What Causes Capsular Contracture?

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There’s no arguing that breast augmentation surgery is one of the most popular and effective procedures in the United States.

For women who have undergone a mastectomy, or those who simply want to restore a more youthful appearance to their breasts, the procedure is a godsend.

What’s more, with the many advances in medical and surgical technology, complications from breast augmentation surgery are rare.

Even so, they do occur. And the most common complication is that of capsular contracture.

What Is Capsular Contracture?

Any time the body is subject to the insertion of a foreign body, it naturally forms a capsule of scar tissue around the implanted object. This is a normal part of the healing process. Whenever the body doesn’t immediately recognize an object, it forms a barrier to isolate the object and protect itself.

In the case of breast implants, fibrous scar tissue forms around the implant. This may sound problematic, but it’s actually a positive thing. The capsule assists in keeping the implant in place so as to avoid any slippage.

For a small handful of patients though, it CAN become problematic. If the body goes into overdrive in its protective measures, the scar tissue may tighten around the implant and then squeeze it. This is known as capsular contracture and it can not only distort the shape of the breast, but it can cause it to rise higher on the chest and even create chronic pain.

Why Does It Happen?

Generally speaking, the reasons that these few patients develop capsular contracture while others do not are not well known. One factor is the way an individual body responds to “invasion.”

Since each body is different and the composition of connective tissue varies from patient to patient, there is no universal response. This is the same reason that one person might develop thick scar tissue after sustaining a deep cut, while another may only experience subtle scarring that eventually fades.

In other words, each person has a unique healing process. Some immune systems respond more poorly to foreign objects than others. Furthermore, if a patient’s immune system is already compromised – such as it might be after receiving radiation therapy – he or she is more likely to experience capsular contracture.

Additional factors such as a ruptured implant, a hematoma, bacteria, or a genetic predisposition for scarring can also increase one’s risk.

What Are the Signs?

If one or both breasts look or feel different after surgery, it could be capsular contracture. Although it’s possible there will be no symptoms at all. At first, at least. This is known as a Grade 1 capsular contracture.

At the Grade 2 level, the breasts have either minor or no noticeable change in shape, but may feel somewhat firm to the touch.  At this point, breast massage can alleviate and begin to reverse any further progress.

If the breasts are firm to the touch and appear overly round or have misshapen nipples, this is a Grade 3 contracture. The breasts also tend to look hard – although the patient may experience little to no pain. A surgeon may recommend ultrasound therapy with targeted massage to help break up the excess scar tissue and release the capsule.

With a Grade 4 capsular contracture, the breasts are hard and very obviously misshapen. Patients experience tenderness, soreness, and pain when their breasts are touched. This highest level of capsular contracture typically requires breast implant revision surgery.

But once again, capsular contracture at any level is not a common occurrence. And a Grade 4 is even more unusual.

Is Breast Augmentation Right for You?

Of course, complications during plastic surgery are now very rare, both because of advances in surgical techniques and stringent sanitizing. In addition, plastic surgeons can more easily predict which patients are likely to experience capsular contracture and recommend alternatives.

So if you’re considering breast augmentation, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll take every single factor into consideration before advising this surgery.

That way, you can assure the best possible results.

 

 

The Not-So-Exotic Brazilian Butt Lift

 

When you hear the term Brazilian butt lift, you might believe that this cosmetic procedure hails from the far reaches of South America. In reality, it was not created in Brazil.

In 1996, an American doctor was performing a televised fat transfer surgery on a Brazilian patient. They entitled the show, “Building the Brazilian Butt,” and the name stuck.

Today, the Brazilian butt lift Is regularly performed to provide patients with a fuller buttock contour while simultaneously removing fat from problem areas. So it’s the ultimate two-fer.

The Brazilian Butt Lift Procedure

What goes into a Brazilian butt lift? It’s fairly straightforward.

First, excess fat is removed with liposuction from areas such as the thighs, abdomen, the area above your buttock, and your lower back. This fat is then processed and prepared for transfer. From there, the plastic surgeon injects that fat into targeted areas of the buttocks where you desire more volume or fuller shape.

This is typically an outpatient procedure that uses general anesthesia or intravenous sedation and local anesthesia.

