I believe that the arrival of form stable breast implants in the United States is a significant event. These breast implants hold a natural anatomical shape in all positions. These implants have been referred to by a variety of names: anatomical implants, shaped implants, and “gummy bear” implants.
Why Do These Implants Hold Their Shape?
The silicone polymer inside form stable implants is highly cross-linked. It will hold its shape independent of the implant shell. You could theoretically chop one of these implants with a hatchet, and the two pieces would keep their original shape. These implants tend to be a little firmer than “standard” breast implants.
Standard Implant (left) and Form Stable Implant (right)
As you can see, the standard medium profile breast implant carries an equal volume in all areas, while the form stable implant is fuller in its lower portion. This construction is particularly important for several groups of patients.
The first group of patients is women undergoing breast reconstruction. In many ways this is the most challenging situation for breast implants, since any imperfection will be visible. Form stable implant are my first choice for my breast reconstruction patients. I usually combine these implants with the fat transfer procedure, since this adds a layer of natural structure to the reconstructed breast and further improves the quality of the result.
The second group of patients includes women seeking breast augmentation who want an extremely natural transition in the upper portion of the breast. If your goal is to increase the projection of the lower portion of your breasts with very little change in the upper breast, form stable implants may provide a good solution.
A third group of patients includes women who are very trim and athletic and do not want implants underneath the pectoral muscles. This may be particularly important for female body builders, who do not want to experience implant motion when the pec muscles are contracted. For these patients my solution is to place the implants above the pectoral muscles but beneath the pectoral fascia, sometimes with fat transfer to camouflage the upper portions of the implants.
Form Stable Implants Expand The Range of Possibilities for our Breast Patients
It was frustrating to me for many years when friends in Europe and Canada could offer their patients the benefits of form stable implants but I could not. I am happy that I can finally provide these implants to patients who will benefit from them. I have extensive experience with earlier generations of anatomical implants, so the transition to these devices has been easy for me. Patients in whom I have utilized these implants have a high degree of satisfaction with the results.