May 26th, 2012 Dr. Mele
A few months ago, I posted the headline, “Sientra gets FDA approval for new breast implants in the US.” The breast implants are new to the US; however, the company manufacturing these breast implants has over 30 years of experience. Silimed of Brazil, has granted Sientra, exclusivity for the US market.
Sientra's New Breast Implant Line
Recent Sientra Developments
Earlier this month at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) annual meeting in Vancouver, Sientra held their launch. It was well attended, as ASAPS members are plastic surgeons who specialize in all aspects of cosmetic plastic surgery, including the most popular of all the cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in the United States — Breast Augmentation.
The usual launch hype was present, with the usual promises; however, a few interesting and unique aspects of Sientra’s business model were revealed.
Sientra Breast Implants – Exclusive to Plastic Surgeons
One unexpected announcement was that Sientra breast implants will only be sold to American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) Board-Eligible and Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons. The company believes the world’s most specialized breast implants should only be used by the world’s most specialized breast surgeons. In a recent letter from Sientra CEO, Hani Zeini, explains, “Sientra is a plastic surgeon-centric company and not just another plastic surgery business. Given our unwavering commitment to patient safety, it is our belief that breast implant surgery is best delivered by highly trained and specialized plastic surgeons.”
He backs up this commitment further by stating, “Unlike our competitors, the Sientra warranty is only valid if, and only if, a patient is implanted by a board-certified/board-eligible plastic surgeon.”
Sientra Breast Implant Warranty Revealed
The specifics of the Sientra Breast Implant Warranty were also revealed in Vancouver. The warranty is important should your Sientra breast implants leak. Here are the details:
- Up to $3600 assistance for out-of-pocket surgical fees – this goes toward paying the surgical fees for replacing the ruptured implant.
- Lifetime product replacement – the ruptured breast implant will be replaced, free of charge, for your lifetime.
- Free contra-lateral replacement if needed – the breast implant on the other side will also be replaced if needed, for example, if you elect to change size or the style of the replacement breast implant, a matching implant will be supplied for the other side too.
- Simplified enrollment form – Your Plastic Surgeon will submit the required paperwork for you.
Gummy-Bear Breast Implants’ Shape Details Released
The details of Sientra’s form stable (gummy-bear) breast implants where also revealed. Like all shaped implants, the lower half is more full than the upper half. The base, the side that lies against the chest wall, is flat and varies in dimensions and shape.
The classic tear-dropped shaped implant is taller then it is wide and has an elliptical base that is oriented vertically. Two additional profiles are available. One has a round base, allowing for more lateral volume, while still maintaining upper pole fullness. The other is oval, like the classic base; however, the ellipse is oriented sideways for maximum width volume for a shorter frame. The illustration at the top of this post has examples.
Why Tear-Drop Shaped?
Regardless of the shape of their bases, all these gummy-bear breast implants are tear-drop shaped. They all have enhanced projection in the lower half of the implant to preferentially fill the lower half of the breast. This will be most advantageous for post-mastectomy patients, and for patients with very little breast tissue. The downside to these, or any shaped breast implant, is that it must remain properly oriented for proper results. Unlike round implants, if a shaped breast implants turns, the breast shape will change. To help prevent rotation, texturing is used on the surface of the breast implant.
High-Strength Silicone Gel Breast Implants
How do these new breast implants hold their shape? The secret is high-strength silicone gel. Unlike the filling in previous silicone gel breast implants, this gel blurs the line between liquid and solid. The implants remain soft, like a liquid, but like a solid, the highly cohesive gel inside these implants does not flow. The result is a soft breast implants that hold their shape and cannot leak.
The Evolution of Breast Implants
This is an exciting time in the evolution of breast implants. The FDA approval of Sientra’s entire breast implant product line, marks the first time a form-stable breast implant has been available in the US. The other two US based breast implant manufacturers, Allergan and Mentor, are hoping their form-stable (gummy-bear) breast implants (Allergan’s style 410 and Mentor’s CPG) will also soon receive the FDA’s stamp of approval.
If you are interested in learning more about Breast Augmentation with Gummy-Bear Breast Implants, schedule a personalized consultation by calling (925) 943-6353, or use the contact form on the left.
May 19th, 2012 Dr. Mele
Dr. Mele is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon
A few years ago, the state of California passed a law requiring all physicians advertising Board Certification to explicitly state the Board they are certified by. The goal was to allow consumers to identify the training of their doctors, and to avoid confusion.
