It is very difficult to determine the exact size and shape implant you will require to best match your ideal breast image without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. Not just any board certified plastic surgeon, but one with many years of frequently performing breast augmentation surgery including different approaches, techniques and implant choices. This is because several measurements not to mention your breast characteristics are needed to determine the optimal implant size to obtain your goals. Without knowing these dimensions it would be difficult to make this determination. For example, the existing base width of your breast will determine, in many cases, the maximal volume per implant profile that you can accommodate. To illustrate; a 100 cc difference may make a significant difference with a narrow base width breast, but much less of a difference if you have a wide chest wall and wide breast “foot print”. Therefore, just because your friend may have a great result with let’s say a 350 cc implant to make her go from a “A” cup to a “C” cup size does not mean that you will have the same result with the same size implant. . Further simply placing implants in a bra to determine the size best for you is not always accurate as the bra often distorts the size, is dependent on the pressure the bra places plus the implant is outside your breast and not under it among other variables. Computer software morphing programs that automatically determine the best implant size can be helpful in some but not all cases (e.g. doesn’t work well in my experience with existing implants, sagging or asymmetric breasts). Using “want to be” photos however are useful if simply provided to the surgeon as I will further explain in a bit.
Additional critical decisions will also be made by your plastic surgeon such as: whether your implants will be above or below your pectoralis muscle. These choices are recommended to you based on the look you desire, the amount of sagging you may have, and other deciding factors. For more than 25 years, I have tried just about every method to best understand and achieve the patient’s optimal goal. The following is what I have found to be most accurate: To start with, I have found it most helpful for patients to bring in photos from my or other plastic surgeons’ websites to illustrate what they would like to look like. This gives me detailed standardized views and information both qualitative (shape, perkiness) and qualitative (size) and allows me to discuss with my patients how I can best achieve their objectives as well as realistic expectations. For example, though I always tell my patients that I cannot make them exactly the same as a photo because everyone has different anatomical constraints. However, these ”ideal” breast photos are brought to the operating room for reference during surgery so that I have the advantage of “seeing through my patient’s eyes” to best achieve their wishes. Even if the photo does not match their height or weight, I and most plastic surgeons are very good at translating the proportionality of the photo to your features.
I personally order more than one set of implant sizes and use sterile implant “sizers” (temporary implants) placed in the created implant pocket during surgery to know in advance exactly which implant would work best for you in both a sitting and lying down position. This also allows me the opportunity to modify the pocket to meet some of the more subtle shape features desired. This enables me to use my full artistic potential to achieve your desired goals.
A person’s own fat may be used to improve the appearance of his or her body by moving it from an area of excess (or where it is less desired, such as the thighs, hips or abdomen) to an area that has lost tissue volume due to aging, trauma, surgery, certain diseases, birth defects, or other causes.
Ideal candidates are in good health, and have excess fat in some parts of the body and too little in other regions. Fat grafting is most often used for the face, breasts and buttocks. Typically, the transferred fat results in a significant increase in volume of the body site being treated.
Fat for lipoinjection, also called fat transfer, is removed from unwanted areas of the body by a narrow blunt tip surgical instrument with side holes, called a cannula, through a small incision. The fat is then cleaned with sterile saline solution before being restored to the body. The fat is then injected into the desired area using either a smaller cannula or needle, or it may be placed directly through an incision. Since some of the fat that is transferred does not remain over time, your surgeon may inject more than is ultimately needed to achieve the desired end result. Over a few weeks, the amount of transferred fat will decrease.
There is a limit of how much fat can be safely injected into one area. The amount of fat that remains over time is variable from patient to patient. For some patients, more fat or other fillers may need to be transferred in a subsequent surgery to maintain or supplement the desired results.
Fat transfer procedures are performed using a local anesthetic, with or without IV sedation or general anesthesia, depending on the extent of the procedure and recommendations of your surgeon.
Alternative forms of nonsurgical and surgical volume management consist of injections of FDA-approved injectable fillers, or occasionally implants.
Fillers include hyaluronic acid “HA” (Restylane, Juvederm), polylactic acid (Sculptra), calcium hydroxyapatite (Radiesse) and other fillers, use of man-made implants or other surgical procedures that transfer vascularized fat from body tissues nearby (flaps).
