When it comes to breast enhancement surgery, Dr. Ethan Larson is in a league of his own. Highly relatable – and with exceptional technical and artistic prowess – he is one of the finest at breast augmentation in Tucson.
Breast augmentation surgery is essentially the enlargement of the breasts by surgical means. This can be for a congenital deformity such as in tuberous breast or amastia, or can be undertaken for cosmetic reasons, to help a patient’s outward appearance better match their inner beauty and self-image. Augmentation can also be necessary as a means of breast reconstruction after trauma or mastectomy. Typically breast augmentation is done with silicone or saline implants, placed under or over the chest (pectoralis) muscle. Breast augmentation can also be performed via fat grafting procedures combined with liposuction.
Dr. Larson believes in a truly customized approach to breast surgery. Despite having helped countless Tucson women sculpt their ideal bodies, he views every single client with fresh eyes. He will tailor a solution that you’re comfortable with – and that can deliver the precise transformation you desire. This attention to detail has made him one of the top providers of breast augmentation Tucson has to offer.
It is impossible to give you a quote without being able to examine you and discuss your goals. Price range is typically between $4,000-8,000 depending on the amount of work that needs to be done, if a lift is necessary and the type of implants required. Revision augmentation is almost always more expensive and may require additional expensive materials.
Throughout your experience with our office, Dr. Larson will personally guide you through customizing your breast augmentation procedure. In preparation for your appointment, here is some pertinent information about your options:
Currently, women can choose between three different types of breast implants: silicone, saline and gummy bear.
Silicone breast implants were reintroduced to the U.S. market in 2006 after extensive testing proved their safety profile.
Today, they are approved by the FDA as a very safe option for breast augmentation patients. Implants that are composed of silicone tend to look and feel like natural breast tissue and are associated with a very organic outcome. However, they also require a larger incision because they are placed pre-filled.
Saline breast implants are composed of a saltwater solution. They are placed in the chest empty and then filled to the desired size.
There are two main benefits of saline implants. The first is that they are capable of producing a very round and voluptuous chest. The second is that they are more affordable than the other options. However, they do ripple more often than silicone and gummy bear implants, which can be problematic for thin women.
Gummy bear breast implants are composed of highly cohesive silicone gel. They are available in round and teardrop shapes – which mimics the gentle slope of a natural breast.
They are extremely popular among our Tucson breast augmentation patients because they aren’t very likely to wrinkle, rupture or leak. Although there is a risk that they will become displaced in the chest, this can be avoided by selecting an implant that is appropriately sized for your frame.
Typically recovery takes a week or two. Incisions are sealed with surgical glue and you can shower the day after surgery. Sub-muscular placement is typically more painful initially than sub-glandular. This can be alleviated with our Painless Perfection approach. In each patient, I use a long-acting local anesthetic and meticulous technique to make your experience as painless as possible. If desired, for an additional fee, 2 weeks before your surgery, the pectoralis muscle can be treated with botulinum toxin (BoTox) to help weaken it and make your recovery that much easier. Scars do not reach full strength for six weeks and should be supported at all times while upright during that time. No swimming or spa for 5 weeks after the operation.
In addition to the implant material, you will also need to choose the size, shape, texture and profile of your new breasts. These selections are incredibly important because they determine how your breasts look and feel on your body after surgery.
For example, a “full C cup” on a slight frame will look vastly different than the same size on a taller, broader woman. Additionally, your implants must be sized so that they fit your lifestyle and the types of clothes and swimwear you want to wear.
All of these factors must be carefully considered when choosing your breast implants. Dr. Larson will walk you through the entire process to ensure that you make selections that will make you happy long-term.
Once you’ve selected the implants for your breast augmentation procedure, you will need to decide whether to place them above or beneath the pectoral muscle.
Breast implants that are located above the muscle are associated with a shorter and more comfortable recovery period. In addition, this option produces substantial cleavage and tends to be ideal for athletic women because it leaves the muscles unaffected.
Women with naturally small chests tend to achieve the best breast augmentation outcomes when the implant is placed under the muscle. With this approach, any ripples or edges are well-hidden, and the aesthetic is quite natural. This placement is also associated with a diminished risk of capsular contracture.
Board Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is essentially a guarantee that your surgeon has complete and thorough training in all aspects of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Diplomates of the board have demonstrated that they are safe surgeons with the requisite knowledge and skill to safely perform a wide variety of plastic surgery, from head to toe, including cosmetic surgery. They have taken and passed a rigorous quality assurance and testing program. Beware of other surgeons claiming certification by “aesthetic” boards or claiming “board certification” without stating what board they are certified by. Chances are, these surgeons have been held to a much lower training, testing and quality assurance standard, and may not even be fully trained surgeons at all. Look for certification by The American Board of Plastic Surgery to ensure that your surgeon is fully competent and capable to safely and elegantly perform your desired surgery. You should always ask, specifically, why your surgeon is qualified to offer the surgery you want and exactly what their board certification credentials are.
