Breast Augmentation

Dr. Daniel Morello

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What you should know about breast implants:

  1. Breast augmentation surgery is about art and skill and experience.
  2. The result is highly dependent on the skill of the surgeon, and is NOT the same from doctor to doctor.
  3. There is not one "best choice" of implants, incisions, or implant placement.
  4. Each patient is unique and requires an individual analysis and plan.
  5. Everything in life has trade-offs and it is our job to educate you as to what these may be for you.
  6. Compare what Dr. Morello offers BEFORE you decide about breast implants.

Dr. Morello has significant experience in breast augmentation. He offers a choice of implant selection, incision placement and implant placement, customizing for each patient. All procedures are done in the office under general anesthesia. Patients can return to their jobs and moderate activity within 5 days. We have a unique method of minimizing any pain after this surgery.

Most of our breast augmentation patients have:

  • Minimal or no pain (even with submuscular implants)
  • No bandages
  • No special bras
  • Minimal bruising
  • No drains
  • Prompt return to normal activities (3-5 days)



For many women, feeling confident, alive and vibrant goes hand in hand with looking their best. For thousands of women, achieving such confidence and personal satisfaction has come from choosing breast augmentation. Following their procedure, many women have gone on to experience a transformation in how they feel about themselves and their bodies.

There are many reasons women choose breast augmentation. Some of them include:

  • Enlarging their breasts to make their bodies more proportional
  • Reshaping and enlarging breasts that have lost their shape due to pregnancy or breast-feeding
  • Balancing breasts that differ in size or shape

Your reasons are very personal, and your decisions about breast augmentation should be made by you and Dr. Morello based on your personal needs, desires and expectations.

Today, there are many options available for women who decide breast augmentation is right for them. This website is designed to help you understand more about breast augmentation and all the options you have.

Breast augmentation surgery presents three distinct variables requiring decisions in a preoperative consultation process:

Implant selection (type, surface, shape, size)

Incision location.

Implant location (above or below muscle)


Saline implants have been in wide use since 1968. During the last 10 years, there have been improvements in manufacturing standards and quality and improvements in implant design, notably low-bleed silicone shells, more cohesive silicone gels, and implant shell surface texturing. The net effect during the last 10 years has been an improvement in the quality and safety of all of these devices.

In the absence of capsular contracture, saline implants exhibit several problems such as palpability and firmer consistency compared with silicone implants (i.e., silicone gel implants in general feel more natural). There is absolutely no credible evidence linking silicone gel implants to any systemic illness but the fear of "escaping" silicone gel is present.

The current generation of silicone implants, recently approved by the FDA, contains a soft, cohesive gel that is slightly firmer than earlier silicone gel implants. This cohesive gel implant is a form-stable device that retains its anatomic shape even with some degree of capsular contracture or loss of integrity of the implant. When cut or ruptured, the shape of the implant remains intact and the silicone does not run out. This will be discussed further during your consultation with Dr. Morello.

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Textured implants were produced in hopes that they would decrease the incidence of capsular contracture and this has been shown to be beneficial in some patients. Textured implants have never been shown to provide an advantage over smooth implants when placed beneath the pectoral muscle. Textured implants also have their own disadvantages which include the fact that the shell of the implant is thicker and more stiff which translates into an implant that is more visible through the skin and more easily felt when the breast is touched. Historically, textured implants were said to be associated with a lower rate of capsular contracture. However, there is also more visible rippling and greater palpability as well as greater cost for the implant itself. The differences between textured and nontextured implants are virtually nonexistent with submuscular placement. Therefore, surface texturing does not appear to offer a clear advantage in avoiding capsular contracture when the implants are placed submuscularly but may have some small roll in submammary placement, but with a real risk of rippling.

Because of these disadvantages and because the majority of implants are placed beneath the muscle, Dr. Morello prefers the use of smooth implants in almost all patients. They provide a much more natural look and feel when compared to textured implants.

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Round versus anatomic: The terms anatomic, shaped or teardrop are all used to describe devices with a vertical axis that is different in dimension than the horizontal axis. Lately, there has been controversy about whether anatomic implants are really anatomic and whether round implants behave anatomically in clinical practice. All non-round implants are textured, and Dr. Morello believes that these offer no advantages over smooth implants, and in fact may have important disadvantages.

