Will I Need A Breast Lift If I Downsize My Breast Implants?

Q: I have breast implants originally placed in 2002. I got pregnant shortly afterwards and once I delivered my breasts changed afterwards and I developed some drooping. So I went back and had new implants placed in 2007 that were bigger and helped to fill out some loose and droopy skin. After having these implants for a while, I have decided that I want to go back to my original augmentation size. But I fear in doing so that I will get saggy breasts again. What do you recommend?

A: Going up in breast implant size is always easy because loose skin is expanded and filled out. While breast implants alone are often not the sole solution to a really saggy breast, they do help tremendously and are very forgiving of less than ideal breast skin.

Going down in breast implant size, however, is not so forgiving. Even the smallest amount of loose or droopy breast skin will get much worse as the ‘balloon deflates’ so to speak. As a result, some form of breast lift is often needed in many breast implant downsizings. What makes this aesthetically difficult is that this will involve creating breast scars which is another form of a cosmetic breast deformity.

If the nipple is fairly centered on the breast mound, a smaller implant replacement may not involve any type of lift or only a very small one such as a nipple or circumareolar type lift. If the nipple is off-center  or points any amount downward, then a more significant lift with breast skin scars may be necessary when the breast implants are down-sized.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana