When a saline implant develops a leak, it deflates over a period of days or weeks. It is dramatic and it is obvious. Treatment involves removing and replacing that implant. If it has been years since the original surgery, you will need to consider whether you want to replace the other implant as well. Also, you should consider both whether you want to switch to a different size implant as well as whether you want to switch to a silicone implant. If you do decide to change to a larger implant, the pocket around the implant might need to be enlarged and the other breast will need surgery as well in order to aesthetically balance the pair. This situation is not in any way a medical emergency, but the surgery is easier for you if done in the first several weeks after the saline implant leaks. The reason for this is because as the implant starts leaking, even a thin and normal capsule around the implant will start contracting around the deflating implant and thicken. When that happens, Dr. Teitelbaum needs to remove some or all of the scar tissue, which makes for a bigger operation. If done quickly, the old implant usually can just be removed and replaced. Sometimes while awaiting surgery, Dr. Teitelbaum will use a needle to extract fluid from the good implant in order to correct the asymmetry. It may sound bizarre, but it is less invasive than drawing blood from a vein in your arm.
Dr. Teitelbaum was a member of the national plastic surgery task force that developed the Covid-19 protocols for plastic surgery offices. He is therefore well-versed in all of the recommendations and his office meets or exceeds all of them. By now you are familiar with all the obvious measures such as reminding patients and staff not to come to the office if they have any symptoms, taking temperatures, maintaining social distancing, having everyone wear masks, placing hand sanitizers everywhere, reducing the number of patients in the office at one time, testing all surgical patients, etc. One unique feature is that Dr. Teitelbaum’s operating room has "laminar flow" – a very advanced system that directs the flow of air from a large diffuser on the ceiling to exhausts near the floor, ensuring that the fresh air flows in one direction. This not only reduces the chance of COVID infections for the patients and staff, but it also reduces the risk of surgical infections.
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