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  • Doctors Richard Ellenbogen and Gary Motykie who lead a cosmetic surgery practice in Beverly Hills think that silicone implants feel softer and more real than saline implants. Having been part of the study group established by Mentor Corp. to analyze silicone implants, their perspectives offer some compelling insights into the benefits of silicone implants. This exclusive interview is part of a series that Make Me Heal is conducting with well-known plastic surgeons who specialize in breast augmentations.

    Make Me Heal: Have you started using silicone implants since the FDA approved their use?

    Dr. Motykie: Yes, I have been using silicone implants for several years because I was involved as an investigator in the Mentor study that was used to approve their use in breast augmentation surgery.
    Dr. Ellenbogen: I used silicone implants for many years prior to their removal from the market by the FDA.

    Make Me Heal: If you not yet began to use silicone implants, do you intend to do so and if so, when?

    Dr. Motykie: I think women may opt for silicone implants simply because they are now available after FDA approval. However, many women will always remember the scare that had silicone removed from the market in the first place and some women will not want to undergo the follow-up that is necessary under the approval guidelines. Therefore, I do not believe that the use of silicone implants will overtakesaline implants over the next five years.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: Women always desire the newest implants available. However, I do not believe that silicone implants will overtake saline implants over the next five years.

    Make Me Heal: Do you feel silicone implants look aesthetically better and more natural relative to saline implants?

    Dr. Motykie: Silicone and saline implants look very similar aesthetically when placed with a proper technique.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: Silicone and saline implants look very similar when used for breast augmentation.

    Make Me Heal: Do silicone implants feel more “real” to the touch compared to saline implants?

    Dr. Motykie: Silicone implants feel softer and more “real” to the touch than saline implants.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: Silicone implants feel more “real” to the touch than saline implants.

    Make Me Heal: Are silicone implants lighter, heavier, or have the same weight as their saline counterparts?

    Dr. Motykie: Silicone implants are slightly heavier than saline implants.Although the difference in weight is not noticeably different with the same size implants.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: Silicone implants are slightly heavier than saline implants.

    Make Me Heal: Is the recovery from having silicone implants any different from having saline implants?

    Dr. Motykie: The recovery period for both saline and silicone implant surgery is exactly the same.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: The recovery period for both saline and silicone implants is the same.

    Make Me Heal: Do you think silicone implants present any safety issue as far as rupturing and the potential health effects if silicone leaked to other parts of the body?

    Dr. Motykie: Silicone implants are safe. If a silicone implant were to rupture, the silicone would stay where it leaked into the implant capsule. Silicone does not travel throughout the body. It may cause a local area of firmness, but it does not cause problems in other areas of the body.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: Silicone implants are safe. If a silicone implant were to rupture, it would not travel throughout the body. It may cause a local area of firmness but it does not cause problems in other areas of the body.

    Make Me Heal: If you do not believe that there are any safety downsides to using silicone implants, are there any remaining advantages to getting saline implants now that the FDA approved silicone implants?

    Dr. Motykie: Silicone implants are better suited for a woman with very little breast tissue that want a “natural’ appearance and feel to the breasts. If silicone forms the majority of the breast, the breast will feel more “natural” or “real”. If the breast is composed mostly of a saline implant, it may feel a little firmer than a breast composed mostly of a silicone implant.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: Silicone implants are better suited for a woman with very little breast tissue. If the breast is composed mostly of a saline implant, it may feel a little firmer than a breast composed mostly of silicone implant.

    Make Me Heal: What is the ideal profile of a woman who should elect for silicone implants?

    Dr. Motykie: If a woman prefers a slightly firmer breast that appears round in shape, she should lean more towards a saline implant. Saline implants, because they are a little firmer, may give a little more shape and lift to a breast augmentation than a silicone implant.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: Saline implants, because they are a little firmer, may give a little more shape and lift to a breast augmentation than a silicone implant.

    Make Me Heal: What is the profile of a woman who should not elect to have silicone implants?

