Mentor Memory Gel Silicone Implants Vs Sientra HIGHLY Cohesive Form-stable Gummy Bear Implants?
Doctor Answers 13
The Difference Between Breast Augmentation Implants
There are 3 companies that make and market breast implants in the US. They are Mentor (owned by Johnson and Johnson), Natrelle (owned by Allergan) and Sientra. Mentor and Natrelle offer saline filled implants, as well as silicone gel filled breast implants that are filled with a relatively cohesive gel but they are not so cohesive as to be form stable. Both companies offer these implants in a variety of sizes and projections and both offer smooth as well as textured shells. All three companies offer a third implant type; a form stable cohesive gel filled implant. Mentor’s form stable implant is textured and os called MemoryShape™. Similarly Natrelle has a form stable implant that is textured called the Natrelle® 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone-Filled Breast Implant. Sientra does not offer a saline implant and all of their breast implants are form stable. They have smooth and textured implants that are round and shaped as well as textured and smooth implants.
The three breast implant companies offer very similar products but the there are differences you should be aware of:
- Sientra offers a 2 year warrantee for capsule contracture. This is important since capsule contracture is the biggest concern that most patients and surgeons have with breast augmentation. If you develop this problem in the first two years Sientra will replace your implants.
- Sientra has a little flatter back making the edges harder to feel and therefore a little more natural feel.
- Sientra has a documented lower capsule contracture rate.
- Sientra has a documented lower rupture rate.
- Sientra is only available to board certified plastic surgeons.
I hope that helps.
Shaped form stable breast implants
Sientra gel implants vs Mentor and Allergan
Mentor and Allergan offer a gel implant that has been available in the US for the last 20 years. They also now offer a new form stable implant that is shaped and highly cohesive and were approved by the FDA last year.
Sientra is newer to the US market but has a long and safe experience in Europe and South America. Sientra offers both a newer round cohesive gel implant and a shaped version of their highly cohesive gel implant. It is the Sientra gel implant types that were first referred to as the "gummy bear" implant. Sientra was the first company to get the shaped implant approved for use in the US.
Sientra breast implants are only available from Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. The marketplace can be confusing with all types of doctors calling themselves cosmetic surgeons and even plastic surgeons. One way to know you are being treated by a board certified plastic surgeon is to ask for Sientra breast implants.
As far as the types of implants the companies offer: Mentor and Allergan offer their round silicone implants and their newer shaped (anatomical) implants. Their shaped implants are called Memory Shape by Mentor and Style 410 by Allergan.
Sientra has their round gel implant which is more cohesive (gel sticks together more) than the other companies as well as their shaped gel implants which are a little less firm than the other companies shaped implants. I like the round base shaped silicone implant by Sientra a lot. I use them all however.
I hope this helps you understand what is available in the US market at this time.
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Difference between form stable implants
As far as shaped implants are concerned, each vendor has its own form stable silicone gel that is unique, so there are technically three. The Allergan and Mentor form stable shaped devices tend to be firmer. Sientra's shaped implant is form stable, but feels softer, more like normal breast tissue.
Cohesive and form stable, the difference is broad
There are many types of silicone gel implants, and one of the characteristics is the cohesiveness or 'flow' in the silicone gel. The standard gels have a soft flow allowing the implant to shape and blend within the breast. More cohesive gels such as the Memory gel less so. And at the far end are form stable gels that resist flow altogether and maintain the same shape such as the Sientra one you mention. All implants have a purpose and come with trade offs as there is no one 'best'. Careful research and several consultations should get you the information you need.
The first type of gel is in the round mentor and allergan implants: this gel is the least cohesive and the most liquid like.
The next type of gel is in the round sientra implants: it is more cohesive, firm, and less liquid like
The third type of gel is in all shaped implants: this is the cohesive "gummy bear" gel
We THINK that the more cohesive gels are less likely to bleed/leak and therefore less likely to cause capsules. We really should have that data, but we don't.
That said, I like the idea of this, so I tend to use more cohesive gel implants. This means the round sientra implants and the shaped implants. Usually I use shaped sientra (cosmetic) and mentor (reconstruction) implants because of the surface texturing, The texturing on the allergan implants worries me and has had some late complications that I don't like (late seroma and double capsule). The mentor implants have the best projection so they are great for recon cases.
Sientra implants have the best warranties out there, and they only sell to board certified plastic surgeons, so that's why I love them. I don't think family doctors, ER doctors, ENTs and dermatologists should be placing breast implants, so Sientra is where it's at for me.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.