In general, injectable off-the-shelf fillers and fat are used for smaller areas such as in the face, whereas only fat is used to inject into larger areas such as the buttocks due to the quantity required to make the desired change.
Specific Risks of Fat Transfer Procedures
Every procedure involves a certain amount of risk. When choosing to undergo a procedure, an individual must weigh its risks against its potential benefits. Although the majority of our patients do not experience these complications, you should discuss all of your concerns with your plastic surgeon.
Infection — Infection may occur after any surgery and may rarely occur after fat transfer. The rate of infection increases with the amount of injected fat, but the overall rate still remains very low due to routine use of sterile technique and prophylactic antibiotics. Complication rates are higher in smokers, those with diabetes, and with multiple procedures.
Excessive Bleeding — Although bruising after surgery is common and occasionally prolonged, excessive bleeding is unusual during or after surgery. Unapproved medications and supplements, or strenuous physical activity too soon after surgery, can increase the chance of bleeding and complications in general. It is important to follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions.
Change in Appearance — Typically the transferred fat loses some of its volume over time and then becomes stable. It is possible that more fat transfer treatments may be needed to maintain the desired appearance. It is important to understand that more than one treatment may be needed for optimal results. Additional costs are associated with repeated treatments.
Firmness and Lumpiness — While most transferred fat results in a natural feel, it is possible that some or all of the fat may become firm, hard, or lumpy. If some of the fat does not survive the transfer, it may result in fat necrosis (death of transferred fat tissue), causing firmness and discomfort. Oil cysts may also form at the site of the transferred fat. Needle aspiration or surgery may be required to improve such conditions.
Fluid Accumulation (Seroma) — After fat grafting with or without implant placement, body fluids occasionally collect beneath the skin called a seroma which can delay wound healing. If the fluid accumulation is significant, your plastic surgeon may aspirate the fluid with a small needle as an office procedure one or more times.
Fat Absorption Viability — Approximately 20-40% of injected fat does not remain and re-absorbs. Fat survival depends on the location of injection, age, co-morbid disease factors, smoking, weight gain or loss, and technical factors including expertise of the surgeon. Gentle massaging over the buttock area helps even out and smooths these areas during the recovery phase.
Skin Irregularities or Dimples — Contour irregularities, including bumps, dimples, and asymmetric fullness, as well as depressions or fullness in the skin may occur after fat transfer and liposuction. Visible and palpable wrinkling of skin may occur depending on skin elasticity. Postoperative massaging is often helpful in smoothing these areas.
Fat Necrosis — The areas where fat is transferred to and from may experience fat compromise or fat death that can lead to surface irregularities or result in fat calcification and produce areas of palpable firmness, “bumps”. Additional surgery to remove areas of fat necrosis may be necessary. This may result in contour irregularities.
Skin Loss (Skin Death) — This is a rare occurrence. The skin about the site of surgery or at the incision site may become necrotic or ‘die’. When this happens, skin may change color and slough off. If it is not a full thickness injury the skin will grow back, otherwise a wound will form and heal slowly. This may require further surgical and medical management.
Contour Asymmetry — The two halves of the body are never symmetric. Therefore, following fat transfers, these asymmetries may persist and appear as difference between the contour and volume of the two sides.
Long Term Effects — Subsequent changes in the shape or appearance of the area where the fat was removed or placed will occur as the results of aging, weight loss or gain, or other circumstance not related to the fat transfer procedures.
Fatty Cyst Formation — The transferred fat may form small fat clumps or oil cysts. This may interfere with the interpretation of future radiologic studies of breasts, and rarely, may need to be aspirated or removed.
Fat Transfers to Breast — Fat transfers have been widely used to improve the appearance of breast reconstruction. There are some potential concerns with regard to breast cancer detection. Since the transferred fat may become firm and cause lumps, it may be necessary to have radiological studies performed to be sure these lumps are not due to cancer. However, there is presently evidence nor nor reason to believe that fat transfer procedures may cause breast cancer.
“Two-Year Outcomes With a Novel, Double-Lumen, Saline-Filled Breast Implant”
Originally published by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc.
Background: A double-lumen, saline-filled breast implant with a baffle structure (IDEAL IMPLANT Saline-Filled Breast Implant; Ideal Implant Incorporated, Irving, Texas) was developed to overcome the limitations of single-lumen saline implants by controlling saline movement and providing internal support to the implant edge and upper pole.
