Entries in breast implants (13)


Women Having Better Sex Through Breast Surgery?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Most women who undergo breast enhancement surgery do so to feel better about themselves.

One of the fringe benefits, according to a survey conducted by, is that many women with implants or breast lifts also enjoy better sex lives.

In fact, a third of the participants in the poll says their overall sex life satisfaction has increased since their surgeries.

Just over six in ten women reported having sex more often since their breast enhancements, while only seven percent admitted that they were having sex less frequently.

In rating their overall sex-life satisfaction on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest, the average rating before the procedure was 6.07.  That jumped to 8.13 after the implants or breast lifts.

Overall, 75 percent of women in the poll who had breast implants at an average cost of $6,600 said the procedure was “worth it,” while 80 percent of those who spent an average of $10,000 for lifts were similarly satisfied.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Gummy Bear' Breast Implants: The Future of Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Dr. Grant Stevens, a plastic surgeon in Marina Del Rey, Calif., coined the term, "gummy bear breast implant" for a type of silicone implant. (ABC News)(LOS ANGELES) -- Like kids in a candy store, more women are seeking out a type of silicone breast implant that one doctor calls the "gummy bear."

Dr. Grant Stevens, a prominent plastic surgeon in Marina Del Rey, Calif., coined the term "gummy bear breast implant." He said he gave the implants their catchy nickname because when cut in half, the implant is stable and retains its shape, much like the chewy, gummy bear candies.

Stevens is an advocate of the "gummy bears" because he said he believes they look and feel more like natural breasts. He insisted that "gummy bears" are also safer than other types of implants because they have a lower rupture rate.

These new "high-strength silicone gel implants" made by a company called Sientra were approved in March by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But neither the agency nor the company call them "gummy bears."

"We do not condone the use of such terms," Sientra CEO Hani Zeini told Nightline via email.

Zeini said equating a medical device to a piece of candy trivializes it, and FDA officials are inclined to agree.

Breasts are big business in the United States, with about $1 billion spent on cosmetic breast surgery a year. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 300,000 American women undergo cosmetic breast augmentation every year -- up 45 percent since 2000.

Improvements in breast implant technology have had a huge impact on the market in the past. Over the past 15 years, since silicone implants became widely available in the U.S., the number of cosmetic procedures has tripled.

For years, this type of high-strength silicone gel breast implant was only available to patients in the U.S. who were willing to take part in clinical trials through surgeons like Stevens.

For some patients, it's their second breast augmentation surgery. Aubrie Chacon said she wanted to get her breast implants redone because her current ones felt like "weird water" under her skin.

"I would like something that felt more natural," she said. "Not so fake, not so foreign."

Christy Carlton, another one of Stevens's patients, said she got her Sientra breast implants through a clinical trial six years ago, and hasn't had any problems since. She added that her partner didn't know that she had breast augmentation surgery until she told him because she said her breasts looked and felt so natural.

But breast surgery is a sensitive subject. In most cases, it's totally elective and, of course, it is closely tied to the patient's self image. Plus, when any new product is introduced, there is a real issue of safety and there have been problems in the past.

Europe is in the midst of a full scale recall of breast implants manufactured by the French company Poly Implant Prothese. Some of PIP's silicone implants, which were never sold in the U.S., were found to contain industrial-grade silicone gel of the type used in mattresses. While the risk remains unclear, thousands of women around the world had to have their implants removed over concerns that PIP's implants tended to rupture and leak. The company's CEO is now in jail.

The FDA said it had no opinion on whether these Sientra implants are better or worse than the ones already on the market, and the agency said it did not conduct tests to compare different kinds of implants. But FDA officials told Nightline that Sientra's eight-year clinical trial with the Sientra implants, which tested the product on nearly 1,800 women, showed that the implants were safe and effective. Although Stevens swears by what he calls the "gummy bear" implants, other plastic surgeons don't. Dr. Garth Fischer is one of the top plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills and a consultant on the ABC TV show Extreme Makeovers. His clientele includes several celebrities -- he's the plastic surgeon Bruce Jenner turned to correct several bad face-lifts done by other surgeons. Fischer also fixed Lisa Rinna's lips.

Fischer said while he sees the benefits of the "gummy bears," he prefers the conventional round implants, and suggested that surgeons who don't have his skills may use the "gummy bears" as a crutch.

"'Gummy bears' have been around a long time," he said. "[But] I think some doctors need that shape maybe because they can't create it on their own."

Dr. Robin Yuan is another prominent Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and the author of Behind the Mask, Beneath the Glitter, a guide for patients considering a surgeon. He acknowledged that it can be confusing for patients, especially when doctors sell one technique over another, and patients have little basis to judge which approach is best for them.

