Breast Implant Toxicity: A Discussion with Alex Charfen and Dr. Ed Melmed on “The Real Deal with Danielle Delaney”

Phoenix, AZ — (SBWIRE) — 10/24/2016 — Crisis Counselor & Host Danielle Delaney Interviews Alex Charfen and Dr. Edward P. Melmed, the Authority on the Topic, About Breast Implant Toxicity in 1 in 4 Women. October 25, 2016 at 2pm PT on “The Real Deal With Danielle Delaney”.

About Danielle Delaney
Danielle Delaney is a Certified Crisis Intervention Counselor, specialist in Addiction & Recovery Aftercare, Rape Crisis Counselor, Spiritual Counselor, and is also a Sober Coach and an Interventionist. She also specializes in the area of Adults Molested as Children as well as LGBT issues and drug-assisted rape and survivors of domestic violence. With a decade of experience, Danielle works with individuals, families and couples seeking healing and resolution of their challenges, and helps them to more clearly see the path to their holistic wellness and to their higher selves. She hosts “The Real Deal With Danielle Delaney” on VoiceAmerica, the World Leader in Internet Media, on Tuesdays at 2PM PT. She is the preeminent and top regarded Interventionist to the most notable addiction recovery centers throughout Malibu, California as well as internationally.

Danielle is the President and Founder and CEO of a prolific sober companioning business, Danielle Delaney Counseling, Incorporated. DDC, Inc. provides registered nurses and companions to patients as they are being discharged from inpatient facilities and sober living homes, so that they may have invaluable assistance in beginning their lives again with structure. The companion aids in identifying and addressing stumbling blocks in the client’s lives that contributed to their difficulties and addictions.

Danielle Delaney has the distinction of being the youngest and the only woman of color to own a Sober Companioning business in the United States of America. She is soon to be featured in a “Top 50 Under 50” piece about American Female Entrepreneurs as well as appearing as a Specialist in an upcoming documentary about healing and retraining the brain.

In addition to her work as a Counselor and as an Interventionist with numerous inpatient facilities internationally, Danielle maintains her private practice in Hollywood, California and works with crime survivors with the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) for The City of Long Beach and works as a State Certified court advocate. She works as a volunteer on the hotlines for suicide and rape. Her practice as a concierge counselor often involves going to the homes of high profile individuals so that they may maintain their privacy whilst seeking help. Danielle can be found listed in Psychology Today. She is also a writer and is a contributor to numerous health journals including those for the Minority Health Institute, The Association of Black Cardiologists, and the National Medical Association, and has been filmed for a segment for the television series “The Doctors.” Her first book “Expect Delays” will be released in December 2017. She works with the boards of The One Wish Foundation and The Joyful Heart Foundation, and was on the Board of Directors for Dr. Frank Ryan’s Bony Pony Ranch Foundation for at-risk youth. The County of Los Angeles Office of Protocol has hailed Danielle as a “proven asset to the City and County of Los Angeles.” She has made numerous appearances on Radio MD, Rewired Radio with Erica Spiegelman, and appeared on five-time Emmy winner Sheila Hamilton’s radio show in Portland, Oregon. Danielle’s media, voiceover work and appearances can be found under Delangerous Productions. She is currently pursuing her Doctorates of both Divinity and of Theology, and will be launching her International Sobriety and Recovery Lifestyle Brand of clothing in 2017.

Danielle holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCLA and has earned additional certifications at the Sexual Assault Crisis Agency in Orange County. As a survivor herself, she is uniquely qualified to understand and assist her clients. Through her work and contributions, Danielle is dedicated to assisting people in affecting enduring & beneficial changes in their lives and in making sense of the chaotic world around them. She travels the globe speaking to audiences as a Motivational Speaker and as an expert in Addiction and Recovery and sex crimes.

About Alex Charfen- Co-founder and CEO CHARFEN
From the moment he was born, Alex Charfen found himself instantly at odds with the world. An undiagnosed digestive-tract defect as an infant resulted in losing 50 percent of his body weight and emergency surgery. Further respiratory and development issues soon drove his family to relocate from the pollution of Mexico City to more favorable conditions in the United States. But his problems did not stop there.

