Skip to main content

Holocaust Discussion at Latvian Center

By Dr. Juris BunkisJanuary 30, 2023No Comments

I mentioned this event at the Latvian Center in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, but will bring it up again as the screening will occur this coming Saturday at 2 pm, and you still have time to RSVP if you are interested in attending. In my role as Consul for the Republic of Latvia in Southern California, I will be co-hosting this event together with the Latvian community in Los Angeles. The screening will occur at the Latvian Center, located at 1955 Riverside Drive in Los Angeles. I hope that many of you will be able to attend and will click on the RSVP link above to register for my event.

The thought process that goes behind mass shootings, hatred, being cruel to another human being, disliking someone based on the color of their skin, sexual orientation or religion is difficult for most of us to understand. Yet we see these kinds of actions, repeatedly, throughout our world, since the beginning of time.
During World War II, Latvia was first invaded by the Soviets, who were brutal to the local population, killed and exiled many, raped young girls and women, collectivized lands – yet, when the Soviets arrived, a small minority of Latvian communists greeted them with open arms. A year later, when the Germans arrived, a similar minority of Latvians welcomed the Germans and willingly helped round up and annihilate our Jewish neighbors. How does this happen? This film will explore the life of Latvian historian, Marģers Vestermanis, one of the few Holocaust survivors still alive in Latvia today. This story discussed a man’s place after surviving such a tragedy, how he coped, how it changed him and those around him.

If we are to prevent such horrors from ever recurring, we must learn lessons from the past and ensure criminals are held to account. This is truly a discussion worth having – lest this never happen again!

Spotlight on Plastic Surgery – When Should Breast Implants Be Replaced?

By Juris Bunkis, M.D., F.A.C.S.

We are frequently asked how long breast implants last, when they should be replaced, and why breast implants fail. First of all, a little history – breast augmentations in the 1940’s and 50’s were performed by injecting paraffin wax or liquid silicone. These breasts looked fine initially, but soon severe inflammatory reactions occurred. Some breast implants prior to the early 60’s were made of polyvinyl sponges – these breasts also looked fine initially but invariably got rock hard and looked distorted. Since 1962, the beginning of modern era of breast implantation, implants have consisted of silicone rubber bags that were filled with a liquid silicone gel or a saline (salt-water) solution. Implants have come a long way since 1962 as implant technology has improved and leak rates have decreased. Silicone gel filled implants (today’s versions use the “gummy bear” cohesive gel instead of the liquid used prior to 2001) are used much more frequently in the United States because they are softer, feel more natural and minimize the surface rippling frequently seen with older saline implants.

With any type of implant, the body isolates the implant from the body by creating a thin layer of scar tissue around the implant. We call this scar layer a capsule – it is normal and every implant patient makes one. This is not to be confused with the term “capsular contracture” – in this situation, which occurs in up to ten percent of breast augmentation patients, the scar tissue contracts, the implant is unable to move within the pocket, and externally, this will manifest itself as a firm or distorted breast. In a normal situation, in over 90% of cases without a capsular contracture, the implant will be smaller than the space around it, the implant will be able to move, and the breast will look and feel normal.

Implants will safely last at least ten years, but thereafter, the rupture rate increases by a percentage or two every year. For most patients who are examined by their plastic surgeon and undergo mammograms annually, implants should last up to 20 years. Let me stress how important it is for implant patients to be checked by a plastic surgeon annually – we offer this service without charge, whether we put your implants in or you had them inserted elsewhere!

Calcified, 30 year old breast capsule and ruptured implant

What happens with time, with the implant rubbing against this capsule repeatedly, is that calcium deposits start to develop within the capsule, in this scar layer. Once these calcified deposits form, a rough surface with sharp protrusions develops and the implant has no hope of not rupturing.

This calcium deposition is a normal phenomenon, analogous to calcium deposits developing due to overuse in runners’ knees, pitchers’ shoulders, or tennis players’ elbows. With knees, shoulders and elbows, the solution is to scope the joint and remove the calcium. This approach does not work with breast implant capsules as a lot of the calcium will be imbedded in the wall of scar tissue and the entire capsule (en bloc resection) has to be removed.

Note that the same issues do not arise with solid implants like chin, pectoral or gluteal implants as these are solid (do not have a liquid center) and by design, these implants do not move once inserted in their pockets.

If you have breast implants in place, the message for you today is threefold:

  1. make sure you get examined by a plastic surgeon annually,
  2. continue monthly breast exams and annual mammograms, and
  3. do not leave your implants in place for more than 20 years.

If you want to see if you can have any part of your body improved, contact us for a consultation:

For CA, please call 949-888-9700 or visit
Or for MA location, call 508-755-4825 or visit

You can write to
Dr. John Compoginis at Contact Us Form
Dr. Staci Compoginis at Contact Us Form
Dr. Deborah Ekstrom at
or Dr. Juris Bunkis at Contact Us Form