Are you thinking about getting bay area breast implants? In Pleasanton, California, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Bachelor strives to provide his patients with beautiful, natural, and safe cosmetic surgery results. With offices in both Pleasanton and Danville, California, Dr. Bachelor has practiced in the San Francisco area for the last 38 years, and focuses on aesthetic surgery with a science orientation. We recently talked to Dr. Bachelor about his practice, breast augmentation surgery, and the new IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants.
Why do patients choose your practice over others in your area?
“I’ve been in the community for a long, long time. We’ve always tried to practice to the highest level of quality and safety and I have an excellent staff who really genuinely cares about our patients and takes excellent care of them. I think patients who come to the practice feel like they are cared for and feel like they’re going to get some excellent results from the procedure, but also that we’re very concerned about their safety. And I think that’s why a lot of women choose this practice. We also are very open and freely provide the patient with any information so that they can make wise decisions about their healthcare and I think that that’s a real benefit as well.”
What areas of the body do you focus on at your practice?
“We provide all aspects of cosmetic surgery including facial surgery, eyelid surgery, nasal surgery, all-body surgery and breast surgery, but for the longest time I have been a very active breast surgeon. We’ve been doing breast implant surgery, breast reconstruction surgery, mastopexies, breast reductions for approximately 40 years. We have two fully accredited operating rooms on site and we operate every day of the week. We see patients every day of the week and we certainly try and provide the best plastic surgery product available in a safe and caring manner.”
If a patient comes in seeking a breast augmentation, how do you help guide them through the process of selecting implant type, size, etc?
“We have many women that come to our practice on a daily and weekly basis, seeking breast augmentation, breast lifts with augmentation or reaugmentation of their breasts. We always meet with the patient to obtain their desires, their concerns, and then I meet with them personally. Measurements are taken, the breasts are examined and a plan is made for the patient. As part of that, we provide the patient with all different implant possibilities to choose from. That includes silicone gel breast implants, highly cohesive gel implants, shaped implants and structured saline implants such as the IDEAL IMPLANT.
“I feel it’s important for every woman to make her own decision with regard to what type of implant they would like to use. We try to provide them with information to assist them in that process. I think one thing that I’ve noticed is that in this area in particular, there are a lot of women primarily concerned about safety. With some of the implant news that we’ve had over the last year or two, safety is becoming an increasing concern of many women.”
What made you decide to include the IDEAL IMPLANT in your practice?
“I first became aware of the IDEAL IMPLANT approximately 10 years ago. I have known Dr. Robert Hamas, the inventor of the implant, for many, many years, and he had shared with me the design of the new implant and what he hoped the implant would provide for patients. I was one of the early adopters of the implant as soon as it was available to the public, after going through its exhaustive FDA trials. I wanted to be one of the first surgeons to be able to offer the implant to patients.
“So I have been using the implant for almost three years now. I find that it’s an implant that’s readily accepted by women, especially when they’re presented with all implants to choose from, and have a choice that they can make on their own. I also have husbands or boyfriends involved when they’re available, because I think it’s important that everybody have all the information possible to make their decision.”
How do you present the different breast implant types to your patients?
“I like my patients to be able to evaluate all the different types of implants, so I typically will show them a silicone gel breast implant, a more high profile implant, some of the newer models, and the cohesive implants. I also show them a standard saltwater implant (the type that’s been around for approximately 50 years, the single lumen unstructured implant) and I also show them a structured saline implant – the IDEAL IMPLANT. I present implants that are basically the same size so that it’s very clear what the differences are between the implants. Women have a chance to examine and feel the implants and feel the differences between all of them. I use the cloth that’s provided by the company to show the patient what these implants feel like underneath skin and subcutaneous tissue.
“I also let the boyfriends or the husbands feel the implants. And very frequently they have a very hard time telling the difference between a silicone gel breast implant and the IDEAL IMPLANT. I then also let them feel the difference between the unstructured saline and the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant in the same fashion and once again, it’s a very clear difference that they can discern right away. After presenting the patient with the options, it is very common for them to say, “Well, the IDEAL IMPLANT feels very similar to these other implants, so why would I want the silicone gel breast implant?”
How many patients would you say are selecting the IDEAL IMPLANT at your practice?
“A number of my patients who were originally considering silicone gel implants often end up choosing the IDEAL IMPLANT. For women who want saline, when they’re presented with both the standard unstructured saline implant and the IDEAL IMPLANT they almost always choose the IDEAL IMPLANT. So I’ve found in my practice that I primarily use IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Saline Implants over the traditional saline implants. On occasion, if a patient is replacing a ruptured implant and wants to stay within the warranty provided by that company they may replace it with traditional saline, but otherwise I use mostly the IDEAL IMPLANT.
