Breast Augmentation FAQs San Diego

(Frequently Asked Questions)

Dr. Laverson helps you choose breast implant size by how large large your breasts are, by how big you want to be, the shape you prefer, by how loose your breast skin is, and by your breast width. You’ll try different sizes during your consultation to get an idea of how you’ll look with several sizes and/or types of implants.  Most of our patients request added volume and a larger cup size, but they also want beauty and believable proportion.  Some women like an “augmented” shape with rounded fullness of the upper breasts, but most don’t want their breasts to appear too obvious.  The size implant you select is limited by the amount and thickness of extra breast skin you have, by your chest width, and by how large you can go without becoming disproportionately large compared to your other features.  In the end, Dr. Laverson wants the best fit for you.  Only you can decide which look feels most comfortable for you and your lifestyle.   Most women know what they want after trying on several sizes in the mirror.  As long as it is safe and reasonably proportional, Dr. Laverson respects your wishes and uses whatever size you select.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each implant position. Most often, Dr. Laverson puts the implant behind or under the pectoralis major muscle. The resulting breast shape and texture may be more natural with less visible implant related skin rippling.  Mammograms may be easier and the incidence of capsular contracture may be diminshed slightly by sub-muscular implant placement.  However, implants beneath the muscle may be subject to undesirable “animation” with certain activities. Read more about Breast implants over or under the muscle.

There is evidence that breast augmentation may diminish a woman’s capacity to breast feed by an estimated 7-14%.

Loss of breast volume and drooping (ptosis) are common after pregnancy.  The breast gland stops producing and storing milk after pregnancy and nursing.   Size of the glands and ducts are subject to hormonal influence, and breasts become quiescent when prolactin and other stimuli recede.  This is called post-partum breast involution. Volume loss with a small amount of sagging can be corrected with breast augmentation surgery. For an excessive degree of sagging, a mastopexy or ‘breast lift’ may be indicated.

YES, but you may not be able to successfully nurse afterward.  With inverted nipples, milk ducts are too short and tether the nipple beneath the surface of breast skin.  This can be corrected in the office under local anesthesia. The procedure is straightforward, successful, and usually permanent, but eversion and stabilization in the everted position often require injury to primary milk ducts behind the nipple, so subsequent nursing is unlikely.  Incisions are small, heal well, and are located on the underside of the nipple so they are difficult to see.

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YES, The areola can be reduced in size or enlarged.  This may be done as a stand alone procedure under local anesthesia, or may be done in conjunction with breast augmentation, breast reduction or breast lift.

Mechanical failure of mammary implants is possible. The rate of failure is low and should be discussed with your surgeon, including the implant manufacturer’s limited warranty. If saline (salt water filled) implants rupture, this becomes obvious as the implant deflates in a matter of hours or days.  Often, women with a ruptured saline implant presents within days of the event for a new implant to correct her asymmetry after deflation of the device.  If the implant is silicone gel, breasts usually remain stable in size after rupture.  Women with a ruptured gel implant are often unaware of the defect (silent rupture) for months or years, because the cohesive gel remains within the solid silicone envelope.

NO, You do not need to change your implants unless there is a problem. Depending on the manufacturer, implants are warrantied for 5-10 years. If implants deflate during the warranty, the manufacturer will give you an implant and pay towards replacement.

YES.  Nearly everyone has some asymmetry in their breasts. There may be a difference in size, shape, projection of the nipple, amount of drooping, etc. Asymmetries can be improved by lowering a fold, by placing a larger implant on one side, by performing a breast lift on one side, or by performing different amounts of breast lift on both sides, etc. Most of the time there are subtle asymmetries before and after surgery.

NO.  Breast implants do not cause breast or any other cancer.   Studies show that women with implants who get breast cancer have the same life expectancy and cure rates as women without implants who develop breast cancer.  Monthly breast self-examination to know your breasts and to detect any change is important.  Get routine screening mammograms as recommended by your physician, and always follow up to check the result.  Notify your mammographer that you have implants, because a few extra views may be needed to visualize all of your breast tissue around the edges of the device.

In the United States, four manufacturers currently market FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved mammary prostheses.  These are Allergan®Mentor®Sientra®, and Ideal®.    Dr. Laverson uses implants from all four manufacturers, depending on what he believes is best for you based on your size, shape, and texture request, whether or not you want shaped or round implants, whether or not you want silicone gel or salt water implants, and also based on your presenting breast anatomy.  From a quality standpoint, all four manufacturers produce the best implants available,  have unsurpassed standards for design and manufacture, and all have been extensively laboratory tested and have been in safe clinical use for millions of patients for many years.

Breast augmentation is a procedure in which the breasts are made larger with the placement of implants. The surgery may be performed for reconstructive purposes following a mastectomy for breast cancer, or for cosmetic reasons.

The procedure will be performed under general anaesthetic. Depending on the type of implant that has been chosen, your surgeon will make an incision under your breasts, under your arm, or around the nipples. The implant is placed above or below the chest muscles.

After the procedure, the site of incision will be covered with a dressing.  You’ll wake up with a surgical bra for support and comfort during recovery.  You will experience swelling after breast augmentation surgery.   Major swelling subsides in days to weeks, minor swelling takes months to about one year to completely resolve.   Return to fitness and strenuous activity after several weeks, as able.  Listen to your healing body, and rest when it tells you to.  Pain medication and muscle relaxation help.

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