Breast implant removal, also known as Explantation or Explant Surgery, is a procedure used to remove breast implants.  This can be done when your implants have been in for a long time, if you’d like to change the size bigger or smaller, if there has been any implant-related complications or you just want them out.

A breast lift, also known as Mastopexy, is a surgical procedure where the removal of excess skin from your breasts and lifting them up occurs, reshaping them. Breast implant removal can be combined with a breast lift for a great result.

Breast implants through long-lasting are not permanent, most implants last 10-15 years after which time they should be removed and/or replaced. If you are looking to get them removed but would like to retain a nice contour to your breast and prevent sagging after the implants are removed, a breast lift in combination with the removal is a great option.

Am I a good candidate for Breast implant removal with a breast lift?

Combined Explant and Mastopexy is the procedure for you if you feel motivated to remove the implant and:

  • You are no longer satisfied with your breast implants and would like to have them removed.
  • You have persistent pain and/or discomfort.
  • You are worried that your breasts might sag after implant removal.
  • Your implants are damaged.
  • You have put on and/or lost weight.
  • You want to rejuvenate the breasts after having children.
  • You are in good physical health.
  • You are in a stable weight range.
  • You have realistic expectations about their surgery.

What are the Benefits of Combined Explantation and Mastopexy Surgery?

The procedure has many physical and psychological benefits associated:

  • Tightens the breast tissue after Explantation.
  • Age-related loss of skin laxity is countered by giving your breast proper positioning.
  • Gives your breasts a better aesthetic.
  • Giving you a significant boost about how you feel and look.

You should discuss your conditions and the benefits of undergoing combined Explantation and breast lift before going through with the procedure to see if the procedure is the correct one for you.

Your Combined Explantation and Mastopexy Journey


Consultation forms the first phase of your journey. Here you will have an in-depth discussion with your care provider about the procedure to see if you meet the criteria to undergo the procedure. Your surgeon will take a detailed medical history and assess the condition of your breasts. The provider will also ask you about your procedure goals; being honest and reasonable about your expectations can help you get the desired outcome.

The procedure will be explained in full, along with the risks involved. You should ask any questions you may have and raise any doubts regarding implant removal or breast lift surgery. Your surgeon will help you choose the best fit for you and your breasts.

You will be expected to refrain from using aspirin or any other blood-thinning medication prior to surgery. Smoking should be avoided for at least three weeks before the surgery.

The Procedure

This is the second phase of your journey.

The operation is performed under general anaesthetic and combines your implants’ removal with a breast lift to remove excess skin from the breasts.  You will stay overnight in the hospital and be discharged the next day.

The operation, in short, involves making an incision around the areola, your implants are removed, the breast is drained of excess fluids and implant pockets are sealed, excess tissues are removed if required depending upon the quality and thickness of your skin and subcutaneous tissues. After getting the desired shape, the incisions are sealed. Your nipples are relocated.


The recovery time for this procedure is similar to Implant removal surgery.

It is normal to experience some degree of bruising or swelling after the procedure. The swelling gradually subsides over weeks. You will be required to wear a compression over your breasts to minimize swelling and promote smooth and quicker healing; it should be worn for a few weeks and removed as per your surgeon’s advice. In case of excessive bleeding, drains might be placed for a few days after surgery.

Mild to moderate discomfort after the procedure is common; you will be prescribed pain-killers for relief. Antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent infection at the site of the incision.

You will be able to resume normal office work after about 1-2 weeks. Avoid engaging in any strenuous physical activity for a few weeks after the procedure. Avoiding lifting heavy weight or stretching. Avoid taking excess stress and avoid smoking as they interfere with the wound healing process. Take a diet rich in fiber or protein and fresh vegetables to speed up healing.

Risks and Complications associated with Combined Explantation and Mastopexy

The procedure, like any other surgical procedure, is associated with certain potential risks and complications.

  • Complications related to anaesthesia: nausea, vomiting, and/or loss of consciousness.
  • Persistent pain
  • Bleeding or haematoma formation
  • Infection
  • Poor or excessive scarring
  • Prolonged loss of sensation (numbness/tingling) around the breast and nipple
  • Contour and/or breast shape irregularities
  • Asymmetry of breasts
  • Necrosis
  • Seroma formation- Fluid accumulation
  • Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola.
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Repeat surgery may be required if the results are suboptimal.

As the risks related to the procedure are considerable, it is of paramount importance to seek an experienced surgeon for the procedure to minimize these complications’ chances.

Further Readings

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my breasts sag after implant removal?

  • Removing your implants will return the breast to its normal size, and under the effect of gravity and aging, the breast may sag but not always.

Is a breast lift necessary after implant removal?

  • It is not necessary to undergo breast lift after Explantation. It is an excellent option in women who have had larger implants, in whom sagging of breast skin and noticeable lowering of nipple occurs after removal of the implant. Breast lift surgery helps tighten the tissues and skin around the breast and keep the nipples higher to give your breast a youthful appearance.

When should I get my implants removed?

  • You should consider removing/ replacing your implants if any of the following occur:
    • Wrinkling of skin over the implant
    • Change in position of the placed implant
    • Implant leak
    • Any Infection
    • Capsular contracture or rupture
    • Implant hardening
    • Double bubble occurring
    • Breast pain and/or discomfort
    • Features of Breast Implant Illness (ALCL)
  • You should seek counseling from an experienced surgeon before deciding to remove and/or replace the implants.

What happens if you don’t ever remove breast implants?

  • Sometimes nothing, there are many patients who have had implants for years and experienced no problem that they can feel.  This doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to leave them forever.
  • If you had silicone implanted, there is a noticeable change in your breasts’ appearance, so removing or replacing your implants may be required for cosmetic purposes. However, with silicone implants, the changes may not be discernible to the eyes; it may cause hardening and/or lump formation around the breasts; you will need to undergo an MRI to find out if the silicone implants have ruptured.
  • Scar tissues may form around the breast tissue over time, and if this scar tissue becomes extremely thick, you might experience pain, tenderness, and discomfort in the breast area. Removing the implant along with the formed scar, will fix the issue. If you still want to have implants, your surgeon can replace old implants with new implants placed in a new pocket.
  • With progressive aging, your breasts may sag, and the implant may become noticeable. You can replace your implants and get a breast lift to amend this.

Will my insurance cover the procedure?

  • Sometimes.  All health funds differ and some cover nothing and some will partially cover.  It is never, however “free” for you.  There will always be an out of pocket fee.

Is a breast lift worth it along with implant removal?

  • If you are looking to remove your implants yet retain proper contour to your breast by preventing sagging and retain a youthful appearance for your breast, a breast-lift done along with implant removal is worth it.

Book a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeons now and know how you can benefit from Combined Explantation and breast lift.


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