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Silicone breast implant

There have been considerable technological advances in the design and construction of silicone breast implants since their early days. They are made with much thicker, stronger and durable outer shells that are filled with a very cohesive silicone gel – almost like taffy. The result is that they will withstand much more and last longer on average compared to previous versions.

But, they will not last forever?

Of course not!

The FDA in 2006 recommended (not mandated) that women who have silicone implants inserted for a breast augmentation in Scottsdale or breast reconstruction should have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) three years postoperatively then every other year afterwards. There was no specific data supporting their recommendation, however. Given the expense of an MRI which often may not be covered by a woman’s insurance plan, is this a prudent recommendation? Is it worth the money?

A retrospective study was performed at the University of Michigan and published in the March 2011 issue of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® journal which examined 21 previous studies that had evaluated MRI’s and their ability to detect silicone implant rupture. The findings of the combined data were quite interesting and enlightening.

What was confirmed was that MRI’s were fairly accurate in detecting implant rupture but this wasn’t the whole story. In those women who presented with symptoms related to their implants, MRI’s were 14 times more likely to detect a rupture than in those who were asymptomatic. Looking at this from a different angle, the MRI’s were less helpful in women who had no symptoms.

Given that silicone gel implants on average last in excess of 10 years, can one justify the expense of repeated MRI’s as a screening tool for implant rupture (and breast evaluation) in otherwise asymptomatic women at least during this period of time compared to a routine screening mammogram for cancer?

With the present technology and the findings from this study, the answer is probably not. Mammograms and or ultrasounds (which are less accurate in the detection of implant rupture) should be performed for routine breast cancer screening. If there is evidence or a suspicion of an implant rupture, then an MRI can be considered or performed.

For more information on silicone gel breast implants, breast enlargement surgery in scottsdale, breast reconstruction or for any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform please feel free to call my office at 480-451-3000. A consultation can be scheduled at that time as well.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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A Message Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19

In light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to let you know of some of the major precautions we are taking in our office to maximize cleanliness and keep the environment as sanitary and safe as possible. Our highest priority is always to ensure the safety of every individual who sees us and we are taking extreme infection-control measures to maintain cleanliness and “sterility” of surfaces and the overall environment.

We will be limiting dates and times for office appointments and consultations due to safety and other issues. Consequently, if you have already made an office appointment or consultation prior to March 18, 2020 to occur at a later time, this may need to be changed.

For anyone considering plastic surgery, we are now offering Virtual Consultations and Telemedicine through Skype. A great number of aesthetic or insurance-related issues can be evaluated via pictures and online video conferencing, making this an excellent way to find out more about particular procedures, determine candidacy for treatment, receive answers to questions and facilitate being able to move forward with care once the government lifts all restrictions.

In an abundance of caution, we are asking all current patients who are experiencing a fever, cough, chills, fatigue or any type of respiratory illness to please delay any upcoming appointments at our practice. We can talk with you by phone or email to establish a new date and time for the appointment.

We are all in this together. Our team urges everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by local health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include frequent handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds, social distancing, staying home if you are feeling sick, and contacting your healthcare provider if you feel you are experiencing symptoms.

For more information, please read our blog – Coronavirus and You: Important Information

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