American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Debra Johnson, MD

Active Member

Active Member

Debra Johnson, MD

Debra Johnson, MD, is an ASPS Member plastic surgeon who is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery® and trained specifically in plastic surgery. ASPS members operate only in accredited medical facilities, adhere to a strict code of ethics and fulfill continuing medical education requirements in plastic surgery, including training in patient safety techniques. As your medical partner, Dr. Johnson is dedicated to working with you to achieve your goals.


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About

Meet Dr. Debra Johnson


Procedures

Procedures Performed

Arm Lift

Body Contouring

Body Lift

Botulinum Toxin

Breast Augmentation

Breast Implant Removal

Breast Implant Removal

Breast Lift

Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reduction

Brow Lift

Buttock Lift with Augmentation

Chemical Peels, IPL, Fractional CO2 Laser Treatments

Chin Augmentation

Chin Surgery

Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

Cosmetic Surgery

Dermabrasion

Dermal Fillers

Down Syndrome

Ear Reconstruction Surgery

Ear Surgery

Endoscopic Technique

Eyelid Ptosis Repair

Eyelid Surgery

Facelift

General Reconstruction

Hair Transplant

Hand Surgery

Hand Surgery for Congenital Differences

Head and Neck Skin Cancer Reconstruction

Head-Neck Cancer Reconstruction

Injectable Fillers

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Lip Augmentation / Enhancement

Liposuction

Male Breast Reduction

Microdermabrasion

Permanent Make-up

Post Burn Reconstruction

Retin-A Treatments

Rhinoplasty

Scar Revision

Skin Cancer Removal

Spider Vein Treatment

Surgery for Genitourinary Diseases

Thigh Lift

Tram Flap Breast Reconstruction

Tummy Tuck

Vascular Malformations

Ask A Surgeon

Ask a Surgeon

Dr. Debra Johnson participates in the ASPS Ask A Surgeon service. View responses to public questions below.

Age

Breast Augmentation

Member Response:

Age is just a number. As long as you are healthy, have a good understanding of the risks and benefits of breast implants, and can make an informed decision you would be a fine candidate for breast augmentation. You would want to be up-to-date on your mammogram. If you have any health issues, you might want to discuss your suitability for elective surgery with your primary care. Use the Find-a-Surgeon tool to locate a board-certified plastic surgeon near you and make a consultation appointment.

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Reopening of “new” bellybutton 6 years after Abdominoplasty?

Mommy Makeover

Member Response:

It's good to check and make sure there's no infection, as your primary care is doing. You should return to see your plastic surgeon. If that surgeon is no longer available to you, you can use the Find-a-Surgeon tool on this website to locate an ASPS surgeon near you. You could have a small fluid collection (seroma) leaking. It's not dangerous, but might need some attention to stop the leakage.

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Is there an age requirement and does it matter breast size?

Breast Reduction

Member Response:

Breast reduction can be performed at any age, as long as you are healthy and your weight is stable. If you are overweight, and would like to lose weight, it is better to do that before you have a breast reduction. Weight loss after reduction might result is some deflation of the breasts, making them smaller than you might like. Younger women do need to think about the fact that you might one day have children and want to breastfeed. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can ultimately change the breasts in both size and shape. If you go ahead with reduction now, you may not be satisfied with the way your breasts are after pregnancy. I always warn younger women that there may be some "maintenance work" in your future. Reduction does reduce your ability to breastfeed by a small percentage, so realize if you are unable to breastfeed that you may have to bottle/formula feed your baby.

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Full Mastopexy & Breast Augmentation

Breast Lift

Member Response:

500 cc implants are larger than average. That size implant adds a little over two cups sizes to your bra. The additional implant weight puts even more gravitational effect on your breasts, so that despite the lift, you are stressing your breast skin. Your plastic surgeon likely recommended mesh to try and counteract the additional weight of the implants and prevent future "bottoming out" of the breast skin. Keeping your breasts D-cup or lower is a good preventative to future droopiness of the breasts, and also helps reduce neck, back, and shoulder pain associated with DD+ breasts.

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Incision not healing

Tummy Tuck

Member Response:

Delayed healing is the most common risk from a tummy tuck. Keeping the area clean is important. Then cover with some antibiotic ointment and a dry gauze. It can take several weeks to heal completely so don’t lose faith. The resulting scar will be a bit purplish for awhile but in the long run will likely look fine. If it doesn’t, a small scar revision might improve things.

