Q: Dr. Eppley, Please send me information on the new Sientra breast implants. I am interested in information and having a breast augmentation done within the next twelve months. Thank you.
A: The information that is available on breast implants is quite extensive and you have to be more specific as to what information you are seeking on Sientra breast implants. Sientra is the company name that was formed to distribute Silimed breast implants in the U.S. in 2012. Silimed is the world’s largest breast implant manufacturer out of Brazil where the implants are manufactured. Thus, Sientra breast implants are not really new, only new to the U.S.. Prior to their approval in 2012, the only two approved breast implant manufacturers were Allergan and Mentor.
Sientra uses a highly cohesive silicone gel in their implants, which is now done by the other two manufacturers as well. They offer both round and shaped textured gel implants in standard sizes from 175cc to 800cc volumes.
While all breast implant manufacturers tout the benefits of their silicone breast implants, what ultimately counts is their long-term rupture and capsular contracture rates. To date, the Sientra clinical study data shows the lowest rupture rates in the industry today. Thus they are my current breast implant of choice.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in getting breast implants and am confused about what type of implants to get. I have seen two doctors and one uses Mentor implants while the other uses Natrelle implants. I don’t understand the differences between these two company’s implants and I realize that choice is best determined by the doctor. I read recently that there is now another company offering breast implants known as Sientra. What are the benefits to these implants if any?
A: While all silicone breast implants contain silicone gel material, there are different formulations of that silicone used by each company. These formulations are proprietary and are given different names by each company. What is becoming most important in gel formulations is how cohesive they are, also known as form stable. The more form stable implants have become known in urban terms as ‘gummy bear’ breast implants. Sientra offers only silicone breast implants that are composed of what they call ‘high strength’ silicone gel, which is their version of the so-called gummy bear implant. What I like about the Sientra implants that they may be form stable but are also very soft. If cut in half, the gel material does not extrude or break down and remains intact. You can actually take the implant and twist it 360 degrees and the implant shell/material will not fracture or break. This is a very important feature to decrease the effects of shell stress on insertion and lower long term implant rupture rates.
Dr. Barry Eppley