Objective: The authors report 2-year data from a 10-year US clinical trial evaluating the safety and effectiveness of this investigational implant.
Methods: Women seeking primary breast augmentation or replacement of existing augmentation implants were enrolled between February 2009 and February 2010 at 35 private practice sites, where the women underwent surgery to receive the new technology implant. Data collection included incidence and grade of capsular contracture (CC) and wrinkling as well as patient- and surgeon-reported satisfaction measures. All clinical data were reported as Kaplan-Meier risk rates of first occurrence, per patient, in each cohort.
Results: Two-year follow-up visits were completed by 472 of 502 enrolled women (94.0%), 378 of whom had undergone primary breast augmentation and 94 of whom had received replacement augmentation. Patient-reported satisfaction with the outcome was 94.3% for primary augmentations and 92.3% for replacement augmentations; surgeon-reported satisfaction was also high (96.5% and 93.4%, respectively). Baker Grade III and IV CC rates were 3.8% (primary) and 8.2% (replacement), whereas moderate-to-severe wrinkling was 3.8% (primary) and 12.0% (replacement). Deflations occurred in
4.8% of primary augmentations and 3.3% of replacement augmentations. No deflations were caused by a shell fold flaw.
Conclusions: Two-year data from 472 women indicate that this double-lumen saline implant containing a baffle structure has a low rate of wrinkling and a lower rate of CC at 2 years than was reported for current single-lumen saline implants at 1 year.
Although saline-filled implants are a safe, effective alternative to silicone gel-filled implants,1 the currently available saline-filled implants are essentially balloons filled with freely-moving fluid, which may result in an unnatural feel or suboptimal aesthetic result.2-5 These implants, which have only a single lumen, tend to be less forgiving than silicone gel implants in terms of palpability, visibility, and rippling.5,6 Scalloping or wrinkling, for example, is a well known problem.5-7 This may be a significant part of the reason that 31% of women in the United States chose saline-filled implants for breast augmentation in 2011.8 For a more natural result, the only currently available alternatives to saline-filled implants are silicone gel-filled implants, which some women will not accept. Clearly, there is a need for a saline-filled implant that offers a more natural result, without the wrinkling, bouncing, or globular shape commonly attributed to current saline implants.2-5Continue reading “IDEAL Structured Breast IMPLANT®: 2-year Follow-up Study Results”→
Breast implant patients are eager to know more about the new Ideal Breast Implant, which is soon to be made available to the public. Dr. Larry Nichter, one of the lead FDA investigators into the safety and performance of the new implant, discusses the advantages offered by the latest breast implant in an interview with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons:
How is this implant superior to current saline or silicone breast implants?
The IDEAL IMPLANT was developed to combine the most desirable features of both current implants: the natural result of silicone gel with the safety of saline for “Peace of Mind.” It is what many women have been asking for – an improved saline implant, with the natural appearance and tissue-like feel of a silicone gel implant, but without the wrinkling, bouncing and globular look of the current single-lumen saline implant.
Why would a woman prefer this implant over current saline or silicone implants, or even future implants like the gummy bear silicone implants?
Many women considering breast augmentation would like to have only saline in their implants because of their feelings about health and safety. Scalloping or wrinkling is a well-known problem with current single-lumen saline implants. The only alternative women have for a more natural result is silicone gel-filled implants, which some will not accept, regardless of its “cohesivity.” This may be a significant part of the reason that 31% of US women chose saline-filled implants for breast augmentation in 2011. The IDEAL IMPLANT was designed to meet women’s need for an implant that gives a natural result, yet is filled with only saline.
Does the implant produce a more natural looking breast, as compared to current saline or silicone implants?
This new double-lumen saline implant was designed so the implant edge lies lower and closer to the convex chest wall, for a better contour to the chest wall than current single-lumen saline implants.
What are they made out of, i.e., do they still contain saline?
The IDEAL IMPLANT uses the same materials and manufacturing processes as current single-lumen saline implants. They are filled with only saline.
What is a double-lumen? What is an internal baffle structure and what is made out of?
Double-lumen means that the implant has two separate saline-filled lumens or spaces. An inner implant shell defines the inner lumen and the outer implant shell defines the outer lumen, which is between these two shells.
