Talking Shape

Spring 2020 Newsletter

The St. Charles Plastic Surgery Newsletter, Volume 14, Issue 4

Doc Talk

by Bahram Ghaderi, MD, FACS

There are several medical shows that are either currently on the air or have previously aired that are related to plastic surgery procedures. The term networks like to use is “reality TV.” The current show catching people’s attention is Botched. I am often asked what I think of the TV show and if I watch it. I will share my views, but it likely will not surprise you, anyway.

Since I started my practice in 2001, there have been eight American reality TV series (per Wikipedia) based on plastic surgery, with the latest one being Botched. I remember Dr. 90210 (started in 2004) being the first popular reality TV program and many of you more mature readers may have watched it back in the day. The other six shows are Botched by Nature, Bridaplasty, Extreme Makeover, Good Work (talk show), I Want A Famous Face, and The Swan. Each have a different take on the basic premise of before and after plastic surgery procedures and the changes that plastic surgery can make in people’s appearance and lives. Nowadays, there are countless YouTube videos, and other social media platforms, with even more specialized entertainers such as Dr. Pimple Popper, which I have heard is grossly mesmerizing.

Like most things, there is a good and bad side to the attention these shows bring to my specialty. The good side is the obvious positive change seen in patients who can correct a genetic defect such as a cleft lip, or the excitement of seeing someone pleased to regain their youthful appearance, pre-pregnancy body, or corrective surgery after massive weight loss. The bad part is that there is no such thing as reality once the cameras are on, or producers manipulate the situation to create drama for the sole purpose of capturing your attention. Their good intentions become clouded by the goal of selling a show rather than solely to help patients. They also give viewers a false sense of how actual surgery is performed and how long proper recovery takes. If the surgeon is also acting as an entertainer, then that is exactly what it is – entertainment and fake – not reality. In addition, television personalities are not necessarily experts in the field nor do they possess a unique surgical ability.

By now you can guess my views on the show. The scenes I have seen do not accurately reflect what happens in regular, professional operating rooms where thousands of surgeons perform excellent work and help patients achieve their results safely and reliably without the distraction of a camera crew. One of my favorite medical-themed shows was the medical drama series Nip/Tuck, which ran from 2003-2010. It was fun to watch because it was purely for entertainment purposes and they did not pretend to reflect reality. Coincidentally though, many of the OR scenes in Nip/Tuck looked more like reality than the current day reality TV series like Botched. To all of you who enjoy watching the reality shows, please enjoy them for the entertainment factor that they provide and exercise caution in using them as a medical source. If I missed a show that you are currently watching and like, please let me know. And, as always, all comments are welcome to [email protected]

Melon Salad

Looking for a refreshing side dish to bring to your next party or cook-out? This colorful and easy melon fruit salad is the perfect addition!

  • 1 mini seedless watermelon, diced into small cubes (5 cups)
  • 1 cantaloupe, diced into small cubes (5 cups)
  • 1 honeydew, diced into small cubes (5 cups)
  • 1 pineapple, diced into small cubes (3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Dice fruit and add to a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together honey, lime juice, and mint. Pour honey mix over fruit and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

Explant Surgery: Removing Breast Implants

Breast implant removal is a common surgical procedure that has been gaining attention and becoming increasingly more popular. This is a newer trend and there are a few things worth knowing about it.

Why do patients have breast implants removed?

Most patients who undergo breast augmentation or breast reconstruction procedures decide to have their implants replaced on an as-needed basis. However, there are some who wish to remove their implants completely and not have to worry about undergoing more surgery related to their breast implants in the future. Factors that may lead to removal can be ruptured implants, pain with implants, capsular contracture (hardening of the breast), health concerns, or if there is no longer a desire to have breast implants.

There has recently been an increase in breast implant removal requests since concerning reports were released by the FDA regarding a rare lymphoma, Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), that has been linked, not to all implants, but to textured implants only. In addition, patients sometimes read and hear information circulating through the news and social media regarding breast implant illness (BII). Breast implant illness is a term used by women who have breast implants and describe a variety of unfavorable symptoms that they attribute to their implants. As breast implant removal is a highly individualized procedure, it is best to speak with your surgeon regarding any symptoms or concerns,

Will breast implant removal get rid of the symptoms I am experiencing?

