Breast Lift Surgery after Implant Removal or Replacement - Dr Richard Sackelariou - Plastic Surgeon

Breast Lift Surgery after Implant Removal or Replacement

Double Bay, Sydney & Hawthorn East, Melbourne
Sydney (02) 9362-0676    Melbourne (03) 8849 1444

Breast Lift Surgery after Implant Removal or Replacement

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Breast Lift Surgery after implant removal or replacement of your existing breast implants – a brief synopsis of the procedure.

Do your breasts appear to sag or droop BELOW your breast crease? Are your nipples resting lower on your chest area than you’d like them to be?  If YES, you may have a condition known as Ptotic Breasts. For women who are unhappy with sagging breasts or ptotic nipples, it might be worth exploring your options for breast lift surgery. One option to consider is breast lift surgery after implant removal or breast implant replacement.

Breasts sag and droop eventually, regardless of whether you have implants or have breastfed children.  The question is, are they to the point you are wanting to explore your breast lift options?

  • Breast ptosis is an extremely common occurrence in women who have had children and/or passed through menopause.
  • In fact, most women experience sagging of the breast tissues sometimes before they reach the age of 40 or 50 (ptosis is the medical term for sagging or drooping).
  • Some younger women in their 20s and 30s also have sagging breast skin or downward-pointing nipples (e.g., deflated- looking breasts) after having children or after losing weight.

The truth is, that sagging breast tissues can also occur REGARDLESS of whether you have had breast implants, breastfeed children; or simply aged.

  • That’s because all skin ages over time and as skin ages, it loses it’s ability to rebound or firmly hug the underlying tissues.
  • Skin ageing processes are partially related to genetic influences and partially to environmental exposures such as lifestyle choices.
  • Ageing skin has lost its elasticity, smoothness and firmness. Ageing breast skin, including over-stretched breast skin after pregnancy or breastfeeding, also has lower resiliency, strength and firmness.
  • Nipples may seem to point downward after having children; and if so, chances are that the majority of your breast tissues – including your nipples – may fall well below your normal breast crease (inframammary fold).
  • This is when women seek a consultation for Breast Lift procedures, with or without added breast volume to increase the cup size in addition to uplifting the breasts and nipples.
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  • Having children/breast feeding DOES tend to accelerate breast skin sagging and can lead to mild to severe ptosis of the breasts and nipple complex.
  • It can also lead to stretch marks on the breasts.

But even NOT having children can leave women with sagging, deflated-looking breasts due to skin ageing or weight changes occurring over time.

But what if you have breast implants, and sagging breasts? Can you get a breast lift with your implants still in place?

  • Yes, if your breast implants are not causing you any concerns, then you can typically have a breast lift with your implants remaining intact. But to be certain, ask for a consultation and assessment of your existing implants, breast skin and breast operation options.
  • But if it’s time to remove or replace your implants, you may want to explore the combined BREAST LIFT with re-AUGMENTATION (replacement of your implants) OR a breast implant removal AND breast lift without re-augmentation (an implant removal followed by a breast lift).

Ptotic Breasts: Degrees of Breast Sagging

There are several different levels or DEGREES of PTOSIS of breast tissues.

  • Ptosis of the breasts is typically measured according to where the aerola-nipple complex (ANC) rests in relation to the breast crease (your inframammary fold).
  • Breast Ptosis is usually stages from 1 (mild) to 5 (severe).
  • Moderate to severe ptosis is the main reason women seek a breast lift, with or without augmentation or re-augmentation (replacement of existing implants).

At what age do breasts droop – and does having breast implants mean my breasts will sag earlier rather than later?

  • The age at which your breasts droop DOES vary from person to person.
  • Having breast implants USUALLY doesn’t impact skin ageing and breast sagging, unless:
    • you have chosen to have VERY LARGE or HEAVY breast implants
    • you already had thinning, overstretched or drooping breast skin BEFORE you got your implants
    • the size you chose was heavier than your skin could readily tolerate without some sagging
    • you did NOT wear the appropriate support garments/sports bras as instructed
    • you have premature ageing skin or excessive sun damage or yo-yo weight-change cycles
    • you experienced the ‘waterfall’ effect after having implants
    • your breasts became saggy or deflated and droopy after having children or breast-feeding

So what happens when you have your breast implants removed or replaced, but you’re in need of a lift as well?

Having a BREAST LIFT sometime after having Breast Augmentation procedures is not uncommon. In fact, if you got breast implants in the first place, it is highly likely you DO care about how your breasts look – and when they sag, you’re likely to want to do something about the way they look.

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So in today’s blog, we will discuss Breast Lift Surgery after Implant Removal (along with the combined Breast Lift Surgery with a Removal OR Removal and Replacement of your existing Implants).

Recommended reading: For primary augmentation procedures, read the Breast Augmentation Surgery Page and for Armpit incision options, read about the Asian Breast Surgery/Transaxillary/Armpit Insertion Method.


Mastopexy Definitions and Types of Surgeries:

Breast lift surgery on its own or after breast implant removal or replacement is a type of Mastopexy procedure, best performed by highly qualified Plastic Surgeons with extensive plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery expertise.

