Blog — Notes of a Plastic Surgeon

Welcome to my blog. I am a plastic surgeon in Seattle and have been in private practice since 1991. I've seen more than a few interesting faces and cases through my years spent in the exam room, the operating room and the emergency room. And I have an opinion on just about everything relating to plastic surgery (and a lot of unrelated stuff). If you like my blog, let me know. Thanks for reading! Lisa

Archaeology and Plastic Surgery

Seattle Plastic Surgeon feels like an archaeologist while removing 42 year old silicone gel implants. 

blog archeology

Dr. Sowder, breast implant archaeologist.

Recently I saw a lovely woman in my office who wanted removal of her breast implants and replacement with new ones.  This is a common procedure in my practice.  What made this case really memorable was the age of her implants.  They were 42 years old!  This patient was one of the breast implant pioneers and here she was, all those years later finally ready for an upgrade.

Her old implants were as hard as rocks and upon removing them, the reason why was immediately evident.  The scar tissue around the implants (this is called the capsule) were very thick and  had calcified.  The capsules had literally turned to rock.

Paradoxically, the thicker and harder the capsule, the easier it is to remove and I was able to remove the  implants and capsules in two tidy pieces with zero spillage of silicone gel.  Remarkably, when I opened the capsule to reveal the implants, the implants were not ruptured but they had oozed a lot of silicone gel into the surrounding capsule.  The capsule and calcification was the body’s response to the oozed silicone gel.   The gel implants currently on the market are much sturdier and do not have the same degree of rupture or gel ooze and these old ones did.

I inserted some brand new silicone gel implants under her chest muscle, stitched her up and she is thrilled to have a chest that doesn’t look and feel like there are two tennis balls under her skin.  As for her husband, I can’t wipe the smile off of his face.

Have I told you lately that I really dig my job?  Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder


Category: Breast Implant Removal, Breast Implants, Now That's a Little Weird | Tags: , , , , , ,

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