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mastoplexy failure

Breast Lift

Member Response:

It is very disappointing to have your breasts sag again after a breast lift. But the very reasons your breasts sagged in the first place are still affecting your breasts now. Often I have patients with very thin skin, and even though you tighten as much as you think is safe, it will "rebound" after breastlift and stretch again. If you have a fair amount of your own breast volume/weight (like a C-cup or bigger) gravity will work against you. Also, you don't mention the type of lift you had, but often the shorter scar lifts (like periareolar or lollipop) leave more weak skin behind that can stretch out after surgery. Hopefully, tightening the skin envelope again will do the trick, but unfortunately no promises can be made. Wearing a good supportive bra, avoiding activities that "bounce" the breasts (like jogging, jump-roping, bouncing on a trampoline, etc) will reduce the stretching. Good luck!

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FDL and BTL

Tummy Tuck

Member Response:

Congratulations on your weight loss! Have you reached your goal weight? Most surgeons would want you as close as possible to your goal weight and to have maintained that weight for 3-6 months prior to an abdominoplasty. You can combine a tummy tuck with other procedures but it can increase the risk of complications. You would need to have a gyn surgeon and a plastic surgeon that could work together. Salpingostomy (unblocking of a Fallopian tube) makes me think you might be wanting to get pregnant in the future. Pregnancy after an abdominoplasty would likely stretch out your abdominal skin and worsen your result. It is usually best to finish childbearing before having a tummy tuck.

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How expensive is it?

Breast Reduction

Member Response:

You should consult with one of our ASPS member board certified plastic surgeons to see what your options might be. Sometimes gynecomastia is covered under health insurance so you would only be responsible for your co-pay and deductible. If you don't have insurance or it isn't a covered benefit, then many plastic surgeons have their own office operating room where they perform surgery far more economically than in a hospital. You should call customer service for your health insurance to see if gynecomastia surgery is covered, and if it is, ask for a list of plastic surgeons in your plan. Then you will have to google or make a few phone calls to find an in-network board-certified plastic surgeon to care for you (sometimes dermatologists and ENTs are listed under plastic surgery). If it's not covered, use the Find-a-Surgeon tool on this website to locate ASPS member surgeons near you. Good luck!

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Boob Reduction

Breast Reduction

Member Response:

The cost depends often on how long the procedure will take. Is your breast size just a little different so that perhaps just liposuction would correct the asymmetry? Or is the larger breast also very droopy and both skin and breast tissue will need to be removed? What is your age? Have you had children yet? Do you want to try and have your health insurance cover the cost? These are all issues that play into what might be recommended. A standard one-sided breast reduction in my practice in California would run about $4000, although price varies throughout the country. You should consult with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area. Consult the Find-a-Surgeon tool to find qualified ASPS member surgeons near you.

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Financing

Tummy Tuck

Member Response:

There are various ways to finance a medical procedure: you can use a credit card you already have and pay the cost over time, but with a monthly interest payment added in. There are companies that provide short term loans, some at no interest for 6 months to a year, that give you the opportunity to pay the bill off in monthly installments. You need to understand that the longer you take to pay, the more interest you might have tacked on, making the surgery more expensive. Google cosmetic surgery financing and carefully read the offers. Applying before you see a plastic surgeon lets you know if and for how much loan assistance you may qualify, so that you can go ahead a schedule the surgery once you find a plastic surgeon you like.

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Weight

Tummy Tuck

Member Response:

The best thing you can do to reduce your risk of post-operative complications is to reduce your weight. If you can get to a BMI of less than 30, you will reduce your risk of wound healing problems and blood clots in the legs that could travel to the lungs and cause shortness of breath, palpitations and even death. Your BMI is currently 36.4 which places you in the "obese" range. To get your BMI below 30 you would need to weigh less than 164 pounds. So you need to lose 35 pounds. Talk to your doctor about a medically supervised weight loss program. Or consider Weight Watchers, a proven method of safe weight loss. And good luck!

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Tiny breast

Breast Augmentation

Member Response:

Fortunately in San Antonio there are several ASPS member surgeons. Use the Find-a-Surgeon tool to locate board certifiedplastic surgeons in your area. Placement of a breast implant or even fat transfer may be options.

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Age limitation

Tummy Tuck

Member Response:

Age is not a limitation as long as your general health is good. If you have any health issues, then your plastic surgeon may ask you to get a “medical clearance” from your cardiologist or primary care doctor to assure they believe you could undergo a procedure without difficulty. Consult with an ASPS member surgeon to assess your suitability for surgery.

