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Breast augmentation is consistently the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in the U.S.; more than 286,000 were performed last year. For women interested in implants, traditional silicone and saline devices were the only option available to women...until now.
The FDA recently approved the sale of Mentor's CPG form stable breast implants in the U.S. This brings the number of manufacturers allowed to sell form stable implants in the United States to three, the other two companies being Sientra and Allergan.
In an attempt to mimic the natural shape of the breast, form stable implants are designed to look like a tear drop, thicker at the bottom and tapered towards the top. To maintain this shape, the silicone gel in the implant is firmer than that which is routinely found in a round implant. The consistency of the gel inside the implant is thicker, and maintains its shape even when the implant is cut in half. Therefore these types of implants are commonly referred to as 'gummy bear implants'.
Form stable implants offer an additional option for women desiring breast augmentation surgery. As with all devices, these implants have advantages and disadvantages. Before choosing an implant, every patient should discuss the potential risks and benefits with her surgeon, as form stable implants may not be the optimal choice for each woman.
One of the purported advantages of form stable implants is that they match the shape of the natural breast, giving more fullness to the bottom of the breast. Comprised of a stiffer gel, less wrinkling of the implant is expected, and some women desire the additional firmness of the implant. Finally, because they are all textured, there is some evidence to suggest that the patient's risk of developing a capsular contracture around the implant could be lessened.
Disadvantages include potential rotation of the implant in which case the thicker part of the implant can distort the breast's shape. Because the gel is thicker, a slightly longer incision to insert them is often necessary. Some women also disapprove of the gel's consistency. Of course, form stable implants also share risks common to all breast implants including rare cases of infection, bleeding and implant rupture.
Form stable implants give another choice to women desiring an augmentation mammaplasty. Are you considering a breast augmentation?
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.