Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for breast implant surgery?

You may be a candidate for breast implant surgery 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
  • Your breasts are asymmetrical or uneven

What is the recovery with the transaxillary breast augmentation technique (the armpit cut) compared to other techniques?

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 often quicker and less painful than other techniques. 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 (gummy bear) implants be placed through the armpit cut?

Yes. Dr. Lo has refined the scarless breast implant technique so that silicone implants can be placed through the armpit cut. Dr. Lo uses a funnel, which allows your implant to be placed easily through the armpit cut without the implant touching the skin (no-touch technique) and avoids any damage to the implant.

You can have any sized silicone implant placed through the armpit cut to get your desired size, from cup size B, C, D, DD, or larger.

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 can wear anything they like, including tank tops and sleeveless dresses, and no one will see the cut or scar.

What if I need to have my implants replaced in the future?

Whether your implants are saline or silicone, they 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 to be larger or smaller. Dr. Lo can also adjust your breast pocket if necessary to accommodate the different implant size.

How long do breast implants last?

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. No one can predict the exact length of time 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 minimal to no charge to have them replaced if the implants leak or rupture within those 10 years.

Are breast implants guaranteed under warranty?

Yes, your saline or silicone breast implants normally have a 10-year warranty for leakage and rupture. If the implants should leak or rupture, the warranty will cover most of the costs of the implant replacement surgery. Dr. Lo will use the same armpit scar to replace your implant. You also have the option of changing sizes to be either smaller or larger and may have the other implant replaced as well (the implant that is not leaking or ruptured).

What are the main risks with breast implants?

Thousands of women safely undergo breast augmentation surgery with breast implants 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 the need for future surgery. Despite the recent controversy, several large studies have shown 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?

A saline breast implant may leak from the shell or fill valve. If the saline breast implant leaks, the saline is not harmful and is absorbed by the body. With any breast implant leakage, the implant 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 (gummy bear implants), leakage is not harmful to patients. These implants are filled with a soft semi-solid silicone that feels like a gummy bear candy or jello, which 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 or breast ultrasound every two to three years to make sure your implant is intact. If there is a leak or problem, 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 scar that you have already. Replacing the implant offers a much easier recovery than the original surgery.

What is capsular contracture?

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

Will I lose feeling in my nipples after surgery?

After breast implant surgery, you should have normal nipple feeling or sensation. However, temporary numbness can occur that usually resolves in a few weeks to three months but may take up to one year. Eventually, almost all women will regain normal feeling with time. Permanent numbness of the nipples is rare but can happen. Hypersensitivity can also occur after the surgery but also 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.

Several large multicenter studies have concluded that women with breast implants are not at a 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 with 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 for you to prepare and raise any questions or concerns you have with Dr. Adrian Lo during your consultation.

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. Dr. Lo does NOT use textured implants and has exclusively used only smooth implants throughout his career.

What is breast implant illness?

Breast implant illness is a new condition that is not entirely understood yet and is being investigated. Some women with breast implants develop symptoms such as anxiety, chronic pain, fatigue, hair loss, depression, and more, and they believe that their breast implants are causing these issues. However, there is no test that can be done to determine a link between breast implants and breast implant illness. At your consultation, Dr. Lo will discuss your individual circumstances and answer any questions you have.