What to Do If You’ve Fallen Out of Love with Your Implants

Breast Implant RemovalModern breast implants are designed to last for many years without problems. However, if you had breast augmentation a long time ago and you’ve fallen out of love with your implants, you aren’t obligated to live with them forever.

Perhaps your implants are causing problematic symptoms such as back, neck or shoulder pain. Maybe they have developed a rare complication such as capsular contracture, leaking or rippling. Or it could be that you no longer like the look of your implants. Maybe the size and shape you chose 10 years ago no longer serve your current lifestyle or personal taste.

Whatever the reason for wanting to “break up” with your implants, Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso can help. In general, you have two options for how to proceed. Continue reading “What to Do If You’ve Fallen Out of Love with Your Implants”

What to Bring to Your Breast Implant Consultation

If you’ve been interested in enlarging your breasts for a while now, and recently decided to book a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, congratulations! The breast augmentation consultation is an exciting opportunity to discuss implant options and learn more about the procedure and aftercare. According to Bay Area breast augmentation surgeons Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso, bringing a few key items can help your consultation go smoothly and make your experience more productive.

A List of Questions for the Surgeon

You might have a general idea of what you want to ask your surgeon, but take a few minutes before the consult to jot down specific questions. This can be especially helpful if you draw a blank during the appointment and can’t remember what you wanted to ask. If you need ideas of questions to ask your surgeon, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has a great list on their website.

A List of Medications and Allergies

During your consultation you will be asked about your health, medical history, previous surgeries, medications you take and allergies you have. Some women find it helpful to prepare a list of medications and allergies so they don’t forget anything. In your list of medications, be sure to include any vitamins or herbal supplements you take on a regular basis.

A Few Tops or Bras

You may have the opportunity to try on breast implant sizers or use the Crisalix digital imaging system to help narrow down your implant options. It’s a good idea to bring a few blouses, bras or even bathing suit tops to wear with the sizers or Crisalix system.

A Spouse, Family Member or Friend

Many women considering implants find it helpful to bring a significant other, family member or friend to the consultation for two reasons. Firstly, it is useful to have a second pair of ears to absorb all of the information that comes your way. Secondly, if you try on implant sizers during the consult, you might value a second opinion of someone that knows your taste and preferences. That being said, some women prefer privacy during the consult and opt not to bring anyone else. It’s up to you!

Your Calendar

At the end of the consultation, you may want to move forward and schedule your breast augmentation surgery. Have your calendar accessible so you can schedule your operation around any upcoming work, social or travel obligations.

Book a Breast Implant Consultation Today

To schedule a breast implant consultation with Dr. Pearl or Dr. Ereso, please contact Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center today.

What You Should Know about ALCL

As board-certified plastic surgeons, there is nothing Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso take more seriously than the safety and well-being of their patients. One issue that has recently emerged and could put a small number of their breast augmentation patients at risk is a disease known as ALCL. Read on as Dr. Pearl and Dr. Ereso explain what you should know about ALCL.

What is ALCL?

ALCL is anaplastic large cell lymphoma. It is a rare and treatable type of T cell lymphoma that can develop around breast implants. ALCL is not a cancer of the breast tissue itself. The time between implant insertion to diagnosis is reported to be between 2 and 28 years with a median of 8 years. The current reported incidence of ALCL is approximately 1 in 30,000. No cases to date have been reported in patients that have received smooth walled implants. The association of ALCL and textured implants may be related to increased surface area of the texturing, the chronic presence of fluid around the implants, the presence of bacteria around the implants and genetic factors. The disease has been associated with both silicone and saline implants in cosmetic as well as reconstructive patients.

The exact cause of ALCL has not yet been determined. A coalition of experts from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and breast implant manufacturers are currently conducting research to work toward identifying the cause. They have also established the PROFILE Registry to collect data about reported cases of BIA-ALCL (breast implant-associated ALCL).

How Do Patients Present with ALCL?

The majority of patients present as a delayed seroma or collection of fluid around the implant. This usually presents as an enlarging breast without any other cardinal signs like infection. Diagnosis is made by examining the fluid collection for tumor markers. If a positive diagnosis is made, PET-CT and MRI scans are obtained to determine the extent of spread. Mammograms have not been found to be helpful.

Treating ALCL

The majority of patients can be cured of this disease by undergoing a procedure to remove the implant itself along with the complete removal of the capsular tissue surrounding the implant. This is to prevent recurrence. In rare instances where distant spread was found, patients required chemotherapy and possible radiation therapy.

What Should Patients Do?

If you are a prospective breast implant patient, the FDA encourages you to research your options before committing to surgery, and talk to your plastic surgeon about the benefits and risks.

