Frequently Asked Questions

Breast Implants Most Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for breast implant surgery?

You are a candidate for breast implant surgery especially through the armpit cut if you have small breasts or feel your breasts are not proportioned to the rest of your body, your breasts have become smaller through pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss, dieting or exercise, asymmetric or uneven breasts

What is the recovery with the transaxillary breast augmentation or the armpit cut?

You may feel that the armpit cut might be more painful or have a longer recovery than other techniques. But the opposite is true. With the armpit cut, because the cut is more superficial and there is no cutting of your breast tissue, the recovery is the same or less painful. Dr. Lo’s technique involves a gentle creation of a pocket to place your implants with minimal muscle cutting. Dr. Lo uses an endoscope to make a precise pocket for your implant to give you as much cleavage as possible and a natural look.

Can silicone implants be placed through the armpit cut?

Yes. Dr. Lo has refined the transaxillary technique so that silicone implants can be placed through the armpit cut. Dr Lo uses a Keller funnel which allows your implant to be placed safely through the armpit cut. You can have any sized silicone implant placed through the armpit cut to get your desired size from B, C, D or DD cup.

Do I need to change what I wear after having my breast implant surgery through the armpit cut?

No, since the armpit cut is well hidden, women will wear anything they like including tank tops and sleeveless dresses and no one will see the cut or scar.

In the future, what if I need to have my implants replaced?

No problem. Your implants whether they are saline or silicone may be replaced or exchanged through the armpit cut. Dr. Lo uses the same scar or cut from before, and can replace your saline or silicone implant with the same size or a different size larger or smaller. He can also make adjustments to your breast pocket if necessary.

How long do breast implants last for?

While breast implants can last for a long time, they should not be considered lifetime devices. Breast implants may last 10, 15, or 20 years or more but sometimes less than 10 years. Nobody can tell you the exact length of time that your breast implants will last, it varies with each patient. However, breast implants are guaranteed for 10 years for leakage or rupture, and there is no charge to have them replaced within 10 years.

Are the breast implants guaranteed?

Yes, your saline or silicone breast implants are guaranteed for leakage and rupture for 10 years. If the implants should leak or rupture, you will receive a dollar amount to cover the costs of the replacement. Dr. Lo will use the same armpit scar to replace your implant. You will also have the option of changing sizes either smaller or larger and may have the other implant replaced as well( the implant that is not leaking or ruptured). The warranty is good in the United States and Canada, but most women come back and have their surgery performed by Dr. Lo.

What are the main risks?

Thousands of women safely undergo breast augmentation surgery and breast implant surgery every year. However, there are limitations and risks to any surgery, including breast implant surgery. These include, but are not limited to, the need to replace the implants in the future and implant deflation. There are other risks including capsular contracture, permanent numbness of the nipples, asymmetry and future surgery. Despite the recent controversy, several large studies have shown that there is no conclusive evidence that women with breast implants are at risk for connective tissue or immune diseases.

What happens if my saline implant leaks or ruptures?

The breast implant may leak from the shell or from the fill valve. If the breast implant leaks, the saline is not harmful and is absorbed by the body. With any breast implant leakage, the implant(s) will need to be replaced. Usually, the same incision can be used( the armpit cut) and the surgery is much less involved and therefore less painful. Recovery is usually much quicker as it is just a matter of removing the deflated implant and replacing it with a new implant. All of Dr. Lo’s patients will be covered under a warranty for implant leakage that is valid across the United States and Canada.

What happens if my Gummy Bear or Silicone implant leaks?

With the new highly cohesive silicone gel implants or Gummy Bear implants, leakage is not harmful to a woman. It is filled with a soft material like the consistency of a gummy bear candy or jello. It is not absorbed by the body and does not move around the body. It will not cause you any harm or symptoms. It is recommended that you have a mammogram every 2-3 years, to make sure your implant is intact. If there is a leak or problem, then your situation will be evaluated by Dr. Adrian Lo and your implant may need to be replaced. This can be done easily through your armpit cut that you have already. Replacing the implant is much easier and less recovery than the original surgery.

What is Capsular Contracture?

The body normally forms a membrane around the breast implant; this is called the breast pocket or capsule. Normally the capsule stays soft and pliable. However, capsular contracture can occur and the capsule becomes thickened and hard. The breast implants will feel firm or hard and may have a different shape than what one had initially. Severe capsular contracture can occasionally be painful. Additional surgery may be required to remove the capsule (scar tissue). This is not covered under warranty and would be an additional cost. If you purchase an upgraded warranty, then additional surgery for capsular contracture may be covered.

Will I lose my nipple feeling after surgery?

Usually, you will not have permanent loss of nipple feeling or sensation. After breast implant surgery, temporary numbness can occur which usually resolves in a few weeks, however, sometimes it can take months or up to 1 year. Eventually, almost all women will regain normal feeling in due course. Permanent numbness of the nipples is rare but can happen. Hypersensitivity can also occur after the surgery but usually resolves with time.

What about screening for breast cancer after breast implant surgery?

There is no evidence to suggest that breast implants increase the risk of breast cancer or hide cancers. Breast self-exams can still be performed and your doctor will still be able to perform breast examinations. It may be more difficult to take and interpret mammograms. This may be a consideration for women with a family history of breast cancer or other individual considerations. An ultrasound or MRI of the breast or breast biopsy may be required if the mammograms are inconclusive.

There have been several large multicenter studies that have concluded that women with breast implants are at no higher risk of developing breast cancers or for detection of breast cancer at a later stage than women without breast implants.

Are there any other risks of breast implant surgery?

There are other risks that may be unique to your situation and will be discussed with you during your consultation. It is important to raise any questions or concerns you have with Dr. Adrian Lo during your consultations.

What is breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)?

BIA-ALCL is a rare and highly treatable type of lymphoma that can develop around breast implants. BIA-ALCL occurs most frequently in patients who have textured breast implants. This is not a true breast cancer but a cancer of the immune system.  When discovered early, BIA-ALCL is usually curable. Rest assured, Dr. Lo does NOT use textured implants and has exclusively used only smooth implants in his patients throughout his career.