    Dr. Motykie: A woman should not choose a silicone implant if she has concerns about “knowing” whether her implants are leaking or not. Silicone implants have “silent” leaks wherein a woman will not know an implant is leaking unless there is a change in feel or shape of the breast. On the other hand, if a saline implant leaks, the breast will become “deflated” overnight and a woman will know that she needs to have the implant replaced. Secondly, the silicone implants still come with some mandated follow-up in order to track the safety of their use for the FDA. A woman who chooses silicone implants should be aware of the possible need for long term follow-up at this point in time.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: The silicone implants still come with a mandated follow-up in order to track the safety of their use for the FDA. A woman who chooses silicone implants should be aware of the possible need for long-term follow-up appointments.

    Make Me Heal: What is the best incision in your opinion?

    Dr. Motykie: Incision placement should be determined on an individual basis. However, an incision underneath the areola allows for more direct control of breast shape and symmetry. Secondly, it gives the surgeon the opportunity to perform secondary procedures such as areolar reduction or lifting.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: Incision placement should be determined on an individual basis. An incision underneath the areola always for may direct control of breast shape and symmetry, whereas an incision in the armpit may be slightly less conspicuous.

    Make Me Heal: Is it true that there is usually no loss of sense of touch of the nipples?

    Dr. Motykie: Nipple sensation loss is unlikely. Hypersensitivity may actually occur for the first few months post-operatively.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: Nipple sensation loss is unlikely no matter which placement method is chosen.

    Make Me Heal: Do breasts with implants experience greater sagging over time than natural breasts?

    Dr. Motykie: As long as a “reasonable” size breast implant is placed, breasts with implants should not sag more or less than real breasts of the same size over time.

    Dr. Ellenbogen: Breast implants should not sag more or less than real breasts the same size over time.

    Dr. Motykie

    Dr. Gary Motykie is a highly skilled specialist in all aspects of plastic surgical procedures including breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, facial rejuvenation, facial fat grafting, lip augmentation and numerous other cosmetic surgical procedures.

    Dr. Motykie received his undergraduate degree at theUniversityofIllinoisand his doctorate in medicine atNorthwesternUniversityinChicago. After participating in a post-graduate fellowship in advanced surgical research, he was accepted into an accelerated plastic surgery training program at theUniversityofTexas. There, he trained at one of the top cancer and burn reconstruction facilities in the world.

    Dr. Motykie has a successful practice in Beverly Hillsand is a series regular on E Entertainment’s Dr. 90210. He continues to present his work nationally by authoring numerous journal articles and scientific papers.

    For more information, please visit Dr. Motykie’s website.

    Dr. Ellenbogen

    While at the University of Florida, Richard Ellenbogen excelled in both art and pre-med courses. He went on to graduate from the University of Miami Medical School in 1968. He then completed general surgery training in New York City. To satisfy an interest in plastic surgical correction of birth defects, Dr. Ellenbogen traveled to The Hague, Netherlands, where he served a fellowship at the Red Cross Hospital.

    When he returned to theUnited States, Dr. Ellenbogen served a fellowship in hand surgery at the prestigious Hospital for Joint Diseases inNew York City. During his training inNew York, he worked as an assistant police surgeon in theSouth Bronx. Dr. Ellenbogen competed his residency at the State University of New York in Plastic, Maxillofacial and Reconstructive Surgery. This portrait artist-turned surgeon found his medium and went on to become on of LA’s top plastic surgeons.

    One of the most published and innovative plastic surgeons, Dr. Ellenbogen has written textbooks and scientific journal articles on facelift, eyelid surgery, forehead lift, breathing and cosmetic nasal surgery, underarm breast enlargement, and liposuction techniques, as well as research on silicone. Many of the techniques he has helped create are used and referred to by plastic surgeons all over the world today.

    Dr. Ellenbogen is the director of a prestigious postgraduate fellowship program in advanced aesthetic surgery. Plastic surgeons from all over the world come to be taught by him.

    Dr. Ellenbogen was also included in the “Guide to America’s Top Surgeons” by the Consumers’ Research Council of America, an independent research company based in Washington, D.C.

    For more information, please visit Dr. Ellenbogen’s website.


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