Recently approved form stable breast implants are creating lots of buzz within the cosmetic surgery community. Patients everywhere hear about these new devices and wonder if these new implants could be their best option. Dr. Caroline A. Glicksman, a board certified plastic surgeon from New Jersey discusses the many benefits and drawbacks of the implants and how patients can achieve the best results possible.
By: Caroline A. Glicksman, MD
and Adam McMillon
The buzz about form stable implants
Recently approved by the FDA, American patients are now able to experience a new style of breast implants: form stable. As the name suggests, the implants are molded to the shape of a natural breast and maintain their form, unlike saline and silicone implants, which have a more fluid, spherical structure. Due to the firmness of the shaped implant and their textured surfaces, they are better at resisting folds and creases, while still allowing a soft, natural feel. In addition to this, the shape they hold can be useful with patients who have breast or chest wall asymmetries. While only recently approved in the US, form stable implants have been used internationally for over a decade, including Sweden where Dr. Glicksman underwent extensive training to learn from the experience of foreign surgeons.
Possibilities for misuse?
“The greatest thing form stable implants have to offer is the options surgeons now have to tackle the wide variety of breast augmentation questions,” says Glicksman. Instead of only being able to choose the width and projection of a round implant, surgeons now have the ability to choose the width, height and projection, all independently. The more variables there are available to manipulate, the more precise a result can be. “Herein lies the benefit of these implants, but also the possibility for misuse,” says Glicksman. “A surgeon must be familiar and extensively trained with all implants in order to be able to use them correctly. If a patient is looking specifically for a form stable implant, a surgeon who isn’t experienced may use them in a procedure where a round gel implant may have been the best choice. Vice-versa, if a patient seeks out a surgeon with no experience with form stable implants, they might immediately opt for round gel implants, when a form stable might have been the better option.” As always, a board certified plastic surgeon is a patient’s best chance at finding someone who has the experience and knowledge to correctly choose which implant is going to find the most success.
Considering breast augmentation or revision? Where do I start?
“To get the best result possible, the patient must do their research,” says Glicksman. “Seek out information on the Internet regarding all of the available types of implants. Patients can find information at the American Society of Plastic Surgery and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, as well as manufacturer websites. Once armed with this information, seek out a board certified plastic surgeon in order to meet someone experienced with all the differing implants who will guide you to the best possible result.”