 

Who Can Benefit from a Brazilian Butt Lift?

Along with the procedure having no direct connection with Brazil, it’s also not a lift in the traditional sense of the word. It doesn’t actually address loose skin on the buttocks. For those with sagging skin, plastic surgeons would likely recommend thigh and buttock lift surgery instead.

Meanwhile, a Brazilian butt lift goes the distance in improving the shape and size of the buttocks in situations where there is not excess skin. Patients who want this procedure prefer fat transfer over implants and need to have adequate fat stores in other areas of the body.

Why Choose Fat Transfer Over Implants?

For patients who are very lean, there may not be enough fat in other parts of the body to harvest. For them, implants are a viable solution. There are added risks with implants though that include capsular contracture and increased risk of infection. Implants also look and feel less natural when compared to the results of a Brazilian butt lift.

By contrast, the injectable fat used in a Brazilian butt lift is harvested from the patient’s body so it’s more readily accepted into the body. Plus, using the patient’s own fat allows the surgeon to provide a smoother and more uniform appearance to the backside.

Another perk of the Brazilian butt lift is that there’s the dual benefit of eliminating unwanted fat from problem areas of the body. So while the buttocks becomes curvier and more rounded, other areas of the body are flattened and contoured. It’s a win-win.

Have Your Buttocks Deflated?

If so, it may be deflating your confidence in your appearance as well. No need for that!

Contact us today to set up a free consultation to discuss the option of a Brazilian butt lift. This proven method of augmentation will help to accentuate your buttocks while providing contour to your lower body as well.

 

How Long Breast Implants

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How Long Breast Implants Last

Are you considering breast implants? If so, you’ll be amazed at how much they can improve your self-image and leave you feeling more confident.

Breast implants are a fantastic investment. Even so, breast implants do have an expiration date.

As such, it’s important to have some idea of how long breast implants last, as well as reasons you might need them replaced before they expire. That way, you can plan appropriately.

How Long Breast Implants Last

While there’s no guaranteed amount of time you can be sure your implant will last, most of today’s implants last a minimum of ten years if there are no complications. Of course, how long yours lasts will depend on a number of factors.

One of the biggest factors is whether you choose silicone or saline implants.

Silicone

Of the two different types, silicone implants are the more resilient. As such, it’s not at all unusual for these to last for decades. In some cases, they may even last for a woman’s lifetime. Again, this depends on several factors.

But one of the drawbacks of silicone is that it’s more difficult to detect ruptures or other damage if they do occur. So while the implants can last a long time, patients need to stay up-to-date on checkups and stay in touch with their board-certified plastic surgeon.

Saline

Meanwhile, saline implants are more prone to shifting and rippling than silicone implants are. So while it’s possible for them to last for decades, it’s likely they will need some sort of maintenance every ten to fifteen years.

They also have a somewhat higher risk of rupturing. But since saline can be absorbed by the body and silicone can’t, a rupture is less serious.

So clearly each type of implant has its pros and cons.

Reasons For Implant Replacement or Removal

These days, complications during plastic surgery are exceedingly rare. Advances in surgical techniques along with an increased understanding of how patients are likely to experience a procedure have contributed to this.

Still, along with the possibility of a rupture, an implant can get displaced, malfunction, or bottom out. Then there’s also the chance for capsular contracture. This is when the capsule of scar tissue that forms around the implant to protect the body becomes unusually hard and starts to contract around it. This is not common though.

Some patients may experience a change in personal taste or lifestyle over time that leaves them wanting to change the type and/or size of the implant.

Finally, on very rare occasions, a patient may experience breast implant-related illness that warrants a removal. Regardless of the situation that prompts breast implant replacement or removal, the plastic surgeon will always consider every factor at play to recommend the appropriate course of action.

Have Questions About Breast Implants?

At the end of the day, your lifestyle, unique body constitution, and the plastic surgeon you choose will determine how long breast implants last.

So if you’re still left with questions about breast implants, feel free to contact us for a free consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. He or she will assess your situation and give you a more educated estimate as to how long your implants should last.

Do You Need Revision Surgery?