"You can't say a Rolls Royce is better than a Ferrari," he said. "They're both cars that get you from A to B but they have different characteristics."

"I think there are very few patients who go to a neurosurgeon and ask what drill they're going to use to open their skull," Yuan said. "But they ask that of plastic surgeons. Most of the time, in other professions, they just trust the doctor to do what's appropriate in certain conditions."

Whether patients are considering the "gummy bears" or something else, the bottom line is to find a doctor you trust.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


FDA Approves Third Silicone-Gel Breast Implant 

Stockbyte/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has conditionally approved a new silicone-gel breast implant, HealthDay reports.

The implant, manufactured by Santa Barbara-based Sientra, can be used for breast tissue reconstruction for women of any age and for breast augmentation in women 22 or older. Sientra is required to continue studies on the implant's long-term safety, effectiveness and risks of rare diseases under the approval.

The approval resulted from three years of clinical studies on almost 1,800 patients. Tightening of the area around the implant, re-operation, implant removal, uneven appearance and infection were some of the complications experienced during the study.

The implant is the third to be approved in the United States.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Surgeon Gave Teen Daughter Breast Implants

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) -- A California plastic surgeon is keeping it in the family by performing multiple cosmetic procedures on his own young daughters.

Dr. Michael Niccole, founder of the CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Center in Newport Beach, Calif., gave his daughter Brittani, now 22, breast implants when she was 18. Brittani also had a rhinoplasty. Niccole performed surgery on his daughter Charm, now also 22, when she was 10 to turn her “outtie” belly button into an “innie.”

Dr. Niccole said he has performed surgery on other family members as well and felt comfortable operating on his daughters, both of whom are adopted.

“Who would give them the time -- that extra little look during surgery more than I would?” the surgeon said.

Brittani told 20/20 she wanted breast augmentation surgery to “build my self-esteem.”

“I didn’t have large breasts when I was younger, and all my friends did…I felt very self-conscious about it,” she said.

Both Brittani and Charm also receive regular injections of Botox to prevent wrinkles and undergo other cosmetic procedures.

Though critics say women Brittani and Charm's age have no business undergoing cosmetic procedures, Dr. Niccole defends his work on his daughters as “maintenance.”

“I’m not changing their looks in any means. They want maintenance,” he said. "They don’t want to get old. They want to stay young.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


30,000 French Women Urged to Remove Rupturing Breast Implants

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(PARIS) -- French authorities are reportedly urging 30,000 women to remove potentially life-threatening, rupturing breast implants.

The concerns are that the implants, supplied by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), used an unauthorized silicone gel in their implants, making them prone to splitting.

Government spokeswoman Valerie Pecresse, part of a special committee formed to investigate the issue, highly recommended that “All women who have PIP implants should return to see their surgeons urgently.”

Since the defects were discovered, 523 implants have been removed and eight cases of cancer had been reported in patients with PIP implant. Although there has not been concrete proof of a direct link between the silicone used in PIP implants and cancer, investigations by the French Society of Plastic Surgeons came to the conclusion that the silicone used was not suitable for medical use. One PIP implant patient died of cancer in 2010.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Venezuelan President Cracks Down on Breast Implants

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(CARACAS, Venezuela) -- Forget oil.  There is no commodity more valued in Venezuela than feminine beauty.  The country holds six Miss Universe titles and five Miss World titles -- a total of 11 titles compared to America's 10.

In some countries, if a woman shows too much skin, it is considered scandalous -- even punishable by death -- but in Venezuela, breast implants are to be flaunted, not just among beauty contestants, but also by the working-class folks who admire them.

This kind of public attitude towards breast implants explains the resulting shock when Venezuela socialist President Hugo Chavez made an out-of-the-blue address on state-run television earlier this year, venomously criticizing doctors who rake in cash from performing breast augmentations.  Chavez claimed these doctors "convince some women that if they don't have some big bosoms they should feel bad."

The self-proclaimed feminist president also criticized poor women who pay for these costly breast implant procedures that they couldn't afford, calling it "a monstrous thing."

Dr. Pete Romer has personally nipped, tucked and enhanced thousands of Caracas women, including two of Venezuela's pageant queens.

"We just polish the beauty," he said.  "All those girls are gorgeous and have good material.  The proportions of face and body are almost perfect.  My work is just change a little things."

Romer said he didn't think President Chavez should tell people how to spend their money.

"We have a free country," he said.

But others think the president has a point.  According to the Venezuelan Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 40,000 women in Venezuela undergo breast augmentation each year, and many sacrifice to do so.  Implants can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.