If you have implants, you should follow your doctor’s instructions regarding monitoring your implants and having routine mammography screenings. If you notice a change in the way your breast looks or feels, you should alert your primary doctor or plastic surgeon.

For more information regarding ALCL you may find www.plasticsurgery.org/alcl to be most helpful.

Please remember that Dr. Pearl, Dr. Ereso and their staff are available to help you! Feel free to contact our office if you have questions or need assistance.

Selecting Breast Implants that Look Natural

Not every breast augmentation patient desires oversized, obviously augmented breasts. Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso meet many women that desire a modest boost in breast size and natural-looking results, and they can certainly help these candidates meet their goals.

In this post, the plastic surgeons walk prospective breast augmentation candidates through the process of selecting implants that look naturally beautiful. Continue reading “Selecting Breast Implants that Look Natural”

Can I Get a Breast Lift without Implants?

Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso frequently receive from breast lift candidates is, “Can I have breast lift without implants?” Because this comes up so often in consultation, the plastic surgeons thought it would be helpful to address it in a blog post. Read on as Dr. Pearl and Dr. Ereso reveal the honest truth about breast lift without implants.

Breast Lift vs. Augmentation-Mastopexy

Breast lift (mastopexy) without implants can deliver beautiful, natural-looking results. The procedure is designed to reverse sagging caused by aging, gravity, weight loss and nursing, and restore the breasts to their former glory. During the mastopexy procedure, excess skin is removed, the nipple is repositioned higher on the breast mound and the areola can be reduced in size if desired. This creates a perkier breast shape and contour — but it doesn’t significantly alter the volume of the breasts.

On the other hand, combination breast lift with implants (a.k.a., augmentation-mastopexy) simultaneously creates a perkier breast shape and boosts the volume of the breasts. Incorporating implants into the lift procedure increases the size and fullness of the breasts, particularly in the upper breast area to create more cleavage. The result is similar to what you see when wearing a push-up bra.

What Procedure Is Right for Me?

The procedure that is best for you depends on your unique anatomy and what you hope to achieve from surgery.

The best way to determine whether you need breast lift with or without implants is to ask yourself, are you happy with your breast size? If you are satisfied with the size of your bust, but bothered by the sagging that occurs when you take off your bra, breast lift without implants is probably ideal for you.

On the other hand, if you are unhappy with the size of your bust and breast sagging, and you desire more cleavage, you are probably a better candidate for breast lift with implants.

Consult with Our Trusted Breast Surgeons

Whether you opt for breast lift without implants or a combination augmentation-mastopexy, Dr. Pearl and Dr. Ereso can help you love the way your breasts look. Although Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center is based in Mountain View, California, patients travel from all over to seek out our surgeons’ expertise in breast surgery.

To sit down with the board-certified plastic surgeons and discuss your options, please contact Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center and request a consultation. Call or email us today.

Breast Augmentation: Is Bigger Better?

Everywhere you turn, it seems you’re being told you need more of something. Whether you’re being compelled to “super-size” a fast food combo, purchase the vehicle with more horsepower or buy one product to get another one free, you’re constantly being told that bigger is better. In this blog post, Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso outline why going giant-sized on breast augmentation isn’t necessarily the best choice for everyone.    

From Height to Tissue Type

Realistically, there is a finite number of implants that reasonably work for each body type. A candidate’s breast width is important, as is the height of her natural breast. A woman with a long torso, for instance, will need a taller implant to see noticeable results than someone of shorter stature. Another consideration is a patient’s skin type. Placing too much volume in loose or thin skin can lead to noticeable sagging.

Taking Out the Guesswork

Luckily, modern technology can help you see how different implant sizes would look on you. Three-dimensional images can be created from precise measurements and photographs to allow you to get a glimpse of the end result. Crisalix, an exciting new technology in plastic surgery that takes a 3D image of your body, has been recently acquired by Dr. Pearl and Dr. Ereso. Using the Crisalix platform, you can “try on” different sizes in the comfort of your plastic surgeon’s office. Being able to see and discuss your “before” and “after” photo using implants of different sizes and shapes before the surgery will dramatically improve your confidence in knowing what size and shape works best for you. Knowledge is power, and by looking at a range of possibilities that fit your frame, you can ultimately pick the option that will flatter your figure the most.

Be Open-minded

Occasionally, women arrive at their consultations with expectations that don’t work well with their natural figures. It’s important to have an open conversation with your doctor, and consider his advice. If you opt for implants that are too large for your frame, you run the risk of developing noticeable breast sagging and potentially needing breast lift surgery down the road. After consultation, most patients leave wanting implants that fit within the natural parameters of their bodies.