As a child in America, Alex found social situations challenging, especially school. Unable to adapt and conform to traditional classroom structure and teaching methodologies, he swung between the honor roll and complete failure, alternately considered “gifted and talented” or developmentally disabled. Limited support from the school administration did little to limit the physical and emotional abuse Alex received from his peers, which bordered on torture. So instead of thriving, he focused on attracting minimum attention and staying out of harm’s way.

Through this experience, Alex knows that there are more people like him in jail, rehab or early graves than running successful businesses. Unfortunately, some can’t overcome childhood suppression, and look to other means of getting by. Lucky for Alex, the support of his parents and three sisters allowed him to find his haven of acceptance, logic and truth: business.

Alex’s professional career started at eight years-old, when the failure of his father’s business made it necessary for Alex to contribute. While the rest of the world felt overwhelming and confusing, he immediately understood the transaction of money and the dynamics of business.

Businesses, side jobs and making money were a constant throughout Alex’s childhood and a distraction to everything else. He sold his first business at sixteen, and then dropped out of college to focus on another venture, which he sold at 21. While this plan generated some profit, his lack of education and experience also made it difficult to find another job.

After a series of false starts at new businesses, Alex quickly found himself unemployed and on his own in Florida. Out of time and money, he started a consultancy leveraging his knowledge of sales and marketing. Through hard-won strategic partnerships and growing a team, Alex gained notoriety for moving brands into category dominance and new regions. His company structured deals for organizations like Fuji, Samsung, Cannon, Home Shopping and WalMart that totalled in the billions.

Alex’s day-to-day clients were entrepreneurs at the top of their games, and he was working with them through the most important moments of their careers. These experiences helped him recognize unseen patterns that created momentum for his clients to move forward. He became known for closing impossible deals, reviving failing products and getting results from dysfunctional teams.

Having built it from nothing, Alex’s consultancy meant everything to him. But after meeting and getting engaged to his future wife, Cadey, the business became just a distraction that kept the two of them apart. He quickly sold the business and started working with Cadey, creating several multimillion-dollar businesses and an expansive real estate portfolio.

In 2007, the national foreclosure crisis everything changed. Alex and Cadey’s real estate portfolio was spread across the top-ten fastest depreciating zip codes in the country. Facing several foreclosure lawsuits and a 90 percent reduction in income and net worth, they were forced to declare bankruptcy. But Alex and Cadey quickly identified the breadth and depth of the foreclosure crisis, understanding the situation was far worse than the experts were predicting. While going through the bankruptcy process, they started working on the issue.

Through their real estate experience and determination to learn from experience, Alex and Cadey created the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation for real estate agents and brokers, all while living through the challenges of bankruptcy. From humble beginnings, the CDPE earned the endorsement of RE/MAX Chairman Dave Liniger, who declared, “The CDPE Designation is the most effective educational solution we have seen to address this market.”

Liniger’s endorsement created national attention for the designation and its systems, allowing Alex and Cadey to collaborate with every major lender, government institution and investor involved in the foreclosure crisis. Soon after initial success had been proven, Liniger committed to RE/MAX training 10,000 CDPEs within a year; a commitment he over-delivered on.

In total, the more than 46,000 real estate agents, brokers, attorneys, title officers, and loss mitigation representatives earned the CDPE designation to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. By the end of the foreclosure crisis, every major lender and was using a variation of the single package solution pioneered by Alex and Cadey Charfen. They even earned the endorsement of Fannie Mae, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other major organizations who issued live industry releases from Alex and Cadey’s Austin, TX, studios to tens of thousands of viewers.

In 2013 Laurie Maggiano, the U.S. Treasury’s Director of Policy in the Office of Homeownership Preservation, revealed research showing “the CDPE process pulled forward the recovery of the foreclosure crisis by at least five years, maybe more.” CDPEs are estimated to have helped 6-10 million homeowners facing foreclosure.

CHARFEN, the company behind CDPE, grew quickly and appeared on the Inc. Magazine list of fastest-growing private companies in America three years in a row, reaching as high as #21 in 2011. Through CHARFEN, Alex and Cadey continue to refine the strategies that were the foundation of their careers and used to overcome financial devastation, build one of the most successful companies in the country, solve the foreclosure crisis and become liquid millionaires within 12 months of declaring bankruptcy. Today, the company has emerged as a leading training and business consulting organization for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

As CEO of CHARFEN, Alex has been invited to share his strategies with business owners across the country and around the world. He also has appeared on television and print for major media outlets such as MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The Huffington Post to provide his unique views and insights.

