My breasts were very small and empty. - Breast Augmentation - Houston, TX

After having three children and nursing for over 6...

After having three children and nursing for over 6 years, my breasts were very small and empty. I was concerned about going under the muscle because I practice yoga daily and did not want to lose pectoral strength, so Dr Ciaravino recommended 225 cc above the muscle. It was a flawless, pain free recovery and I went from a 30A to a 30D, even with that small of an implant. Every day I wake up grateful that I had it done.



New pic

This new pic is 5 months post op. all the other pics were right after surgery.

5 months later

My doc also recommended going above the muscle because my pectoral muscles are significant for my frame and may have pushed the implant down if it were placed under the muscle.

6 months later

Decided to upload some pics with clothes on and a bra. This is still a gift that keeps on giving. I would have loved to go a little bigger (who wouldn't) but with the palpable rippling I feel on my right side, I know that my doc was wise in not letting me go any bigger. I wonder if it would be visible then? Even with silicone? I can feel the implant edges, but I cannot see them at any angle. The left side is perfect, but it was also my larger boob before, so there was more tissue to cover it. I am still sooooo happy with the results. So nice to have cute curves as so many of us try and take good care of our bodies. I didn't have a profile on here until after the surgery, but I used this site constantly searching for answers to all the questions. Hope this helps someone out there to do the same.


Two weeks ago, I found a pimple on my right boob and then it got infected and the infection spread, apparently. And then I found a lump in the same boob, above the wound. I went to my gyno who put me on antibiotics for possibly a staph infection, did a culture and ordered an ultrasound. Culture came back negative. The radiologist for the ultrasound said the lump was a huge lymph node swollen probably because of the infection and several others were enlarged also. The wound is healing now. Going back to my doc tomorr to review the ultrasound. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? I've heard of a fungal infection you can get from implants. Any ideas? I may have to do a biopsy -- my gyno mentioned inflammatory breast cancer and the radiologist mentioned Paget's disease (nipple cancer). At least it appears to be healing.

New bras!!

I can't believe it's almost been a year already!! I love them still. So grateful to have read on here that VS has 32D bras now. Just bought several and love them. So glad to be a D with only 225cc implants!! The skin infection has cleared, thankfully and all is well.


105 lbs
39 years old
32A before
225cc Silicone Mentor HP
32D after

One year anniversary!!

It's been a wonderful year with the new girls. I am so grateful that I had this procedure done. They are perfect and soooooo much fun!!

Not so good news.

So, went to the ps today because I was concerned about some changes in my right breast (hardening slightly and a weird jiggle around the nipple) and they confirmed my worst fear -- the beginning stages of capsular contracture. He put me on singulair (asthma med) that has some success rate to halt and possibly reverse the scar tissue. So I take that for 2 months and see what happens. Worst case is removing the implant and scar tissue and putting new one back in (50 percent recurrence rate!!! Yikes!!). My thought is to have both removed and go under the muscle to help my chances for this not to come back. I had the horrible skin infection on this side also but doc said no way to tell if it caused cc or cc caused skin infection. Cc is usually started by a bacteria, so to me, it seems likely. Any suggestions or experiences similar to this? Anyone with overs and CC ever went with unders later with good results?

Trying to fix capsular contracture

This capsular contracture has gotten worse fast. My right side now has a visible bubble on top that wasn't there a few weeks ago and it feels harder over all. I'll post pics later. So, I went to a new doc today for a consult for a revision. Anyone heard of Dr Boynton in Houston? He is supposed to be a revision master. What he's offering sounds good but is really expensive. He uses the Strattice dermal matrix with his implants to support the breast and prevent CC from recurring. Sounds good to me, but the recovery will be longer -- drains, yuck!! I will return to my PS this Monday to see what he has to say, but I'm thinking of moving forward with under the muscle 300-350 ish ultra high profile (tiny ribcage) on June 2 with this new doc. Yikes!!! What do y'all think? I'm kind of excited to be able to go bigger!!! But very nervous about another surgery and new doc.

Capsular contracture pics

Capsular contracture pics

Help!!! Fast!!

