As an aesthetic surgery fellow, I had the opportunity in 2004-2005 to work with an implant company called Silimed, which made a very high-quality textured cohesive silicone gel implant. Working with Dr. Grant Stevens (one of the principle investigators on the FDA approved Silimed implant study) in Marina Del Rey, CA, I had the opportunity to place hundreds of these implants and I was very impressed. As a result, I was very excited when Silimed was finally FDA approved in the U.S., and opened to the American market via the company Sientra. The implants made by Sientra are often called “gummy bear implants” in the news, a term that Dr. Stevens coined.
There were many things I liked about Sientra implants during my fellowship. The implants had a soft feel, but were a highly cohesive gel. The shells (outer parts) of the implants were durable but soft, and were not prone to rippling or palpability through the skin. The texturing was also not excessively aggressive, nor was it too weak, which allowed the implants to stay where I put them during surgery and lowered the incidence of capsular contracture.
When working in Stockholm with Dr. Randquist, I was impressed with his long-term results. In the cases he showed, the textured implants stayed in a stable position over many years and maintained a natural appearance. For the five of us visiting Dr. Randquist, I believe this was an eye-opening experience. As Americans, all of us were primarily using smooth, round implants, and the argument presented by Dr. Randquist for using textured implants, as mentioned above, was fairly convincing.
Since my return home, I have shifted towards using more Sientra textured implants. I believe these new implants will offer long-term advantages for many breast augmentation patients. At my Scottsdale practice, I still using Mentor smooth round implants as well, because in some patients, the shape of the Sientra moderate profile implant is too projected, and the shape of the Sientra low profile implant is too flat. I have been getting great results over the years with Mentor implants, and I am not completely switching over, but it is nice to have more options available now to get the best overall results for my patients.