About Dr. Edward Melmed
Dr. Edward Melmed has been a practicing surgeon now for over 27 years. In addition to being board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, he is also board certified in England, Scotland, and South Africa.

Other achievements include his position as Medical Director for the Dallas county gang tattoo removal and volunteer program. He also works as a volunteer for plastic surgery programs in LeSotho, Mexico.

He has graciously agreed to share this article with us this month. Thank you Dr. Melmed!

In 1988, Connie Chung, on national television, reported about women who were having problems with breast implants. I, like most plastic surgeons, had performed this operation hundreds (if not thousands) of times. Among the claims of adverse reactions were that women had short-term memory loss, joint pains, hair loss, fatigue, etc. Facetiously I said to myself, “I have those symptoms: do you think it’s from handling silicone?” Ha ha.

Then a lovely lady, Paula, came to see me, and I removed her implants and she looked terrific and felt better. She asked me if I was interested in seeing other women who had similar complaints. Being very open minded, I started seeing these patients and this really opened my eyes.

Now, nine years later, I have removed implants from over 700 women. During the course of this time, my technique has evolved and I have refined my procedure to where, if a woman has any tissue left whatsoever, (I’ll discuss mastectomy later) I can usually remove the implants with minimal deformity. In fact, I would state, for a number of reasons, that 95% of these women look much better after explant than they did pre-explant. From what I have observed, most implants are too large, women have aged and may have put on weight, the breasts have dropped, become hard, displaced, etc. These findings have also been documented in the Journal of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in April 1998.

During explantation, when possible, the implants are removed within the capsule through the original incision, exceptions being when the transaxillary approach has been used or when the patient has opted for a breast lift (mastopexy).

Throughout the years of my involvement in explanting women with breast implants, I have come across some interesting findings. For example, it is documented (but well hidden) that 30% of women lose sensation to their nipples when an inframammary incision is used. My findings are that between 20-30% recover feeling after explant!

Some of my significant findings post explant have been these: Symptoms of fatigue usually respond well and improve after explant, and energy is typically much better, yet joint pains respond poorly. Memory loss is slower to recover (but does not continue to deteriorate).

From my personal experience in dealing with women I have explanted, I would estimate that 95% of them say it is the best thing they have ever done (This calls to mind the old joke about the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life: the day he buys it and the day he sells it ).

Explantation surgery is typically day surgery and is done under general anesthesia with an M.D. anesthesiologist at a major hospital where I practice . Regardless of whether the implants were placed above or below the muscle, the silicone can be removed, although under-the-muscle placement is much harder. Patients go home the same day with a chest wrap and a drain tube, which is not sewn in.

The drain is gently removed the next day. Patients are then asked to wear a sports bra. On the third day, they can shower. Pain is not usually a factor as most pain was experienced with implantation, the reason being when tissue is stretched, it hurts (putting the implants in). When implants are removed, pain is often minimal, if not non-existent.

Most women report that their back pain and shoulder pain immediately disappear, as the adherence of the capsule to the ribs or pectoral muscle is typically responsible for this pain.

As for sutures, since self-dissolving sutures are the sutures of choice, most oftentimes, the sutures dissolve and there is nothing to remove.

A personal note to finish with:

As a plastic surgeon who has been around throughout the entire course of the breast implant era and witnessed, firsthand, the down side of this ever-increasingly popular elective surgery, from the perspective of hindsight of which I now view breast implants, I think that future generations will look back on this time in history and say “what did doctors do to women? And what did women do to themselves in the name of self esteem?” BOTH are equally guilty. I can also attest to the fact that, after 10 years, almost all women with implants have alteration in shape, size, contour or feel.

Lastly, I find myself asking why is this operation pushed so hard by the doctors (could it be the money?) and the media? As a plastic surgeon who performs any number of various cosmetic procedures, I can state unequivocally that there is NO other operation with a list of complications like that for augmentation, which continues to be done despite the GUARANTEE of such complications, and that needs to be redone every 10 years!

Dr. Melmed performs his operations at the Medical City Hospital of Dallas.