With many US Food and Drug Administration–approved cohesive gel implant styles currently available in the United States, surgeons and patients may feel overwhelmed by the implant-selection process. We discuss the relative merits of the most commonly used silicone cohesive gel implants and associated adjuncts, particularly in the reconstructive setting.
A literature review was conducted in PubMed to identify articles that assessed the clinical impact of differing cohesive silicone gel implants and associated adjuncts on aesthetic outcomes and complications profile.
First, we review how the shape, cohesivity, and texture of cohesive gel implants impact breast aesthetics and complications after implant-based breast reconstruction (IBBR). Second, we review common adjuncts used in IBBR, including fat grafting and acellular dermal matrix (ADM), and we explore their roles in prepectoral IBBR. Finally, we review future directions in IBBR, including nanoscale implant surface modifications.
In the absence of data showing that shaped implants are aesthetically preferable over round implants, we turn to a risk-benefit analysis of the complication profile of each type of implant. In selecting a smooth, round cohesive silicone implant that offers a variety of cohesivity levels, the patient can enjoy the benefits of smooth shells and avoid the drawbacks of textured shells, all without sacrificing clinically significant visual aesthetics. In the era of the bioengineered breast, this remains even more true.