women’s health and aesthetic surgery. Whether driven by health concerns, lifestyle changes, or simply a desire for a different body image, the decision to have breast implants removed is personal and significant. For many, a pressing question looms: “What will my breasts look like after the implants are removed?” 

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the process of breast implant removal, what factors influence post-surgery appearance, and what steps can be taken to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Understanding Breast Implant Removal

Breast implant removal, also known as explant surgery, involves taking out the implants from the breast pockets. In some cases, this procedure might include the removal of scar tissue or the performance of a breast lift (mastopexy), depending on the individual’s condition and goals.

Reasons for Removal

The reasons for considering breast implant removal are varied and include:

  • Personal choice or lifestyle changes

Process of Removal

Typically performed under general anesthesia, the surgery involves making incisions often along the scars from the initial breast augmentation. The surgeon carefully removes the implants and, if necessary, any accompanying scar tissue.

Factors Influencing Post-Removal Appearance

Several factors can affect the appearance of breasts after implant removal, including:

  • The duration the implants were in place: Long-term stretching can affect skin elasticity and breast shape.
  • The size of the implants: Larger implants may lead to more significant changes in breast tissue and skin.
  • Skin elasticity and quality: Greater skin elasticity can help the breast tissue contract better post-surgery.
  • Whether a breast lift is performed: A lift can help adjust the breasts’ shape and position on the chest wall after implant removal.

Post-Surgery Expectations

Immediate Aftercare

Immediately following surgery, patients will typically experience swelling and discomfort, which gradually subsides over the next few weeks. Surgeons might place drains to remove excess fluid, and wearing a compression garment may be recommended to support healing.

Long-Term Appearance

After the initial recovery period, the breasts will continue to change and settle for several months. Patients often wonder if their breasts will return to their pre-implant appearance. While they might resemble their earlier state somewhat, several factors like those mentioned above mean the outcome varies for each individual. In general:

  • Breasts may appear deflated initially but can regain volume over time as the tissue recovers.
  • Sagging may occur, especially in larger implants or those who have had implants for a long time, due to stretched skin and tissue.

Enhancing Recovery and Results

Considering a Breast Lift

For many, combining implant removal with a breast lift offers the best outcome by addressing excess skin and reshaping the breast tissue. Discussing goals and expectations with a surgeon is critical in deciding if this additional procedure is right for you.

Following Post-Care Instructions

Adherence to your surgeon’s aftercare recommendations is crucial for healing. This includes attending follow-up appointments, wearing suggested garments, and avoiding certain activities until cleared by your doctor.

Patience and Realistic Expectations 

Healing is a gradual process, and final results may not be apparent for six months to a year. Keeping realistic expectations and focusing on the reasons for your decision can help in adjusting to the changes in your body.


Breast implant removal is a deeply personal decision with outcomes influenced by various factors. While post-surgery breasts may not look exactly as they did pre-implant, many women report feeling satisfied with their decision and appearance after recovery. Understanding the process, knowing what factors affect results, and setting realistic expectations can help prepare for life after implant removal. If you’re considering this procedure, consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can provide tailored advice and guidance is essential.