Round implants can be considered to be more forgiving, enabling the creation of an esthetically pleasing breast with a variety of patient shapes. These implants are available in a variety of combinations of base diameter and projections which can be selected to fit each individual.

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As implant size increases so does the diameter of the implant, although there are some modifications currently available such as moderate plus and high profile implants which have a smaller base diameter for any given volume.

Dr. Morello has a unique approach to determining the proper size implant, and is very successful in meeting patient expectations. His approach is both dimensional and goal-oriented. Choosing an implant smaller than your natural breast shape will not provide the proper cleavage and shape following the procedure. Similarly when a breast augmentation is extremely large compared to the women's body, there may not be an esthetically pleasing result and certainly over time larger implants are associated with more problems after surgery. Size choice should be reasonable for any individual and most patients' request being in a C to C+ range.

There is no standardization of cup sizes, and therefore it may not be optimal to speak only in terms of cup sizes when contemplating your goal for an augmentation. Unfortunately, implants do not come in cup sizes, rather they are categorized by the volume of silicone or saline that they are designed to hold. Your final cup size will be a function of numerous factors. Therefore, a 300 cc implant does not necessarily produce a certain cup size. The variables include the patient's height, weight, preoperative amount of breast tissue, skin elasticity, etc. Almost every woman has a bra drawer at home that contains different size bras. There is no standardization among manufacturers. Additionally, every patient is built differently. One can expect that a cup size is approximately 150-200 cc in a person of average height and build. If you are tall or have broad shoulders, you can expect that number to be higher and vice versa.

It is far more helpful to focus on the shape and appearance that you wish to achieve. Dr. Morello uses sizer implants in the operating room to determine what size looks and feels best and have the goal of obtaining the desired result rather using a specific size implant. Many surgeons have to order 2 or 3 pair of implants for your surgery, and may be forced to use one of them even if it is not optimal. Dr. Morello maintains a large stock of various implant types and sizes, which provides great freedom to select the one that he feels is optimal for producing your desired results.

Before having surgery, you should bring or send photographic examples of the breast you like so that we both have a clear visual understanding of the desired results. This represents a very goal-oriented approach and we are more likely to achieve patient's satisfaction then by emphasizing volume of the implant.


The degree of cleavage that is obtainable varies greatly depending on your individual anatomy, and is not the same for every patient. Variables include the anatomy of your chest wall and rib cage, the prominence or lack thereof of your sternum, the amount of natural body fat, the starting separation of your breasts, the position of your nipples on your breasts, and the amount of divergence from a straight vertical line down the chest. To achieve the best look, implants should be placed so that they are centered behind the nipple-areola, extending just as far laterally as medially. Thus in widely spaced breasts, cleavage may be impossible. In slightly wide spaced breasts, cleavage is only possible with the use of large implants.

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Because of the ever-present patient concerns with scars, various techniques have been devised to minimize or hide the incision. Current choices include periareolar, inframammary, transaxillary, and periumbilical incisions.

Breast implant incision picture

Periareolar : In many ways, this is the most versatile approach. It gives central access to all quadrants of the breast and is compatible with all of the various breast implants and planes of dissection. It is the most versatile incision when the fold under the breast is being lowered significantly. The diameter of the areola is, however, a limiting factor when contemplating this approach (more so with silicone gel implants than with saline implants). Caution must also be used with areolas that are likely colored or have indistinct margins because the scars will not hide as well in these circumstances. There have been preliminary reports suggesting an increased risk of changes to nipple sensation and lactation ability with the periareolar approach. This requires further study. Dr. Morello feels that this approach produces the least conspicuous scar in breast augmentation.

Inframammary : The inframammary incision represents the simplest and the most straightforward approach to breast augmentation. It provides direct access to the subglandular or subpectoral plane and this access can be achieved without violating the breast tissue. Visualization of the breast pocket is unsurpassed by the other incision option. The scar is frequently inconspicuously hidden in the well-developed inframammary fold and can often only be seen in the recumbent position. This is clearly the least traumatic approach to breast augmentation.

