An interesting story aired a few weeks ago on the Today Show about twin sisters, both recovering from breast cancer.
While the main focus of the piece was the nearly made-for-TV story of two very close and loving sisters battling breast cancer together, there were several strong messages that were completely missed by the story. The situation of these very courageous siblings presented an opportunity for the type of television that gets the viewer emotionally connected. What an incredible opportunity for the medical editors of the Today Show to drive home some critical points about breast cancer to their demographic of viewers- who are exactly those we as surgeons yearn to reach with such information.
A Genetic Predisposition to Cancer?
The story was basically about the bond between twin sisters in their mid-thirties and the fact that they are both recovering from breast cancer surgery.
The interesting point of the story was that, as these sisters are identical twins, one sister was able to donate tissue to the other sister for use in her reconstruction. The story centered on the emotions behind such a process.
The fact that identical-twins can more easily share such transplanted tissue is a fascinating concept and one that certainly makes for an interesting discussion.
The story was a perfect and obvious opportunity for the media to drive home the point that there is a clear familial and even a genetic predisposition to breast cancer…and this was only hinted at in the piece more so because, in this case, the sisters were so close.
Please don’t get me wrong, this was meaningful television and a story that certainly underscored some of the great work that Plastic Surgeons are involved in.
Thoughts on Breast Cancer Awareness from the Medical Community
I am a Plastic Surgeon in relatively affluent and educated parts of New York including Manhattan, Nassau County Long Island, and Westchester. My practice is one of the busiest cosmetic and reconstructive breast practices in the area and every single breast patient I see – cosmetic or reconstructive- is questioned about their breast health including both personal and family history.
It always amazes me how uninformed many otherwise very intelligent people are about breast cancer risk factors and diagnostic screening procedures.
I see many people in their late forties or fifties who haven’t yet had a screening mammogram. Educating women regarding familial predisposition, other risk factors, and recent concepts regarding genetic testing is something we must not become complacent about. Although it is on some level the responsibility of the medical community to be sure that the message gets out there, we could never reach people as effectively or as efficiently as the media.
The other issue that was mentioned but not impressed upon during the news story was the fact that the first sister’s breast cancer diagnosis came during pregnancy.
This is an incredibly real issue that is also important to address.
Most women during their childbearing years are dwelling on things that are wonderful…as they should. As their bodies change during pregnancy it is normal to expect significant changes in the breasts. The last thing a young woman would logically consider during pregnancy, when it’s normal for breasts to change, is breast cancer.
The fact is that many breast cancers are sensitive to estrogen, which spikes to sky-high levels during pregnancy. An early estrogen-sensitive breast cancer exposed to the dramatically high estrogen levels of pregnancy may grow quickly and become aggressive. This was the case in one of the two sisters in the televised story.
I had a similar patient two years ago – she was in her late twenties and pregnant with her first child. Her astute OB-GYN recognized the large mass in the upper part of her left breast as something unusual – even though, to the patient, this was assumed to be just the normal expected changes of pregnancy. A biopsy was performed and confirmed the diagnosis of cancer. Her beautiful child was delivered a little early and she went on to be treated for her cancer including a nipple-sparing reconstruction. The comprehensive exam and suspicion by the OB-GYN, together with the team approach of the Oncologist, Breast Surgeon and Plastic Surgeon gave this patient swift treatment, a good reconstructive result, and a great prognosis – despite the aggressive nature of her diagnosis.
This was a very well done piece by the Today Show. I can only hope that the show’s medical editors recognize the important opportunity such an emotionally compelling story presents and air an informative follow-up to the story.
It’s logical to think that ‘The better the surgeon, the better the result.’ But how do we define ‘better’? There is a term us surgeons use when a surgeon performs a technical skill with unusual precision and dexterity…we call them ‘slick’. I remember when I was training, and I was exposed to the skills of a variety of surgeons in the operating room, there were some surgeons who stood out…and these were the surgeons I wanted to learn from.
Surgery is different from most medical specialties in that it not only involves a knowledge-base, it also involves a technical skill…and for some surgeons their skills are at such a high level I’d say they had a talent. Skills are learned…talent you’re born with. It’s the smart people who recognize their talent and somehow work it into their careers.