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Plastic surgery can be life-changing in so many positive ways. There are occasions though, rare as they may be, where the results of the surgery aren’t… ideal.

In the vast majority of plastic surgery procedures, when you do the research and choose a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform it, the results are exactly what you’d hoped for and anticipated.

But in unusual cases where the surgery results in unaddressed issues or more problems rather than fewer, you will need to look into revision surgery.

There Are Multiple Forms of Revision Surgery

Revision surgery is any procedure that is performed to correct negative issues that resulted from a previous surgery. And to be clear, it is not unique to plastic surgery. It’s performed across the spectrum of surgical specialities.

That’s why it’s essential to vet any surgeon that will be operating on you. Just because a plastic surgeon has a degree doesn’t mean he or she is uniquely qualified to perform the procedure you require. And if you end up with a botched up job, you could end up struggling with excessive scarring, aesthetic problems, or even functional issues.

While there are any number of revision surgeries, the following are among the most common in plastic surgery:

  1. Facial Procedures

Rhinoplasty, also known as a nose job, requires precision to deliver exact results. If the nostrils end up too narrow or wide or the tip of the nose is droopy after surgery, it’s impossible to hide. So this is among the most common revision procedures for plastic surgery.

In addition, rhinoplasty may be performed for functional issues such as improving breathing and reducing snoring. If the initial surgery fails to address these, a revision surgery would be a definite consideration.

It would also be suggested for patients who are dissatisfied with continued jowls or changes to appearance after a facelift; or for those who are uncomfortable with the look, feel, or size of facial implants.

 

  1. Breast Procedures

When patients come in for either a breast lift, breast augmentation, or breast reduction, they are seeking breasts that are symmetrical and have a natural look and feel. This is also true for patients who have undergone reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. If a surgeon is unable to deliver these results, a revision surgery is needed.

In addition, revision surgery is required if there is capsular contracture, or the breast implant has deflated, eroded, or is simply malpositioned.

  1. Tummy Tuck

Surgical revision after a tummy tuck, a.k.a. abdominoplasty, is not as common. And in many cases, it’s not technically revision surgery if the patient’s dissatisfaction is the result of gaining or losing weight or getting pregnant after the surgery.

There are rare incidents though where a raised scar, abnormal belly button, or continued excess skin are cause for revision surgery.

No matter what the cause for potential revision surgery, it is not a decision to be made without weighing all your options.

Revision Surgery Is Not a Quick Go-To

Keep in mind that recovery from any surgery takes time. You don’t want to be too quick to assume that something terrible is happening during the healing process. You’ll need to be patient. Swelling subsides, scars fade, and the body eventually adjusts to its new situation. Depending on a wide array of factors, could take up to a year.

In addition, you’ll be faced with the additional cost of the surgery, as well as the recovery time required after the procedure. In other words, it’s not a quick solution. So unless you’re deeply dissatisfied or the surgeon has made an egregious error, it should only be considered after a great deal of thought.

Are You Dissatisfied With a Plastic Surgical Procedure?

If you’re not happy with the outcome of a plastic surgery procedure and would like to explore the option of revision surgery, contact us today for a free consultation.

You’ll be able to sit down with our doctors and discuss all of your options.

Then it’s determined that revision is right for you, you can rest easy in knowing that our board-certified plastic surgeons skilled in the revision process will give you the results you desired – and deserved – the first time around.

Maintaining Plastic Surgery Post-Op Results

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Plastic surgery is just like any other surgery.

So just as you wouldn’t (we hope!) do nothing but sit on your couch and eat salty potato chips after heart surgery, there are effective ways of maintaining plastic surgery post-op results too.

Although some of them may require a small amount of medical intervention, but most of them are pretty straightforward lifestyle choices.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices Make a Big Difference

To maintain plastic surgery results more effectively, you’ll need to take a look at the choices you make from day to day. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are You Eating a Healthy Diet?

Large shifts in weight gain and loss can ruin the elastin and collagen of the skin, so it’s important you’re eating well.

Avoid foods that are high in sugar, dairy, and refined grains – especially right after your surgery. They can increase inflammation, swelling, and pain.

Then once you’ve recovered from your surgery, you’ll want to continue focusing on healthy eating. This is especially key after any body shaping procedure. For example, maintaining low visceral fat after a tummy tuck is crucial.

