The Surgeon Minute

The Modern World of Silicone Implants

The Modern World of Silicone Implants

Breast augmentation with implants continues to be one of the most performed surgical procedures with over 300,000 procedures performed in 2016. Breast implant manufacturers not only keep up with the demand, but work with researchers and surgeons to develop better devices, as well as more options for surgeons. The availability of differing types of implants has made breast augmentation an even more refined procedure, due to the ability for expert breast surgeons to more precisely treat a patients unique situation with better and more implant options.

“It’s a wonderful time to be thinking about getting silicone breast implants because now there are so many wonderful choices.” – Dr. Mark Epstein.

A Couple of Implant Options versus Many

For many years, breast augmentation surgeons had only a few – if even more than one – implant options to choose from. The female chest varies considerably from patient to patient, so having only one or two options of implants painted breast augmentation results with broad strokes. Sure, adjustments could be made here and there – perhaps one implant is smaller than the other to make up for asymmetries – but there was plenty of room for refinement.

Now with a whole host of different sized, filled, shaped, and even textured implant options, surgeons can utilize a higher degree of precision to create a great result with a unique patient. Dr. Mark Epstein of Long Island, New York discusses a few of the options available and how they best suit different patients.

Softer Gel Implants

“The first implant we have here is an Inspira round, smooth silicone gel implant. You’ll notice that it’s a little under-filled, it collapses at the top,” explains Epstein. “The softer the gel, the less fullness you’re going to get at the top of the implant, that’s the compromise. For most of my patient, this works very, very well.”

The Gummy Bear Implant

“Then came the gummy bear implant. If I took a pair of scissors and cut a pie wedge out of here and pulled out, the gel wouldn’t run out. The reason you have a firmer gel is because you want to have more fullness, you want a shape. We call this a ‘form stable implant’. This will give you a little bit more natural shape to the breast. The reason this implant has the textured surface is to adhere to the inside tissues, kind of like Velcro so it doesn’t turn. It prevents rotation.”

Form stable implant before and after.

“There is also a round gummy implant. Same exact gel inside, it’s a smooth surface, but what you’ll notice with this implant is it retains its shape all the way to the top. For a woman who has very compromised, stretched tissue, I’m not going to put a shaped implant in because I’m worried about rotation, but [the round] implant might be a really nice solution for that patient.”

Newer Implants on the Horizon

Even though surgeons are excited to select from so many differing options – excitement derived from a surgeon’s ability to craft even finer results – new implants continue to be developed and manufactured. “There’s a new implant coming out called the Inspira Soft Touch Implant,” explains Epstein. “It’s an intermediate gel – it sort of lies between the regular round Inspira and the extra cohesive.”

Inspira soft shell implant.

The more choice there is, the better the results. Instead of using one or two tools for every patient, now a whole toolbox of implants are available that surgeons can utilize to achieve greater results. “I’m really excited about all of these choices because now I have a greater ability to optimize the aesthetic result of my patients,” shares Epstein. “I have more implants to choose from and fit the right implant to the right patient.”

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