Breast Revision

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I had breast implants placed… so what do I do now?

Does Liposuction Produce Permanent Results? | Palm DesertThe answer to this depends on a number of things- including what type of implants you had placed- (saline versus silicone gel) and when you had your implants placed (less than 10 years ago… more than 10 years ago) and if you are having any current issues with your implants (Pain? Encapsulation? Malposition? Drooping? Swelling? Etc.).  Every woman should be getting their routine screening mammograms starting at age 40 years old, or per their physician’s recommendations if they have risk factors necessitating either earlier screening or more frequent exams.

Saline implants

If one has saline implants… the answer is a bit simpler in that you ONLY have to do something if you have a “problem” with your implants such as deflation, encapsulation, pain, drooping, asymmetry, or desire for a size change- either to larger or smaller.  In essence, saline implants have not really changed at all much over the many years the way that silicone implants have changed and improved.  Saline implants are basically a silicone shell that we fill with sterile saline solution during surgery- if your implant leaks- you typically will know as it goes down “like a flat tire” and then most patients are calling the office right away to have it replaced.  There are cases of “slow deflations” where the leak-point is very small and an implant can slowly deflate over time as well and it may take a patient longer to realize the deflation is occurring.  The good news is that the saline is sterile and basically inert and will get resorbed by your body and should not cause any damage and remains quite relatively “safe”- so saline remains attractive to some women for this reason.  Other women who are good candidates for saline implants are women with severe asymmetry, very small, flat-chested women who want to go much larger and need to be “stretched out”, and women who perhaps are not done having children and cannot afford silicone gel implants and are open to revising and/or exchanging their implants sometime in the future since their breasts will change after pregnancy and lactation anyway.

Silicone gel implants

Silicone gel implants have improved greatly since their re-emergence into the market in 2006.  The three main manufacturers of silicone gel implants remain:  Mentor, Allergan and Sientra.  All 3 are FDA-approved devices here in the US and all good choices, and exact implant selection should be made by each patient with the guidance of their plastic surgeon.  Please note that surgeons who are “Cosmetic Surgeons” (and NOT board-certified Plastic Surgeons) can NO LONGER advertise as “Board-certified in Cosmetic Surgery” since the Cosmetic Surgery Board is NOT recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties!  So if you are seeking breast surgery from a “Cosmetic Surgeon”- you better find out exactly WHICH Board they are certified in… since some are board-certified in Dermatology, OB/GYN, Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, etc… (if you can believe it!).  Another point worth noting… is that the Sientra company will ONLY sell to “Board-certified Plastic Surgeons” and NOT to “cosmetic surgeons”-  so if you go and see a “cosmetic surgeon”- he or she will not even be able to offer you the Sientra brand of highly-cohesive silicone gel implant!  It is good to know what your options are, and that you indeed have OPTIONS… since a certain brand, profile or style of implant may serve one of my patients better than another… so I am certain to offer my patients ALL brands and styles of implants and guide them to which implant selection I feel is best for them!

How have implants improved?

Manufacturers have made the outer silicone shells thicker as well as made the gel inside the implant more cohesive- so that the gel isn’t “runny” should it rupture inside the body.  There are various degrees of cohesivity that is caused by cross-linking the silicone polymers… so again, selecting the best implant for you is important during your consultation.  Each company has differing implants regarding their cohesivity, profiles (projection), shape (round vs anatomic), dimensions and warranties.  One nice perk to note is that both Sientra and Allergan now warranty not only against rupture of their silicone gel implants, but also against capsular contracture (hardening of the breast tissue around the implant) – and this is a far more common scenario- they never used to do this before… so this is a wonderful new offer for patients!

What if my implants are older than 10 years?