Transaxillary : Surgeons often use the axillary approach as a marketing tool to differentiate themselves from competitors, encouraging patients to avoid a scar on the breast that is visible and often unsightly. Experienced surgeons who use multiple incision approaches know that philosophy to be untrue based on facts because skilled surgeons routinely deliver excellent scar results via any incision approach. Patients with optimal outcomes without complications virtually never complain about an incision line under the breast or in any other location.

The transaxillary incision's obvious appeal is that it avoids a scar on the breast. The scar is well concealed and like the inframammary incision, the approach does not violate the breast tissue. However, there are definite trade-offs to such a remote approach. The transaxillary incision lacks the same degree of control and accuracy and has a higher risk of asymmetry and implant malposition. Because of this, it may have a higher revision rate. Furthermore, subsequent revision procedures may be difficult or impossible with an axillary incision and this may require a new incision that is located more directly on the breast.

Patients who are thoroughly informed about the potential benefits and trade-offs of all incision approaches, especially the degree of surgical control and potential adjacent tissue trauma of each approach, overwhelmingly choose the inframammary approach.

All patients are advised of the following facts:

1. If you can feel your ribs with your finger beneath the breast or at the side of your breast, you will be able to feel the edge of your implant.

2. Currently manufactured implants that strive to achieve durability of the shell have a thicker shell to prolong the life of the implant and a thicker shell may be easier for you to feel. If feeling an edge of an implant shell could be a problem for you, do not have an augmentation.

3. We cannot change the quality or thickness of your tissues. If you are thin or have very little breast tissue, you are more likely to feel your implant.

4. The larger your implants, the worse your breast will look over time. A larger implant will stretch your tissues and will cause more tissue thinning and sagging than a smaller implant. Your tissues do not improve with age and they will be less able to support the additional weight of any implant especially a larger implant.

5. Any implant if filled adequately to prevent collapse and possible folding of the shell when you stand will feel firmer than a normal breast regardless of the filler material. If the implant shell folds, it could fail sooner and require you to have a reoperation sooner (most patients accept a firmer breast in exchange for a possibly longer life of the implant shell).

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Implant placement diagram


Subglandular : Early augmentation procedures involved placement of the implant in the subglandular plane. This was effective in patients with some amount of breast tissue and subcutaneous fat and was the obvious place to start. It worked best when there was adequate soft tissue coverage of the implant. In patients with less soft tissue, there is a higher risk of implant visibility and a sharp transition can often be seen in the upper portion of the breast (the stuck-on or cantaloupe look). There is also substantial evidence that this position is associated with a higher incidence of capsular contracture, especially with silicone implants. It is also clear that the subglandular plane is less satisfactory for mammography.

Submuscular : Dr. Morello prefers to use the submuscular plane in the majority of his breast augmentations. Muscle coverage is mandatory with thin chest skin tissues. This may either be partial retropectoral or a dual-plane approach. This plane appears to achieve as low a rate of capsular contracture as a total submuscular positioning while also facilitating mammography. There is also improved upper breast contour because the muscle blunts the transition between the upper breast and the implant. Pocket dissection is easier overall in the subpectoral plane and the breast tissue is less devascularized, which is optimal for any planned breast shaping or breast lift.

Patients may have read about "total submuscular" implant placement, and conclude that "more is better." However, there is absolutely no significant advantage to this approach. It does, however, have important disadvantages: the highest risk of the implants being too high, a longer operation time, the longest recovery and pain, the least accurate and predictable inferior fold placement, and the greatest risk of fold irregularities.

Dual-plane technique : Dual-plane augmentation mammoplasty helps to realize the benefits of retromammary and partially retropectoral implant placement while minimizing the trade-offs of each pocket location. This technique improves implant-soft tissue relationships by adjusting the positions of the pectoralis muscle and breast tissue relative to the implant to optimize implant soft tissue dynamics. The key differences between dual plane and subpectoral implant sites is the use of a subglandular dissection that may extend above the level of the border of the pectoralis muscle superiorly.

