The Surgeon Minute

Why The “New” Choice In Breast Implants Isn’t New, But May Be The Best

Why The “New” Choice In Breast Implants Isn’t New, But May Be The Best

Have you stopped to think about how many women get breast implants every year? Hollywood celebrities, and even the woman who works out next to you at the gym, seem too perky to be all natural. As it turns out, breast augmentation is the top plastic surgery procedure each year.

Now, women have a new federally-approved breast implant to choose from that promises better results. As it turns out, the highly cohesive shaped implant isn’t new at all, but new to the U.S. market. It can be used for cosmetic surgery, revision or reconstruction after breast cancer. Dr. Patricia McGuire, who practices in St. Louis, Missouri, discusses the benefits to patients, the ideal candidate and why women are calling her office to ask for this new implant that is taking the breast implant world by storm.

By: Patricia A. McGuire, MD
and Dawn Tongish
The PlasticSurgeryChannel

MemoryShape-321-profileBreast Implant Used Overseas, Approved In U.S.

Breast augmentation is one of the fasting growing cosmetic surgeries because women feel more empowered than ever to makes changes to their bodies. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation was the number one cosmetic surgery in the country in 2011, with 307,000 women getting the procedure. That’s a 4 percent jump from the previous year. It’s clear this procedure is in demand and so are improvements to materials used in the procedure. “Patients do want better,” says Dr. McGuire.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved an implant that is new to the United States called the highly cohesive anatomically shaped silicone-filled breast implant. One of those is Allergan Natrelle 410. Dr. McGuire says patients should know the implants have been around a while. “It’s a new implant to the U.S. market, but it has been in Canada and Europe for 18 years and under study protocol here for about a decade.”

Dr. McGuire has been one of the investigators determining the usefulness of the new implants. She has performed about 600 cases since 2002 with excellent results.

“One of the times I find it most useful is in revisional procedures to correct an original surgery, but it has to be done with someone experienced. One of the things we see, especially with patients who have had saline implants, is rippling and visible edges to an implant. These implants hold the shape because they are highly cohesive.”

The implants come in different sizes with textured shells and are approved for breast augmentation in women age 22 or older and for breast reconstruction.

Who Is The Ideal Candidate?

Breast augmentation is about looking better and feeling confident about your body and your breasts. Experts say it isn’t about what the magazines say you should look like or even a boyfriend or a friend. There are some guidelines about which implant may be best for your body type and background. The ideal candidate to receive the highly cohesive shaped implant is a woman who has never had radiation for breast cancer. The implant can also be used in first-time cosmetic procedures, but Dr. McGuire finds it most useful in revision work.

“Patients do have be realistic about the revision work and the results that can be achieved. A patient will also want to go to an experienced surgeon who has done previous operations using the shaped devices.” Dr. McGuire says the outcome can be dramatic. “The women who will see the biggest improvement in revision are those who had too much roundness and rippling, and also those who want more projection.”


Dr. McGuire estimates the shaped implant is the best option in about 20% of patients, with another 20% not being good candidates. “The other 60% patients could do well with any kind of implant. A lot of it is based on body type and what works best.” Helping the patient visualize what the cosmetic procedure results will look like afterward often helps in the planning.

“We show these patients pictures of different body types and we also use 3D imaging of what their anatomy will look like with that implant.” Dr. McGuire says many women are already calling the office, asking to receive the new shaped silicone implant. “I like that women are educated on the products out there, but it has to be right for their body.”

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