The Allergan Natrelle highly cohesive gel 410 breast implant was approved by the FDA last night for use by plastic surgeons in the United States as a new option for cosmetic enhancement of the female breast. It is also being referred to as the “gummy bear” breast implant because the feel of it resembles the consistency of the candy.
As one of the original investigators for this study in the Midwest region, our practice in Louisville, Kentucky has had extensive experience over the last 10 years with this revolutionary breast implant. This implant is truly transforming the way in which I can customize the best fit for a particular woman’s needs in regards to making her the breast size and shape that she desires.
These 410 implants are a new type of silicone gel that is “form stable,” meaning that, if the outside shell were removed, the gel inside would still retain its shape. One of the advantages of this implant is that it wrinkles much less than a round, responsive gel implant (more liquid). The shape of the implant can be controlled in multiple parameters; the height, width, projection and overall size are all customizable. Because the scar tissue surrounding the implant can grow into the shell, the implant does not move inside of the pocket created for it. This gives this implant a “one breast feel” where it is not easy to detect that an implant is underneath the natural breast and muscle. The data presented to the FDA also shows that this implant breaks less frequently and has less capsular contracture than round, smooth implants.
I like this implant for breast augmentation, especially for women with mild droopiness of the breasts after pregnancy or weight loss. The taller, more teardrop shape with more projection at the bottom fills out the stretched soft tissue sometimes making a breast lift unnecessary.
Allergan has recommended to new surgeons that they not only have to take online courses about the nuances of this implant, but they should also attend a teaching course taught by the few plastic surgeons with experience in placing this new breast implant. I have performed numerous surgeries with the 410 gel breast implant and will be teaching some of these courses throughout the US.
In our office, we can show the prospective patient how these new implants can reshape the breast using the exciting Vectra 3D imaging software. A life-like image of the actual patient on a large monitor can quickly demonstrate the shape and size differences when this and other types of breast implants are used, helping the patient be more secure in her decision.