When using silicone gel breast implants, it is more difficult to use the transaxillary incision and the periumbilical incision would be contraindicated. Silicone implants require a larger incision than saline-filled implants and the larger the silicone implant, and the more cohesive the gel, the larger the incision needs to be for insertion.

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Mammography and Breast Cancer

Patients who have breast augmentation have the same chance of developing a breast cancer as women without augmentation. Most patients are informed that, in general, mammograms are more difficult in the presence of breast implants. However, the real important question should be: "Does having a breast augmentation make it more difficult to diagnose a breast cancer?" The answer is emphatically "NO." Breast cancer diagnosis is accomplished by a combination your own breast exams, mammograms, ultrasound, and MRI. There are two large published studies that confirm the fact that women with implants who get breast cancer have no delay in diagnosis and no lower survival than non-augmented women.

National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute recently completed a study of 13,500 women who received silicone gel implants for cosmetic reasons prior to 1989. Researchers found no significant increase in breast cancer incidence or mortality.

Institute of Medicine

In June 1999, the National Academy Institute of Medicine issued a report that included the following conclusion: "In an overall consideration of the epidemiological evidence, the committee noted that because there are more than 1.5 million adult women of all ages in the United States with silicone breast implants, some of these women would be expected to develop connective tissue diseases, cancer, neurological diseases or other systemic complaints or conditions. Evidence suggests that such diseases or conditions are no more common in women with breast implants than in women without implants.

National Science Panel

In October 1996, Judge Sam C. Pointer Jr., the coordinating judge for federal breast implant litigation, established the Rule 706 National Science Panel. The purpose of this panel was to investigate scientific data about breast implants and their possible relation to connective tissue diseases and immune system dysfunction. The panel reviewed over 2,000 medical documents and heard testimony from legal, medical and scientific experts. The panel released their findings in November 1998, and concluded that there are no identifiable associations between the use of silicone implants and disease.

Independent Review Group

The Independent Review Group (IRG) on Silicone Breast Implants was assembled by the Chief Medical Officer of the UK to review the possible health issues associated with silicone gel breast implants. Members of the IRG were selected for their independent views, their knowledge and understanding of the issues, and lack of any financial interest in the conclusions they reached.

Led by Professor Roger D. Sturrock, MD, FRCP, the IRG reported in 1998 that there is no scientific evidence of an association between silicone gel-filled breast implants and any established connective tissue disease.

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Obviously, cost is always a consideration in an elective breast augmentation surgery. In an effort to give women desiring breast enlargement the ability to choose breast implants and plastic surgeons according to quality, rather than cost and budget restrictions, we have various financing plans available. The best choice varies, so be sure to ask our Patient Coordinator for specific information.

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"Dr. Morello is a genius and a true human body artist. I had a previous BA that I was unhappy with and found Dr. Morello two years later and am so happy with the results! He is more interested in making you happy about your body than about making money (believe me, I wanted to get a tummy tuck and he talked me into waiting until after kids even though another doctor wanted to schedule me to have it done immediately). Dr. Morello is experienced, professional, and passionate about his work. And he promised me that I would not be in pain (with sub-muscular implants) and I was in no pain at all!"

"Been two weeks since my ba, I choose Dr. Daniel Morello. So far I'm really impressed with the entire thing. He answered all my questions before I could ask them. I gave him a bit of an idea of what I wanted, but I think he just knew what he wanted to do and did it. They took care of me really well the day of the surgery, gave me magazines and a nice warm blanket while waiting to go into the surgery. The pain was minimal and there was hardly any bruising, don't know if I'm just that way or he did a really good job. I get the occasional ache or pain, but really been amazed how well it all went. Will see him for the third time since my ba this week. Not sure how many more times he'll be checking on my progress."

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Almost 300,000 women underwent breast augmentation in the last year and a certain number of these will at some future time need another operation related to their implants.

Breast augmentation surgery does not always produce a patient's desired results. This may due to technical problems with the surgery or healing or sometimes unrealistic expectations on the part of the patient.

Breast implants are like any other manmade implantable medical device (such as heart valves and artificial joints) and realistically, some patients will require revision procedures.

