Women have wanted a new type of breast implant for breast augmentation. These women were able to express their desire for an implant that would combine the natural feel of a silicone gel with only saline inside for safety and peace of mind. After years of research, engineering, product development and a large US clinical trial, the IDEAL IMPLANT was approved by FDA and Health Canada, and is now available through a limited network of board certified or eligible plastic surgeons.
Dr. Derek Steinbacher offers the new IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implant. It gives you the natural feel you want, with advantages over silicone gel implants. Although it is filled with only saline for your peace of mind, the implant has a natural feel because of its internal supporting structure that controls movement of the saline.
Using props such as different sized bras to decide on implant size can make patients feel very uneasy about whether they are choosing the right size implant or not.
That’s not the case with Dr. Derek Steinbacher. He uses the Vectra 3D imaging system. This innovative system takes a series of photos of the patient’s chest. It merges this series of images into a single 3D model of the actual patient body. Now we can try different implant sizes because you can see how they look on your actual body. This takes the guesswork and unease out of the process.
Ideal Implants are the first truly “new” implants to come onto the market in three decades. Design is the key. A series of medical-grade silicone implant shells are nested together, and two separate chambers hold the saline solution. The unique internal structure controls movement of the saline for a more natural feel, while reducing folding and wrinkles, which is thought to be the main cause of saline implant rupture and deflation. On the outside of these implants the edges have been lowered for a more natural contouring to the chest wall.
The structured IDEAL IMPLANT feels natural and has advantages over the silicone gel implant. It has an inner shell around the inner chamber, which holds the inner saline filler, and an outer shell around the outer chamber, which holds the outer saline filler. Between these shells are one to three baffle shells. This internal structure controls movement of the saline and gives the IDEAL IMPLANT both its natural look and feel.
As with all implants, Dr. Steinbacher inserts Ideal Implants through an incision. You’ll decide on your incision location during your consultation. Unlike silicone gel implants, which are placed fully filled, Ideal Implants are inserted empty and then filled once in place.
This has two awesome advantages for our patients. First, Dr. Steinbacher can make a very small incision, less than two inches. He can then place the empty Ideal shell by folding it and placing it into the breast pocket he has created.
Prior to this insertion, he has used a test implant, called a sizer. A sizer is a temporary implant that he uses to test the position and size before inserting the actual Ideal Implant. The sizer allows Dr. Steinbacher to gauge the size and to note if the pocket looks natural in its position. He can make any adjustments at this point.
The Ideal Implant is then inserted, and it is filled once Dr. Steinbacher has opened the shell in place. Since these implants are filled in place, Dr. Steinbacher can adjust the implant size. This works well for issues such as symmetry. No woman has exactly perfectly matched breasts; there is some asymmetry. Since Ideal Implants are filled in place, he can add more volume to one implant to better match the opposite breast.
Ideal Implants are the first truly “new” implants to come onto the market in three decades. They were designed by plastic surgeons to accommodate what they were hearing from their patients about the drawbacks of both saline and silicone implant options.
While safer than silicone, traditional saline implants have numerous drawbacks:
The lifespan of any implant varies widely by the patient. Dr. Steinbacher has had good lifespan duration with Ideal implants, but you need to remember they are the newest form of implants, first approved in 2014 by the FDA. We expect to have good longevity with these implants.
The number you hear about 10 years being the lifespan of any type of implant is arbitrary. There are plenty of implants out there that have doubled or even tripled that lifespan.
You can expect to need to replace any type of insert at least once or twice in your lifetime, depending upon how old you are when you first have augmentation. But because Ideal Implants are filled with saline, our patients aren’t concerned about possible rupture down the road, as the body has no problems with the saltwater that is released.
Incision length varies depending upon the size of the silicone implants, but incisions to place silicone implants are always larger than with the Ideal Implant. Why is this? Silicone implants are filled at the manufacturing facility, and you purchase them based on the cubic centimeters of silicone gel used to fill them. For instance, a common size would be 350 cc implants.