In the outer lumen, there are one to three implant shells, perforated and free-floating, that act as a baffle structure. This baffle structure is designed to control movement of the saline filler so there is no bouncing, to support the upper pole of the implant so it does not collapse when the patient is upright, and to support the edge of the implant so scalloping and wrinkling are minimized.
Does this implant look any different than current saline or silicone implants?
On the outside, it looks like any breast implant. On the inside, the IDEAL IMPLANT contains a series of implant shells of increasing size nested together (inner shell, outer shell and baffle shells in between).
Who is the manufacturer? Is this the first study done on this implant?
The manufacturer is Ideal Implant Incorporated, a company majority owned by plastic surgeons. The IDEAL IMPLANT is manufactured in the United States.
Is this the first study done on this implant?
Currently, where is this implants at in the FDA clinical trial process?
The PMA has been submitted to FDA in modules over the last year, including US clinical trial results, pre-clinical testing data and manufacturing information.
Approximately, how long until the implant will be available to patients?
FDA approval could be granted by year-end.
Will the cost of augmentation surgery with these new implants be comparable to current prices?
The IDEAL IMPLANT will be priced the same as current silicone gel implants and will be marketed directly to women. It will only be sold to ABPS certified plastic surgeons.
With the Ideal Implant, women will no longer have to choose between peace of mind and a great result when it comes to breast augmentation. Dr. Larry Nichter explains.
Saline and Silicone, Safety and Performance
Women have so far had essentially just two breast implant fill choices: saline or silicone.
Silicone implants have distinct advantages over saline implants in terms of performance: they wrinkle less and conform to a more natural breast shape, and also have a softer feel that is more breast-like. However, silicone implants have gained a reputation—possibly undeserved—for being less safe than saline implants. Despite the fact that there is no known toxicity of silicone gel breast implants, the possibility of a “silent rupture,” undetectable except by MRI, has been enough to make many women opt for saline implants or wait for a better product to come along. The time will be here most likely within a year or so with the advent of the Ideal Implant, the name given to a new design saline hybrid implant. It has the natural feel of silicone and safety of saline.
Saline implants, though providing peace of mind by being perceived as safer than silicone, often do not create a result that seems as natural. Wrinkling, scalloping, a globular shape, and water balloon-like feel, and increased risk of capsular contracture have been the trade-off for peace of mind with breast implants. The Ideal Implant solves many if not all of these concerns.
The Ideal Implant has both
The Ideal Implant is one of the major technological advances to come along in the past few decades in implant manufacture. Using a novel design with internal baffles, the saline implant is manufactured to achieve a similar feel and performance comparable to a silicone implant. Approximately 95% of both patients and their surgeons expressed satisfaction at the current two-year data point by the FDA. The Ideal Breast Implant is soon to be released in the US market, hopefully with in the year.
As one of the lead FDA study investigators, I have personally followed my Ideal Implant patients for more than two years. The vast majority of my patients are thrilled with the results. My follow up exams indicate that in most cases they have the feel more like silicone than saline.
When placed on a convex surface similar to the curve of the chest wall, the Ideal Implant conforms to a more natural breast shape; its edge lies lower and its outward surface does not collapse. This is because engineers designed the Ideal Implant with three nested baffle shells, which are unattached and perforated. This makes the saline move slowly between the compartments, giving it gel-like characteristics and a feel more like that of a natural breast.
The Ideal breast implant uses no new materials or manufacturing processes—only tried and tested ones—and is made completely in the United States. The manufacturing process is automated to ensure uniform thickness of the membrane shell, unlike the hand-dipped ones that are used for breast implant manufacturers by other companies. Perhaps most important, the President of the Company, Dr. Robert Hamas, indicated that this implant will only be made available to board certified plastic surgeons by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. To date, the other saline breast implant companies in the US, Allergan and Mentor, sell their product essentially to any MD or DO whether they are a plastic surgeon or not, and even to non-surgeons without board certification. This gives an added advantage to the consumer knowing that when they have an Ideal breast implant placed it will be done by someone well trained and competent—by a board certified plastic surgeon.
The Ideal breast implant is currently undergoing FDA trial studies in 502 women, the second-year results were recently released and are very promising. The capsular contracture rate, for example, at the two-year follow up mark of the current FDA study indicates a dramatic decrease of capsular contracture. To date, the Ideal breast implants show significantly lower rates of capsule contracture and wrinkling, as well as high patient satisfaction. Deflations from early manufacturing defects were identified and addressed, and manufacturing processes have been refined.