There are several esthetic, emotional, and medical reasons why women may consider breast augmentation revision. The best candidates for this surgery are women who are in good health, not pregnant or nursing and are unhappy with their current breast implants.

Silicone breast implants were recently reapproved by the FDA after more than 14 years off the market, in generally provide a more natural feel than saline breast implants. Women who are unhappy with their saline implants are now candidates for breast implant revision to receive silicone implants instead.

Breast implant revision surgery offers a solution for women who are seeking to redo their breast augmentation. Breast augmentation revision is certainly more complex than primary (initial) augmentation, and you must recognize that the likelihood of obtaining "perfect" results is minimal. The goal of revision is improvement only. Overall, the chance of improving results is about 70+% in cases selected for revision. Solutions to breast augmentation problems include implant exchange, capsulectomy, capsulotomy, pocket change, internal pocket adjustment, and occasionally mastopexy. It is important to recognize that breast lift performed subsequent to prior breast augmentation is associated with a higher incidence of surgical complications.

The most common reasons for breast implant revision are:

  • Capsular contracture (firmness)
  • Implant rupture or deflation
  • Changing size (too large or too small).
  • Changing the natural feel and appearance
  • Implant shifting or malposition.


CAPSULAR CONTRACTURE is when the body forms a thick scar around the implants, which may occur on one or both sides and may cause a change in shape, discomfort, or firmness of the breast. It is more common if there was infection or hematoma at the time of the initial surgery. As a natural reaction to any device placed in the body, scar tissue will form around the breast implant surface creating a capsule.

Breast implant and capsule diagram

There are four grades of capsular contracture, Baker grades I through IV:

  • Grade I : The breast is normally soft and looks natural.
  • Grade II : The breast is slightly firm but looks normal.
  • Grade III : The breast is firm and looks abnormal.
  • Grade IV : The breast is hard, often painful and looks abnormal.

Grades I and II are very acceptable, but revision is often done for Grades III and IV. Dr. Morello's revisions for capsular contracture can involve using new implants, achieving fresh tissue pockets for the implants, meticulous dissection with minimal trauma, excising the old scar capsule (partial or complete), pocket maintenance exercises, and pharmacologic methods.

The removal of previous scar capsule or scar tissue is critically important in successful correcting capsular contracture in an augmented breast. In breast revision surgery for capsular contracture, the type of implant has not been shown to make any difference in the outcome. The surgical revision treatment of capsular contracture is associated with 70+% success rate. Long established periprosthetic capsular contracture can be reliably corrected by replacing the existing implants with saline or modern silicone gel-filled implants in a carefully created dual-plane partially subpectoral position.

Modern saline and silicone gel implants perform substantially better in terms of capsular contracture than the implants of the mid 1980s and earlier.

BREAST IMPLANT DEFLATION is another reason why women may need revision breast surgery. Breast implants (saline and/or silicone) may leak and a woman may notice that one or both breasts have changed in shape or size. With saline implants, deflation is ordinarily very obvious as the saline is absorbed by the body (harmless) and the breast becomes softer and smaller. Ruptured silicone gel breast implants may not be noticed as quickly, and may only be detectable by MRI or mammographic examination. In most cases, the silicone gel, which leaks from the breast implant is confined within the capsule or pocket. In an occasional patient, an enlarged lymph node may show contained filtered silicone when it is biopsied.

Dr. Morello uses Mentor implants and feels they are a superior product. Throughout your lifetime, Mentor will replace, at no cost, the same or a similar type of Mentor breast implant if implant replacement is required due to rupture/deflation.

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After breast augmentation surgery, some women decide to change their implants to be larger or smaller. Dr. Morello spends a lot of time before surgery with you in determining your size goals visually, and has developed a unique approach. He is not focused on the implant volume but rather on the outcome, and determines the final size in the operating room by using sizers. We maintain a large stock of various implants so the best choice can be made at surgery. Patients ordinarily assume that a certain size implant (e.g. 300 cc) will produce a certain cup size, but this is not so. In general, about 150 to 200 cc will equate to one cup size, but this varies with your height, weight, amount of pre-existing breast tissue, skin elasticity, etc.

