Speaker 1: We’ll just turn on the recording there. The first thing is just basically if we were just to meet and you were to just give your introduction and say hi, I’m so, you know, just kind of give a little bit about yourself and your practice. This can be long or short, just if you could introduce yourself to me and the public. Hello, I’m …
Dr. Leong: Should I start?
Speaker 1: Go ahead.
Dr. Leong: Okay. Hello, I’m Doctor Karen Leong. I’m a plastic surgeon here in Newport Beach, California. I have been in practice for a couple years now. I am an East Coast girl at heart, that’s where I came from, but I decided to follow the man of my dreams and come out to California, so here I am. So far I love it here, and I’m very excited to meet you today. I just wanted to tell you a little bit about myself and welcome you to my practice.
Speaker 1: Perfect. Can you tell me a little bit about what your practice, kind of just what makes up your practice? Do you do mainly body, mainly breasts, mainly face, or a little bit of everything. You would start with, “In my practice.”
Dr. Leong: In my practice, my philosophy is I want to journey with you from the time you’re a teenager thinking about breast implants all the way up to when you’re a grandmother saying, “Oh my goodness, this is not my neck.” And, everything in between, but really what I think is I’m a woman, I’m going go through those same changes, and I want to be with you every step of the way. Your passions are my passions. What I do particularly love, it’s hard not to again because I’m a woman, I care about my face and I care about my breasts. That’s what we’re going to focus on here.
Speaker 1: Beautiful. When you have a woman coming in and she’s thinking she wants to start with a breast augmentation procedure, can you just walk me through a little bit of your process around helping them make the decisions they need to make. I guess that would be when a woman comes in.
Dr. Leong: When a woman comes in a breast consultation, she usually has something in mind. Whether she wants to go bigger, whether she wants to be perkier, whether she wants to be smaller, or whether she already had implants and she’s decided at this time it’s too big. I still like them, but not the way they are now. The most important part is you. You tell me what you’re aiming for and I work with you to achieve those goals. When it comes to breast implant choices, I talk with you through all the options.
I don’t have a personal bias but I know some patients do. Their concerns may be about ruptured implants, how silicone does compared to saline, whether it feels natural. Maybe they had one sort or the other and they don’t like the fact that they can ripple, or that their partners know that they’re there. Or, in the fact that when they wear a bra it just looks fake. Again, you and I work through it together. You tell me what you’re trying to achieve. I tell you whether or not we think it’s possible, and then we decide on a plan together.
Speaker 1: Great. How is it that you came about [00:03:30] even hearing about the Ideal implant?
Dr. Leong: I heard about the Ideal implant a couple years ago. I was very intrigued because I think it’s important when you’re choosing an implant and a surgeon that it be a board certified plastic surgeon. That means you get the highest quality from the most well trained surgeons. When Dr. Hamas came out with this implant I said, “Well, that’s brilliant.”
Because, if I were going to choose [00:04:00] an implant for myself I would want the security of knowing that if it were to burst, I don’t have to worry about silicone in my body. The fact that the burst rate is so low, less than 1.8%, amazing. The fact that if I have to worry about scar forming around the implant, also known as capsular contracture, that the rates are lower than both traditional saline implants and silicone implants. [00:04:30] Plus, if I can have a saline implant that feels and acts like a silicone without the risks of silicone, I’m in.
Speaker 1: Wow, we’ve got to get you on the payroll. Okay, well that’s fabulous, I totally agree on all those points. Why don’t you tell me just a little bit about what your experience has been now that you’ve had Ideal in your practice. Just your general impressions of what your patients have thought [00:05:00] and what you’ve thought as a surgeon?
Dr. Leong: After having Ideal in my practice, I find that, I mean obviously I feel a little bit biased as I’ve described in my earlier talk, but I pretty much have gotten rid of traditional saline implants. I just don’t see any benefit in a water balloon when you can have something that looks and feels natural and lasts a good long time with fewer complications. My patients kind of feel the same way. I mean, their biggest concerns and their biggest desires is to have a natural feeling implant, which this is, and an implant with fewer complications, which this is. When we talk about price point I think it’s comparable. I tell them that it’s an investment. You know, if you’re looking at this in the long term, 10 to 12 to 20 to 30 years, is $200 a big difference? No. Just think about what you’re buying and what you’re getting out of it and it’s worth it every time.
Speaker 1: Good point. We also have recently been looking at some data that shows that if one chooses silicone gel, you might have more of a higher lifetime surgical cost if you have to go back in, or doing MRIs, technically if you did them. That would be another benefit to cost so that’s good to know.
When you are talking to a woman about how long she can expect her breast implants to last, what do you normally say?
Dr. Leong: If a woman asks me how long a typical implant lasts, or whether or not she should have them replaced every 10 to 12 years, my personal recommendation is if you have a silicone implant the shells, even though the cohesivity, which means the gumminess of the implant itself has improved over the time, the shell, the wrapping around it, is about the same. Even though the manufacturer says they’re good for potentially a lifetime, or at least 20 to 30 years, I still say for safety’s sake, we know that those shells tend to break about 50% at 10 years, up to 80% at 20 years. I would recommend my patients replace them every 10 to 12 years.