Though it has yet to be released to the general public, the Ideal Implant is shaping up to be a contender in the open market with traditional saline and silicone implants.
The most critical decision to be made in achieving the best plastic surgical result is picking the most experienced and talented, that is the best, plastic surgeon possible. Too often, patients choose a physician based on a catchy ad, the brand name of a technique, the basis of one or two before and after photos, or their web site’s search engine ranking. These criteria will not find the most experienced and talented plastic surgeon.
I have been a practicing plastic surgeon for more than 25 years, having trained scores of plastic surgeons as a tenured professor of plastic surgery at USC, and I have had a private practice in Orange County since 1993. Speaking from all this experience, here is my advice and the criteria I would use to find the best plastic surgeon in Orange County, Los Angeles, California, or anywhere in the United States. These are the criteria I would use to select a plastic surgeon for my friends, my family, or myself.
First, I want to stress some general observations I have found to be true over the years.
Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware
The longer a surgeon trains at his craft, the finer his skills and the better his judgment become. Board certification in Plastic Surgery (see below) is a bare minimum. Board certification in an additional surgical field recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, or for that matter “triple-board certified,” attests to a doctor’s advanced training and skill and judgment. It also means that they have attained Chief Resident Status in more than one field during their training which means they essentially ran a large departmental service and had senior decision-making and independent operating responsibilities. It is this step that is most maturing for a surgeon.
The institution where the surgeon trained is also important. More renowned schools usually attract the best faculty.
You can use the internet to research the background of a prospective plastic surgeon quickly. Please do this prior to making an appointment. “Just because you wear a baseball cap it doesn’t mean you are a good ball player.” The same applies to anyone wearing a white coat—it doesn’t make you a plastic surgeon, much less a great one.
Caveat Emptor in Latin means “Buyer Beware.” In most states, including California, any physician with a medical school diploma and state license is viewed as a doctor and a surgeon—even without any formal surgical training. In some cases even doctors who have completed only the minimal requirements (medical school, licensing examination, and a one-year internship that need not include surgical training) are touting themselves as “cosmetic surgical experts.” They make these claims of expertise despite the fact that they are only formally trained as family practitioners, OB/Gyns, emergency physicians, dermatologists, or ear-nose-throat specialists. Even physician assistants and nurses have made such claims.
7-Step Process for Finding the Best Plastic Surgeon
The following are my screening guidelines and criteria for picking the best plastic/cosmetic surgeon.
1. Board Certified Plastic Surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
To become a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery requires a minimum of five years of surgical training with a minimum of two years of training specifically in plastic surgery. Then the applicant must also pass a comprehensive written board exam. If successful, the candidate must present his/her clinical cases for critical review by board examiners (I was one such board examiner) and if accepted will take a series of oral examinations.
Since the 1990s, the American Board of Plastic Surgery Certification is only valid for ten years. To retain your board certified status, a plastic surgeon must complete a Maintenance of Certification including written testing and case review. This means that all who pass are trained and experienced in all plastic surgery procedures including facial procedures, breast, and body; essentially all cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.
If a Plastic Surgeon is additionally board certified by another surgical specialty recognized the American Board of Medical Specialties, then this also marks additional expertise and training at the highest level. The American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery (ABFRS) is not a licensing body nor an educational institution and the certificates it issues are not legal licenses to practice facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. The ABFRS is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (although it does note additional specialty training/interest in facial aesthetic surgery).
Likewise, beware of physicians armed only with certification from other non-ABMS recognized boards or special society memberships other than those I have recommended (eg. “Cosmetic Surgery Board,” “Lipoplasty Society of North America,” etc.).
2. Fellow of the American College of Surgeons: FACS
The American College of Surgeons is dedicated to improving the care of the patient and to safeguarding standards of care in an optimal and ethical practice environment. Members of the American College of Surgeons are referred to as “Fellows.” The letters FACS (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon’s name mean that the surgeon’s education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation, and have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the College.
To be a member you have to:
be board certified in a surgical specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties
be in practice in one location for a number of years, with a background check, nomination, and interviews which verify that you are an ethical and safe surgeon among other criteria.
Hint: Look for the “FACS” (or “FRCS,” see below) after the “MD” in a doctor’s title or in his/her Curriculum Vitae to see if he/she is a “real surgeon.”