  • Breast Lift (Mastopexy Surgery) – Definition: when no implants are involved OR when existing breast implants are staying where they are, but breast skin and nipple location is being surgically modified/uplifted to become more central on the breast mound
  • Breast Lift after Breast Implant Removal – Definition: Implant Removal followed by Breast Lift/Mastopexy Surgery WITHOUT adding new implants. May be suitable if breast size and breast tissues are satisfactory without further re-augmentation or enlargement.
  • Breast Lift after Replacement of Breast Implants – Definition: a combined surgery involving the Removal and Replacement of your Breast Implants, along with a Breast Lift/Mastopexy, usually performed in a SINGLE breast surgery session in theatre)

If I have existing implants, can I get a breast lift without replacing or removing them?

  • Yes, not all patients need implants removed or replaced before having a breast lift.
  • You may be a candidate for a breast lift without removal of your implants.
  • However, you may be asked to have an MRI or other scans to help assess the condition of existing implants before your breast lift (Mastopexy).
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Remember, Breast implants don’t last forever. Manufacturers tend to guarantee integrity for 10 years, considered the lifetime warranty of a breast implant.


Not everyone decides to remove or replace their implants after 10 years.

Some patients remove and replace their breast implants sooner, and some leave them in place for longer. But the breast prosthesis manufacturers typically recommend 10 years as a general guideline for their lifetime warranty clauses.

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If you’re not sure it’s time to replace your breast implants, ask for a consultation and assessment to assess your needs and surgery requirements.

Removal of breast implants or replacement of existing breast implants, with or without a breast lift, are surgery considerations for breast augmentation patients who now have sagging breasts they want uplifted.

  • Dr Sackelariou is an expert at breast augmentation, breast lift surgery and removal and replacement procedures.
  • Please contact our office for a confidential assessment to find out your treatment options for breast ptosis to gain more uplifted, shapely breast contours or cleavage.

Combining Implant Removal or Implant Replacement with a Breast Lift: Mastopexy Augmentation and Timing

When it comes time to remove or replace your existing breast implants, it may just be time for a breast lift procedure as well.

  • Patients who have had breast implants inserted may request to have them surgically removed OR removed and replaced at a later stage of life.
  • If you’re now in your 40s or 50s or beyond, and had chosen to have very large breast implants that were a bit too heavy for your ageing skin, OR breastfed children or had a significant change in your weight, it MAY be time to explore a Breast Implant REMOVAL and BREAST LIFT surgery – and/or a BREAST LIFT with BREAST IMPLANT Replacement procedure.
  • These are options that medically fall into the Mastopexy Augmentation procedures.
  • If you are having the implants removed but not replaced, followed by a Breast Lift, this is called a Breast Implant Removal combined with a Mastopexy (Breast Lift).
  • Another alternative is the BREAST LIFT without removing or replacing the breast implants (a MASTOPEXY with existing implants left in place).

What you need will depend on your individual preferences, your skin condition/dermal health, and what degree of breast ptosis you have – along with other breast appearance concerns or preferences.

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A Breast Lift can typically be performed in 4 ways:

  • On individuals with NO prior breast surgery and NO existing implants (a Mastopexy without implants).
  • As a bi-lateral Mastopexy procedure with EXISTING breast implants remaining intact (your breasts/nipples will be elevated but your breast implants will not be removed or exchanged)
  • Combined with a REPLACEMENT or EXCHANGE of your existing implants, depending on your preferences and skin condition. This may give you an opportunity to adjust your implant type, size or projection to change your size as well as breast and nipple position.
  • As part of a breast reduction procedure.

Definitions of Mastopexy-Augmentation – The term “breast lift” means a surgical breast uplift of the breast tissues and nipples, and a Mastopexy-Augmentation means a breast lift WITH breast enlargement using breast implants.


  • Incision options include the Le Jour incision technique (sometimes called the lollipop incision) or an anchor incision technique.
  • The Le Jour technique has less scarring, and there are advanced methods for this procedure as well as the traditional Le Jour method.

Key factors women consider when choosing a Breast Lift WITH existing implants (or replacement implants) versus a BREAST LIFT after REMOVAL of implants.

  • Depending on the age of the patient, and lifestyle and cleavage preferences, MANY patients who are in need of a Breast Lift DO choose to have re-augmentation performed (they keep their existing implants or choose to remove and replace them as well as having a Breast Lift).
  • If a patient is older and now has a higher BMI or more adequate natural breast tissue, they may choose the LIFT on its own without replacement of the implants they are having removed.
  • It really DOES vary from patient to patient, and individual preferences can vary widely. So, too, can results.
  • But in our practice, we find that most women who have sought additional breast volume and more shapely cleavage – reasons they choose to have breast implant surgery in the first place – choose to keep the volume even later in life, when it’s time for a lift after raising children, experiencing changes in weight or skin resiliency, and/or going through menopause.
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Find out more about a breast lift procedure or breast augmentation.


Phone us today for a consultation appointment in our Melbourne or Sydney rooms.

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Sydney

Melbourne

  • 759 Burwood Road, Hawthorn East, Victoria 3123