A recent article in the October 10, 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine tried to somehow measure how ‘slick’ a surgeon was. The authors used Bariatric Surgeons as an example, but the concept applies to any surgical specialty. The authors assembled a panel of ‘judges’- surgeons in the same specialty who were familiar with the surgeries being performed. These judges anonymously viewed videos of different surgeons performing the same operation and were asked to score the skill-level of the surgeon performing the procedure on a 1-5 scale. Each video was shown to at least 10 different judges. Complication rates, length of surgery, re-operation rates, and hospital re-admission rates were all compared as it related to skill-score. As expected, superior surgical skill was related to lower rates of complications, shorter surgery, and reduced re-operation and readmission rates. Perhaps the only thing that may have limited the accuracy of the study was that it was up to the surgeons themselves to select a video that they felt was representative of their own skills.
So how does this all help us? It’s another reminder that skill is important and that all surgeons are not equal. There’s no way for a patient to measure how ‘slick’ a particular surgeon is, but it is clear that the better skilled the surgeon the better the surgical result and the lower the risk of complications. These issues affect the results of cosmetic breast surgery in ways that are very different than other surgical procedures. Satisfaction of a patient after Breast Augmentation surgery depends on factors that are short-term and others that are long-term. Of course the skill of your surgeon affects your short term result and appearance…but the long term result, especially the risk of implant issues and the formation of capsule contractures, are dependent on a number of skill-related factors including how your implants are handled, the length of surgery (which affects swelling), and the amount of bleeding during surgery. All of these factors have been shown to affect capsule contracture and implant rupture rates- which are the greatest long term concerns with breast implant patients.
Unfortunately there’s no way to measure the skill of your surgeon before surgery, Botox or filler (Restylane) treatments. You can get a sense of someone’s skill by who his patients are and how happy they seem to be. Ask how many similar patients the doctor has treated as skills get better when the same procedure is performed over and over. Look online and look for photos. A good experienced surgeon will have lots of them. Ask questions. Ask a surgeon how many other doctors he/she has treated. Speak to other patients in the waiting room. Don’t be afraid to speak to a Plastic Surgeon on the phone before your initial visit. If he won’t answer some initial questions on the phone then go somewhere else! Be smart and be sure your doctor is credentialed properly. In my experience in Plastic Surgery the surgeons who are technically slick are also the ones who give patients their time.
People often ask me how to find the best Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. The short answer is to make sure your Plastic Surgeon is, indeed, a Plastic Surgeon.
The easiest way to assure this is to simply check that the doctor is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon- not a Facial Plastic Surgeon, Oculoplastic surgeon, Cosmetic Surgeon, Maxillofacial Plastic Surgeon, or any of the other terms today that have made this whole process very confusing.
Except for unusual circumstances, a legitimate Board Certified Plastic Surgeon should be a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and, for those Plastic Surgeons who perform Cosmetic Surgery, they should be a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. These are easy credentials to check online at www.surgery.org and www.plasticsurgery.org.
Many other medical and even non-medical ‘specialists’ have started to perform procedures traditionally performed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons and, in some cases, the logic for this evolution is sound.
It makes sense that Opthalmologists may ‘branch-out’ and learn to perform cosmetic eyelid surgery. However it doesn’t make sense when they begin performing facelifts. It makes sense when an Otolaryngologist (ENT Surgeon) learns to perform cosmetic nose surgery- however it doesn’t make sense when they begin performing Breast Augmentation, Tummy-Tucks or Liposuction!
There’s also more to performing eyelid or nose surgery than the procedure itself. A full understanding of facial proportions and angulation is important as well. How the appearance of the nose affects the chin, how the height of the brow affects the appearance of the eye, and how procedures that might not be surgical affect the general appearance of the face are all important. In short, there are many tools a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon has in the ‘toolbox’ that other surgical specialists simply are not familiar with.
Not All Specialists Are “Specialists”
There has been a recent explosion in the world of Cosmetic Surgery with specialists outside of the logical realm getting involved.
As an example, I recently saw a 40 year-old man with a complication after liposuction of his chest performed by an Obstetrician!!! And he was fully aware of the doctor’s specialty as this was the Obstetrician who delivered both of his children…go figure! Dermatologists are commonly calling themselves ‘Cosmetic Surgeons’ and you’ll even find Dentists injecting Botox and Fillers. Some are even using the anesthetics in their offices and performing other cosmetic facial cosmetic procedures.
