Getting to know doctors through interviews, like this recent one with Dr. Denton Watumull, is a great way to get a feel for their personality and practice. Once you know a bit more about them and what they offer, you can better decide who the right surgeon is for you. Dr. Watumull was recently chosen to participate in a study to assess the benefits of high resolution ultrasound technology for Dallas silent rupture detection. Read more to get to know Dr. Watumull, his thoughts on high resolution ultrasound technology, and what his patients think about it.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
“I’m originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, but left to come to UT Southwestern for surgical training. I was recruited to a suburb of Dallas where I currently have a marvelous practice now with five other doctors. I’m a board-certified plastic surgeon. We have a dynamic practice that’s growing rapidly. My areas of focus and expertise right now are aesthetic surgery, specifically breast aesthetics, breast reconstruction, and anything on the face.”
Did you have ultrasound technology in your office prior to this study?
“We did have ultrasound in our office that we had been using for nearly a year before we had the opportunity to participate in this study. We felt that having ultrasound in the office was a new way to be current with our breast reconstruction patients. We’re commonly troubled by fluid collections in the reconstructed breast and being able to manage those appropriately was important. This study was unique in that it was using high resolution ultrasound (HRUS) to look for implant ruptures in patients who had breast implants placed between the years of 2000 and 2015. Through HRUS, we can offer patients, who’ve had silicone gel implants in for a period of time, the opportunity to come in and at no cost, get a study to evaluate if their implants are intact.”
How does this technology benefit both surgeons and patients?
“I think that one of the best things is that surgeons can now offer a followup tool for patients to see if their implants are doing well. The FDA has recommended MRI followup surveillance for silicone gel implants every two years to detect silent rupture. To be able to have that surveillance with ultrasound in your plastic surgeon’s office, who would be the one to help you make a decision about what to do should the implant not be intact, is a huge benefit to anyone with breast implants. Usually a woman has to go in for an MRI and if there is an abnormal result, book another appointment with a lot of anxiety. It could be weeks or months before one has a game plan. Having it offered in the plastic surgeon’s office is a huge step forward.”
How do you think MRI and ultrasound compare to one another from a clinical standpoint?
“So far, the advantages of ultrasound have been that it’s quick and a lot less expensive. Many insurance companies won’t cover MRI scans for routine breast imaging purposes on women who’ve had implants placed for cosmetic reasons. So for many of our patients, an MRI at $2500 is not even an option. We are currently 100% accurate at detecting bonafide leaking silicone gel with ultrasound technology. So far we have had no false positives so I’m a big believer in the technology.”
What has been the patient response in terms of the convenience?
“I think it adds a lot of feelings of assurance and relief for our patients to know that their implants are still doing well. It’s a sense of satisfaction to know that everything’s in good position and there are no leaking problems. I do think that they feel very relieved when they’re there. The few patients who have had a leak often have had a subconscious, if not overt, concern and were very happy to have something identified.”
Overall, do you feel like this study has produced any anxiety in patients?
“I think that the bigger anxiety producing issue is to have an implant in place and not know if things are going well or if it’s intact. Most of our patients are well informed and don’t have anxiety about the technology. Yes, there can be false positives with any technology, but the advantage we have in this current environment is if there is a concern of a study being borderline, we can order an MRI and work with our patients to get that covered. If the implants are quite old and there are issues that a woman wants to address anyway, that can be addressed with well performed surgery. So we don’t have to leave anything undiagnosed. We always have a way to help.”
What sets your practice apart from other plastic surgeons in your area?
“I try very hard to be extraordinarily accurate with our surgical plans. One thing that I know for a fact is my complication and revision rates are extraordinarily low, and that’s because we are very compulsive in our preparation and aftercare. Virtually all patients are followed meticulously for a year inclusive of their surgical date. I also spend a lot of time with my patients and many of them have my cell phone number. What sets us apart the most are our excellent results, low rated problems, and high rate of success. We also have excellent staff who take special care of our patients. People come to us because of our reputation for our bedside manner and we’re proud of that.”
If you want access to convenient Dallas silent rupture detection, contact Dr. Watumull today to discuss your options. Simply call (972) 470-5000, or visit www.drwatumull.com. Dr. Watumull’s office is located at 12222 North Central Expressway #250, Dallas, TX 75243. Call today for more information about the IDEAL IMPLANT.