Differences between various breast implant companies
Mentor, Allergan, and Sientra breast implants are all approved for sale and use in the USA. I personally have used all of these implants and they all have produced reliable results. Each board certified plastic surgeon may have their own preference. Each company have various size, shape, and styles of implants. The key is identifying your expectations and choosing the correct implant with your surgeon.
Breast Implant Choices
At this time, the 3 breast implant manufacturers approved by the FDA to sell implants for cosmetic breast augmentation are Mentor, Natrelle (Allergan), and Sientra. All 3 are reputable companies that stand behind their products with appropriate warranties. They have all gone through a rigorous approval process with the FDA. Every surgeon will develop his or her own preferences regarding which company's products to use. I, myself, have used implants from all 3 companies, and have seen nice results from all. I try to base my decision on which implants will work best with the individual patient's breast anatomy and dimensions to create the best result. Of course, there are significant different characteristics between silicone and saline implants, smooth vs. textured surface, varying profiles, sizes, and shapes. There may also be a difference in consistency due to the cohesiveness of the silicone produced by each manufacturer. However, the quality of the 3 company's products are similar. Be sure to speak directly with your surgeon about all these characteristics of the breast implants, not just the size, in order obtain your best result.
The Best Breast Implant
No single manufacturer, unfortunately has every single size available. That is one reason I use implants from all three companies depending on the specific requirements of my patient. The new shaped, form stable implants have filled a niche in my practice.
Different plastic surgeons may have their favorite breast implant brand, but the most important factor in selecting a surgeon for breast augmentation is not the brand of the implant, but the care, expertise, education and talent of the plastic surgeon performing the procedure.
Which breast implants are better
If you look at the physical characteristics of each implant they differ slightly in shell thickness and implant fill. The more filled the implant the less the chance for vertical rippling. The thicker the implant shell the more palpable the implant but has less side rippling. As far as fill volume with the smooth silicone implants, Natrelle style 15, 20 are the least filled, then comes the Sientra and then Mentor tend to be more filled. The Mentor MP+ has the most fill and least likely to have vertical rippling. Regarding textured implants Sientra has the best fill volume compared to Natrelle or Mentor HP. Although the Mentor textured MP+ is also quite filled. I always prefer a more filled implant compared to less filled. Often the larger you go or the less tissue you have, the fill volume becomes quite important. Take a sample of each implant and place them side by side and you can easily see the difference. Many surgeons are not aware of these subtle differences and simply choose implants based upon availability and service of the implant representatives. Finally the Sientra textured implants now have a two year warranty against capsule contracture plus the highest reimbursement in case of implant failure. Simply stated if you used a Sientra textured implant and you develop a capsule contracture with in two years of the surgery, they will give you a free set of new implants at no charge. The other two companies do not do this. My personal preference is if a patient wants smooth implants I use either a Mentor HP or MP+ style. If they select textured implants I definitely prefer Sientra's textured MP or HP styles. I hope that helps. You can see a video on my website at benjaminchumd.com and you can see the differences in implant characteristics. Thanks Dr. Chu
Thank you for the question.
I can recommend all three implants, they are all great quality.
Which implant is better? Mentor, Natrelle or Sientra (silicone)
Thank you for the question.
All three companies are reputable with good products (similar characteristics and warranties). Every patient's anatomy and goals are different; each patient may benefit from the use of a specific size/profile of breast implant. Therefore, in my practice, I have consignments of all 3 different breast implant manufacturers available in the operating room. Ultimately, more important than the specific breast implant company utilized will be careful selection of your plastic surgeon. Careful preoperative communication, careful intraoperative sizing ( including the use of temporary sizers and dimensional planning/measurements) and careful execution of the procedure will be key. I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes with your upcoming surgery.
Differences in silicone implants?
You said the doctor you chose uses Mentor so I wanted to let you know that I have used Mentor implants (both saline and silicone) for 20 years and they have always been excellent quality both now and even in the past before cohesive gel. The company itself is excellent and backs their product. I have hundreds of happy patients and my wife has had her cohesive Mentor implants for 12 years (since we put them in when they were in a study phase before commercial release) and they have been excellent. If your surgeon uses these I don't think you can go wrong. The other companies are fine as well but I have a long experience with this company and it has been a good one.
Mentor, Natrelle or Sientra implants?
The implants from 3 manufacturers have been approved by the FDA for use in the United States: Allergan (Natrelle), Mentor, and Sientra. The FDA has determined that they are all safe for use. They all produce implants of various sizes and dimensions. Plastic surgeons have their own preferences based on their individual experience, relationship with the implant company, and history of service by the manufacturer representative.
More important than the name of the implant is your choice of an experienced, caring, artistic plastic surgeon as well as the choice of the proper size and dimensions of the implant for your particular anatomy.
Following advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you what type or size of implants to use without examining you, physically feeling your tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history and discussing the pros and cons of the operative procedure and each type of implant would not be in your best interest. I would suggest that you find a surgeon certified by the American Board of American Plastic Surgery and one who is ideally a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.
Robert Singer, M.D., FACS
La Jolla, California
I agree with Dr Repta,
All 3 are good brands that have passed US (FDA) requirements. All have a wide variety of shapes to fit your typical volume and breast width requirement. Frequently, implant manufactures will offer promotional discounts in order to influence selection. If your board certified plastic surgeon is more comfortable with one implant over the other, than I would go with their recommendation.
Best of luck
Different breast implant companies
Thanks for this question. All three companies make solid products. The real difference in your result will much more depend on which surgeon you choose and just let them use the product they are happiest and most familiar using.