You are encouraged to bring or send a photo of breast size that you like as a goal for surgery. Of course, your breast shape will remain yours. Using this approach over 30 years has prevented Dr. Morello from making patients too big, which is a natural fear of most women undergoing augmentation. In fact, our policy is that if you think your result is too large at 4 months after surgery, Dr. Morello will change your implants at no surgical cost. This has not happened yet in 30 years!

The most common size change, therefore, is to increase volume. This may be 10 or more years after primary augmentation, and may be associated with post-pregnancy breast changes, weight gain or loss, or simply getting used to the implants and wanting fuller breasts.

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Lifestyle changes are another motivating factor behind breast implant revision, replacement, or removal. A woman may simply decide she no longer desires implants or that the size she opted for no longer meets her cosmetic goals. Whatever the reason, if you are dissatisfied with your breast implant, you are a potential candidate for breast implant revision surgery.

Rippling occurs when irregularities of the implant surface are felt or seen through the skin. This may develop as a result of very thin tissues covering the implants or may result from a saline implant that is underfilled or leaking. It may also represent a placement problem such as an implant being placed above the muscle of the chest wall or some combination of all of these events. Therefore, rippling is primarily a problem associated with saline implants. Textured saline implants above the muscle are especially prone to ripple. Occasionally, a silicone gel implant can present with a ripple or knuckle, which may be related to having an implant with an excessively large base diameter in relation to the breast diameter. Because of these disadvantages and because the majority of implants are placed beneath the muscle, I prefer the use of smooth implants in almost all patients. They provide a much more natural look and feel when compared to textured implants.

Silicone breast implants were recently reapproved by the FDA after more than 14 years off the market. Women who are unhappy with their saline implants are now candidates for breast implant revision to receive silicone implants instead. In general, silicone gel implants have a more natural feel than saline implants, since the density of the fill material is higher, more approximating that of breast tissue. Since the FDA released silicone implants, 75% of our patients are requesting them.

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Problems with surgical placement or implant position include implant asymmetry when one implant is higher than the other or located too far inward or outward on the chest with respect to the other implant, or implants that are positioned too low on the chest wall in relation to the nipple position (bottoming out). This may be the result of overdissection in the breast crease during surgery, extensive release of the lower portion of the pectoralis muscle, or may occur naturally due to inelastic and thin tissues. Augmented breasts that meet in the middle (symmastia) ordinarily represent overdissection in the medial region of the breast over the sternum in an attempt to create better cleavage and in my experience is very difficult to correct. This is almost always a technical error at the original surgery. Implants that are too widely spaced apart (lacking desirable cleavage or falling into the armpits upon lying down) are also likely the result of overdissection. Implants must be placed so as to be centered behind the nipples; therefore if your nipples were originally widely spaced on your chest, your implants will also be somewhat lateral.

Double-bubble : When there is the appearance of the round breast sitting on top of a round breast implant, this may represent a problem with the tissue characteristics or occasionally a problem with the surgical placement of the implants and may occur on one or both sides. In certain pre-existing breast conditions this may be unavoidable, and may be worse with larger size increases.

Tuberous breast is a particular breast deformity associated with very wide spaced breast, a very narrow based diameter of the breast and herniation of the nipple areola complex forward. This is a particularly difficult condition to fully correct but most patients can be offered some degree of improvement. In general, patients with tuberous breast deformity are deficient in the amount of skin in the lower part of the breasts. Therefore most methods of lifting the breast (which involve some skin excision) will tend to worsen the tightness and be counterproductive. In tuberous breast deformity the best result is often obtained by subglandular implant placement. The double bubble also occurs more frequently in treating this condition.

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In treating your specific problem, our pledge to you is to properly evaluate the problem and to recommend one or more ways in which we can improve or correct it. Breast augmentation revision is certainly more complex than primary (initial) augmentation, and thus more expensive. In your consultation Dr. Morello will try to give you an idea of the likelihood of improving your result by revision. It is helpful if you are able to obtain information about the size, type and volume of your implants; you should bring this with you at your initial visit if possible.

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