'Pocket Protector' Makes Implants Safer


Breast implants can often look like, well, breast implants. They can often become hard and rippled, almost too round to reveal.

Pamela Collins said a pocket protector changed her life.

"After 38 years, I finally have normal breasts," Collins said.

Collins had fibrocystic breast disease as a teenager and, at 25, a double mastectomy. She tried both silicone and saline implants.

"I wouldn't let any man come near me because they were hard," Collins said.

Then, she met Dr. Mark Berman, the cosmetic surgeon who designed something called the "pocket protector" -- not the nerdy kind.

"The pocket protector's simply a synthetic bladder that lines the breast pocket," Berman said.

The "pocket" is the space made during surgery for an implant.

Berman said, "In a lot of patients that space will start scarring back down on itself and contract around the implant."

The pocket protector allows tissue to grow onto it instead, with no scarring. The breast implant, placed inside the pocket, is free-flowing for a more natural appearance. What's more, Berman said the device makes implants safer.

"The pocket protector is a barrier from the body. Additionally, if the implant were to rupture, it's trapped inside the pocket protector," Berman explained.

Collins said bathing suits and low cut dresses aren't a problem anymore.

"I have normal cleavage, not a ridge, like a hard, contoured ridge like a lot of women do. I don't have that fear anymore of someone coming too near me," Collins said.

The Gore-Tex material used for the pocket protector has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration and used in various procedures. Berman is waiting for FDA approval on the use of the pocket protector as a breast implant device. Right now, Berman is the only doctor in the country using the device.

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