We hear all the time about Breast Implants. Increasingly however we are hearing about removing them. The term is Explant. Explants with Breast Lift are the most common procedure in this category of patient.

This procedure is the removal of the breast implants, combined with a breast lift.

When you decided to undergo breast augmentation surgery, you probably didn’t think about whether the breast implants might need to be removed. Nevertheless, many women who have had breast implants may later make the decision to remove them.  A lot of the time when breast implants are removed it is to replace with another implant either larger or smaller.

However, it is also possible to remove the implant without a replacement. Of course, the breasts will then be smaller still and most patients will want to have a lift to provide some shape and contour rather than just leaving them sagging and empty.

The amount of volume change will largely determine the nature of the lift requirement. Another important consideration, is how much native breast tissue the patient has and how loose is the skin envelope of the breast.

The reasons for removing breast implants can include:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Tired of large, heavy breasts
  • Sagging of breast and the weight of implants
  • having a breast cancer diagnosis
  • Infection and/or bleeding
  • experiencing complications including capsular contraction
  • implants have become displaced

Generally speaking, patients request a breast implant removal when they are no longer happy with their breast augmentation. In the instance that you do not want to go completely back to an empty “natural” breast contour, the procedure can be extended to have the original implant removed and then replaced with a new implant or using your remaining breast tissue to lift and recontour the breast profile.

Explant and Breast Lift procedure

After Dr John Flynn has discussed your options and decided on a breast lift after your implants are removed, you have a few incision location options to choose from. This however will depend on the extent of correction needed.

  • Existing Incision and a Circumareolar Incision:Your removal incision can be recreated along your original incision site. If you only require a mild lift, a single incision is created around the areola and through this incision, the breast tissue is lifted, and sutures are used to hold the breasts in a higher, firmer position.
  • Inverted-T Incision:Patients who have an inframammary incision scar, or who have severely excessive breast laxity and poor-quality skin, an inverted-T incision will be required. Dr John Flynn makes an incision around the areola, vertically down the breast tissue, and horizontally along the natural contours of the inframammary fold. This technique is ideal for women with heavier breasts and more severe sagging. Breast tissue may be removed, and the remaining tissue is shaped and lifted to bring the breasts into a higher position.

Most women desire some surgical correction of the breasts after implant removal to ensure an aesthetically pleasing result.

What will my recovery be like after explant surgery?

Whilst recovery from breast implant surgery varies with each patient. Obviously, the complexity of the surgery will play a part in determining the recovery. However, if is fair to say that it is rarely as painful as most people fear. Generally, it’s a day surgery procedure and so you can go home the same day.

Contributing issues include whether there are additional complications such as capsule contracture, ruptured implants, or fibrous silicone nodules in the breast tissues or in the axillary (armpit) glands.

The majority of Dr John Flynn’s patients are able to return to work after five days and report minimal discomfort after the surgery.


  • You may wish to have the implants removed and replaced with larger implants. In very heavy breasts this may still require a lift.
  • You may wish to have the implants removed and replaced with smaller implants. Often a lift will be requested at the same time to give a firmer perkier look.
  • You may wish to have implants removed and no replacement. Most will request a lift to firm up the remaining breast. Alternatively, they can be left alone but will almost certainly look saggy.


Are you worried about your breast implants?

Book in to see Dr John Flynn at Cosmedic & Skin Clinic to see how he can help you.