Ultimately, it’s up to the patient to decide how large she wants her breasts to be. However, bigger is not always better, and it’s important to take your natural body type into consideration. To schedule a consultation to discuss breast augmentation with Dr. Samuel Pearl or Dr. Alexander Ereso, please contact Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center at (650) 964-6600.

Treating Breasts that Are Different Sizes

No two breasts are exactly alike. Most women notice that when they look close enough, one breast appears bigger than the other. Unfortunately for some, this asymmetry is more pronounced (occasionally even considered a deformity) and can cause a woman to feel excessively self-conscious.

Padded bras may help balance out breasts that are two different sizes, but surgery is the only way to permanently fix the problem. Here, the team at Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center explains how breast surgery can correct this type of asymmetry to improve self-image and confidence.

Option #1: Reduce the Larger Breast

The first option to fix asymmetry is to make the larger breast smaller through breast reduction. An incision may be made around the areola, sometimes extended down to the crease underneath the breast and along the crease. Through the incision, breast tissue, fat and skin are removed so the breast size and shape matches the smaller side. Liposuction may also be used to help contour the breast. The nipple and areola may be shifted to a higher location, if needed, and the areola can be reduced in size. By utilizing techniques to reshape the skin envelope of the breast, the nipple can be lifted along with a reduction in the size of the breast.

Option #2: Enlarge the Smaller Breast

If the patient prefers the size of the larger breast, the smaller breast can be enhanced to match it. Dr. Pearl and Dr. Ereso have two options to augment small breasts: through the placement of an implant or via fat transfer.

Implants come filled with saline or silicone and are available in a variety of many different shapes and sizes. The implants are typically placed through an incision either along the lower breast crease, around the lower edge of the areola or through the armpit. A pocket is created in the native breast tissue or under the muscle to hold the implant.

Alternatively, the breast may be enlarged through a procedure involving transfer of your own fat. Fat transfer is a two-step procedure. First, excess body fat is removed by performing liposuction. The fat is purified before being carefully injected into the breast to add shape and volume. This is done strategically so that the fat develops its own blood supply for long-term results.

If one breast droops significantly more than the other, breast lift techniques can be incorporated into either breast reduction or breast enhancement surgery.

Learn More about Correcting Breast Asymmetry

For more information about correcting breast asymmetry, please contact Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center and request a consultation. Call 650-964-6600 or email us today to make your appointment.

Is It Possible to Get a Hernia from a Breast Lift or Breast Augmentation?

Breast surgeries are among the most common cosmetic surgeries, and they also have a very high patient satisfaction rate. Many women seek to improve the appearance of their breasts with a breast lift and/or a breast augmentation. Some of these women feel that their breasts are not sufficient in size, while others have lost breast volume due to aging or pregnancy.

As with all surgeries, there are some risks associated with these procedures, so it’s best to go over these in your consultation with your board certified plastic surgeon. In this blog post, Dr. Samuel N. Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso of the Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center discuss whether it’s possible to get a hernia from either a breast lift or breast augmentation.

Breast Lift

For most women, the unfortunate truth is that sagging breasts are eventually a part of life. Women who have pendulous breasts and adequate breast tissue and/or who have nipples and areolas pointing downward are typically good candidates for breast lift. Dr. Pearl most commonly uses the vertical technique, during which excess breast skin is removed and the remaining breast tissue is shaped. The nipple and areola are also shifted to a higher position, and the latter can also be reduced in size if so desired. Liposuction is used in certain cases to improve the contour. The breast lift can be done on its own or paired with breast augmentation with breast implants.

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is not only performed on those who have had changes to the breast from pregnancy or aging, but can also be used to improve a woman’s natural body proportions. Dr. Pearl enlists a variety of incision types depending on the patient’s anatomy. After the incision is made, a soft, natural-shaped breast implant is placed behind the breast tissue and often behind the chest muscles. This is done to help the patient achieve her ideal shape and size.

The Risk of a Hernia with Breast Surgeries

Some women who have had breast augmentation surgery have reported that they have felt as though the implants have shifted. After breast augmentation, your breasts may appear to sit too high on your chest, as it takes about three months for implants to settle or drop in most patients. Some may mistakenly assume that they have a hernia due to this shifting feeling and, although an epigastric hernia is possible, the risk is extremely low. The risk for a hernia with a breast lift is also extremely low. There is a chance of implant rupture with breast augmentation, but this is rare and can be discussed with Dr. Pearl. Many women decide that the ensuing boost in self-esteem is worth the risks associated with breast surgeries.

Contact Dr. Pearl or Dr. Ereso

If you have questions about the risks associated with a breast lift or breast augmentation or you simply want to find out if you’re a good candidate, contact Dr. Pearl and Dr. Ereso at (650) 964-6600.