Breast Augmentation: Decisions for Surgeon and Patient
It’s an honor to take part in educating the residents of the Desert by contributing to Desert Health®. My name is Mo Zakhireh (zak-a-RI-ah) and I am a local board certified plastic surgeon in Palm Desert. I have been in the desert for seven years and was formerly on staff at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Today I’d like to discuss breast augmentation. My friends joke that I have an easy job – putting in a pair of implants and the patients go away happy! That’s not quite the scenario. As the surgeon, I have five to seven layers of decisions to make correctly. Furthermore, the combination of the decisions will have a cumulative effect on the surgery.
During the consultation, patients first get sized with sizers in a special bra. Then I educate them on the concept of body flow and symmetry. Our job is to balance the shoulders into the hips, using the breasts. If I do my job well then the patients look slender with an accentuated waistline due to symmetry. So size IS important!
The next question is ‘saline versus silicone.’ The shells on saline implants get dried out. The salt water leeches the moisture out of the shell and this leads to rippling and a harder feeling implant. The newer silicone gel implants are designed for the Silicone Jello to release 1 to 2 drops of oil into the shell each day so the shell is lubricated. This leads to a much softer shell which is stretchable and that does not ripple. The newer silicone Gel implants no longer leak because the silicone is in Jello form, in contrast to the older implants where the silicone was oil based and would ooze into the body. However, I’d like to clarify that the information about silicone causing cancer was false. Unfortunately, the media promoted that rumor. Think of it this way… our beautiful desert environment is made of silicone (sand), so according to this misinformation, we should all be suffering from cancer due to silicone exposure.
The surgical approach is also very important. Surgery is very traumatic to the body so the surgeon has to pick the shortest route to achieve the task at hand. The breast crease approach avoids all the vital structures of the breast (milk ducts, nerves, and blood vessels) and does not affect breast feeding. Also it is the place where a surgeon can anatomically get under the pectoral muscle without cutting, tearing, or irritating the muscle. In my opinion, it’s important to put the implant under the muscle for better breast cancer detection (radiologist can read the mammogram better). Also, the muscle will keep the implant softer and give natural, long term results.
If you’re considering breast augmentation, please educate yourself and choose your surgeon carefully. Cheers to your health!
Dr. Mo Zakhireh is a board certified Plastic Surgeon based at The Cosmetic Surgery Institute of Palm Desert. His practice focus is cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, breasts and abdominal region. 760-837-0364 www.csipd.com