If you had your implants placed prior to 2006, then you may consider imaging your breasts with an MRI if they are silicone to rule out a “silent rupture”.  It is recommended that MRIs be performed about 3 years after primary silicone gel implantation and then every 2 years after that.  With that being said… I have many patients who never get an MRI because it is an expensive test, and the treatment for rupture is the same- removal with or without replacement is recommended by every manufacturer for documented rupture.  An MRI may be helpful for warranty purposes or for certain insurance coverages such as Medicare.  An MRI may also be helpful to rule out rupture versus another type of pathology.  But not every woman gets an MRI after breast augmentation surgery.  If your implants were placed prior to 2006, then they are at least 13 years or older, and a brand that was made prior to the improvements in the newer silicone gel breast implants.  If you have any questions or concerns- consult your plastic surgeon and proceed with whatever imaging or surgery is deemed best.  If your implants were placed after 2006, then they are likely “stronger” implants- and the recommendations for standard breast imaging and MRI stand.  However, if you have any new symptoms such as pain, aching, or suspicion of rupture… then consult both your OB/GYN and Plastic Surgeon.  Sometimes implants undergo something called “silicone gel bleed”… where portions of the shells may still be grossly intact, however some areas thinned out to the point that the inside gel “bleeds” out onto the surface… and this may cause symptoms such as pain, increased softness, change in shape or capsular contracture.  Gel bleed is harder to diagnose via breast imaging, so your breast symptomatology is key!

Finally, it is a good idea to always remain in touch with the Plastic Surgeon who performed your surgery if possible.  Typically, all surgeons are required to keep surgical records for a minimum of 7 to 10 years on-site or off-site.  Always maintain a copy of your implant cards and know your surgery dates as this becomes very important in planning revisionary surgery.  If your surgeon is no longer practicing, then try and seek a very reputable breast surgeon with an excellent reputation, has local hospital privileges and an excellent “Before and After” Photogallery of his or her results for you to review!

I shall go into further depth regarding implant ruptures, implant types, types of revisionary surgery, “over the muscle” vs. “under the muscle” etc in future blogs… so I hope this was helpful and keep following us here Dr Q Plastic Surgery!

To learn more about the plastic surgery treatments and procedures performed by Dr. Suzanne Quardt (Dr. Q) please contact us at 760-324-2660. To learn more about Dr. Q’s Medical Spa please visit

Dr. Q Medical Spa receives patients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and other suburbs and towns in this part of California.

Sientra Breast Implants – Palm Springs | Palm Desert | Rancho Mirage

Dr. Suzanne Quardt (Dr. Q) is a reputed plastic surgeon who has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Q, as she is popularly known to her patients, provides state of the art cosmetic surgery treatments, including breast surgeries. Patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert and surrounding communities have an opportunity to receive the latest procedures for the breast, body, and face from her. For her contributions as a dedicated cosmetic surgeon, she has also been featured in national publications, including New Beauty Magazine and Plastic Surgery Practice.

Breast Augmentation

Augmentation mammaplasty or breast augmentation surgery is an effective plastic surgery procedure to enhance the size, volume and fullness of breasts. The procedure involves placement of saline or silicone gel based breast implants in the desired size, shape, and texture to achieve fuller breasts. One of the key decisions to make in a breast implant cosmetic surgery is to choose between saline and silicone implants. Both types of implants are approved by the FDA, and are widely accepted by patients.

Dr. Q explains the pros and cons of both types of implants to her patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert and nearby areas. As an experienced plastic surgeon for breast surgeries, she is the best position to recommend the most appropriate implants in accordance with the patient’s aesthetic needs. She will also consider the patient’s breast anatomy and whether the procedure is needed for cosmetic reasons or as a reconstructive surgery. Saline implants are FDA approved for women in the age group of 18 and above, while silicone implants are approved for women in the age group of 22 and above.

Advanced Sientra Implant Treatment with Dr. Q

Dr. Q introduced the cutting-edge Sientra breast implant technology to her office in the second half of 2013. Sientra is one of the latest innovations in silicone gel based breast implants, which can provide a more natural look and feel to the breasts. The lifespan of the implants may also be higher with this superior quality of implants. Sientra implants are made of Highly Cohesive Silicone Gel, which mimics the natural breast tissue most closely.

As an experienced cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Q explains to her patients in Palm Springs and Palm Desert the benefits of Sientra technology over others. However, if the patient’s primary concern is to choose more biocompatible implants, then she may recommend saline implants because in case of rupture, the saline solution will bio-integrate with the body. Therefore, the final choice of implants lies with the patient only.

Low Rupture Rates

The risk of implant rupture is, in any case, minimized with the high quality Sientra breast implants. Sientra has one of the lowest rupture rates because of its unique high-strength cohesive silicone gel. Compared to the traditional silicone implants, cohesive silicone gel is more viscous and stays in place in most cases, even if the implant shell ruptures. In fact, one can actually cut Sientra implant into two halves and yet the gel would stay in place and not move out to other parts of the body.

Sientra implants are based on the innovative Gummy Bear breast implant technology. This advanced quality includes a specialized silicone gel that delivers superior cohesive strength and suppleness that makes it more natural in terms of appearance, touch, and feel. In terms of aesthetics and natural feel, Sientra implants score an edge over saline implants. Patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert and other areas can consult with Dr. Q to make an informed choice about breast implants. The FDA approved Sientra implants are provided exclusively by trained or board certified plastic surgeons only.

breast augmentationDr. Suzanne Marie Quardt, or “Dr. Q™” as she is known among her patients, is an experienced plastic surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. She received her residency training in general and plastic surgery from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She then completed a post-graduate fellowship training program in Specialty Plastic Reconstructive and Burn Reconstructive Surgery at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, CA.

Dr. Q served as the Chief of Plastic Surgery at the prestigious Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage from 2009 to 2011, and currently serves on several Hospital Committees there. She provides a wide range of surgical and non-surgical procedures for her patients in Palm Springs and Palm Desert area. She performs surgical procedures either at a hospital or in fully accredited outpatient surgery facilities along with board certified anesthesiologists. For her contributions to the field of cosmetic surgery, Dr. Q was named as one of the Coachella Valley’s “Top Docs” by Castle Connelly, Ltd in Palm Springs Life magazine.

What is Breast Augmentation?

Augmentation mammaplasty, commonly known as breast augmentation, is a surgical procedure to enhance the breast size and volume with the help of breast implants. Patients may seek breast implant surgery from a qualified cosmetic surgeon for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Patient has naturally small breasts due to genetic reasons.
  • Patient perceives her breasts to be small and is unhappy with them.
  • Patient has lost breast volume following a pregnancy or major weight loss.
  • Patient’s breasts are moderately asymmetrical.
  • Patient has undergone a mastectomy and needs restoration of breast size and shape.

Breast augmentation can make the breasts fuller and more attractive. The procedure has gained popularity with new advancements in breast implant qualities and surgical techniques. FDA approvals for silicone gel and saline implants have prompted many patients to consider this treatment over the last few years. In some cases, breast implant procedure may be combined with breast lift plastic surgery to achieve more effective results.

Choice of Implants

Saline breast implants include a saline solution that is biocompatible, and the patient has no risk even in the case of an implant rupture. These implants are FDA approved for women who are 18 years or older. Silicone implants are filled with highly cohesive silicone gel. Silicone implants are FDA approved for women who are 22 years or older. These implants may have a better natural touch and feel in the perception of some patients. Patients in Palm Springs and Palms Desert can discuss their options with Dr. Q to determine the most appropriate choice of implants in their case.


Breast augmentation is usually performed under general anesthesia or IV sedation. The plastic surgeon will determine the right type of anesthesia for a patient, depending on the extent of procedure, patient’s health condition and status, and other factors. The procedure begins by the placement of an incision, and the implants are placed inside through the incision. The surgeon will prepare a treatment plan in advance in close consultation with the patient. The type of incision and the location of the breast implants will be chosen at that time.

The incision may be placed within the curve below the breast, in the underarm, or around the areola. A skilled cosmetic surgeon will ensure that the incision is placed discreetly to hide the scars as best as possible. The decision on the type of incision will be taken after considering the patient’s unique body shape, the type of implants chosen, the extent of enlargement planned and the patient’s personal needs.

The implant placement can be done under the chest muscle or between the chest muscle and breast tissue. Again, the choice of implant location will depend on various factors. Dr. Q discusses various aspects involved with both types of placements with her patients in Palm Springs and Palm Desert. The success of breast augmentation cosmetic surgery depends to an extent on the right decisions made in terms of incision, implant location, and the choice of implants.


Post-surgical recovery period will vary from one patient to another, but most patients will recover within one to two days following the surgery. Initial results of the surgery will be visible immediately, and complete results can be seen once the swelling and bruising subsides. Most patients can resume their normal activities and outside work within 10 to 14 days. Vigorous exercise and heavy lifting activities should, however, be avoided until the recovery is complete. Any or the incision marks will fade and reach their final appearance (actually, virtually non-appearance) in a few months.


pdps_drbiopicDr. Suzanne Marie Quardt, known as “Dr. Q™” by many of her patients in Palm Springs and Palm Desert, is a board certified plastic surgeon providing innovative cosmetic surgery as well as non-surgical procedures. Dr. Q received her medical degree along with the Faculty Organization Award for Most Outstanding Research Project from the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey-NJ Medical School campus in Newark. She performed a sub-internship at Columbia University and received a letter of recommendation from the famous Dr. Oz.