Wow. Did not expect this. My old doc still does not recommend under the muscle!!!! Just wants to fix that side and keep my overs with a new implant. I cannot afford the other surgeon but I think I need him so that this doesn't recur. I am completely torn about what to do. I'm attracted to the recovery and inexpensiveness of fixing one side, but for many other reasons would love to go with unders and the dermal matrix (it fixes cc, rippling, I get to go larger, etc). Any and all advice is welcome ASAP. I need to book my pre-op soon if I want the new surgeon

Decision is made!!

thanks a million to all you wonderful ladies for your suggestions, comments, and support. To those of you just starting your research or healing from surgery or one year out like I was, I thank you and congratulate you on being on this journey with me. I have picked the new surgeon Dr Boynton and paid in full today because my second BA is scheduled on June 2!!!! Excited, nervous, and stressed again, but this time I go in with my eyes wide open fully knowing what to expect. He is doing a capselectomy, implant removal, two new pockets under the muscle (uhp's this time) and the Strattice dermal matrix under the implants to support and to prevent cc and rippling and malpositioning. So glad the decision is made. I will write a new review for him after my pre-op tomorrow where we will talk about size and recovery. I get a chance to go bigger this time with UHP, but I'm scared again to go too big for my frame. Anyone else had drains for their recovery? I don't want that but because of the Strattice it will help healing. Any and all suggestions and comments are fully welcome!! I'll post tomorr and provide the link for my new review.

Pre-op done

I signed a huge mound of paperwork today during my pre-op and discussed when I could do yoga again after the unders and dermal matrix. He said about 6 weeks. That makes me a little sad but at least I can do cardio before that. I work out at least 3 hours most days of the week, so it will be an adjustment, but I'm looking forward to slowing things down a bit for the summer and spending extra time snuggling and coloring and all with my children. It'll be good for me. We didn't discuss size much. He's one of those docs who will see on the table what looks best. I told him no larger than 350 but I am really hoping he can fit 350 UHP in there so that all this recovery will be worth it. I felt a bit shortchanged last time with the other doc only letting me go up to 225 over the muscle. They feel nice and natural, but a little bigger would be really nice. I know I'm little but I've seen many little women on here get much much bigger sizes!! So that's it!! Gearing up for surgery again is not fun. Facing unknown amounts of pain is not fun either. The recovery last time was a breeze -- this is like three recoveries in one with the capselectomy, new pockets, and the matrix stitches and all. Yikes. Trying not to think about all that too much. Anything helped y'all during your recoveries that's different from the usual stuff like fluids, healthy eating, ice, etc.

Tomorrow is the big day, again!!

Feeling anxious tonight as I prepare for surgery at 8 tomorrow morning. It feels surreal that I am doing this again. Not as exciting as the first time, but not quite as nerve wracking as the first time also because I know (a little) about what to expect -- it's just a lot more will be done this time. Not looking forward to recovering but I know it will pass. I can't believe that I have to do this again. I can't believe they will look different again, also -- and not knowing what they will end up like can drive you a lil batty, I must say. I will trust my surgeon and it know all will be fine this time.


Wow!! The surgery was two and a half hours and I woke up in a lot of pain. Was given morphine but couldn't imagine ever getting out of that bed in order to go home!!! An hour later I was aggravated with the IV and all and decided to try to sit up in order to get out of there. I was very weak because the procedure was long and I couldn't eat. I feel a lil better at home now but it hurts a lot to get up from sitting and it still feels as if a small car has hit my chest -- hard to take deep breaths. Otherwise, taking the pain meds around the clock and eating throughout the day and drinking fluids has helped me to feel better overall. (A little). I will post my post op pics tomorrow -- I'm wrapped in gauze and I have drains and all, so once I get my surgical bra I will show y'all the girls. Oh, and he was able to fit 350 HP!!! Can't wait to see them!!

350cc HP!!

Post op today!!! Here's a pic once Dr B took the bandages off. So far so good even though they are swollen. You can see the drains in the pic -- I thought that the drains would be aweful but it's not bad at all and they come out on Thurs!!!

Day 5 feeling just fine!!

I am really feeling good today and yesterday. No pain meds at all in over 2 days. Plans to go out with my friends tonight (to sit and eat, not drink!!!). It only feels like muscle soreness, no pain. The wedge pillow with extra cozy pillows on top has helped me to sleep at that 45 degree angle and nap sooooooo well!! No back pain from sleeping wrong. Worth the $40 investment. I don't have much energy and I'm taking it really easy, but I feel good. Boobs look good. Very wide. I have side boob that I've never had!! I don't think they will be too big once they drop. I don't think the swelling is bad at all either like the first time -- no shooting nerve pains or gurgling. They just feel firm, but that's normal for day 5. I am very very pleased. I finally wrote a review for my new doc if you want to check it out go to my profile. I highly recommend my new doc. I want to give him a big shout out and a soft hug!!! :)

One week!!

Feeling great!! They look amazing. No pain for several days. I guess it easier to recover from revisions.

Day 11

Another post op today to remove the tape over the steri strips but not the strips themselves. I go back thurs to remove the strips because I am traveling to Florida for a week and the strips are supposed to be removed at 3 weeks, so he's taking them off a little early. I can't go in the ocean or submerge them in water til 4 weeks, but that's ok. I'd rather not get them infected after all I went through last November with the skin infection. He gave me a simple massage to do to integrate the Strattice, implant, and my natural tissue. More vigorous massage will come later. Strattice is attached from the pec major muscle to the tissue inside the breast fold (I didn't know that -- wanted to share...). They feel softer and my right side just a lil more swollen but it had more work done. No pain, just tenderness in one spot on the left side and discomfort near the side boobs if I do too much. A few more days with this surgical bra and then switch to sports bras for 4 more weeks.

