Breast implants have been used in aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery since the early 1960s. One facet regarding the use of these devices that has not changed over these past 50 years relates to the fact that the thinner the soft-tissue envelope is, the more visible the implant will become. Therefore, the design features of the device become more important in these types of patients. With the evolution of implant design, several different design variables have been re-engineered including the use of different fill materials, the alteration of the surface features of the shell, and changes in the overall shape of the implant. Although various advantages and disadvantages have been postulated regarding each of these variables, the incorporation of an anatomic shape into the implant is perhaps the most intriguing design feature yet developed. It seems a short intellectual leap to postulate that the normal, slightly ptotic, or teardrop look of the youthful breast would be best achieved using an implant that had a similar shape. However, despite what might on the surface appear to be a straightforward conclusion, the development, approval, and acceptance of the anatomically shaped implant has been a slow, arduous process. The purpose of this article is to describe the proper technique required to safely and effectively use these devices in aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery cases and provide representative case examples demonstrating the outstanding results that can be obtained.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
From Partners in Plastic Surgery of West Michigan.
Received for publication March 21, 2014; accepted April 8, 2014.
Disclosure: Dr. Hammond has a consulting agreement with the Mentor Corporation.
Dennis C. Hammond, MD, Partners in Plastic Surgery, 4070 Lake Drive, Suite 202, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, firstname.lastname@example.org