Summary: Reducing breast size after implants have gone in has become more and more common. Additionally, breast augmentations that start off with smaller implants are now more popular than ever. What’s causing this push towards smaller breast size? Why is the reduction of breast implants a booming trend?

Reducing Breast Size After Implants Have Settled

More and more women are reducing breast size after implants have been put in. This seems contradictory. If you have a breast augmentation performed, don’t you want larger breasts? Isn’t that the basic purpose of the procedure? Well, yes, but tastes can change over time. Furthermore, bodies can also change over time.

In most cases, this “breast explant” procedure has become popular with women who have had their breast implants in place for quite some time. In other words, it’s not that women are getting breast augmentation on Tuesday and having the implants removed on Wednesday. There usually seems to be a significant number of years between procedures.

The procedure itself is often referred to as a “breast implant revision” procedure—and that’s because a smaller implant is often put in place of a larger one. Though, not always. Sometimes implants are replaced with ones that are a similar size. Much will depend on the preference of the patient.

Why Are Smaller Implants Getting More Popular?

The popular conception of a breast augmentation is a procedure designed to generate larger breasts for the patient. And while that’s true, that’s really only part of the story. Breast augmentation procedures can be used to:

  • Add symmetry to the breasts
  • Add youthfulness to the breasts
  • Change the shape of the breasts
  • Change the “feel” or texture of the breasts
  • Repair damage caused by trauma to the breasts

Of course, it’s true that the overwhelming majority of people who want a breast augmentation are interested in one because they do indeed want larger breasts. But the point that I’m trying to make is that they might want those larger breasts for any number of reasons.

And because the motivations are plentiful and varied, so too are the reason patients might want to switch to smaller implants down the road (to say nothing of opting for smaller implants in the first place).

Changing Size for Changing Lifestyle

Ultimately, what some of the desire to change breast implants comes down to is a change in aesthetics and a change in lifestyle. There are a couple of major reasons why “smaller” implants are in these days:

  • Modern implants look and feel more natural than they used to, meaning small, subtle changes are possible
  • Larger implants can, after a period of time, cause the development of excess skin along with neck and back pain due to implant weight (the same thing that happens with natural overly large breasts)
  • Patients are often looking to achieve a proportional final look. Sometimes, smaller implants are a better fit for the proportions of the patient.

It’s also true that the aesthetics of the modern day are changing somewhat. Many surgeon, such as Dr. Tenley Lawton, MD—a breast surgeon in Newport Beach, CA—openly discuss making the final product look natural and graceful. Today’s patients tend to favor an aesthetic of balance and sophistication rather than one that emphasizes size above all else.

That said, it’s always up to the patient to decide what will look “good” on her. It’s not unheard of for patients to undergo a breast augmentation revision procedure because they feel their implants are not big enough.

How Does a Breast Implant Revision Work?

Practically, in terms of what the patient experiences, there’s little difference between a breast augmentation and a breast implant revision procedure. They both use similar incisions and they both have similar recovery periods (the exception, of course, occurs if you’re removing implants due to complications).

In most cases, the old implants can be taken out and the new implants put in during the same procedure. Some excess skin may have to be removed by the surgeon, depending on the nature of your precise situation. For example, if you move from larger implant to smaller implant your body will likely have a little bit of excess skin. Surgeons may even perform a breast lift simultaneous with the implant revision in order to achieve the best possible results.

When Can I Get a Breast Implant Revision?

Ultimately, most breast implant revision patients simply want to feel more like themselves. For most people, that ideal—that “real self”—changes over the years. That’s because your personality grows and changes, so how that personality is reflected in your body image changes too.

Reducing breast size after implants have gone in is not terribly uncommon in that respect. Sometimes, when they get older (I use that term in an absolute sense—just older than they were when they got the procedure) they want smaller, more modest implants. Or no implants at all.

If you want to know about reducing your breast size after implants have gone in, talk to our surgeon. That’s always the best next place to take your conversation.

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