Note for patients in Canada: The equivalent of FACS in Canada is the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, FRCS.
3. Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of plastic surgeons in the United States and one of the largest in the world. ASPS members are uniquely qualified because of the society’s membership requirements:
Members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons must be Board Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery complete at least 5 years of surgical training with a minimum of 2 years of training specifically in plastic surgery. The more years of Plastic Surgical Training the better – this includes fellowships in a plastic surgical field.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons members are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics and must fulfill rigorous Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements including patient safety issues.
Beware of physicians without this membership but belonging only to similar-sounding societies as their claim to excellence eg. “American Society of Cosmetic Surgery,” “Lipoplasty Society of North America,” etc.
4. Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
This is the most elite society in the United States and perhaps the world for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. To be a member means that your career is focused in cosmetic surgery at the highest level. Among the requirements for invitation and election to ASAPS membership, a plastic surgeon must:
Be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (or in plastic surgery by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada);
Be in at least the third year of active practice following board certification;
Participate in accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) to stay current with developments in the field of cosmetic plastic surgery and patient safety;
Document the performance of a significant number and variety of cosmetic surgical cases to demonstrate wide experience;
Be sponsored by two ASAPS-member plastic surgeons to help ensure that the applicant’s professional reputation meets the high standards required by ASAPS;
Adhere to current ethical standards for professional conduct as outlined in the Code of Ethics observed by all ASAPS-member surgeons;
Operate in accredited surgical facilities; and
Be elected by at least 80% of the Active Membership.
5. Hospital privileges to perform the same type of surgery
Hospitals often examine qualifications of doctors applying for hospital staff privileges and restrict privileges to only surgeons best trained and qualified to do certain procedures. For example, in order for surgeons to be granted plastic surgery privileges in most hospitals in Orange County, California, that surgeon must have completed plastic surgery residency training and must be board-eligible or -certified in plastic surgery to be allowed to perform plastic surgical operations in that hospital.
Non-surgeons and other physicians that are not plastic surgeons circumvent this process by performing surgery in their offices or in outpatient surgery centers where the credentialing process is less rigorous or nonexistent. In these settings non-plastic surgeons perform procedures in which they have no formal residency training.
I am not warning against use of outpatient surgery centers or in-office procedures. I am only recommending that you check that your physician has hospital privileges for these same procedures.
6. Surgical Experience in the procedure you are having
Few patients ask how long doctors have been doing a certain procedure or how many they have performed. When you consult with a plastic surgeon:
Ask to see typical “before and after” photos;
discuss the details of the procedure in a manner that is clear to you;
review benefits and potential complications;
get full answers to your questions.
7. Evidence of Excellence, Experience and Commitment to the field of Plastic Surgery
Here are some additional criteria to look for in your plastic surgeon.
Surgical Board Certification in more than one field
Plastic Surgical Fellowships in addition to Plastic Surgical Residency.
Number of years practicing.
Peer Review Honors in their own board certification from groups such as Best Doctors, Top Doctors, Super Doctors.
Current or Prior position denoting excellence in the field or high regard by their peers such as:
Prior or present Professor or Faculty affiliation with a University Plastic surgical program (the higher the rank the better)
Chairman of a Department of plastic surgery at a regional hospital
Honors from surgical societies of which they are members such as Board Examiner, etc.
Published Plastic Surgical papers in peer review journals are also a good sign that they are committed to being on top of their field.
Feel Comfortable with your choice
It is very important that after you have done this screening and met with your potential surgeon that you feel confident in your choice.
Complications are not common in cosmetic surgery, but if one did occur are you confident that this surgeon would take charge and handle just about any problem?
Do you feel that he listens to you and communicates well by answering your questions completely, doesn’t rush you in to a decision but rather makes you part of the decision-making process? You should truly feel that it is a combined effort.
Does the surgeon’s office run smoothly? Do the staff take good care of you? If you answered in the affirmative and have gotten this far in your screening guidelines then I think you have found your “Dr. Right.”
Want to enlarge or improve your breasts with your own fat?
For years, Plastic Surgeons and their patients have desired to transfer unwanted fat from their tummy or thighs to their breasts. We are now are able to do this safely.
