By Dr. Maurice Sherman, San Diego Cosmetic Surgeon
Many women in San Diego have successfully undergone breast implant surgery to achieve a more voluptuous look. And while silicone and saline breasts have been widely accepted as options in breast augmentation surgery, the actual implant itself has undergone many advances over the years to ensure a natural, comfortable and safe surgery option for most women.
And that includes the latest implant just recently approved by the FDA. The MemoryShape Breast Implant, a new silicone gel-filled, anatomical implant, gives women a beautiful look and feel that is so important to patient satisfaction post-surgery. It is deemed reasonably safe and effective for use in breast augmentation and reconstruction plastic surgery according to the FDA and can prove ideal for women seeking a natural-looking breast augmentation.
While approval of the MemoryShape Breast Implant is contingent on continued monitoring and analysis on the part of the manufacturer, cosmetic surgeons are now free to use the implants to meet the needs of breast surgery patients.
IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?
The MemoryShape breast implant is a good choice for all types of women who desire a larger breast size, but the implant is particularly beneficial for:
Women who have had a large amount of breast tissue removed due to breast cancer can benefit from the MemoryShape breast implant because of its natural teardrop shape. Because reconstructive surgery patients have very little natural breast tissue remaining, an anatomical implant can be the ideal choice since it looks as natural as possible. Round implants, on the other hand, may not look as natural and may need additional fat grafting or tissue flap utilization for improved appearance.
Women who have experienced breast hardening (capsular contracture) with round implants may be good candidates for the MemoryShape breast implant since its extra firmness resists distortion. Furthermore, an anatomical implant can be placed above the muscle, thereby reducing the risk of potential “double bubble” side effect associated with under the muscle placement in breast augmentation surgery.
When it comes to the shape of the breast, drooping tissue is a common reason women seek breast augmentation surgery. An anatomical breast implant can create a visually appealing effect on drooping tissue, achieving the look of a breast lift. Post-surgery results usually result in fuller looking breasts, without the typical “grapefruit look” of ordinary round implants.
SILICONE VS. SALINE: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
There are two types of breast implants: saline and silicone. Both types of implants consist of a silicone shell, but while saline implants are filled with a sterile salt-water solution, silicone implants are filled with silicone gel.
According to an article published by WebMD, many patients prefer silicone implants over those made with saline, stating that the former bares a greater resemblance to real breasts. While the FDA put a stop to the use of silicone implants in the early 1990s due to health concerns, silicone products were once again approved for use in 2006. Since then, the number of FDA-approved silicone gel-filled breast implants has been on the rise. As of this year, there are five such products available to plastic surgery patients in the U.S.
CURRENT SAFETY STANDARDS FOR SILICONE BREAST IMPLANTS
FDA approval of the MemoryShape Breast Implants is based on data amassed over a six-year period, involving 955 trial patients and results showing “similar rates of complications and outcomes” as compared to other FDA-approved silicone implant products. Risks associated with silicone gel implants include unevenness, wrinkling, gel fracture (cracks in the implants), scar tightening around the implant site (capsular contracture) all of which may produce the necessity for re-operation or removal of the implants. Additionally, anatomical implants may be associated with breast distortion, secondary to implant rotation. Indeed, as noted by FDA spokesman and director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., no form of breast implants should be seen as a “lifetime device,” and monitoring to detect and prevent health risks is a critical necessity for anyone who undergoes breast enhancement or reconstruction surgery.
MemoryShape Breast Implants which are the most expensive type are distinguished from other similar products in that they contain more “cross-links” – that is, a higher number of bonds between silicone chains within the gel. This feature renders the MemoryShape implants somewhat firmer, hence the reference to "Gummy Bear" implants. The FDA, however, notes that there is not yet any data on the clinical significance of this feature.
BREAST AUGMENTATION AND RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY IN SAN DIEGO
At our plastic surgery office, we believe in working along the cutting edge of medical technology. However, we also put patient safety first and foremost – and that means following FDA guidelines to ensure the best, safest and most effective plastic surgery procedures. When it comes to breast augmentation and reconstruction surgery, we offer our patients the choice between saline and silicone implants, as well as in-depth education about both options and individualized consultations to help find the product that is right for you.
Find out more about the latest safety and product information on silicone gel-based implants, saline breast implants and other breast surgery news and information by getting in touch with us today. To ask questions or schedule an appointment, call us at 858-350-8400 or visit us online at