Saline implants are silicone shells filled with salt water to match the composition of the salt in the body. They tend to be less expensive than silicone implants but objectively tend to feel less “breast like.” When a saline implant ruptures, the salt water is naturally absorbed by the body and the breast deflates. This happens over weeks or months. Saline implants can be more prone to visible rippling, especially when placed above the pec muscle. They are slightly more versatile in terms of approach however as they can be implanted through the armpit or even the belly button.
Silicone implants are a bit more expensive than saline. There have been a lot of concerns regarding their safety. They are now one of the most studied medical devices in the history of humanity. They have been found to be very safe. Silicone tends to feel more “breast like” when implanted above or below the muscle. There is less chance of visible rippling, however this is still possible. When a silicone implant ruptures, it can cause problems such as hardening of the breast or silicone lumps around the breast or in the armpits (silicone granulomas) but this is a very rare complication as current generation silicone implants are now cohesive (the gel is much less likely to bleed out of the capsule, even when the implant is ruptured.)
Both silicone and saline breast implants come in shaped and round conformations. The round implants, are, well, round. The shaped implants have more of a tear-drop type look. A google search will quickly show you many pictures of each. Shaped implants tend to be firmer overall than the round ones. They may need to be implanted with drains to minimize the risk of rotation. Still, shaped implants can mal-rotate (about a 5% risk) and that will most likely require extra surgery to correct.
I typically use round implants for augmentation as there is less risk of malrotation and typically a great result. I reserve shaped implants for special cases or for patient preference. A recent study of expert surgeons even found that they had a hard time determining if patients had been augmented with shaped or round implants, so they must be fairly similar! I also use shaped implants more for breast reconstruction or for very small breasted women, where the shape of the implant has much more power over the final shape of the breast.
Smooth implants have a smooth silicone shell. They tend to glide a bit better and are easier to implant through a smaller incision. Textured implants have a textured shell. Different manufacturers achieve this texture through different means (lost salt, sponge impression). This is often to prevent rotation so all shaped implants are textured. Textured implants have also been suggested to reduce the risk of breast capsular contracture. Still, there is a theoretical increased risk of bio-film (bacteria) forming in the nooks and crannies on a textured implant. In my opinion, the jury is sill out on this issue and I typically use smooth implants do to the theoretical increased risk of problems.
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma. This is a very rare form of inflammation/cancer that can develop around a breast implant. This appears to be associated only with textured implants but the final word on that is pending. This is to be suspected when an implanted breast develops recurrent swelling, or seroma. It is treated with removal of the implant and the surrounding capsule.
Choosing a plane depends a lot on the look you are going for and what you have in terms of existing breast tissue. Above the muscle, or sub-glandular/ subcutaneous, tends to give more of an “augmented” look. Under the muscle, or sub-muscular, tends to give a more natural look. There is also some prevention of capsular contracture and infection in the sub-muscular plane. Under the muscle placement tends to create a more sloped upper breast contour and a more “natural” look.
Above the muscle placement is possible if there is a good amount of existing breast tissue already. I will have to take a look in order to tell you if you qualify for this plane. It tends to be less painful. It also avoids animation deformity.
Under the muscle placement is ideal to minimize long term complications and provide a more natural look. This plane can lead to animation deformity however. This is also typically a more uncomfortable plane immediately after surgery as the muscle has to be lifted up and needs time to heal. Lifting up the muscle can cause a slight reduction in strength.
Animation deformity occurs when a breast implant is placed under the pectoralis muscle and that muscle is forcefully flexed. This can cause displacement and visible rippling and deformity of the implant. This effect is maximal in small breasted women and camouflaged in large breasted women.
There are a number of available approaches to breast augmentation. Implants can be introduced via an inframammary incision, a peri-areolar (next to the pigmented nipple) incision, through an axillary incision or through the belly button. I typically prefer the inframammary incision as it allows for the most meticulous dissection and “perfect pocket” implant placement and minimizes the risk of infection.
Capsular contracture refers to the formation of scar tissue around a breast implant. All breast implants develop some form of capsule as the body reacts to them. This is typically soft and pliable. If it becomes firmer, it can distort the shape and location of the implant. This is graded by the Baker system, grades I-IV. We don’t fully know what causes capsular contracture although recent literature has pointed to a low-grade infection, or bio-film. Capsular contracture can be treated with capsulectomy and capsulotomy but can recur in some patients. There are also some asthma medications that can be used off-label to help treat capsular contracture in its early stages. Capsular contracture can be minimized by meticulous surgical technique, and adherence to “no-touch” operative procedure to minimize contact of the implant with potential contamination.
