Can You Get a Breast Lift With Existing Implants?

Woman wearing a bra with one hand touching her shoulder (model)

Can you keep your implants and get a breast lift? The short answer is “yes.” The slightly longer answer is, “Yes, but there may be better options.” In this blog post, I’ll explain why undergoing a breast lift with existing implants is possible but not always the best option.

Reasons for Getting a Breast Lift

Women’s breasts start sagging for various reasons. Aging, having children, weight loss, and, yes, even breast implants can contribute to breasts losing their perky, youthful appearance. Many women feel self-conscious when their breasts start drooping and consider a breast lift, or mastopexy, to regain their confidence.

A breast lift can also address symmetry issues by reshaping and repositioning the breasts, achieving a more balanced appearance even with existing implants.

If you already have implants and are considering a breast lift, you have a few options. If your implants remain in good condition, you can get a breast lift and keep the same implants. The other options are a breast lift and replacing your implants or removing your implants at the time you get a lift. The choice is based on your preference.

Before & After Mommy Makeover Case 77 View #1 View in Sacramento, Granite Bay, & Roseville, CA
Dr. Yamahata -Before & After Breast Lift
Before & After Mommy Makeover Case 77 View #2 View in Sacramento, Granite Bay, & Roseville, CA
Dr. Yamahata -Before & After Breast Lift
Before & After Breast Lift Case 96 View #1 View in Sacramento, Granite Bay, & Roseville, CA
Dr. Yamahata -Before & After Breast Lift
Before & After Breast Lift Case 96 View #2 View in Sacramento, Granite Bay, & Roseville, CA
Dr. Yamahata -Before & After Breast Lift
Before & After Breast Lift Case 92 View #1 View in Sacramento, Granite Bay, & Roseville, CA
Dr. Yamahata -Before & After Breast Lift
Before & After Breast Lift Case 92 View #2 View in Sacramento, Granite Bay, & Roseville, CA
Dr. Yamahata -Before & After Breast Lift
Before & After Breast Lift Case 131 View #1 View in Sacramento, Granite Bay, & Roseville, CA
Dr. Yamahata -Before & After Breast Lift
Before & After Breast Lift Case 131 View #2 View in Sacramento, Granite Bay, & Roseville, CA
Dr. Yamahata -Before & After Breast Lift

Breast Lift With Existing Implants

If your existing implants remain in good condition, the breast lift procedure involves repositioning them and lifting the breast tissue. The incisions needed for this procedure depend on the degree of sagging, the type of implants you have, and your aesthetic goals.

The incision options include:

Periareolar incision: Sometimes called a “donut lift,” this technique involves making an incision around the areola to remove excess skin and reshape the breast tissue. The amount of lift achieved with this incision is less than what some of the other techniques create, so it may not be the best choice for you.

Lollipop incision: This technique involves making incisions around the areola and then vertically down to the breast crease, allowing for more extensive reshaping and lifting.

Anchor incision: Adding a horizontal incision along the breast crease to the lollipop incision pattern (creating an anchor shape) provides the most support for the breasts and is often the best option when performing a breast lift with implants.

When To Replace Implants

There isn’t an expiration date for implants. You might have read that you should replace your implants after 10 years, but that’s not a rule. If your implants are in good shape and are not causing any problems, there’s no need to replace or remove them. A plastic surgeon can perform a breast lift and leave the implants in place without any issues.

Implants that are beginning to harden or show other signs of degradation should either be replaced or removed as part of a breast lift. That’s something that a board-certified plastic surgeon determines after physically examining the breasts during your consultation.

Exchanging Breast Implants With Lift

If you want to maintain the size of your breasts, combining a breast lift with new breast implants is a popular option. You may want to exchange saline implants for those filled with cohesive silicone gel or change the size of the implants to suit your current lifestyle. The procedure is more complicated than the initial breast augmentation because scar tissue forms around the existing implants, so you should ensure that your surgeon is experienced in performing breast revision procedures.

Breast Implant Removal With Lift

If someone decides to remove their implants without replacing them, and the surgeon expects there will be excessive sagging, the surgeon can perform a breast lift at the same time. Explant surgery is more popular than ever as women decide for various reasons to have their implants removed. Whether because of a complication, lifestyle changes, or new aesthetic values, sometimes breast augmentation patients want to have their implants removed and not replaced. You can learn more about getting a breast lift without implants in a previous blog post.

What Is Recovery Like After a Breast Lift With Implants?

The recovery experience following a breast lift, whether you keep, exchange, or remove existing implants, is usually similar to the recovery after a primary breast augmentation. I’ll bandage your breasts to minimize discomfort and swelling and to add support during the crucial healing process. You should support yourself at home with pillows or in a favorite chair, as you should keep the breasts elevated to ensure proper healing.

As swelling subsides and incisions heal, you’ll see improved breast shape, position, and overall appearance. The final results of a breast lift with existing implants become more apparent as the breasts settle into their new position, typically within a few months post-surgery.

Take the Next Step

If you have breast implants and are considering a breast lift, it’s essential to choose an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast enhancement surgery, such as Dr. Yamahata. You can request a consultation using the online form to discuss your options with Dr. Yamahata. Or call us at (916) 929-1833 to schedule an appointment.

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