Q. I’m worried about losing nipple sensation after Breast Augmentation.
A. While there is always a small risk of nipples becoming numb or oversensitive after breast surgery, usually any lost sensation is regained within 3 months.
Q. I am considering breast implants but am concerned about Capsular Contracture. What causes this condition and how common is it?
A. Virtually every body will respond to the presence of an implant by forming a capsule of scar tissue around the implant. In most cases the presence of this scar capsule is not detectable and the breasts look and feel very natural. In about 5 percent of patients, however, the capsule contracts around the implant causing the breast to feel hard and in some cases the shape of the breast will be distorted, often requiring additional surgery.
Q. I am considering a breast augmentation but am nervous about deciding on a flattering size and then conveying that decision to my doctor without any miscommunication. Any suggestions?
A. I suggest that my patients come to the office with photographs of the size breasts they wish to have, as well as pictures of breast sizes that they do not want. This helps eliminate all but a certain range of sizes and also give me a good visual idea of what my patient’s goals are for surgery.
Q. I am ready to schedule my breast augmentation, but am nervous about outpatient surgery. Is it safe?
A. It is important that the outpatient facility, including the physician’s office, is accredited to perform the type of surgery you are requesting. Ask for these credentials, including information about the person performing your anesthesia. At the Women’s Center, board certified anesthesiologists are involved with your surgical care.
Q. I am interested in having a breast augmentation before my beach vacation in three weeks. Will this allow for enough recovery time?
A. You may be tired or sore but should be up and around within 24 hours. While recovery time varies from patient to patient and depends largely on pre-surgery health, you should be fine to travel three weeks after surgery.
Q. Do breasts with implants experience sagging over time?
A. All breasts relax as time passes, because the weight stretches the skin, elasticity is lost with age and the amount of breast tissue often decreases as a woman get older. These factors mean that breasts can be expected to sag slightly whether or not there are implants present.
Q. What do you believe is essential for women to understand before undergoing a breast augmentation?
A. That breast implants don’t last forever and require maintenance. Patients need to anticipate the need for revision or replacement surgery about every 15 years due to a rupture. It could be sooner than 15 years or many years later, but at some point, women with implants need to understand that revision surgery will be necessary.
Q. Are there new methods of pain management after breast surgery such as local numbing agents?
A. I inject the surgical area with a long-acting anesthetic. Pain pumps are available, but I do not use them routinely for two reasons. The surgical area is a broad area, and the pump does not deliver pain medication throughout this whole area. Secondly, it introduces a catheter into the surgical area, which is in direct communication to the external environment, which could increase the risk of infection around the implant. Patient safety is always my first concern although pain pumps are an option I rarely have situations where pain control cannot be remedied.