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Removal versus Downsizing Breast Implants: When Bigger Isn't Best!

Removal versus Downsizing Breast Implants: When Bigger Isn't Best!

Your back hurts, you don’t feel right, your clothes don't fit or look right, and you feel more uncomfortable than before having surgery. When having breast implants just doesn’t feel right, the big question is: Should you downsize your breast implants or remove them completely? It's not an easy decision, but as with any cosmetic procedure, you want to go into it with realistic expectations about results and recovery.

Should You Remove or Downsize Your Breast Implants?

Perhaps they feel too heavy, look disproportionate, or you are self-reporting symptoms possibly due to breast implants which no longer fit your lifestyle? Regardless of your reasons, removing them completely or replacing them with smaller breast implants could help you feel more comfortable and confident again.

Reasons to Remove Breast Implants

Breast augmentation reversal is an option for women experiencing the following:

  • Discomfort from too-big or too-small implants

  • Malposition or rotation

  • Capsular contracture

  • Rupture or leakage

  • Infection

  • Breast implant illness (BII)

  • Implants older than 10 to 15 years

  • Desiring a more natural-looking enhancement

  • Growing tired of reminding people that "My eyes are up here."

For many women, smaller or complete removal of breast implants improve self-image and quality of life. Natural breasts allow you to lead a more active lifestyle and pursue hobbies that may be difficult for you to master with larger breasts. Moreover, since implants are not lifetime devices and require replacement every 10 to 15 years. Going all natural with breast implant removal eliminates the cost of future surgeries for most patients.

Reasons to Downsize Breast Implants

Replacing larger breast implants with smaller ones is a gradual way to transition to a more natural look and feel. With smaller implants, health risks go down while comfort levels go up. Movement and exercise become easier, and clothes may fit better. Smaller implants may also relieve back, neck, and shoulder pain from the heavier weights of larger implants.

Further reading: Signs You Need Breast Revision Surgery

Whether you choose to remove or downsize your breast implants, what's important is that you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin. Contact Guerra Plastic Surgery Center now to discuss your ideal breast shape and size. Our surgeons want to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

The Process of Breast Implant Removal in Scottsdale, AZ

Here's what you need to know about the removal or replacement process before going under the knife again.


First, you'll meet with our Board-Certified Scottsdale plastic surgeon to discuss your options and expectations. Be open and honest about why you want to remove or replace your current implants. Your surgeon will examine your breasts and implants to determine the best procedure for you. If downsizing, you'll try on different implant sizes to choose a smaller volume that suits you.


Breast implant removal typically takes about 2 to 3 hours under general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make an incision possibly in the same scar from your original augmentation or previous breast lift incisions. They will remove the implants and any scar tissue surrounding the device. Most recent studies demonstrate no significant health benefits to complete capsule removal and aggressive capsule removal typically leads to breast shape deformity which may need additional expensive surgery to correct. We do not employ drains for our removals.


Most women take 1 to 2 weeks off work to recover. Expect swelling, bruising, and discomfort for a few weeks. During this time, your surgeon will prescribe pain medication and recommend limiting physical activity as you heal.

While removing or downsizing breast implants may seem like a step back, for many women, it leads to greater self-confidence, a healthier lifestyle, and body satisfaction. By understanding the process above, you can undergo surgery with realistic expectations about results and recovery.

How to Choose Between Breast Implant Removal and Breast Implant Revision

Consider the following when deciding between removing or downsizing your implants:

Your Health and Well-being

The most important consideration is your physical and mental health. If you believe your breast implants are causing health issues like brain fog, anxiety, chronic pain and low self-esteem, implant removal surgery may be the better option. Your peace of mind and comfort should be top priorities.

Your Lifestyle

Think about how your implants impact your daily life and routines. Do they complicate pursuing sports or active recreation and play? Are you consistently wearing oversized clothes to hide your body? Does it bother you when bystanders stare inappropriately? Would downsizing or removing your implants make you feel less self-conscious and more confident in your body? Answer these questions honestly. Your lifestyle and personal needs should influence your decision.

Your Aesthetic Goals

Consider your body goals and whether your current implant size and shape align with how you want to look and feel. If you still desire a larger overall breast size, but think your current implants look too fake or disproportionate to your frame, replacing them with smaller implants can help you achieve a more natural result.

Your Budget

The expenses associated with removal or replacement procedures should also weigh into your decision making. In the long-term, breast implant removal is less costly since it does not require replacing breast implants in the future. Meanwhile, breast implant revision includes additional costs for the new saline or silicone implants and lengthier procedure. Evaluate what makes the most sense based on your needs and overall budget.

Remove, Replace, and Correct Implant-Related Skin Laxity Now

Don't feel pressured to keep implants that fuel feelings of unhappiness or self-consciousness. If the implants from your previous breast augmentation are overly large, either implant removal or downsizing via revision surgery can help you become your most authentic, confident self. Furthermore, since the skin around your breasts may become thinner and saggy after these procedures, consider a breast lift in Phoenix, Arizona. Our board certified plastic surgeons employ the most uptodate technologies available to control breast implant positioning which includes the use of surgical mesh and scaffolds to support the breast tissue. Revision breast surgery can improve breast shape and volume distribution, restoring youthful contours and creating a perkier appearance.

Our board-certified plastic surgeons here at Guerra Plastic Surgery Center have helped countless women by removing and/or replacing implants from previous breast surgery, as well as lifting the breasts to address any sagging. If you're ready to look and feel your most confident, contact us now to schedule your consultation.


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