Whatever the case, stick with lean protein. Healing incisions and all postoperative wounds require 1gm of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. After the healing process, 1/2gm per kilogram bodyweight is appropriate to maintain healthy muscle mass and a strong immune system.

Also, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to keep that post-surgical shape. A nutritionist may be worth the money to protect your plastic surgery investment.

  1. How Often Do You Exercise?

Obviously you don’t want to crank out an hour on the elliptical immediately following surgery. But once you get the okay from your surgeon, you’ll want to either return to or start a regular exercise regimen three to four times per week.

You may want to work with a personal trainer who is familiar with your situation and is aware of the most effective exercises. For instance, someone who understands what would be the best core exercise after abdominoplasty to help keep the abdomen flat after diastasis repair.

He or she can also help you to find the perfect balance between cardio and strength training to keep you feeling more energized rather than burnt out.

  1. What Do You Do to Protect Your Skin?

No matter your procedure, it’s important to take care of your skin. So keep your exposure to the sun at a minimum by using sunblock (an SPF of at least 50 – even in the winter) and wearing the appropriate clothing to protect against harmful UV rays.

In addition, use moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid moisturizers after any face procedures. ALLASTIN Trihex Technology is a solid recommendation.

  1. Do You Smoke?

No matter how much you may love smoking tobacco, the negative effects on the body and skin can’t be denied. It can actually slow your body’s healing process as well.

So whatever plastic surgery procedure you’ve chosen, be sure to avoid tobacco while you recover in order to heal properly. Then after that, make the effort to quit altogether. Not smoking will ensure your plastic surgery results will last even longer.

  1. How Much Water Do You Drink?

Post-plastic surgery care includes adequate hydration. As water is essential to replenish fluids lost during surgery, you’ll want to drink plenty of it. And then make it a regular part of your life to keep your body operating at its optimal capacity.

  1. Do You Get Enough Sleep? 

Yeah, we know. Getting enough sleep is a tough one. But given its tremendous healing powers, it’s crucial you’re making the effort to get the right amount each night.

Maintaining Plastic Surgery Post-Op Results Medically

While diet, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices are key in maintaining your post surgical results, it’s impossible to stop the aging process or to rewire your genetics. So you may want to consider nonsurgical touch-up procedures to help enhance and extend your results.

For example, touch up liposuction after a tummy tuck can further improve the thick abdominal flap. Fillers, laser, PRP, and fat can be used to support the 3D improvement after a face lift. Your surgeon may even recommend botox to weaken forehead muscles after a brow lift.

Another factor to consider post surgery is capsular contracture. So in the case of breast augmentation, you’ll want to use prophylactic antibiotics with all dental cleanings and procedures and remain hyper vigilant of all possible infections that may also instigate a capsular contracture.

Your board-certified plastic surgeon will supply you with a comprehensive packet of post-operative instructions. Following these will ensure the healthiest recovery. And don’t hesitate to ask him or her specific questions about your recovery process.

Are You Considering Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery is sound investment. Especially when you go the distance in maintaining plastic surgery post-op results.

So if you’re considering improving your life with a plastic surgery procedure, then contact us today. We’ll be happy to sit down with you to discuss all of your many options.

When to Replace Breast Implants

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Okay. We’ll admit it. We drew you in with the title. In reality, there is almost no need to replace breast implants.

With advanced techniques and improved manufacturing practices, the vast majority of today’s implants stand up to the test of time.

That said, with a rupture rate of .5% per year for silicone and 1% for silicone, there are rare occasions when a breast implant may need replacement.

Why Would a Breast Implant Rupture?

Implant rupture can happen for any number of reasons including trauma from an accident, needle insertion during a biopsy, or even just the normal aging of the implant – although this last reason is far more common in implants sold before 2006.

There are distinct differences between a saline and a silicone rupture though.

Saline

When a saline implant ruptures or its valve fails, the saline typically leaks out over the course of a few days. As the body absorbs the saline, the breast looks increasingly deflated.

As such, it’s fairly simple to detect a saline rupture during a physical exam.

With silicone, things get a little more complicated.