The other areas of concern are the growing number of local salons and spas who are acquiring lasers and other technologies designed for Board Certified Plastic Surgeons and other physicians trained in their use. They obtain these devices typically by paying a physician to sign for their purchase. Many are purchased on the secondary market where regulation is more difficult. These are devices that are supposed to be regulated for medical use with some states requiring physicians, and only physicians, operate the device! While it’s my opinion that a nurse or other trained personnel can operate these devices properly, the intent of the regulation is that a physician should be overseeing their use. The real idea is that use of these devices should be supervised by a plastic surgeon or other specialist who truly understands their place in our Aesthetic Toolbox. A recent patient of mine came to the office for Fraxel Skin Resurfacing- an anti-aging laser procedure. My nurse who initially saw the patient noticed an unusual area of the skin on the nose. She brought this to my attention and a biopsy of this area was performed. This turned out to be a basal-cell carcinoma- a skin cancer- which would have been incorrectly treated with the laser.
In New York City, Long Island and Westchester there are multiple Aesthetic Centers using lasers and other devices that have no doctor involved in day-to-day patient care at all. These places are enticing to those seeking care because, without a doctor directly involved, they are generally less expensive. I guess the best advice I can give is ‘Buyer Beware’. ‘Shopping’ for medical aesthetic procedures, especially cosmetic surgery, is not like shopping for a television set. TV model 1234 is basically the same product wherever you buy it. When it comes to medical care, laser care, and surgical care, you are paying for skill and expertise.
I am one of the few Plastic Surgeons in the New York area providing the full range of surgical and non-surgical, laser and technology-based aesthetic options. As such I can offer multiple options for many aesthetic issues. In my practice I also frequently see patients who have complications from treatment elsewhere. I rarely see complications from Plastic Surgery or Dermatology offices that have active physician involvement with the care of patients. Recently I have seen complications from a Botox and Laser practice run by a Gynecologist, a medical weight-loss and laser practice run by a non-practicing internist, and a laser hair-removal and skin-care center that has no physician actively involved in care. The patients involved had no idea they were going to Gynecologists and Internists. In general, patients don’t even ask the obvious question until there’s a problem.
The fact is that, in New York and most other states, a doctor has a license to practice ‘Medicine and Surgery’. A Neurosurgeon, Cardiologist, Psychiatrist and Plastic Surgeon all have the same license. Any doctor can ‘legally’ practice any type of medicine he desires. Up until recently surgeons only operated in hospitals and it was up to the facility to decide what a given physician was allowed to do at that facility. Now with the popularity of Ambulatory-Care Surgical Centers and Office-Based Surgical Suites doctors no longer need to seek the ‘approval’ of anyone to perform certain procedures in their office. This has made the landscape for cosmetic procedures even more dangerous and the reason why Gynecologists have the ability to perform procedures like liposuction in their offices. A law in support of only allowing a physician to perform a procedure in his office that he is credentialed to perform in a hospital has still not been passed in New York!
So, to go back to the original question- ‘How do I find the best Board Certified Plastic Surgeon?’ you should
- Check the ASPS and ASAPS website to confirm membership
- Ask for the name and specialty of the doctor you are considering.
- Ask if the doctor will be directly involved with your care and, if for surgery, ask if the doctor performs the entire procedure.
- Ask how many similar procedures the doctor has performed and ask if, after you see the doctor, you will be able to speak with other patients who have had the same procedure.
- Ask to see photographs of surgical results. You should see many. Photographs should include a range of results- not just the best. Find photos of a patient with similar issues as your own.
- Most importantly, meet the doctor and make sure your questions get answered. The best doctor for you will likely not be the cheapest available…but you should feel a connection and a level of honesty.
- Don’t be afraid to leave. You are seeking a procedure for your body- not your car. Don’t fall victim to good salesmanship and deception. A good doctor will give you the time you deserve and will openly educate you about the procedures you seek.
- Finally, the care you are seeking should enhance the quality of your life. The experience should be a good one and it should be worth it. Take the proper care when making your decisions and you should end up with a result that thrills you!
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month and I’d like to share some thoughts with my patients.