“I’ve also found that approximately 40% of patients who come in to speak about breast augmentation or revision augmentation surgery end up choosing the IDEAL IMPLANT. There’s still a place for silicone gel. There’s still a place, occasionally, for a standard saline implant, but a lot of my patients now are choosing the IDEAL IMPLANT. I see patients every week who come to this practice primarily because we offer the IDEAL IMPLANT and ask for it by name.”
What would you tell another surgeon who is considering incorporating the IDEAL IMPLANT into their practice?
“I’ve always felt that women need to be able to make their own choices. So I always present all the options to every woman who comes in. I may counsel them about what I think a wiser choice is, one implant to another based on their anatomy, based on their desires, based on the size they’re trying to achieve. And I think that that is something that’s driven my practice for many, many years. I truly believe in the IDEAL IMPLANT, the way that it’s been manufactured, the safety, the quality that’s been designed into the implant, the new shape of the implant which lets it sit on the chest wall, and be less palpable, and the overall feel of the implant.
“When I talk to other surgeons who may not be using the implant currently, I tell them that, at least in my patient base, this implant essentially sells itself. When patients have been presented with the information, presented with the implants to feel and to look at, most women choose IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants when they want to go with a saline implant. I think that for any practice, the ability to be able to offer this implant is a real benefit.”
What has patient satisfaction been like overall with the IDEAL IMPLANT?
“I think that the majority of my patients that have chosen the IDEAL IMPLANT have been very pleased with their choice, very pleased overall. There’s less rippling, the implant feels softer. I think that the safety and the quality of the implant are paramount in their happiness with their results as well. There are a lot of patients who live in my area that are very health conscious. Many of my patients are old enough that they still remember the implant crisis of the 1990s and the fear that was engendered regarding silicone gel breast implants. And I think with some of the more recent news about textured silicone implants, I think that patients are looking for a safer alternative and I think that that’s what the IDEAL IMPLANT provides us with.”
What else would you like prospective patients to know about the IDEAL IMPLANT?
“I think another benefit of the IDEAL IMPLANT is that they come with a tremendous warranty program. It’s a lifelong warranty program, and has been well thought out.
“Another aspect of the implant that is beneficial for women and one reason that I think that they choose the implant, is that with a saline-based implant, you do not need to consider replacing the implant every 10 years, as is the recommendation from the FDA regarding silicone gel breast implants. I think this reduces the concern that women have that they’re going to have to spend time and more money in the future replacing their implants on a periodic basis. With a saline-based implant, you can just look in the mirror and know whether your implant is intact or not. With silicone gel, there’s something called silent rupture, where you can have a ruptured silicone gel breast implant and be unaware of it.
“Even the studies that are done to try and ascertain whether an implant is intact or not, such as an MRI, can be wrong. Recently, when a few of my patients had MRIs done to see whether an implant was intact, the MRI said that the implant was entirely intact, but when we went to surgery and operated, the implant was actually ruptured. And I had another patient, two, in fact, recently, that had an MRI saying that they had ruptured silicone gel breast implants and we operated to change their implants and found that both implants were entirely intact.
“As far as breast implant revision goes, it is also a lot easier to replace a structured saline implant over a silicone gel implant. When somebody has a ruptured silicone gel breast implant, especially the older implants which were liquid silicone gel, it is a very difficult replacement surgery. They may need a total periprosthetic capsulectomy or removal of the implant and reconstruction, which is a much more difficult procedure than swapping out a deflated saline implant. Since it is filled with saline instead of silicone gel, replacing a saline implant requires just a slight revision and then a quick replacement of the implant.
“I think having a structured saline implant that feels more like silicone gel that women are comfortable with, and having an implant that is safer than silicone gel, is a real benefit to women. And I think that that’s why they’re choosing this implant over silicone gel. I think it’s due to health concerns and safety concerns. The longevity of the implant and the fact that they do not need to periodically change the implant as is recommended by the FDA for silicone gel, is a real benefit to patients as well. Certainly if you would like to know more about IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants, come see us.”
Considering Bay Area breast implants in Pleasanton, CA? Contact Dr. Bachelor today to discuss your options. Simply call (925) 462-3700, or visit www.ericpbachelormd.com. Dr. Bachelor’s office is located at 1387 Santa Rita Road, Pleasanton, CA 94566. Call today for more information on IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants.