Revolutionary Adjustable Breast Implant

From: KMR Communications Inc
Published: Wed May 18 2005

When a woman purchases a dress in a department store, she may feel satisfied with the way the dress fits, return home and notice it is too snug or just not flattering and return the garment. In this day and age of adjustable cigarette lighters, car seats, hair dryers, beds and the Victoria’s Secret "click" bra, shouldn’t women have the option and flexibility to adjust and change the size of a breast implant? Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ben Lee couldn’t agree more! Breast augmentation is now one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the United States. In 2003 alone, 280,401 women underwent this procedure. What is the number one complaint associated with breast augmentation? The answer is patient dissatisfaction with size!

Often, women seek breast augmentation and merely know that they want to be "bigger" or "fuller." Frequently a patient can overestimate the size she wants to be or underestimate the "ideal cup size." As Dr. Lee explains, "it is often difficult for a patient to know exactly what she wants until she sees how a fuller breast actually fits her proportions. Without the benefit of an adjustable implant, patients often have to undergo multiple breast augmentations until the doctor and patient feel it is an ideal aesthetic result. Repeated surgery entails one or more post operative recovery periods which impedes a patient’s personal and professional life.

Armed with this rational, Dr. Lee decided to afford his patients with the option to change their implant size after surgery. Traditional saline implant surgery involves creating a pocket, placing and filling the implant, and closing the incision (all done with a patient lying flat and unconscious on the operating table). The filling tube is left inserted in the implants and brought out between the stitches of the closed incisions. The final determination of size is not made until the first office visit, which is usually 2-3 days after surgery. A small piece of gauze is placed over the incision, incorporating the filling tube, hidden within the supportive bra. With the patient now awake, and in a sitting position at the initial post-operative visit, the surgical dressing is removed and saline is added or subtracted within seconds according to the patient’s preference. The tube is then removed and the incisions are self-sealed. As a result of this technique, patients can go up or down one full bra size.

The good news is that there is no pain associated with the removal of the filling tube. As Dr. Lee explains, "the incision for the filling tube is only 1/8 of an inch in diameter with a self-healing incision." While some plastic surgeons do use a technique that enables a patient to change their breast size up to six months, post-operatively, this necessitates leaving an uncomfortable injection dome in the implant. Dr. Lee points out that, "With this method, a small bump is created in the outer chest wall where the injection is made to add or subtract fluid. The removal of the injection dome also requires a separate surgery and additional incision."

With his technique, not only can patients change the size of the implant without pain or further surgery, but they can also choose the shape and position that will provide the most ideal aesthetic result. Dr. Lee reports that, "reaction to the adjustable implant has been uniformly positive. Most patients do underestimate the size they want to be. This is especially true when women have loss of breast volume following pregnancy." For any woman who has ever felt trepidation when considering breast augmentation, Dr. Ben Lee’s adjustable filling tube gives them complete flexibility and control over their aesthetic outcome—an attribute that is rare with any cosmetic procedure.


Ben Lee, M.D., is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who has been in practice since 1988. Dedicated to being the best in his field, Dr. Lee has an extensive and impressive educational background. Earning his undergrad in Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of Colorado Boulder, he then proceeded to receive his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver. Working extensively at the University of California in San Francisco, Dr. Lee then trained in otolaryngology (head & neck surgery) as well as plastic and reconstructive surgery at the prestigious Duke University Medical Center, and proceeded to train in hand and microsurgery at the at the internationally renowned Kleinert Institute. And recently returned to school to obtain an MBA from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Dr. Ben Lee has been very active in professional societies. He is a Fellow at the American College of Surgeons and holds a membership at many associations including the American Medical Association, the American Society for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Academy of Otolaryngology/ Head and Neck Surgery and the Triological Society.

Working within a plethora of subspecialties and working closely with a wide variety of experts has highlighted Dr. Lee not only as an esteemed and well-known M.D., but also as a valuable asset to the world of medicine. Through his many experiences Dr. Lee has himself developed a deep regard for the excellence and dedication that plastic surgeons apply to those in need of their expertise.

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