Over the years I’ve been very fortunate and I’ve treated over 4000 patients in Westchester, Manhattan and Long Island for both cosmetic and reconstructive issues. I’ve treated patients from age 14 to 92. I’ve treated actors, models, Olympic athletes and other doctor’s families. I’ve even treated 52 other doctors, four of whom are Plastic Surgeons themselves.
I tell you this because I consistently find that so many of my patients who have had breast surgery- more so my cosmetic patients, but occasionally even my breast cancer patients- are complacent with their follow up, and this is independent of age, intelligence, or even having a doctor in the family!
Breast augmentation, breast lift and breast reduction patients have the same risk of breast cancer as everyone else. The differences lie in the fact that after surgery your breast is simply different than a non-operated breast. Breast cancer detection, especially self-exam, changes after surgery. That’s not a bad thing, just something you and the doctor doing your breast screening need to be aware of.
In fact there’s some literature to suggest that “breast cancer, when found in a patient who has had breast augmentation, is often found at an earlier stage!”
The biggest issue is that the breast after any surgery just feels and acts different than a non-operated breast and it’s important to understand these differences. I see many post-surgical patients during the year who feel something ‘unusual’ in their breast. They’re smart enough to come in and in all but one case this year I was able to assure patients, with physical exam alone, that their finding was normal. One other case required a simple sonogram.
What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer and Breast Surgery
As a Plastic surgeon specializing in breast surgery, I deal with patients who have had previous breast surgery all the time. Most internists, gynecologists and even breast surgeons are simply unaware of the normal changes in the way a breast feels after common breast procedures. I mean no disrespect to my colleagues in other specialties, but just as it’s inappropriate to see a plastic surgeon for your annual Pap smear, your GYN shouldn’t answer any significant concerns about your post-surgery breast. I recently saw a patient with a ruptured implant after a needle biopsy was attempted on possibly a normal physical finding. Sometimes, after any sort of breast surgery, what may seem appropriate to you or even another physician may be incorrect.
Again, none of this is bad!!!
The point simply is that after breast surgery your breast is changed. The appearance changes and that, hopefully, is a good thing! The feel of your breast also changes and that’s normal too.
I remember a patient early in my career who was about to have a biopsy for a small lump felt in the center of her breast that was too close to her implant to allow a needle aspiration. It was one of my previous saline breast augmentation patients from several years prior. This patient was thin and, when I examined her there in the hospital, I felt the pea-sized lump behind her nipple that was the source of concern. It was clear to me that this was the little tab that closes the valve in the center of the saline implant. I manipulated the tab a bit back into its correct position and, voila, no more lump. This wasn’t a stroke of genius on my part, but I do use, feel, handle and manage implants all day long so I understand the way things are supposed to feel. I wouldn’t expect a General Breast Surgeon to recognize this.
Similar issues exist with Breast Reduction or Breast Lift patients, even without implants. Part of this surgery involves reshaping the breast tissue giving it a more desirable appearance. These procedures are also common, and while healing results in a breast that looks a lot better, the physical exam of the breast changes. This again is not a bad thing and just something patients need to be aware of. You are your best advocate and, if you’re aware of these changes, then you’ll know the right questions to ask.
Some Facts About Breast Cancer
As far as breast reconstruction is concerned, it is important to remind patients of some important facts:
- Breast Cancer can reoccur in a breast that has had a lumpectomy and radiation.
- Breast Cancer can reoccur in a breast that has had a mastectomy.
- Of all the risk factors for breast cancer, none is greater than already having a history of breast cancer yourself- in the same or opposite breast.
- It is normal for your normal non-operated breast to feel different than your surgical side.
- Even though your breast cancer treatment may have included radiation, this alone can change the physical examination of your breasts significantly.
Each year I see people- younger and older, educated and not-so-educated, even relatives of doctors- who don’t follow their breasts appropriately. Do it.
It all starts with an education and a level of awareness that sometimes defies logic. You and your families will never fully understand the heartaches you avoid just by being ‘AWARE’. It’s my goal to help you avoid any issues and, should something ever be found, to help you find things as early as possible so you can have the best outcomes.
As a reminder, I am always available for my patients. If you are one of my cosmetic patients I provide follow-up visits for life without charge. I implore you that if anything is ever found of concern in your breast after breast surgery, let me or another plastic surgeon take a look first.