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Average cost of reduction and lift

Breast Reduction

Member Response:

If your wife is unhappy with the size and shape of her breasts, she should consult with an ASPS member surgeon regarding her options. She likely has saline-filled implants, if they were placed in 2004 (silicone was not available at that time for breast enlargement patients). As long as the implants are intact, there is no reason to replace them, unless downsizing the implants is a necessary part of her breast reduction. If she needs a lift and small reduction, then a breast lift alone (removing a smaller amount of breast tissue) might suffice. Your wife should be up to date on her mammogram. If she has a card with the implant size/type on it, take that to her consultation. Unfortunately, pain is not something you can see to pluck out. A good exam by a plastic surgeon may be able to determine if the implant/capsule is a source of her pain. If her pain is in the breast, it may improve with time. Costs vary b/w $5000-10,000 depending on what is needed.

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Autoimmune disorder

Tummy Tuck

Member Response:

Having ankylosing spondilitis does not bar you from having a tummy tuck. You would need to talk to your rheumatologist regarding this surgery and receive his or her okay for going through with the procedure. Most plastic surgeons ask you to discontinue your Naproxyn prior to surgery because one of the side effects of NSAIDs is increased bruising and risk of bleeding causing a hematoma (a collection of blood in the wound that might require further surgery). After a tummy tuck, many women have to walk a bit hunched over for a few days, which can result in low back pain. On the positive side, people with autoimmune disorders often end up with better scars than the general population. Consult with an ASPS member surgeon to see if you are a safe candidate for this surgery.

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vaping after surgery

Breast Reduction

Member Response:

Ideally you would discontinue vaping forever, as nicotine addiction is an expensive, unhealthy practice. Nicotine constricts the blood vessels that produce healing, and there is tons of evidence that tobacco products increase healing complications. Nicotine also constricts vessels supplying sensory nerves and thus increases pain after surgery. I would ask your surgeon how long you should lay off vaping, but my best answer is forever.

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Recovery

Breast Reduction

Member Response:

I usually ask patients to avoid vigorous physical activity for two weeks. Off work for 10-14 days, and no alcohol while using pain medication. It usually takes 2-3 months for the last little tweaky feelings to dissipate and to feel 100% again.

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Can I become flat chested?

Breast Reduction

Member Response:

When you reduce the breasts the surgeon needs to leave enough blood supply to keep what's left alive. Going "flat" might mean that the nipple/areola would have to be removed and then replaced as a graft. A grafted nipple loses its sensitivity and projection. If you are willing to sacrifice the feeling in the nipple, then going flat is possible. If you want to maintain the sensibility of the nipple, then your surgeon can make you as small as possible, but it may not be completely flat.

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Upper back/shoulder/neck pain

Breast Reduction

Member Response:

It would be a good idea to consult with an ASPS member plastic surgeon. Many women with larger breasts wear bras that are too small for them, so your 36D might not be correct. If you can hold your breasts up with your hands and feel relief in your back pain, then a reduction would likely improve your symptoms. Usually women with DD or greater will qualify for reduction under their health insurance plan. Use the Find-A-Surgeon tool to locate an ASPS member near you.

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Revision

Breast Augmentation

Member Response:

Your implant should have a lifetime product warranty (unless it is a PIP implant). That means the manufacturer will provide a new implant for free. You would have to pay for the surgeon and the operating room fee. Your original surgeon may waive his/her fee. I do this for my own patients. For patients I didn't operate on, I charge $500. The OR is usually only one hour, so not terribly expensive. If your original surgeon is not available, check the Find-A-Surgeon tool for ASPS members near you. Call around and ask what the price might be. USC and UCLA may have "resident's cosmetic clinics" in which a resident (under the supervision of a professor) might offer a reduced cost surgery. You could also consider one of the no or low-interest loans that would allow you to pay off the surgery over 6-12 months. Good luck.

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Payment

Payment Options

  • Cash or Personal Checks
  • HMO/PPO/Other Insurance
  • Medicare
Location

Our Location

Our Office Hours

Monday 2-5 (Sacramento)
Wednesday 2-5 (Sacramento)
Thursday 9-12 (Sacramento) and 2-5 (Granite Bay)
All other hours M-F are for surgery

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By submitting your request, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.