Will My Breasts Look Flat After Breast Implant Removal?

Flat after breast implant removal

No matter why you’ve decided to have your implants removed, you want to be sure you’ll look good after surgery.

You know the procedure can produce stunning results, especially when combined with a fat transfer, lift, or replacement implants. But how will you look? Every patient is different.

When we see patients in our office for breast implant removal (also known as explant surgery), one question they often ask in person consultation, is, “Will I look flat after breast implant removal?”

This is a simple question, but the answer, unfortunately, is not. While initially, most patients will appear “flat” in the chest after explant surgery, this does not always last.

Below, we outline the process of determining what we expect your breasts may look like after surgery. We also discuss what we can do to achieve the look you desire.


The first question: Can breasts look good after implant removal?

The answer: Yes, absolutely. However, it depends on multiple factors and may require adjunct procedures, such as a breast lift, breast augmentation fat transfer, or new silicone implants throughout.

The implant removal procedure restores your natural figure, which means you’ll have your old breasts back. However, your breasts will not look the way they did before your implant surgery.

This is because your breasts will have permanently changed due to having implants in them and because of time and the effects of gravity and aging. The implants will have changed the natural structure of your breasts, altering the way the tissue sits and also stretching out your skin. Breast implants have weight.

And that added weight on excess skin on your chest will have made your breast skin stretch over time to accommodate the added volume.

When we do our best to determine how your breasts are going to look after breast explant surgery, (which will usually be at your consultation appointment), we will be looking at several factors:

  1. How large your breast implants are. If you have quite large implants, we know that the skin will have stretched significantly while you’ve had them in. This means that after explant surgery, you’re more likely to have drooping and sagging, some of which is not going to naturally go away.
  2. How long you’ve had your breast implants in. Women who’ve had breast implants for many years are more likely to have drooping and sagging after explant surgery because the skin will have had longer to stretch.
  3. Your skin elasticity and age. Everyone has different skin, and everyone’s skin reacts differently to being stretched. Some patients’ skin will bounce back easily and naturally after being stretched. This often happens with younger patients. Those who are older may experience more sagging because the skin naturally becomes thinner and less elastic with age.
  4. How much natural breast tissue you have. If you started out with a significant amount of breast tissue on your own, you may have that same amount of breast tissue after your explant surgery. Once your breast tissue has settled, you may be happy with what you have left. However, for some patients who started off with a very small amount of tissue, this may very well be the same result you see after surgery.

Using these qualifiers, combined with a physical examination, your plastic surgeon will offer what they think your breasts will look like after surgery.

As an added note, there is also the possibility of deflating saline implants to actually get a visual of how your breasts will look after surgery without actually having to do the explant. If you don’t like the way your breasts look without the saline, you may change your mind and decide to keep your implants.

Or, this may suggest to you that a breast lift, breast augmentation fat transfer, or new implants are a good idea. Again, this test can only be performed with saline and implants removed.

Ultimately, when patients are on the fence about whether they want new implants, a breast lift, etc., we recommend they get the implant removal surgery and then wait several months before deciding what to do. At this point, we and plastic surgeons can always perform a breast lift, a breast fat transfer augmentation, or insert new implants.

Alternatively, if you know for sure that you want one of these procedures performed at the same time as your breast implant removal surgery, we can do this after breast cancer, as well. In some cases, we may also want to repair the pectoral muscles after breast implant removal. All of this can be discussed at your consultation appointment.

Breast implant removal



If you do not combine your explant surgery with a breast lift, new implants, or any other procedure, you’ll need to wait several weeks for your breasts to contract and settle to know exactly how much natural breast tissue you have left.

Many factors will influence whether your breasts appear flat and deflated after this time or have an ample amount of tissue, which you are satisfied with.


Initially after breast surgery done, your breasts will look flat and deflated. However, you will also have some swelling, which is a natural part of the healing process. These side effects can make your breasts appear distorted and not really how they will look over time once the swelling has gone down and your breasts have contracted to their natural position post-explant.


For most patients, the initial deflated appearance and breast volume after an explant surgery will go away somewhat. Then, the breasts will eventually regain some of their natural volume.


Aside from bruising, swelling, and some light soreness — all of which are to be expected — breast implant removal side effects are rare. That is, you are not likely to experience any complications from surgery as long as you care properly for the surgical treatment area and follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions during recovery.

Do breasts fluff up after explant?

The duration for breasts to “fluff” after explantation varies among individuals. Some patients may notice this change within a few months, while for others, it may take around 6-9 months.

It is important to remember that each person’s healing process is unique, and factors such as skin elasticity, overall health, and individual anatomy can influence the timeline for breast fluffing.

How long after breast implant removal will they look normal?

The process of healing following this surgery may require up to a year for the final results to become fully visible. It is important to recognize that the practice of medicine and surgery involves certain uncertainties and is not an exact science.

In the case of this specific procedure, the outcome may not always be purely cosmetic due to the thinning of breast tissue that can occur from having implants for an extended period of time.


You can find out more about breast implant removal on our website. In the meantime, we invite you to look up breast implant removal reviews or read breast implant removal stories from past patients. You’ll find that every patient has a different experience, but the more you know about your surgery beforehand, the better prepared you’ll be.

Ultimately, the best way to be prepared for surgery (and know whether your breasts will appear flat after breast implant removal) is to book a consultation with Dr. Raja Mohan. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!


Flat after breast implant removal: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-implant-removal

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