Silicone

Because silicone is thicker than saline, when there’s a rupture, it happens more slowly. Furthermore, silicone gel is not absorbed by the body.

As we mentioned above, improved manufacturing practices have decreased the possibility of rupture. Modern silicone implants have thicker shells and more cohesive gel fillers than their predecessors. In the rare event that one ruptures, it often gets a tear in the shell which can compromise the appearance and shape of the implant and the breast. The patient may also experience pain, firmness, and swelling.

Other patients with a rupture, however, have no noticeable symptoms. This is known as a “silent rupture” and is not detectable through a simple physical examination. So the best way to ensure there is no silicone implant rupture is through an MRI, ultrasound, or, in some cases, a mammogram.

Then There’s Capsular Contracture

Another big reason for replacing breast implants is capsular contracture which may or may not be the result of a rupture.

It’s a normal and natural part of the healing process for the body to form a capsule of fibrous scar tissue around any implanted device. The capsule not only creates a protective barrier, but it also assists in keeping the implant in place so as to avoid slippage.

But when the body goes into overdrive to protect itself from the “foreign” body – in this case, the breast implant – the scar tissue tightens around the implant and then constricts it. This is known as capsular contracture. It can cause a misshapen breast and become painful.

The reasons that a tiny percentage of patients develop this condition is not entirely clear.

There are different grades of capsular contracture and the lower grades are often treated with breast massage and ultrasound therapy. Breast implant replacement or revision is only required for the most severe cases. And these are very rare.

Are You Concerned About Your Breast Implants?

Because the need to replace breast implants is so minimal, it’s likely that you don’t need replacements.

However, if you’re experiencing any change in size, shape, or cohesiveness with your breasts after receiving implants, it’s important you acknowledge these.

Don’t hesitate to contact us. We can answer any questions, address concerns, and put an action plan into place if need be.

The Details on Removing and Replacing Breast Implants

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The majority of women who opt for breast augmentation are pleased with the changes they experience.

They feel good about themselves, their clothes fit better, and they have increased confidence.

Even so, there are times when removing and replacing breast implants may be recommended or even needed.

We’ll take a look at the reasons for breast removal and replacement, as well as what goes into the actual procedure.

 

Reasons for Removing and Replacing Breast Implants

As we said above, most women find that breast augmentation goes the distance in improving their lives.

There are times though where a woman may decide that she’s not satisfied with having implants and may just want them removed.

In other situations, women feel the implant size isn’t right – whether it be too large or too small. Or perhaps they want to switch from saline to silicone for a more realistic feel.

On occasion, breast augmentation complications can arise from the shape, size, texture, or positioning of the original implants.

And sometimes the problem is with the implant itself though. These include malposition, capsular contracture, implant leaking, implant rupture, or rippling of the implant.

In all of these cases, patients would opt for removal and replacement.

 

The Removal and Replacement Procedure

In order to get to the root of the problem, a board-certified surgeon schedules a consultation with the patient to perform a breast implant revision examination.

He or she then helps the patient determine which type of breast implants will be best. There are many factors that patients should consider when choosing breast implants.

 

  1. The Type of Implant

Patients who are unhappy with the results of their breast augmentation surgery may choose a different type of implant to garner better results.

The surgeon will discuss the benefits and risks of each type with the patient.

 

  1. The Texture of the Implant

Breast implants are available with smooth surfaces, round shape, or anatomic.

Smooth implants move more freely and are often used to replace textured implants that have rippled.

 

  1. The Size of the Implant

It’s not unusual for patients to choose an implant that’s too large then experience the complications that come from too large a breast implant such as over-stretching of the capsule, breast ligaments, and skin envelope.

The surgeon will recommend a size that will most complement your body shape and size to create a proportionate figure.

 

  1. The Cohesiveness of the Implant

There is a range of gel cohesiveness- or thickness and stickiness. Patients with capsular contracture may benefit from replacing with a higher cohesive gel.

 

Incision Options

The surgical procedure for replacing breast implants is essentially the same as the initial breast augmentation surgery.

The patient likely had one of the two common types of types of incisions for breast augmentation: periareolar and inframammary. There may also be a need to tighten the capsule and/or perform a simultaneous lift procedure.