If you have been considering a Breast Lift or improving your appearance after breast augmentation or Breast Reconstruction but are not comfortable with introducing artificial material into your body, you may want to look into the benefits of breast augmentation with fat transfer. An alternative to breast implants is fat transfer also known as fat grafting or lipoinjection. This technique allows women the option of enhancing the appearance of their breasts without the potential problems of saline or silicone implants such as hardness, rippling or rupture.
Who is a candidate?
Any woman who is healthy
Women with sufficient body fat for the procedure
Women considering breast augmentation who wish to be one cup size larger or less
Women who have had breast augmentation or reconstruction but who lack fullness or have contour concerns. Fat transfer can further enhance and reshape your breasts while smoothing out visible or palpable edges of breast implants. This will disguise implant rippling and wrinkling.
Women with normal mammography
Dr. Nichter has successfully transplanted fat into the face, buttocks and other body areas for decades and are now using this same technology to enhance breast shape and size. Plastic surgeons have been transplanting fat to the breast since 1995 but caution and study were necessary to make sure there were not harmful effects. Furthermore, results in the past were variable, dependent on surgical equipment, technique, surgeon’s skill, and individual patients healing abilities.
Since 1995, recent advances have led to the development of special instruments made just for fat grafting. Dr Nichter uses his decades of experience and advanced knowledge of this technique to transfer body fat from other unwanted areas to the breasts. Though this procedure is still considered investigational to a degree, more and more qualified plastic surgeons are using this technique successfully. The advantage of this technique is its ability to create a natural augmentation without an implant. Fat grafting (also called lipoinjection or fat transfer) to the breasts is indicated for different reasons: as an alternative to implants for mild to moderate breast augmentations, to provide fullness to the upper part of the breast during a breast lift, after pregnancy, age, or weight loss, following breast reconstruction, or to minimize the visibility or rippling of existing breast implants. Typically up to one breast size enlargement is possible in most patients. Fat transfer to the breast is usually done as a single procedure resulting in approximately half a cup volume increase. In women desiring additional breast enhancement a subsequent procedure can be performed. Each surgery consists of two components:
Harvesting the fat: Fat is removed from your abdomen, hips, “love handles” or other areas using a fine cannula similar to the one used for liposuction but skinnier. This fat is rinsed with sterile saline solution and then packaged into syringes and prepared for transfer. Approximately 20% of fat removed is suitable and available for fat grafting.
Fat transfer into the breasts: The prepared fat is injected in small amounts at a time and widely distributed within the layers of the breast so that these living fat cells can pick up a healthy new blood supply.
Advantages of Fat Transfer to the breasts:
Fat cells are natural and you are using your own tissue without any foreign body or implant.
Harvesting of the fat by liposuction has the added benefit to enhance your shape by removing unwanted fatty deposits
The breast can be shaped or sculpted in more detail than is possible using implants alone.
Minimal incisions reduce the possibility and degree of scarring
No implant is used, therefore there is never a need for replacement, or any potential for capsular contracture (hardening of the implant).
Fast Recovery Time: Recovery time is about 1 week and usually less uncomfortable from implants that are placed beneath the muscle.
Although, breast augmentation performed with the lipoinjection technique takes longer than traditional breast augmentation (with implants) the benefits are substantial including no need for implant replacement in the future.
In the past, significant questions were raised about the ability of Mammograms or MRI to detect breast cancer after injecting fat into the breast. However, there is no evidence that fat transfer to the breast is less safe than any breast surgery. Large studies have begun over the last several years to study fat grafting to the breast. With or without breast surgery, calcifications and lumps can occur. Breast diagnostic studies including physical examination and mammograms should be used to monitor every patient diligently using standard guidelines.
As a general rule, surgeons with extensive experience in grafting large volumes of fat to the body are most likely to obtain the best results. We believe fat transfer should only be performed by surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery that have experience in fat grafting. Few plastic surgeons have this experience. This ensures that your surgeon has advanced knowledge and technical familiarity, but also the subtle anatomy and aesthetics of breast augmentation.
Our patients remain the biggest source of our referrals. Over time they continue to remain thrilled with their results from these and similar procedures. I continue to share their enthusiasm and appreciate their long lasting rejuvenation which seems to affect them inside and out.
—Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
For more information about the No Implant Breast Augmentation by fat grafting or other cosmetic procedures performed by Dr. Nichter call our office number: (949) 720-3888.