Dr. Q completed her general surgery residency, plastic surgery residency and research at the USCLA and LA County/USC Medical Center. She followed it up with an advanced fellowship in Specialty Plastic Reconstructive and Burn Reconstructive Surgery at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, CA. She honed her skills further with an American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS)-accredited Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship in Marina del Rey, CA.

Dr. Q was included among the Coachella Valley’s “Top Docs” by Castle Connelly, Ltd. in Palm Springs Life magazine. She has also been nominated by her peers as one of the region’s Top Plastic Surgeons for two consecutive years in Palm Spring’s Life and Castle and Connolly Medical Ltd.

Procedures at Dr. Q Plastic Surgery

Dr. Q is a reputed cosmetic surgeon in Palm Springs and Palm Desert for a comprehensive range of surgical as well as non-invasive treatments. Some of the key procedures provided by Dr. Q include the following:

Facial Procedures

• Brow Lift
• Eyelid Surgery
• Facial Liposuction
• Facial Procedures FAQ’s
• Lip Enhancement
• Mini Facelift
• Rhinoplasty

The face is the most visible part of the body from an aesthetic point of view. When the signs of aging appear on the face, they can be very easily noticed. A number of cosmetic surgery procedures are available to reduce these signs of aging. Patients may choose to go for a complete or partial facelift surgery or specific procedures such as rhinoplasty, brow lift or lip enhancement.


Breast Surgery


• Breast Augmentation
• Breast Lift
• Breast Reconstruction
• Breast Reduction
• Breast Revision

Breast Implant Options

• Saline Breast Implants
• Sientra’s Gummy Bear Implants
• Allergan Natrelle Breast Implants
• Mentor Breast Implants

Breast surgery is usually a major procedure, and it should be performed by an experienced plastic surgeon only. Dr. Q provides breast augmentation to patients in Palm Springs and Palm Desert, and helps them make appropriate choice in terms of the type, size, texture and quality of breast implants. Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries today. The procedure may sometimes be combined with breast lift to raise the sagging breasts apart from adding more breast volume. Non-elective procedures such as breast revision and breast reconstruction may also be provided by experienced surgeons.


Body Contouring


• Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”)
• Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
• Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)
• Body Lift
• CoolSculpting
• Labiaplasty
• Liposuction
• Lipotherme (Laser Liposuction)
• Lower Body Lift
• Mommy Makeover
• Reverse Abdominoplasty
• Thigh Lift

Patients who suffer from unwanted fat deposits in specific areas of the body such as abdomen, thighs, hips, arms, calves, cheeks, neck, or knees may opt for liposuction or other body contouring procedures. Women may also opt for a comprehensive mommy makeover following a pregnancy in order to regain their pre-pregnancy figure. Less invasive procedures such as laser based liposuction and non-invasive options such as CoolSculpting are also available for patients in Palm Springs and Palm Desert at Dr. Q’s office.

Male Surgery

• Breast Reduction for Men
• Gynecomastia
• Liposculpture

Specialized cosmetic and corrective surgeries for men can be received from a reputed cosmetic surgeon. These may include state of the art procedures such as liposculpture. Some men suffer from an abnormal condition of enlarged breasts. This condition can be corrected with plastic surgery.

Non-Surgical Procedures

• Chemical Peels
• Botox and Dysport
• Facial Fillers
• Laser Procedures
• Laser Skin Resurfacing
• Lip Enhancement
• Liquid Facelift
• Latisse
• Skin Care

Many patients are desirous of achieving an attractive and youthful appearance, but do not wish to undergo an elective cosmetic surgery procedure. A number of non-surgical treatments are now available for such patients. Results of non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments are effective, but may not last for as long as the surgical outcomes do.

However, these treatments do not involve much downtime and avoid the typical risks and complications that may be associated with a surgery. Dr. Q provides the latest and proven non-surgical procedures for patients in Palm Desert and Palm Springs, who are unable or unwilling to undergo a surgery.


Rancho Mirage

Newport Beach

70-017 Highway 111, Suite #1
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Tel: 760-537-4579

1101 Bayside Drive
Suite 200
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
Tel: (949) 674-4058