Fat grafting can be employed to either correct a visible breast deformity such as a dent from another surgical procedure or can be used to augment the breast without placement of a breast implant. Not everyone is a candidate for this surgery, so I will have to see you in person to decide. Essentially, this procedure involves liposuction of one or more areas of the body to collect fat. This fat is then washed and meticulously injected into different areas and tissue planes in the breast. Depending on how much fat is transferred, this can impact your bust size subtly or a lot. Not all fat survives fat grafting. Usually a 60-70 percent take can be expected and this fat is yours to keep for the rest of your life provided you maintain the same body weight. This procedure can be repeated more than once and might need to be repeated if a lot of fat is lost or to achieve your desired result. This approach can lead to radiographic abnormalities on your mammogram. Most radiologists can tell the difference however between malignancy and grafted fat. For this reason, a baseline mammogram is required prior to this operation. Given the extra time and work, this surgery may prove more expensive overall than implant augmentation.
Maybe. As we age, the breast tends to succumb to gravity and start “migrating south.” At some point, especially after breast feeding, the nipple may descent below the inframammary fold and may also be followed by the breast tissue. If your nipple is at or near the center of your breast mound, and that tissue is located above your inframammary fold, you probably won’t need a lift. If the nipple is close to the fold or the breast appears overall “deflated” you might need a breast lift. Adding a lift adds increased risk and cost to breast augmentation. I won’t be able to tell for sure if you need a lift until I see you in the office.
I recommend silicone scar treatment. Ask me for our scar care handout at your post-operative appointment.
Without a crystal ball, I just can’t say. They are pretty durable. You are welcome to squeeze some when you visit the office. That being said, they certainly can and do rupture. Failure rate is around 2% per year. When a saline implant ruptures, it will deflate and you will know it is time for replacement (but don’t wait too long, this can lead to asymmetry.) When a silicone implant ruptures, the only sign may be a slight “firming of the breast.” For that reason, some recommend replacement of silicone implants every 10-15 years.
Most manufacturers offer a warranty for replacement of breast implants implanted after 2014 if they can be proven to have ruptured. There are enhanced warranty policies available as well. We can give you more specifics in the office, or if you know what type of implant you would like, you can find the information on that companies website.
I will use whatever brand of implant you like. If you leave it to me, I will select the brand that will best achieve your desired result and provide you with the most value.
Patients currently using nicotine are not candidates for surgery. Blood testing for nicotine is frequently performed if there is any doubt. Using nicotine in any form (smoking, vaping, patches, chew, gum, lozenges, etc) is extremely detrimental to wound healing and can seriously impact your surgical result in a very negative fashion. You must be off nicotine for at least 6 weeks prior to the surgery and promise to remain off it for at least 6 weeks after to qualify.
Our bodies need building blocks to heal. I recommend eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes 100g of protein daily and a multivitamin for 2 weeks before and 4 weeks after your surgery to optimize your healing. We have a sample diet for you in the office. If you would like a copy, just ask us when you are here.
The most feared risk is infection. It is uncommon, but if it happens you might require additional surgery to remove your implant and may require antibiotics. This extra surgery may be covered by your insurance but might mean extra costs for you. We might need to wait weeks, months or years before replacing the implants.
We already discussed implant rupture and capsular contracture. The next major risk is malposition. Sometimes, the implant will not stay where it was put and can end up sliding laterally into the armpit, or can bottom out causing visible asymmetry or “double bubble” deformity. These conditions can require additional surgery and expense to correct.
As we age, the tissues of the body tend to thin. This is also true after breast augmentation. Often, the existing breast that was present before the surgery can shrink, so that if you decide to have your implants removed and not replaced, you could end up with less breast than you started with. You could also have a big, visible dent that might require a breast lift or other surgery to correct. For safety, I will rarely combine the breast lift with permanent Implant removal.
As the breast ages it can descend , or become ptotic. The colloquial term for this is “saggy breasts.” Adding extra weight to the breast can accelerate this. Augmented breasts should always be supported when you are upright and active to help avoid this as much as possible.
Unless you have had breast cancer in the past and been left with a deformity requiring reconstruction, the answer to this question is most likely, “No.”
We do offer Care Credit financing. We also accept major credit cards, cash, personal check and cashier’s check. We do not offer payment plans through the office. My advice, if you do not qualify for credit, is to open a savings account for your procedure and put a little away each month. Payment is due in full at least 2 weeks prior to your scheduled operation.
There are several breast surgery incision options to choose from – including inframammary, periareolar and transaxillary. The right one for you will depend on future breastfeeding concerns, scar placement and the type of implant you have chosen.
The inframammary incision is located along the base of the breast. It is the most common technique chosen by our Tucson clients.
The periareolar technique involves a cut around the areola, resulting in a scar that blends in beautifully.
The transaxillary approach is hidden within the armpit. This option is only available for silicone implants.
Get Started Send Us A Message