Sentra Breast Implants and My Capsular Contracture Guarantee

I just returned from New Orleans where the American Society of Plastic Surgeons held their annual meeting.  It was unseasonably cold but at least we didn’t have to worry about the hurricane like many of my East Coast colleagues did.  The conference was informative as always, and it’s tough to avoid an excuse to go to New Orleans, one of my favorite cities.

Swedish plastic surgeon Charles Randquist presented his vast experience using shaped silicone breast implants at an evening event sponsored by Sientra, a Santa Barbara based company that launched their products in the U.S. earlier this year (Their products, under the name Silimed, have been available throughout the rest of the world for years).  Five year data on Sientra implants’ rupture and capsular contracture* rates was also presented and has just been published in the latest issue of our specialty’s premier journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  Although not a direct comparison with other implants, this study of Sientra’s implants showed the lowest published rupture and capsular contracture rates.

Besides offering exclusive shaped breast implant options in addition to the standard round implants for breast augmentation and breast reconstruction, the fact that their published rupture and capsular contracture rates are so low makes me like them even more.  You won’t find them at just any cosmetic surgeon’s office.  They are only available to board certified plastic surgeons, which shows Sientra’s commitment to quality and safety.

After Dr. Randquist’s talk, I decided to steal an idea from him… A capsular contracture guarantee.  Because my capsular contracture rate is already extremely low, and published rates of capsular contracture continue to improve, I will re-operate for free on any of my breast augmentation patients that develop a capsular contracture in the future, provided that I did their original surgery and they have not had any other intervening breast surgery or breast procedures by others.

*capsular contracture – A thickening or hardening of the body’s scar capsule that forms around any implant.  Usually the capsule is never noticed, but thickening or hardening can happen in the future, causing distortion and sometimes pain.  Usually surgery is necessary to address the capsule and change the implants.  Although this used to be fairly common in the past (over 20%), modern implants and modern surgical techniques have lowered this rate significantly.

– Douglas Mackenzie, MD, FACS, Santa Barbara, California

Douglas J. Mackenzie, MD

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