Terms that Sound Like Plastic Surgeon
The intentions were good; however, there is no area with more Board Envy and confusion than the American Board of Plastic Surgery. As the popularity of Plastic Surgery has risen, more and more sound-a-like Boards have formed, and honestly, some of them even sound better than plain-old Plastic Surgery.
But a better sounding name is not the same as a better trained doctor, and no Board provides better training in Plastic Surgery than the American Board of plain-old Plastic Surgery.
Better Than Plastic Surgery
It may seem a no brainer that no Board provides better training in Plastic Surgery than the American Board of Plastic Surgery; however, some non-ABMS boards claim, without merit, that they have more specific training. They refer to Board Certified Plastic Surgeons as General Plastic Surgeons, and refer to themselves as sub-specialists. If you hear these claims, buyer beware.
What Does Board Certification Mean?
Board Certification means that your doctor has taken the appropriate training for their Board. It means they have passed written and oral exams, administered by doctors who are experts in the specialty. Today, this certification needs to maintained on a yearly basis with periodic re-examination.
The new buzz word is not just Board Certification, but Maintenance of Certification or MOC. The logo for this, seen at the top of this post, can only be used by Board Certified Doctors who continue participation in their Board’s MOC program. I am proud to maintain Board Certification in two ABMS Boards: The American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery.
ABMS Recognized Boards
Determining if your doctor is certified by an ABMS Board is simple. You can go to the ABMS site and check (links are provided at the bottom of this post.). Any Board not specifically listed below is not an real ABMS certified Board.
Here is a listing of all ABMS recognized boards with links:
The American Board of Medical Subspecialties (ABMS)
Any group can create a Board. I could create the American Board of Breast Augmentation. I could define my own criteria for “Board Certification,” and accept anyone who meets my criteria, without any outside supervision. This type of Board is suspect, I prefer a Board that opens itself up to outside scrutiny.
Continuity and accountability within US Medical Boards is provided by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). For over 75 years the ABMS has provided responsible oversight for the certification of all physicians. It is the only recognized Certifying Body for Medical Specialty Board Certification in the United States.
The ABMS provides valuable resources for consumers and physicians alike, including a free online search that lets you check if you doctor is certified by a recognized board. To check your doctor click here -> Is Your Doctor Certified?
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) also maintains a free online search. If you are considering Plastic Surgery, check if your doctor is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. To check if your doctor is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, click here -> Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Plastic Surgery Professional Societies
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) require current ABMS Board Certification for membership. They also require that all members operate in only Certified Centers and adhere to a strict Code of Ethics. I am a proud active member of both these world renowned plastic surgery societies.
For more about my training click “Meet Doctor Mele” here or at the top of any San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog page. Click here for more about my -> American Board of Plastic Surgery Maintenance of Certification.
May 8th, 2012 Dr. Mele
The premier US cosmetic plastic surgery society, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), headed North of the border this weekend for its annual scientific meeting.
Vancouver ASAPS Meeting 2012
The Best Plastic Surgeons
A sampling of the worlds best Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons got together in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, this weekend to share and compare notes on the latest trends in our art. The 2012 Aesthetic Meeting focused on the changing landscape of aesthetic plastic surgery.
Plastic Surgery and Plastic Non-surgery
Everything cosmetic was discussed. Surgical topics included:
- Facelifts (Rhytidectomy)
- Eyelid Lifts (Blepharoplasty)
- Nose Jobs (Rhinoplasty)
- Breast Augmentation
- Tummy Tucks (Abdominoplasty)
- Body lifts
Non-surgical topics discussed were:
- Radio frequency
Complementary Plastic Surgery and Non-surgical Procedures
Many of the presentations focused on choosing the best methods to get the best and most predictable results, in the safest manner possible. The blending of surgical and non-surgical techniques was stressed. There are obvious advantages to non-surgical procedures, but they cannot do what surgery can do.
Vancouver – Great City, Great Food
The meeting is winding down today, but it will be hard to leave. Vancouver is a beautiful city, and the weather has been more than cooperative. Best meal of the trip was had at the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Oru. The stunning view of Coal Harbour and the North Shore Mountain Range was dwarfed by Chef Darren Brown’s off-the-menu fresh seafood spectacular with local coho salmon and sablefish. Thank you Chef. And if you happen to visit during the short spot prawn season, be sure to try them fresh. They’re sweet.