Ideal Implants, because they are filled with saline solution, require a far smaller incision. This is because they are placed empty and are filled through two valves once in position in the breast pocket created by Dr. Steinbacher. They can be placed with very small incisions because they are rolled up (think of a cigar) for placement and are then opened and filled once in place.
Recovery from breast augmentation surgery with Dr. Derek Steinbacher is not that difficult. Plus, thanks to the shorter incision needed to place Ideal Implants, healing is even less of an issue.
You’ll return home a couple hours after your surgery. You’ll have bandages on your breasts and will be wearing a surgical bra for support. You’ll need pain medication for 2-4 days, but the pain isn’t overwhelming. You’ll return to our offices one day after surgery, and Dr. Steinbacher will remove your dressing. At this point, he will demonstrate breast massage techniques that will relax the muscle and help the implants settle into their breast pockets. This type of postoperative massage has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of capsular contracture (where scar tissue contracts and hardens around the implant) and decrease discomfort.
Most patients can return to work approximately 3-5 days after surgery. Your sutures will be removed after one week. You’ll wear a support bra 24 hours a day for one month after your surgery so as not to place any stress on your incisions. Normal activities can resume in 1-2 weeks, but any impact exercise will need to wait for one month. Upper body exercise, such as lifting weights, will need to wait for six weeks.
If the IDEAL IMPLANT ruptures, the body absorbs the harmless saline. Alongside this benefit, you have the confidence of knowing that your implants are intact just by simply looking in the mirror. In contrast, if a silicone gel implant ruptures, it is “silent” and will not be detected by looking in the mirror. Current silicone gel implants have shown to have a high rate of rupture based on MRI scans.
The IDEAL IMPLANT has been in clinical use since February 2009, at the start of the clinical trial. By February 2010, 502 women received the IDEAL IMPLANT from 45 board certified plastic surgeon investigators nationwide. In clinical follow-up over five years, patient and surgeon satisfaction with the outcome has been high and the capsule contracture rate has been low.
Ruptures of silicone gel implants are silent – looking in the mirror does not tell you if your implants are intact or ruptured. With these findings, the FDA often recommends a MRI scan every two years for detection. But with IDEAL IMPLANT, you know your breast implants are intact by simply glancing in the mirror. If a patient finds a rupture, this is extremely apparent due to the body absorbing the harmless saline.
Your Breast Augmentation consultation with Dr. Steinbacher will be very thorough, so he can tailor his approach to your unique situation. If you have questions about the IDEAL IMPLANT, please bring them with you when you meet with Dr. Steinbacher. You can request a consultation online to meet personally with Dr. Steinbacher, or call his office at (203) 453-6635 to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Derek Steinbacher has devoted his life to aesthetic and life-changing surgery. He is an artistic and meticulous surgeon who draws patients from around the world due to his perspective, unmatched skill, and exceptional results. He is able to uniquely address the face (facelift + rejuvenation), jawline (orthognathic; chin; contouring; implants), nasal (rhinoplasty), eyelids, profile, neck, breast, and body with one-of-a-kind results.
He is a multiple Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained Plastic, Cosmetic, and Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgeon. He is Fellow of the most prestigious surgical organizations, including the Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery, Societies of Craniofacial and Maxillofacial Surgery, the Aesthetic Society, and the Rhinoplasty Society. He has served as Full-Professor of Plastic Surgery at Yale, including Director of the Cleft and Craniofacial Program, and Chief of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Dr. Steinbacher has unparalleled training at premier institutions, including Harvard and Johns Hopkins. His perspective brings together the best aspects of many distinct – but related fields – and it is this intersection of scope and expertise, in addition to an artistic eye, which enables excellent comprehensive results.
Dr. Steinbacher's approach: technical acumen, meticulousness, and penchant for combining art and science, together with his eye for balance, beauty, and harmony, helps achieve outcomes that greatly improve a person's confidence, health, and overall quality of life. Patients can trust that they are always in good hands!