Available for over 20 years in Europe, and in clinical trials for 12 years in the United States, Allergan’s highly cohesive gel breast implants are finally FDA approved. With this approval, there are now two new options available to American women: the Sientra high strength silicone gel implant, approved in 2012, and the Allergan Natrelle style 410. However, certain styles and sizes of the Allergan 410 will remain in clinical trials, available only through an approved investigator, for possibly a few more years.
As a clinical investigator, I received extensive training with these shaped implants, and have used them for over 8 years. They can produce beautiful long lasting results in breast augmentation, reconstruction, and select revision patients. With every new device there is a learning curve; the key to a good outcome is knowing when and how to use these newer implants.
Here are the key facts that you should consider when deciding between manufacturers, shapes, shells and fills:
- There is no one “right” implant for every patient
- Do your homework before you schedule an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon and research all your options
- Not all gel implants contain highly cohesive or high strength silicone gel. Each manufacturer has developed an implant with unique shells, percentage of fill, cohesivity of fill, and a range of size options
- A thorough education will help you decide if you want them, careful patient selection by an experienced plastic surgeon