Some patients who have their implants removed state that their symptoms improve while others don’t find relief. Unfortunately, there are no studies that show a direct link between symptoms and breast implants or relief of symptoms following removal. However, even in the instances where symptoms persist, implant removal can provide peace of mind.

What is Capsulectomy and En bloc capsulectomy?

Capsulectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a breast implant and part or all of the breast implant capsule. Scar tissue is referred to as the capsule. Once breast implants are placed, patients naturally form some scar tissue around the breast implants. Whenever a capsulectomy is performed, an attempt is usually made to remove most of the capsule. This is done by opening the capsule, removing the old implant, and then peeling the capsule away. The capsule that forms can be soft, however, it may harden over time causing discomfort and pain. A capsulectomy is more in-depth than just removing the implants. Drains may be required, and the overall procedure may be more costly.

En bloc capsulectomy is becoming a popular term that’s circulating on social media and can be incorrectly interpreted. Recently, there have been many patients being told an en bloc procedure is the only breast implant removal option they should consider. En bloc means to remove the breast implant as well as the surrounding tissue or capsule as one piece. This is a detailed surgical procedure that often involves removing the capsule off the ribs and chest wall. During the procedure, as the implant cannot be seen, the capsule needs to be gently dissected to be removed in one piece. This means an en bloc procedure takes considerably more time and requires a much larger incision. Although an en bloc procedure may seem to be a more preferred method for some surgeons, you will need to be evaluated in person to determine if you are a candidate. If the capsule is too thin or adhering too closely to the ribs or vital tissues, an en bloc procedure may not be possible.

If you are considering breast implant removal or have concerns or symptoms regarding your breast implants, please contact our office today to schedule your personalized consultation with Dr. Ghaderi to be evaluated.

The Power of Crystals

In one of our exam rooms, there are framed amethysts on the wall. It could be just a unique décor piece to enhance an empty wall space, but some beg to differ! It is said that some crystals have healing powers. They’re thought to promote the flow of good energy and help rid the body and mind of negative energy for physical and emotional benefits. Here are just a few of the many noted benefits of amethyst:

  • Helps with Stress
  • Promotes Relaxation
  • Alleviating Anxiety
  • Brings Balance

Contour Comments

North vs. South

Springtime in Chicago means baseball season has arrived. Whether you’re at Wrigley Field rooting for the Cubs or at Guaranteed Rate Field rooting for the Sox, it means hot dogs and nachos with bleacher seats soaking up the sun. When it comes to these two teams, there has (and always will be) a rivalry between them.

So who do you root for? We asked our Facebook friends and this is what they said:

90% are Cubs fans

10% are Sox fans

Earth: Our Planet, Our Home

Earth Day is April 22. This year will mark 50 years of Earth Day. This year’s Earth Day theme is climate action. We’ve listed a few ways to help take action and give back to our home.

  • Go to paperless billing/statements.
  • Plant a tree in your community. Trees clean the air and provide oxygen.
  • Participate in a Beach Clean Up
  • Shop local or at a farmers market.
  • Buy reusable grocery bags.
  • Buy a reusable water bottle.
  • Stop using plastic straws.
  • Donate gently used goods.]
  • Start a compost in your garden.
  • Spread the word!

Spring Planting Tips

We asked our office gardener for some planting tips to help you grow your springtime garden:

  • Even if you are tempted, do NOT plant before Mother’s Day. The weather is not as dependable.
  • For potted plants, the smaller the pot the more water it’ll need. Check it often as it may need daily watering.
  • The best time to water plants is around late afternoon, early evening, or dusk.
  • Many have potted plants placed in the wrong sunlight conditions. Make sure the plant can tolerate the amount of sunlight and don’t forget to keep in mind the movement of the sun at different times of the day.
  • If it’s hot outside or in direct sunlight, you may water early in the morning and check again in the evening.
  • For extra bloom, add a half dose of flower fertilizer. Add it to your watering can every time you water.
  • Flowers with more delicate petals may also have trouble with heavy rain that can happen during spring.

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