If you have a question, feel something unusual, need a little reassurance, or just want to be instructed about how to examine your breast then come on in. It’s my pleasure to see you in Yonkers, White Plains, Long Island or Manhattan.
New York City, Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York
When a physician or nurse need the services of a doctor, especially outside their specialty, they will first tap into their network for referrals and then they will likely check the credentials of that physician. I highly recommend that the general public follow the same protocol. Accreditation boards, such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, certify the credentials of a physician. These not-for-profit organizations monitor the work and facilities of the physician on a regular basis to determine if the doctor has met certain criteria.
Credentials and professional designations – such as my appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Chief of Plastic Surgery at St. John’s Riverside Hospital – will verify that a physician has passed stringent board certification guidelines, but those credentials and designations won’t tell you if he is really good at what he does.
Technical skills – in particular surgical skills – are measured by proven results. Most patients want to see “before and after” photos for the procedure they are considering. This is probably the most important step in the research process for the patient. However, equally important are patient referrals and testimonials. I can think of no higher professional recognition than physician/colleague referrals. Gaining the respect of colleagues cannot be achieved by passing a test – it is earned.
Over the course of my seventeen-year career – which has focused exclusively on plastic surgery – I have operated on 57 physicians – four of which are female plastic surgeons, 130 family members and 160 nurses. It is most gratifying when my own colleagues put that faith in me. When selecting a surgeon, do your homework; in particular, ask about colleague referrals. The answer to your questions will help you make an informed decision.
Please feel free to contact me in my Manhattan, Westchester or Roslyn, Long Island offices at 1-888-PSURGERY. I am happy to answer any questions you have regarding Plastic Surgery procedures. I can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York City, Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York
Gynecomastia – commonly referred to as Man-Boobs or “Moobs” – is a condition that’s getting a lot of press these days. The BBC recently reported a significant rise in surgeries to reduce male breast mass as more and more men discover there is a remedy for this often embarrassing condition.
Causes of male breast enlargement are varied. First, a little science review…Like the female breast, the male breast consists of both gland and fat. However the hormone that stimulates the breast to produce milk is nearly absent in men so the gland is basically nonfunctional. The male breast is composed mostly of fat and is very susceptible to weight change. Most cases of Gynecomastia result from weight gain.
Some medications – in particular steroids and some asthma medications – affect the growth of the breast gland and Marijuana use has been linked to breast gland growth in men. Young men may see enlargement of the breast in adolescence due to a surge in estrogen production during puberty.
In rare instances, when Gynecomastia results from increased glandular tissue, I surgically remove the glandular tissue beneath the nipple. However, in most cases, Gynecomastia can be eliminated with Liposuction. The results are satisfying and the scars are almost invisible. I use special liposuction equipment specifically designed to remove fat that might be mixed with glandular tissue. If the patient is left with excess skin resulting from the liposuction, I also do skin tightening. This minimally invasive procedure is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Patients wear a tight compression vest for a few weeks, to reduce swelling and the possibility of fluid buildup under the skin, but return to normal activity shortly after the procedure.
In my experience, nearly every patient I treat is happy with their result – most have the surgery done so they can confidently remove their shirt at the beach. I am most gratified when patients come back to my office with photos of themselves bare-chested on their first vacation after surgery. Man-Boobs no more!
For more information about Gynecomastia, feel free to call me at any of my three offices in New York – Westchester, Long Island and on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Call 1-888-PSURGERY to schedule a complimentary consultation. I can also be reached by email at email@example.com.
New York City, Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York
Abdominal Liposuction versus Tummy Tuck- As we age, the abdomen begins to accumulate fat deposits. During menopause, women are often faced with stubborn fat stores which can be disheartening, especially when diet and exercise do little to decrease abdominal bulge. Even relatively young women experience abdominal bulging that does not respond to diet and exercise – especially those who have been pregnant or undergone surgery – as the shape of the abdomen is also greatly influenced by genetics.
As I consult with patients who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their abdomens, they often ask if they will need a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) to regain their flattering figures. There is no stock answer to this question. Each individual requires a personalized approach, as I consider all the factors that may have contributed to the abdominal bulge.
I first evaluate the location of the fat stores in the abdominal region. Fat stores accumulate in two areas of the abdomen and may require different treatment approaches.