Front pic

3 weeks today

The swelling is going down. They are feeling a lot softer. The right side is taking a little longer to drop but it will in time (it had a lot more work done on it). We are at the beach this week so my doc asked me to come in last thurs to remove the steri strips. The incisions look good but are longer because of the Strattice. Each side takes a turn aching each day, but only in spots, like a bruise feeling. I cannot feel the edges of the implant at all underneath like I could with my overs, partly because of the Strattice. I'm at the beach but I cannot submerge in water til 4 weeks, but that's ok. I can get my feet wet!! They are not large at all for my frame. So glad he was able to fit in 350. I would have been dissapointed with less. Notice how with the lighting and camera angle, they look different at different angles.

5 weeks

Everything is going well. They feel squishy, which is good. I am back to yoga (still legs-- downward dog coming soon I bet -- it still feels inappropriate and with forward folds I can feel pulling along the sides). My only concern is the wonky feeling you get when you flex your pecs, and how much the implant moves. My doc said not to do a million push-ups and if you do, you put yourself at risk for complications later, even if it's years later. He says he has clients who work out and do it anyway, but he cautions us against it. I do many push-ups a day (pre BA) so for many women, that's ok, but what about those of us who do a lot of chest workouts? It's kinda upsetting. Perhaps I'll just give it a few more months and then do modifications. Otherwise, they do not feel as if they have dropped -- just gotten squishier. This size is just perfect -- they look just a little large naked (sexy) yet in clothing they look like my old ones with a padded bra -- exactly the look i was hoping for!!

7 weeks

So I went for my 7 week checkup today and all is well. When I asked him about using the pecs, he said of course you can use them but he recommends not over-using them. So in other words, you can do push-ups, etc., but don't do a million in a day. I can handle that. Also he says to support them all the time, underwire by day and medium support sports bra at night. That's what I was thinking I would do also, so that's cool. After the appmt I went to a super swanky lingerie shop near his office to buy bras. I heard from a friend that they have 30s (even VS doesn't have 30s -- only 32s.) So I got officially measured and can y'all believe this?!! -- I am a 30F!!!! I'm telling you these puppies are small to me -- who would have thought F? That is indeed why bra size should not determine what implant size you want/need. To go from a 30A to an F, you would think it would be a huge change -- it's really not. These fit my body very well and that's what counts. So here's a pic of one of my new bras. (Btw, if you're in Houston (or wanna order online), this was from Top Drawer in Uptown Park near the Galleria. The other place that sells 30s is Nordstroms). Just FYI.
Houston Plastic Surgeon

Dr Ciaravino gave me the best birthday present ever!!! Really knowledgable and experienced.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (358)