Plus, there’s also the fact that the FDA and the manufacturer recommends that you go have an MRI every single year if you have silicone implants to look for rupture, and that is a cost that is out of your pocket. I mean, granted most people choose not to do it but it is the recommendation and I have to follow the recommendations. With the Ideal implant, because it’s filled with saline which is just salt water, I don’t have to worry about that. I don’t have to send you for an MRI every year, you don’t have that additional cost, and if it breaks I know it’s a little bit softer but it’s not dangerous to you. You don’t have to replace them every 10 years, we can keep going until they don’t go.
Speaker 1: Yeah, great, well put. What has been your experience with patient satisfaction and the Ideal implant as opposed to patients who choose other implants, do you find that they’re happy?
Dr. Leong: When patients tell me how they feel after surgery about having the Ideal implants, it’s kind of interesting. If it’s a first time implant I think it’s a wash. They don’t know what it feels like to have an implant or not, so they’re pretty happy with it. For people who have had traditional saline implants it’s a world of difference, but it would be if they chose gummy implants, too. They’re just softer, they’re more natural, they do not ripple, and they’re happy with them.
For people who go sideways from silicone to the Ideal implant, they really can’t tell the different. They say it feels about the same. They don’t have any of the sloshing and they have that peace of mind of knowing that if anything happens it’s just salt water in their body, so overall very happy patients.
Speaker 1: Excellent, that’s wonderful. Could you talk a little bit, if you’re speaking to fellow surgeons at this point, what are your thoughts on Ideal implant as a surgeon speaking to other surgeons?
Dr. Leong: As a surgeon speaking to other surgeons who are either considering or interested in doing the Ideal implant, it is very easy to use. You have the inner-lumen and the outer-lumen with the baffles in between. You fill the inner-lumen and then you can fill the outer to a range depending on what you’re trying to achieve. I would say that at this point we don’t have that many profile options. They do tend to be mostly round and high or ultra-high profile depending on how you fill, but most of my patients want that anyways. In terms of ease of use, very easy to use. You can use a smaller incision than you would with the gummy bear silicone implants. A little bit bigger than a traditional saline, but overall I think in terms of wound healing, scar and then again with the lower rates of capsular contraction almost non-existent rupture rate it’s a really nice addition to your armamentary.
Speaker 1: Excellent, very good. In general, if we did but a short recap of just your overall thoughts, if somebody walked up to you in an elevator and was just like, “What do you think about Ideal, you know what are it’s pros and cons, like why, why do you offer that?” Could you just give me kind of a quick sum up of your thoughts and feelings on Ideal.
Dr. Leong: If I had to give a little elevator pitch about Ideal, I think I would lead off by saying this is the implant I would choose for myself. It’s natural feeling. It’s filled with Saline so I don’t have to worry about rupture, complication rates are low, and patient satisfaction and surgeon satisfaction is really high. Plus, it’s only offered by board-certified surgeons and it’s made by a board certified plastic surgeon for plastic surgeons. For me, the choice is pretty easy.
Speaker 1: Excellent, that’s fantastic. The one thing I do like to cover right here at the end is if you could take a chance just to brag about your, why you think women choose you over other choices that they might have. What is it that women feedback to you when they say, “You know what, I’m so glad I went with you because.” Just help us to kind of be able to brag about you a little bit on the website about what your competitive advantage is I guess.
Dr. Leong: Well, I think I have a gender bias. I naturally have two x-chromosomes, so it puts me in the same field as a lot of my clients. I can relate to them on many levels, from insecurities about body image to the way they feel in their relationships to how their sex lives are going, and how they feel about having children and giving birth and everything that happens in between. I think that’s a distinct advantage.
Also, I don’t like to brag about myself, but people say I’m a lot better in person then I am on paper or on the phone, so I’m hoping the genuineness of my personality and the fact that I do really care about you and what you want and how you do, and the fact that I want to grow old with you. I think those are all winning factors on my side of this.
Speaker 1: That is just fantastic, that’s great. Is there anything else that you want to mention about your practice or about your facility, or anything else that we haven’t covered that we’d like to put in the article? You don’t have to, I just want to know.
Dr. Leong: I might as well say something. Being in Southern California I know you have a lot of choices. We are a dime a dozen in this field. I want you to make the choice that’s best for you, I want you to find someone that you’re very comfortable with, someone that you trust, because to be very honest this is a relationship that I’m hoping we’ll have throughout your lifetime and through my mine. What I think is special about my practice, we are a group of female physicians and we love the women that we treat. Men too, but we try to offer a one-stop shop so that you can have all your needs met in a very calm and welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. I think that something that we can offer. We like pretty things, we like things that smell good, and we want to make you feel the best you can about yourself.
Speaker 1: You make me wish I still lived in Southern California, I’m up here in Portland.
Dr. Leong: Come visit.
Speaker 1: I guess I’ll have to head down. Well, I am super excited, I’m so excited for one to meet you personally and that we have a little bit more voice for the female surgeons there on our site, and I love the things that you’ve mentioned here today, so thank you for that. I’m going to stop the recording unless you think of anything else. Well, anything else? Okay.