The Difference Between Breast Augmentation Implants
This is an interesting question. There are a lot of people who are confused
about this. I am glad that you’re doing
your research however, since it indicates that you are a proactive healthcare
consumer who understands that some thought should be given to a decision about
what is the best for your body.
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
- Sientra has a documented lower rupture rate.
- Sientra is only available to board certified
While the other companies have provided excellent products
for years, Sientra has come to the breast augmentation market place and
literally changed the game. It is
currently the only implant I recommend to my new breast augmentation patients
since, for the reasons mentioned above, it is the only implant I would recommend
to a member of my family.
I hope that helps.
Shaped form stable breast implants
Shaped-form stable breasts implants are implants that are designed with a lower point of maximal projection, and they are designed with what is considered an anatomic shape. In some patients they provide a more natural appearing breast augmentation result. This is a shaped form-stable implant. They come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. This one is a little bit taller than it is wide. It has a fairly low point of maximal projection, and it’s an intermediate projection implant. Are shaped form-stable implants the best device for every patient? Well, no. If you have a breast that’s already full in the lower pole and somewhat elongated, you will get a perfectly good result with a round implant in most cases. However, if you have a very small starting breast volume (A or small B), and especially if you need to have the inframammary fold lowered to achieve an ideal implant position on the chest wall then shaped form-stable implants provide a lot of advantages.
Sientra gel implants vs Mentor and Allergan
The history behind gel implants is long but the US experience recently has 3 different companies that make implants. These companies are Mentor, Allergan and Sientra. All offer FDA approved silicone gel implants that are safe and well made.
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.
Breast implant options
There are 3 breast implant manufacturers in the US. Sientra was FDA approved in the US in 2011 though has been in the International market for over 30 years under the name Silimed. Sientra has the most cohesive or form stable implant on the market and was the first to have their anatomically shaped implant approved by the FDA. They also ONLY sell to Board Certified Plastic Surgeons, which essentially means they have received the most extensive, inclusive training available and have had to perform a substantial number of plastic surgery procedures. When visiting your plastic surgeon, he should have the implants available for you to see and feel. You can feel the difference between the different implants. Sientra has a wide variety of shapes, contours, profiles and textures and is a great implant!
Mentor Memory Gel Silicone Implants Vs Sientra HIGHLY Cohesive Form-stable Gummy Bear Implants?
Thank you for the question. All currently FDA approved silicone gel breast implants are “cohesive”. This “cohesiveness” makes it so that the silicone material is less likely to leak, if/when there is a failure of the surrounding shell.
The “gummy bear” silicone material is a more dense material chemically. The term “gummy bear” has been used, almost as a slang term, to encompass all silicone gel breast implants; thus the confusion. None of the types of breast implants you mention are necessarily “better”; there are pros/cons associated with each type of implant.
Every patient who presents for breast augmentation surgery has a different body type, different goals/concerns, and potentially a different “mindset” when it comes to the best breast implant for her. It is, therefore very important to individualize each patient's care.
Sientra Form Stable Implants: Best Choice?
In 2014, each of the main companies (Sientra, Mentor, Allergan) is producing high quality silicone implants. However, Sientra's form-stable implants represent the latest generation of silicone and are often referred to as 'gummy bear' implants due to their stability. While each of the companies' implants can yield an excellent result it is important to know that Sientra only provides implants to Board Certified plastic surgeons, a detail that can prevent you from being treated by someone without that important qualification.
Different types of silicone implants
It is quite confusing out there with all of the silicone implants as terms and names are bandied about and it makes it very difficult for a patient to understand. I will try to give you a little guidance. As to form-stable implants, these are implants that have a very high cohesive quality. Think of a Victoria's Secret insert. The look nice but they will feel firmer than a normal breast. Only two companies make them, Mentor and Allergan. As to the cohesive nature of the implants. in general, Mentor and Allergan non-form stable implants are cohesive but Sientra's is more cohesive. Sientra implants are kind of in-between the form-stable firmness and the other competitors. The Sientra implants still feel natural but if broken will stay together more than the other two. The shell is also more adherent to the silicone filler than the other two companies. What is best for you will depend on the quality of the tissues you have and your desires. I would suggest a surgeon that has access to all of the implants so you get a wider choice of what to use. Only board-certified plastic surgeons are allowed to use Sientra implants.
Difference between form stable implants
silicone gel implants are cohesive gel these days, and there are only really
only two types when you are talking about round implants. The first type is
Mentor and Allergan's round silicone gel, which is exactly the same (excluding
the 410 style). Sientra is different because their silicone gel is more
cohesive, yet maintains its softness.
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.
There are really three types of gel on the market now, but there are LOTS of fancy marketing names that each company LOVES to use, mostly to differentiate themselves, but really it just confuses everyone.
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.