"It's a lot of money, of course well beyond the means of most Venezuelans," said Eva Gollinger, one of Chavez's advisers.  "That's the major criticism that President Chavez was saying.  This is not where your money should be invested in."

Still, some Venezuelan women agree think the government doesn't have the right to restrict the freedom of women to do what they want with their own bodies.

"It's a silly thing," one woman said.  "It's a personal choice."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Paintball Ruptures Breast Implant; Injuries Cause Thousands of ER Visits

Sean Murphy/Getty Images(LONDON) -- A British woman's silicone breast implant recently ruptured after she was shot in the chest during a paintball game, throwing a spotlight onto the potential dangers of a hobby that attracts millions.

"Due to an incident at our Croydon Paintballing centre...we respectfully ask that any ladies with surgical breast implants notify our team at the time of booking," UK Paintball wrote in a statement after the incident, which happened in Croydon, a town in south London.

"You will be given special information on the dangers of paintballing with enhanced boobs and asked to sign a disclaimer," the statement continued. "You will also be issued with extra padding to protect your implants while paintballing."

Symptoms of a ruptured implant include burning or tingling in the affected breast, lumps around the implant or armpit, change in breast size and softening or hardening of the breast.

Staff at UK Paintball confirmed with the BBC that the woman is expected to make a full recovery.

About 10 million Americans participate in paintball activities, and many more worldwide, according to a new U.S. report. In 2008, more than 20,000 emergency department visits were related to injuries caused by air guns, including paintball guns and BB guns, according to the study.

The data, published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Service's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, found that hospitals around the country saw an average of 56 visits associated with these guns each day. Males were five times more likely to visit the hospital for the injuries than females.

"We saw a strong demographic association," said Ryan Mutter, senior economist at AHRQ and lead author of the study. "Most people were male, young, poorer, Southern and rural."

"As an urban ED, we see very little of these injuries," Dr. Carl Ramsay, chairman of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, wrote in an email. "In my previous experience in more rural areas, as reflected in this report, these injuries were commonplace."

Children 17 and younger made up most of the documented visits for paintball and air gun wounds, and the majority of injuries consisted of open wounds on the arms, legs, head and neck. About four percent of the visits related to eye disorders.

Chris Fermoselle, manager of NYC Paintball, said eye injuries are the biggest concern on a paintball field.

"Basically, our safety is all about wearing your mask," said Fermoselle. "Safety is number one on any paintball field, and we're always enforcing keeping the mask on even if you get shot or paint is all over it."

Fermoselle noted that most players will just wear a couple layers of clothing to protect from the pelts. While the game can leave players bruised and battered sometimes, he said he was surprised by the report's findings because the facility has only been host to about 20 injuries since it opened seven years ago. All players must sign a waiver noting the risk of injury and death while playing.

But experts noted that the number of injuries is likely higher than in the report because not everyone who's hurt visits the emergency room.

"The data is impressive but certainly reflects only those who...decide to seek care," said Ramsay. "Many other injuries occur in a subset of patients who, for a variety of reasons [among them: legal, lack of insurance, parental scrutiny] do not seek medical attention and thus are not reported in these statistics."

"While gun safety classes rarely are utilized for air guns in particular, they certainly would contribute to a reduction of injuries," continued Ramsay. "Proper protective clothing, head and eye gear would also significantly reduce the severity of many of these injuries."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


83-Year-Old Proud of New Breast Implants

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SANTA ANA, Calif.) -- Marie Kolstad, an energetic property manager from Orange County, Califorinia, needed a lift in her busy life, but kept it secret from her four children, 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, fearing they would disapprove.

At the age of 83, after being widowed for more than a decade, Kolstad spent $8,000 on a three-hour breast implant surgery on July 22.

"I never gave a thought to meeting someone different," she said.  "It was more about looking in the mirror and liking who I am."

And she says her doctor has other plastic surgery patients who are even older than she is.

"This seemed like a simple way to go and I didn't think it was a big deal," she said.  "I want my children to be proud of what I look like."

Kolstad -- a 32A as a young woman -- had blossomed in middle age into a 36C.

"Your breasts go in one direction and your brain goes in another," she said.  "It's something you dream about.  I just wanted nice ones.  I didn't want anything outlandish or out of place.  Now, they are firmer and rounder."

Plastic surgery is on the rise among baby boomers, but now doctors are also seeing an uptick among septuagenarians and octogenarians.  Those who are over 65 represent about seven to eight percent of all procedures, according to Dr. Norman Rowe, a New York City plastic surgeon.

