Unzipping the Truth Behind the Ideal Implant

A saline-filled implant, known as the Ideal Implant, takes the best of both saline and silicone, and converges them into a single implant, even though no silicone gel is actually used (all implants use solid silicone in the shell). It purportedly overcomes the potential problems, like rippling and an unnatural feel that are common with saline implants. The implant is comprised of a series of thin implant shells, each slightly bigger than the next, to restrict the saline from moving. Currently, the implants are still in clinical trials and have yet to receive FDA approval. The company behind the Ideal Implant is optimistic about receiving FDA approval by year-end and plan a very limited launch to ABPS certified plastic surgeons. We reached out to Encino, CA, plastic surgeon George Sanders, MD, to learn the pros and cons of the Ideal design. 

NewBeauty: What are the advantages and disadvantages to the Ideal implant’s design?

Advantages

According to Dr. Sanders, "the Ideal Implant is a saline filled implant with internal baffles. This is not a new concept, but the design is said to allow the baffles to remain in place and not move when the patient changes position as used to happen with previous baffled implants. The baffles allow the saline filled implant to behave more like a silicone filled implant with less rippling and a more natural feel than current saline filled implants."

Disadvantages

"A theoretical disadvantage to the implant is that with all of the additional shells equal baffles within the implant, there may be an increased failure rate as time passes," says Dr. Sanders. "The implants have only been implanted for two years and more time is required to be certain of their longevity. They are also saline filled which will result in a deflation with shell failure. Many patients fear this complication as it produces a significant deformity that lasts until they can undergo an additional corrective surgery. Finally, the financial underpinnings of the company producing the implant must be considered. Will they be around and able to honor a lifetime warranty on the implant if the implant fails in 30 years?"

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