Subcutaneous Fat – stored between the skin and the abdominal muscle wall, and
Visceral Fat – stored behind the muscle wall around the internal organs
In many instances, subcutaneous fat can be effectively treated with liposuction to trim and smooth fat bulges. However, for some patients, age and genetics may have contributed to the shape of the abdominal muscle wall and the accumulation of visceral fat. These fat stores cannot be removed by liposuction.
Once I have determined the location of the fat stores, I evaluate the condition of the patient’s skin. Excessive loose abdominal skin – often the result of weight loss, pregnancy or surgery – may require surgical removal. However, even when there is loose skin present, many patients are pleasantly surprised to learn that their skin can tighten very well after liposuction. By considering this option, some of my patients avoid the more invasive and extensive healing process required with a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck is typically only required when there is excessive loose skin, the abdominal muscle has been damaged with pregnancy or surgery, or for the removal of disproportionate visceral fat.
A one-on-one consultation is always the first course of action and you may want to consider getting more than one opinion if a surgeon immediately recommends a tummy tuck. Many patients who thought they would need an abdominoplasty decide to try liposuction first and then determine if a tummy tuck is needed. If they are satisfied with the results, they might choose to forego the tummy tuck.
If you are looking to re-shape and refine your abdomen with liposuction or a tummy tuck, please feel free to contact me at 1-888-PSURGERY to schedule a consultation at my Manhattan, Westchester or Roslyn, Long Island offices or email me at firstname.lastname@example.orgMy practice website is www.psurgery.com.
New York City, Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York
An Oncologist associate of mine recently asked me to consult with his patient Ana, who was diagnosed with breast cancer during her third trimester of pregnancy. While this was horrific news for a soon-to-be first time mom, the underlying blessing for Ana came with the discovery of the cancer late in her pregnancy. She delivered her healthy baby boy only a few weeks early and he received the benefit of breast milk during his first week of life before Mom had to start her Chemotherapy treatments.
Ana is undergoing her first round of treatment and she is doing well. The tumor is shrinking and her Oncologist is optimistic for her full recovery without a mastectomy. I will be following Ana’s progress over the next few months and I sincerely hope she will not need my services. Her odds are good because she was diagnosed early as a result of a breast exam. The most important thing to take away from this read is the benefit of regular breast exams, but equally important is the significance of consulting a qualified plastic surgeon as soon as the diagnosis is given. Because her Oncologist enlisted my services, I was able to reassure Ana she can expect to have a great quality of life after cancer, even if she does have to undergo a mastectomy.
I devote a portion of my practice to reconstructive surgery – in particular breast reconstruction after mastectomy – because I truly enjoy helping these women recover their dignity and their zest for life after cancer. Most women would not even consider the outcome after a mastectomy until they are diagnosed with cancer. By that time they are scared and thinking the worst. The pre-mastectomy consult serves to calm the patient and dispel any preconceived ideas about life after the mastectomy.
Patients are often surprised to learn that I will perform the reconstructive surgery at the time of the mastectomy, depending on the individual circumstances. For those who choose to wait, they leave the consultation knowing they have options because I can show them what my patients have experienced.
New York City, Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York
Five years have passed since the FDA re-approved silicone breast implants. During the test trials leading up to this approval – a study that lasted over ten years – I was selected as an approved physician to perform breast augmentations using silicone implants. My patients, as well as others who were selected for silicone implants during the trial period agreed to participate in long-term study of health and safety.
At the conclusion of the 10-year study, The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science appointed by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services determined the following:
“Evidence suggests diseases or conditions such as connective tissue diseases, cancer, neurological diseases or other systemic complaints or conditions are no more common in women with breast implants than in women without breast implants.” (Articlefactory.com)
The safety of silicone breast implants has now been proven. They offer advantages for some patients that simply did not exist when saline implants were the only choice. I have used silicone implants in approximately 50% of the hundreds of breast augmentation surgeries I have performed each year since silicone implants received FDA approval in 2006. Why? Because the silicone implant greatly expands the options for women and offers some fantastic benefits – in particular, silicone implants feel more natural to the touch than saline implants.
Although silicone implants are gaining in popularity, there are still situations where saline implants are preferred. The best choice for each patient is determined during a physician consultation. In most cases, I can give patients a comparable visual result with saline and silicone so they can make an informed decision.
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