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The Different Kinds of Breast Implants

Many people may be unaware that there are three FDA-approved companies that make different kinds of breast implants.  These companies are Mentor, Allergan, and Sientra.  Here at East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery we use Mentor products for our breast augmentation surgeries.  While it is not necessarily better to choose one brand over another, we are happy with the quality of Mentor’s products, having used them for our patients some time.

Mentor provides quality products for our patients seeking breast augmentation or reconstruction.  There are two kinds of Mentor breast implants; memory-gel, and saline filled.  In cases of either breast reconstruction or breast augmentation memory-gel implants are recommended for women over the age of 22, while saline filled implants are recommended for women over the age of 18.

Memory-gel is the brand name for any of Mentor’s round, silicone gel-filled implants.  Mentor has been researching improving these implants for reconstruction and revision patients in the Adjunct Study since 1992.  These implants contain a “proprietary cohesive gel formulation” which performs like a unit rather than a liquid.  This ensures that the implant holds together uniformly. This is a big advantage in the event of a rupture, and is something that only Mentor offers.  Should the memory-gel implant rupture, the gel will not run, and will remain cohesive.

Saline-filled breast implants are filled with sterile salt water.  Obviously these do not function as a single unit like the memory-gel implants.  They are actually empty before they are inserted, and are only filled with the saline once they are in place.  While saline-filled implants are more readily available to women over the age of 18, most choose memory-filled implants, as the general consensus is that memory-filled implants have a more realistic look, and feel.  Despite this, saline implants have some benefits over memory gel implants, as saline gel implants have a lower rate of revision surgery.  Also, the incision required to insert a saline-filled implant is smaller because the implant is only filled after it is set in place, so there is less of a risk of scarring.

Before choosing which type of implant you would prefer for your breast augmentation or reconstruction surgery consult your plastic surgeon, and find out which is the better option for you.