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The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation

Bacterial Biofilms Associated with Breast Implant Illness Print
The ASERF Scientific Research Committee and Board of Directors are pleased to announce the following grant award:

Researcher: Mithun Sinha , PhD

Grant Award: ASERF Interim Grant

Amount Awarded: $23,110

Project Name: Bacterial Biofilms Associated with Breast Implant Illness

Project Summary:

More than 330,000 women in US undergo breast implant augmentation surgeries every year. In recent years, a number of patients have self-described a constellation of symptoms that they believe are related to their breast implants. These patients have given this constellation of symptoms they believe to be directly related to their implants the name Breast Implant Illness (BII). The symptoms described are numerous but generally include symptoms typical of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and a host of other symptoms often associated with autoimmune illnesses. Generally, the causation of these symptoms are ascribed to the implants. An ever-increasing number of patients are seeking to have their implants removed.  
These conditions have been attributed to the type and material of the implant. The FDA has conducted multiple studies and have found silicone implants to be safe. Still, the patient reported symptoms are on the rise. Recently, in March 2019, the FDA held a panel hearing specifically to address the rising concerns for reast implant associated illness. It is to be noted that bacterial biofilms have been reported around breast implants. Bacterial biofilms are resistant to the host immune system due to the presence of extra polymeric substance (EPS). The low level of inflammation by bacterial biofilms have been implicated to cause cancer (gastric cancer by Helicobacter pylori). We propose that occult peri-implant Pseudomonas biofilms present around the capsule secrete an enzyme acting on the adipose tissue to form oxylipins. Since the introduction of silicone breast implants in the nineteen sixties several issues have been raised regarding their safety. Silicone as a biomaterial is inert but time and again studies have been conducted to determine their long term effects. Bacterial biofilms associated with implants have not been well studied in context of implant associated illness. Gram negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a commonly identified pathogen associated with breast implant infection(1). The species is also one of the most robust biofilm formers(2). Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) interacts with host biomolecules and such interactions are critical toward the formation of biofilm(3). Breast parenchyma is comprised of both glandular and adipose tissue; breast adipose is rich in oleic acids. Oleic acids oxidized derivatives have been recently reported to facilitate the formation of biofilms in vitro(4).  Pseudomonas expresses fatty acid di-oxygenase (DOX) enzyme. DOX catalyzes oleic acid to oxylipins, 10-HOME and 7,10-DiHOME(4)
The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation Elects Luis Rios, Jr., MD as New President Print

Plans to Utilize New Technology to Research Aesthetic Surgery Concerns and Establish Improved Safety Parameters

NEW YORK, NY (May 13, 2020) — The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) announced the election of Luis Rios Jr., MD, a plastic surgeon practicing in Edinburg, Texas as the newest President of the 27-year-old organization. Dr. Rios is an aesthetic plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in practice for over 20 years. ASERF is the philanthropic research and education arm of The Aesthetic Society. Its mission is to identify and pursue those issues relevant to advancing the safety and effectiveness of  aesthetic medicine through independent, unbiased, directed research, and groundbreaking education. As President, Dr. Rios plans to shift the role of the Foundation and lead ASERF into a proactive approach, anticipating the critical issues in need of investigation and welcoming requests from members.

To further research and gain deeper insights, Dr. Rios will employ newly developed technology assets from The Aesthetic Society like “Aesthetic One - The Patient App” and the Aesthetic Neural Network (ANN). Using data gathered from these invaluable tools, Dr. Rios plans to develop projects that can clarify some of the most confounding issues in aesthetics, including breast implant illness, BIA-ALCL, and the dangers of gluteal fat grafting.

It's a great honor for me to serve as President of The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation, a highly respected organization dedicated to research,” says Dr. Rios. “With a team of incredible peers, ASERF will have a standout year— I plan to include more proactive research, encourage collaboration with The Aesthetic Society, and continue to utilize our newly developed technology assets to educate and gain deeper insights for doctors and patients.”

Dr. Rios earned his MD at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX, completed a successful residency at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), and finished a hand surgery fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Rios was Chief Resident of Surgery at UC Davis- East Bay and Chief Resident Plastic Surgeon at Tulane University. He is the Founder and President of the Harvard Club of the Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Rios is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Surgery UTRGV School of Medicine. He is an active researcher, publishing a recent BBL safety study in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal and author of other papers and chapters on aesthetic surgery. Dr. Rios sponsors an aesthetic surgery fellowship through The Aesthetic Society’s Endorsed Fellowship program. Dr. Rios is President of the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons.

In 2012, Dr. Rios was awarded the Regional Academic Health Center Outstanding Faculty Member award. As a faculty member, Dr. Rios has been involved in teaching the next generation of doctors who train in the Rio Grande Valley. The Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) is comprised of over 200 community physicians that are actively engaged in the education of medical students and residents. 

ASERF works diligently each year to select the best grant applications, as well as fund directed research projects that will most greatly impact the sub-specialty of aesthetic plastic surgery. If you would like to support the mission, you may donate here:  ASERF is grateful to those who have given and hopes that with continued support we will be able to further our mission for years to come.

Other newly named ASERF officers serving on the Executive Committee are as follows:

President-Elect: Louis L. Strock, MD Dr. Strock is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and established his Fort Worth, TX plastic surgery practice in 1996. He actively contributes to the training and education of his fellow plastic surgeons. Dr. Strock specializes in cosmetic breast enhancement, body contouring, and facial rejuvenation. Dr. Strock graduated from Amherst College before earning his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB). He remained at UTMB to complete residencies in surgery and plastic surgery and later served as assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Plastic Surgery.

Vice-President: Michael A. Bogdan, MD, MBA Fellowship-trained and certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Bogdan spent six years of residency at Stanford University. Dr. Bogdan completed his undergraduate education at The University of Maryland at College Park. He earned his MD from Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Bogdan also holds an MBA from the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas.

Treasurer: Bruce W. Van Natta, MD Board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Van Natta has been a practicing plastic surgeon in Indianapolis for over 25 years. A graduate of DePauw University, he received his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine where he originally planned to become a cardiovascular surgeon. He completed five years of general surgery residency with an additional two and a half years in the specialty of plastic surgery. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Plastic Surgery section of Indiana University Medical Center and travels extensively giving presentations on a national level on breast surgery and soft tissue support. A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Van Natta is Medical Advisor for Allergan Breast Aesthetics and was an active investigator in all of the clinical trials leading up to the re-release of silicone gel breast implants.

Secretary: Mark W. Clemens, MD Board-certified in Plastic Surgery, Dr. Mark Clemens is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. With expertise in complex reconstruction and microsurgery, his recent focus has been on Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Dr. Clemens serves as an American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ (ASPS) society liaison to the US FDA and chairs a subcommittee for ASPS overseeing US research and education efforts for BIA-ALCL. Dr. Clemens completed his Plastic Surgery residency at Georgetown University. In 2011, he came to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas where he completed a fellowship in Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery. Upon completion of his fellowship, Dr. Clemens was recruited to the Department of Plastic Surgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center where he is an Associate Professor.

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