On Friday,. I’ve known that PIP breast implants couldn’t past muster with the FDA back in the early 2000s, and I was annoyed and dismayed to read about how PIP silicone breast implants were not made with medical grade silicone, and how these suboptimal breast implants will probably need to be removed in all of the women that have them.
And for you “haters” out there, just remember that many of these breast implants were used in reconstructive, non-cosmetic cases for breast cancer. As you may or may not know, various breast implant sizes and models are used interchangeably in cosmetic breast augmentation, breast reconstruction for breast cancer and other gray areas of breast reconstruction and repair of congential birth defects. So, start hatin’ on something else, like illiteracy, or kicking dogs or something like that.
So after all this pessimism and doom and gloom, I’ve decided to write a positive, happy and opinionated blog post about the best breast implants in the world.
The best breast implants available in the entire world are made by two companies – Allergan and Mentor. You may be asking yourself, Why those 2 companies? Is Roy being completely jingoistic? And why is Roy using an SAT word that no one uses in normal conversation? Read on, my fellow adventurers.
Allergan and Mentor are both U.S.-based breast implant companies that have a very long tradition for reliability and facing up to any potential problems. Given the legal and regulatory climate in America, these two companies have had a remarkably reliable track record in both the cosmetic and reconstructive breast implant markets, greater than 30 years plus and continuing.
Allergan is a large, publicly traded company that makes Natrelle ™ silicone breast implants for aesthetic and reconstructive purposes. Mentor used to be a large, publicly traded company, but is now a part of Johnson & Johnson, a humungous publicly traded company. Both companies have an international sales force, and are considered great companies overseas.
The FDA is often bad mouthed for being too slow, too rigorous, too detail oriented, too swamped – but regarding breast implants, the FDA has gotten it right.
Everyone knows that if the FDA has approved a particular silicone breast implant, then it has passed multiple scientific tests AND passed political tests behind the scenes to make an overall excellent breast implant.
Medical devices can have complications or need replacement, but as a plastic surgeon, I have more confidence in a silicone breast implant meeting or exceeding what the FDA requires to put into my patients compared with other companies. Silicone implants were pulled from the market in 1992 and didn’t return for 14 years, making them the most studied medical device in history.
Given the long, rich history of trial lawyers suing the bejesus out of anybody or anything with deep pockets, I’m more confident that both Allergan and Mentor have the largest and most thorough research and development departments that money can buy, along with statisticians to back up the safety of their medical devices.
I don’t know enough about the law to comment on European lawyers being able to sue PIP, a bankrupt French company, or suing the EU or other oversight committees in every country that allowed PIP silicone breast implants to be used. Again, it’s only a feeling, but I’m pretty certain that Allergan and Mentor have both done a fair amount of research and due diligence, as well as obtaining the appropriated FDA approval, before selling silicone breast implants in the U.S.
So there you go. When it comes to the best wine in the world, France probably wins. But if you want the gold standard when it comes to breast implants, choose an implant from Allergan or Mentor. And, of course, always choose a board certified plastic surgeon.