I have used Sientra breast implants exclusively for the past several years because I’ve felt they were better than the other breast implants available in the US. In the past, I have used Mentor and Allergan breast implants. I started using Sientra because I believed that they were better but now there is medical and scientific evidence that back my belief. In this article and in part 2, I will outline why I feel that Sientra breast implants are superior to the competition and provide some of the science that is now available that supports this.
Sientra’s Gummy Bear Implants Feel Extremely Natural
After 30 years of performing breast augmentations, I have seen and felt many breast implants. While some patients have very soft, natural feeling breast implant results, there are others that have results that clearly feel like a breast implant. They may be too hard, too firm or too soft. They may unnaturally slide around on the woman’s chest and into her armpit. They may feel like water balloons or slosh around if they are saline breast implants.
Sientra’s highly cohesive, silicone gel implants or gummy bear implants consistently have a very natural feel to them. In fact, after about 6 months, in many cases, it is very hard to tell if there is any breast implants in place. While the implants from other manufacturers can produce similar results, this type of result is extremely consistent with Sientra’s gummy bear implants. Sientra has the following marketing piece.
It is not just me or Sientra. A study showed that Sientra breast implant patient satisfaction remains high through 8 years, with 90% of primary breast augmentation patients indicating their breast implants look natural and feel soft. The satisfaction questions in this study included topics such as whether the implants make the patient feel more feminine, feel more sensual, look healthier, or improve their social life and an overwhelming number of patients highly agreed with all of these question parameters.
Further, surgeon satisfaction with implant surgery results was extremely high at 99.5%
Sientra breast implants are only available through plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
This is important since there are many surgeons who are doing breast augmentation and breast reconstruction who are not really board certified plastic surgeons. They perform plastic surgery procedures like breast augmentation and state that they are board certified but this is misleading. They may be board certified but the question that one must ask is in what are they board certified? I can name many surgeons who are certified in ear, nose or throat surgery (ENT or otolaryngology), general surgery, obstetrics, emergency medicine and even family practice doing plastic surgery operations like tummy tucks and breast augmentation. In most states there are no laws to restrict this practice despite the dubious education these surgeons may have received in these surgeries. Here is a link to find out if a surgeon is truly a BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON.
There is no science that suggests you have a better chance of having a good result with a board certified plastic surgeon, but when the overall complication rates for Sientra implants which are only sold to board certified plastic surgeons, are compared to the overall complication rates for Allergan and Mentor breast implants, the other manufacturers in the US market, there is a clear difference. The others are higher! This suggests that you are more likely to have a complication if you go to a surgeon who is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Sientra breast implants have the best performance data in the industry.
High strength cohesive gel that is designed to have a softness that feels like breast tissue is used in all of Sientra’s breast implant products. The gel in Seintra breast implants holds its shape so that when the implant is cut in half and the implant is squeezed hard the gel comes out but when you let go, the gel retreats into its shelf and resumes its original shape. This demonstrates the implant’s form stability and shape retention.
Sientra’s gel implants have been shown in the medical literature to be the strongest available on the market and the consistency of the gel and shell has been designed to mimic natural breast tissue in terms of feel. Thus, the complete breast implant (gel and shell together) remain remarkably soft to the touch providing the natural feel that Sientra breast implants have, supporting the company’s marketing claim mentioned above that Sientra breast implants “Feel so good that you will want to share.”
Sientra breast implants have the lowest ALCL rate.
A recent (2017) long-term breast implant study published in the plastic surgery medical literature confirmed that both smooth and textured Sientra breast implants are very safe. Breast Implant Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BI-ALCL) is a very rare problem that is associated with textured surface breast implants. However, not all textured breast implants are the same and this article pointed out that the surface of Sientra’s textured implants is different from the textured surface of Allergan and Mentor, the other manufactures of breast implants. These differences can be seen here.
While the causes of BI-ALCL are still being investigated, it is thought that the more aggressive texture plays a role along with bacteria introduced to the surface of the implant during surgery which may trigger an inflammatory immune system response. This response, in conjunction with a genetic predisposition, may lead to BI-ALCL. There are other possible factors under investigation that may play a roll in the development of BI-ALCL such as geographic factors (there is a higher incidence in Australia).
It is clear from the studies of ALCL and this scientific paper that the incidence of BI-ALCL is much lower for Sientra breast implants as noted in this table that show the incidence of BI-ALCL with Siltex implants which are the breast implants that are made by Sientra in the US and Silimed, the company that manufactures and makes these implants available in the rest of the world.
The incidence of BI-ALCL n the US may even be lower because the higher incidence in Australia may be skewing the US numbers up.
There are many other reasons that I believe Sientra breast implants are superior to the implants made by other manufacturers, including a much lower rupture rate than other implants, much lower capsule contracture rate and a phenomenal warranty that is second to none in the industry. You can learn all about these advantages to Sientra breast implants in “Why Sientra Breast Implants Are So Special: Part 2”