Before stepping into your first breast augmentation consultation, it’s helpful to do a bit of research. There is a lot of ground to cover during your one-on-one meeting, and sometimes breast implant details can get lost among other topics. Our patients from Denver, Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs, and beyond often want to know how they can find the “best” breast implant for their needs. However, each woman is unique and different, so there isn’t an easy answer to this question.
Breast implants are made by three well-known, FDA-approved manufacturers and come in many sizes, shapes, and materials. Here are a few important things to know about each provider while looking for the right implant for your goals.
Your Breast Implant Options
All manufacturers have extremely broad product lines which are very hard for a layperson to make sense of. Listed below is some information about the technology of each company’s implant options for the cosmetic surgery market. There are a variety of implant options to fit each patient’s unique breasts, preferences, and size goals. Make sure you bring your initial research to your breast consultation to begin a smart dialogue with your surgeon around why one implant size, shape and technology will be best for your situation.
Allergan is the number one breast implant manufacturer in the U.S. Allergan’s most popular silicone breast implant product line for cosmetic breast enhancement is called Natrelle INSPIRA®. The INSPIRA line offers 100 implant sizes ranging from 110 ccs up to 800 ccs. This immense product line is organized based upon how much base width and forward breast projection a patient is looking for.
INSPIRA Smooth Low Profile (SRL) is the most natural, modestly projecting implant look made by Allergan. If a patient wants a slight step up from SRL they can choose a Smooth Low-Plus Profile (SRLP). This grouping of implants offers a small pop in projection while still appearing to be natural.
The INSPIRA Smooth Moderate Profile (SRM) has, yes, you guessed it, more projections for those who want a slightly fuller look. This isn’t the fullest look within the line, however, if combined with a patient who has a fair amount of her own breast tissue, it can look full and voluptuous.
Beyond the SRM there is the Smooth Full Profile (SRF) and the Extra-Full Profile (SRX). INSPIRA implants are available in both a smooth or textured shell.
Mentor is the second leading breast implant manufacturer. Mentor’s implants (as well as those by Allergan and Sientra) are all filled with their company’s proprietary silicone gel. Some gels are thicker, softer or more cohesive than others. Mentor touts their blend as the “softest”, most natural-feeling silicone gel on the market. They have 6 breast implant projection options: Classic, Mod Plus, High Profile, Ultra High Profile MemoryGel® and Moderate Plus, High Profile in MemoryGel® Xtra.
MemoryGel Xtra is Mentor’s newest silicone implant option. It is still soft, yet firmer than the MemoryGel options. Mentor’s MemoryGel blend has been on the market for 30 years. Mentor says MemoryGel implants have the longest and highest satisfaction rate in the implant market. They offer a wide variety of implants that can meet just about any patient’s taste.
Sientra is the newest silicone breast implant company to hit the American market in 2014. They are the first FDA-approved 5th generation (newest silicone gel cohesion) round breast implants available in the U.S. This formula offers both strength in technology and breast softness to meet the expectation of the patient. Sientra feels their implant’s shell and gel integration, which means the shell of the silicone implant cured together rather than filled separately, makes their implants superior. They have a very low rupture rate and the first capsular contracture care program to take care of patients who develop this complication after breast augmentation.
Sientra offers round and shaped cohesive gel implants. The Sientra High-Strength Cohesive (HSC)-106 round gel line is available in Low Projection, Moderate Plus Projection, and High Projection. Sientra also has a fuller, firmer gel cohesion called the HSC which is offered in Moderate and Moderate High Projection in sizes up to 700 cc. Sientra offers all implant styles in smooth and textured shells. This company is highly service-driven and strives to offer the best customer service to their doctor accounts and patients.
Pros & Cons of Textured Implants
Textured implants have long been known to help protect against capsular contracture (CC), which is the hardening of the scar tissue that forms naturally around the breast implants. Textured implants can provide a more defined inframammary fold (IMF) in patients who have a less defined IMF crease. Textured implants have a greater ability to stay in place within breasts that have loose or thin tissue. The shell of the textured implant is firmer than the shell of its smooth counterpart. However, most patients cannot tell the difference between smooth and textured implants once the implants have been inserted into the breast.
In recent news, the U.S. and Australia have reported a rare and treatable type of T-cell lymphoma, called ALCL, that can develop around breast implants, most commonly, textured ones. This type of cancer is highly treatable. The risk of getting this rare form of lymphoma is about 1 in 750,000 people. However, this link to cancer is making women choose smooth silicone over textured. For more information on this subject see our blog post about it here.
You’re Not Alone
All of this information can be confusing at first, but our practice is here to help guide you through the decision-making process to ensure that you choose the best implant style, size, shape, and projection that will best give you the result you want. If you’re interested in breast augmentation with implants in the Denver area, contact us online or call (720) 279-1926.