"People say, just because my life age is 84, doesn't mean I have to be happy or content looking 80," Rowe said.

"The whole population is getting older," he said.  "People in their 40s and 50s are now in their 60s and 70s getting things done.  Americans are aging and their length of life is increasing."

Americans like Kolstad are more active than any generation before them, and they say they want their bodies to match their energy level and lifestyle.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


FDA Shortsighted in Silicone Implant Report?

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Advocacy groups have cried foul over the Food and Drug Administration's announcement that silicone gel-filled implants are "mostly safe." Even though government health officials gave silicone implants the stamp of approval Wednesday, they said that women who have implants would likely experience complications and need future surgery to remove or replace them over time. They also said that more data is needed to fully understand the device's safety and efficacy.

In the report, authors wrote: "Patient follow-up rates are lower than anticipated, limiting the ability to draw definitive conclusions and to detect rare complications."

Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health who presented the data, warned that follow-up visits, along with routine MRI scans -- to screen for infections and "silent ruptures" -- are crucial for women who receive the implants.

While noting that the most common complications include hardening around the implants, wrinkling, asymmetrical pain, infection, and rupture, Shuren said "the longer the woman has the silicone implant, the more likely she is to experience local complications or adverse outcomes."

Because of the evidence of complications, advocacy organizations, including the nonprofit Public Citizen, expressed outrage following the FDA's safety announcement.

"Public Citizen continues to oppose the FDA's 2006 decision to return silicone breast implants to the market for cosmetic use in women for augmentation," said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, in a statement. "The agency's newer information about the risk of implant-associated lymphoma and the previously known risks are serious enough to warrant advising women against having these implanted."

In 2006, the FDA approved the silicone implants after they'd been off the market for 14 years. Since that time, health regulators have conducted post-approval device reviews for augmentation and reconstructive purposes.

"Based on evidence that we currently have available, we continue to believe that silicone gel-filled breast implants are safe and effective in women 22 years old and older for augmentation, and in all women for reconstruction purposes," said Erica Jefferson, a spokeswoman for the FDA. "We still believe that the benefits and risks are sufficiently understood, which will enable women to make the right decision."

Robert Field, professor of health management and policy at Drexel University School of Public Health, said he believes the FDA does a "very good job," but tends to do better with pre-market than post-market approval.

"'Pre-' is more limited because you have a defined number of subjects," said Field. "'Post-' continues to be problematic because there's so much data to sift through. No review is going to be perfect."

Field said that it would be nearly impossible for researchers to assess every single piece of evidence, but companies have incentives to present "good science" to the FDA.

"They obviously want to get approved, avoid liability and build a good reputation," said Field.

"There are always going to be judgment calls, and it's unusual for anything to be deemed totally safe or totally unsafe," Field said. "It's important to remember that each individual reacts differently. A person has to weigh their tolerance with risk.

"Any decision is only as good as its data," said Field. "Maybe the answer is: breast implants are probably safe, but with caution. A woman should always be aware of the side effects."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Breast Implants Basically Safe but Not Lifetime Devices, Say Experts

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Silicone gel-filled implants are not lifetime devices, and the longer they're in the body, the more likely there'll be complications, U.S. health regulators said Wednesday.

Despite the likelihood of complications, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that silicone breast implants, which the agency approved in 2006 after they'd been off the market for 14 years, are for the most part safe.

The report included preliminary data from post-approval studies, an analysis of adverse effects reported to the FDA and a review of clinical studies about the safety and effectiveness of the silicone gel-filled breast implants.

But after getting silicone implants, women still need to be vigilant.

Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, was quick to warn that follow-up visits, along with routine MRI scans, are crucial for all women who receive the implants to screen for infection and ruptures. And most women who get the implants will need to replace them or have additional surgery within eight to 10 years.

"The longer the woman has the silicone implant, the more likely she is to have experienced complications," said Shuren in Wednesday’s press conference.

Experts said 5 million to 10 million women worldwide have breast implants. While the most common complications include hardening around the implants, which can lead to pain, wrinkling, asymmetrical pain, infection, and implant rupture, most women report satisfaction.

While the health regulators said that there is no evidence that silicone breast implants cause breast cancer, they did touch upon anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, a rare type of cancer that made headlines this winter when the FDA explored its occurrence among a small group of women who had breast implants.

Shuren said there are 34 cases in published literature and, at most, 60 cases worldwide, of the rare lymphoma among the millions of women with implants.

Health officials said they're confident in their data so far, but the FDA noted that more studies are needed. To help women understand the risks and benefits of the saline gel-filled implants, the FDA updated its website, which now offers literature and videos covering a host of different breast implant topics.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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