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You really do have a narrow rib cage Mamamel! Great advice on bra shopping for gals your size. I also think your doc has given you some good advice about supporting your new breasts with a sports bra at night. Good for you...I think his advice will pay off in the long run. You're lookin' good!
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how do you like the uhp implants? I got them 3 weeks ago and so far I love them.
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That's awesome for you. I only got HP again. My new doc thought I would need UHP because I wanted 350 and my ribcage was so small, but he was able to put in just hp. I'm glad you love yours. I can't imagine being upset with any kind of higher profile once you've had sagging, huh?!!!
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Hey pharm tech mom , My ps is suggesting Hp for me also , I'm worried it won't be wide enough, one girl said hers were too narrow but they all come in different diameters so maybee her ps didn't measure her right, do you feel you have enough diameter ? Some side boob and upper fullness too ?
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I didn't have side boob with 225hp overs but with 350hp unders I have a ton, so I guess it's the larger size of the implant that creates it, but either way the upper pole is nice too.
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So I'm thinking my ps should create upper fullness too when he raises the fold and re does the pocket, he said I just tell him what I want and he can do it but I gotta trust him ! Yikes , it's true tho , you gotta pick a PS you trust cuz a lot of decisions they make is their call when your under and based on what they see once they open u up.
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Every implant comes in many diff diameters. As long as it matches your bwd which is how the range of sizes are picked no one should have a prob with them not being the correct width. Like buying a pair of jeans or shoes.
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I think that for my body, I have a very narrow rib cage, that UHP was the only way I would have gotten 360cc I have great upper fullness and just the right about of side boob.
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Definitely not!!! I was a little worried at first that UHP would be too much, but I don't feel I have that "torpedo" looksya know
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My doc thought too that he could only fit UHP because I wear 30 (or 28bras) but he was able to fit just HP. Now I'm a 30F (tiny large boobs!!)
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Gorgeous bra! Congratulations on all the great news!
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I hate hate hate that wonky feeling too!!!! U look teriffic!
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Wow you look great. I had a review last Monday, Sooooo much more pain this time. Mine was a bottoming out revision and I'm Sooooo scared of my results. My stitches seem too high and pinched up on the left side. Almost creating a w shape at the base of the breast, rather than a c shape at the fold..... I only had surgery 6 months ago, I'm praying it'll change because I think I'll lose it if it's not right this time..... Take care mate..
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So sorry!! Revisions are tough because you not only know what to expect as far as pain, you're even more nervous about the results because things happened to mess up the first time for you, when everyone else seems to be doing just fine. I'm sure your stitches will heal well in time. I had barely noticeable stitches from the first BA and now they are longer and bigger because of the matrix.
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Thanks mate, he said the scar would be longer, but as far as I can see it's exactly the same.... if not shorter... but so far I'm stressing, because it looks so wrong...but I've been assured it's a temporary thing and the stitch that is coming out, will be pulled out and it's a temporary measure to help it adhere to the insides...I hope Sooooo but. Aggggg someone's you wonder if you were meant to have none for a reason...... fingers crossed...still got cleavage that's all that matters at this
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Well it sounds as if you will be fine, but I agree revisions are not as exciting as your first BA because it really makes you doubt yourself and your intentions for yourself, huh? At some point it seems not worth the struggle and financial costs. But hopefully all is well for us and we can just enjoy having them..
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Yes I totally agree with you, makes you wonder why... but hopefully we will be better than ever before afterwards mate...
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They look great!!
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Hi, I would love to hear if you are still doing ok with the strattice, if you had any infection with this revision and is it a certain kind of strattice , are their different types ? I'm going to need the same proceedure and would love to hear your personal experience with it. Btw you look much better under the muscle but has it effected your pectoral muscle ?
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Thanks!! 7 weeks today. Perfect revision so far. They feel great, no swelling, no bruising. Strattice is one type of an acellular dermal matrix derived from pig skin, alloderm is the other from human cadavers, but mainly used for reconstruction after mastectomies. My doc has a perfect track record with Strattice -- no one has come back to him for a revision in 9 years using Strattice. It supports the implant like an internal bra, prevents malpositioning, and prevents rippling and cap con!!! Wow!! Can you say worth it? Heck yes!! The hardest part was the drains -- but after they are removed, you feel really really great -- they are bulky and a bit of a nuisance. Otherwise, going under the muscle (2 new pockets) with Strattice and capselectomy and all, I felt as if I were hit by a truck the first few days (compared to the easy recovery of my overs the year before), but after that, I recovered quickly. I only had the drains for 3 days. I used a wedge pillow to help get out of bed and took wonderful naps with the drugs, so it seemed to pass quickly. As far as the pectoral muscle, it took 6 full weeks to really be able to do a downward dog, and it still feels weird to flex the pecs because your boob moves so far to the outside, but I was used to my overs, and if I wouldn't have had that first, I'm sure it wouldn't feel that weird. They still hurt in certain positions along the side of my ribcage if I move in a certain way, so I am taking a careful recovery and doing legs and cardio more than arms.
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Mamamel1974, wow that's amazing , did your ps say their was a chance of infection using the pig skin strattice ? You'd think pig was cheap huh ! But yea it's all the preserving and sanitizing and then the technic n time to put it in. I worry too about when exersizing we use pectoral muscle and it may be moving the implant, it caused a deformity in mine , the pectoral muscle indents into the implant or breast when I flex , Anither reason I need a revision. I hope that doesn't happen to you. One physician recommended a dual plain placement where the implant on top is under the muscle and then lower part is somehow over the pectoral not sure how to describe ( a doctor can better) but hope it works !! I think I need a lot fixed so my revision may be very painful, happy things worked out for you ! Looks like it's totally worth it to get the strattice .
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There's no (extra) chance for infection with Strattice. My skin infection I had was 9 months after the surgery and had nothing to do with the surgery, but ended up causing cap con because any kind of infection in your body can make your body attack the implant. The matrix is acellular, so it's just a sterile webbing and your body starts running blood vessels and all thru it. I have dual plane -- most under the muscle implants are -- nobody gets their implants completely under the muscle next to your rib cage -- it's all partially under, that's why Strattice works because it attaches to the tissue at your breast crease and to the muscle where it stops covering the implant. My doc (dr Boynton) has a good video about it on his website. Normally the implant is just covered by skin at the bottom, so the matrix helps prevent rippling there, which is where I first felt rippling right after my first surgery. So, yes, Strattice is worth it and although initially the pain may be more, the actual recovery takes less days than first time going under the muscle because the tissue and muscles have already adjusted, so that's one good thing.
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