 

Periareolar

This incision is made along the inferior border of the areola. The surgeon then inserts the implant in the breast pocket. This method offers excellent scar quality which is difficult to see after it heals at the junction between the pigmented areola and breast.

There is little risk of losing nipple sensation because the nerve to the nipple does not come through the skin. Instead, it travels along the ribcage and through the gland to the nipple. Breastfeeding should not be interrupted with any incision choice.

 

Inframammary

With this incision, the cut is made along the inframammary fold – which is the crease of skin underneath the breast. There is very little risk of losing nipple sensation with an inframammary incision.

In the case of both of these incision types, the surgeon will typically reuse the incision to remove and replace the implant.

 

Recovery after Removing and Replacing Breast Implants

To ensure no complications arise, patients are typically seen by the surgeon the day after the surgery.

Rest will be needed for 2-3 days following surgery. Then be prepared to take 3-5 days off from work and avoid any strenuous activity for 2-4 weeks.

 

Are You a Candidate for Breast Implant Removal and Replacement?

If you’re experiencing problems or just feel dissatisfied with your implants, contact us today.

It’s time to set up a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss your options for removing and replacing breast implants.

We’ll help you find comfort and restore your confidence.

Breast Implant Placement Options

Breast Implant Placement Options

Your breast implant placement will directly affect the final aesthetic results of your breast augmentation procedure. The board-certified breast surgeons at Star Plastic Surgery have found that submuscular placement is ideal for most of our patients. We understand that there is not a single solution for every body type, however, and will work closely with you to help you find the breast implant placement option that is most ideal for your needs.

Subglandular Breast Implant Placement

Subglandular placement means that the breast implants are placed just below your breast tissue, above the muscles in your chest. The primary advantage of this placement option is a shorter surgery. The disadvantages of subglandular placement include:

  • Less aesthetically pleasing
  • A more obviously enhanced appearance
  • Not suitable for women with small breasts or low amounts of breast tissue
  • May impede flow of breast milk
  • May interfere with mammograms

Submuscular Breast Implant Placement

Submuscular breast implants are placed below the muscles in your chest. Some surgeons choose to place implants under one or two layers of muscle, but at Star Plastic Surgery, we have found placing the breast implant under three layers provides the best results. Deeper placement greatly reduces complications like capsular contracture, mammogram interference, and will not interfere with breastfeeding.

Additionally, this placement hides the breast implant under the muscles in your chest, reducing any evidence of breast augmentation, and providing you with a natural, aesthetically superior result.

The primary drawback to submuscular implant placement is a more involved surgical procedure. However, we have found that the benefits of this placement option far outweigh the slight inconvenience of additional surgical time.

At Star Plastic Surgery, we offer the Star Plastic Surgery Advantage. All of our breast augmentation surgeons are board-certified, use only proven surgical techniques, and are entirely devoted to the satisfaction of our patients. Our breast augmentation procedures are performed in accredited hospitals with highly trained staff, and our doctors are involved in your procedure from your initial consultation to your full recovery.

If you are considering breast augmentation contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss the right breast implant placement for you with our experienced plastic surgeons.

Breast Implant Removal & Replacement

Breast Implant Removal & Replacement

There are a variety of reasons for removing and replacing breast implants, including switching from saline to silicone implants for a more realistic feel, replacing a ruptured implant, re-sizing the implants, relocating implants, or changes in weight that make the implant unnecessary. Our board certified surgeons will work to correct these issues to provide beautiful, natural-looking results.

Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation

Your breast augmentation will result in a worry-free, natural, youthful look that should last a lifetime. If you find your breasts are not ideally shaped and sized to meet your frame, you may experience discomfort in a variety of professional and intimate situations. A breast augmentation can help you to feel more comfortable in your skin and help clothing to fit better, so you can wear the styles you want for a happier, more confident you!

When you come to Star Plastic Surgery, our board certified breast surgeons take the time necessary to fully assess your entire body. In this way, we can ensure your breast augmentation procedure produces a stunningly beautiful, natural look that complements your body’s silhouette.

 

Real Star Plastic Surgery Results
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Breast Augmentation FAQ