Facebook Page about Polyurethane Foam Covered Breast Implants

Sep 13, 2011 by

I was hunting around, doing some reading about Polyurethane foam implants and stumbled on a Facebook page from a clinic in Australia with loads of information about Polyurethane foam covered breast implants. While I enjoy my privacy and am no fan of Facebook, this page was very well done. Note- I do not know the clinic that created this page and am not endorsing the clinic or implant company listed in the article….I have not received any compensation from either this clinic or anyone mentioned in the article.

Below I have copied a good deal of the information from the page, you can see the entire page here.The information includes references to a number of studies that have been reviewed and accepted and that are very relevant. It is obvious this clinic was very happy to use polyurethane foam covered silicone gel breast implant and has achieved some good results- I find the remarks about implant disposition very interesting, this clinic writes about the challenges if a tear drop shaped textured breast implant moves or rotates, a very good point that I had not reviewed.

Here is their write up:

The most significant recent addition to the range of Breast Implants available in Australia is the extensive range of Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Gel implants. Manufactured in Brazil by Silimed, these implants have been approved for use by the Australian Government’s regulatory body, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Polyurethane Foam-Covered implants contain the same cohesive silicone gel as other silicone implants, the only difference being the 1mm layer of Polyurethane Foam that is bonded to the implant wall. In other words, only the surface is different. This layer of Polyurethane Foam gives the implants a “furry” feel – hence their colloquial name “Furry Brazilians”!

The VERY SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGES of Polyurethane Foam-Covered implants for patients is the dramatic reduction of the two commonest reasons for corrective surgery after Breast Augmentation: Capsular Contracture and Implant Displacement*.

Capsular Contracture

Every breast implant becomes completely surrounded by a soft fibrous envelope called the ‘capsule’. Capsular Contracture occurs when this normally undetectable fibrous envelope undergoes contracture and shrinks in a fashion similar to ‘shrink wrap’. This compresses the implant causing it to feel firm, often distorting its shape as well. Revision surgery is required to correct this. Capsular Contracture is reportedly the commonest reason for repeat surgery after breast augmentation*. The Allergan Core Study completed in the USA in 2008, reported that 16.8% of women with traditional Smooth or Textured implants had developed Capsular Contracture within 8 years after their Breast Augmentation.

In contrast, Polyurethane Foam-covered implants have a dramatically lower risk of Capsular Contracture of around 1%. The Polyurethane Foam achieves this by providing a lattice work for the collagen fibres in the capsule to grow into and wrap themselves around the individual strands of Polyurethane. In this way the collagen fibres of the capsule are no longer lined up on each other end-to-end as occurs with Smooth and Textured implants, so there is much less chance of the collagen fibres contracting like ‘shrink wrap’.

Hereunder, are just three of many reports on the ability of Polyurethane-Covered Silicone Implants to reduce the risk of post-operative Capsular Contracture:

  1. Dr Guillermo Vazquez, a Plastic Surgeon in Argentina, reported his experience using these implants in 1,257 patients over an 18 year period. He concluded:“Polyurethane coated silicone gel implants …. are the best option for augmentation mammoplasty and have the lowest incidence of fibrous Capsular Contraction (1%)”Source: Vazquez, G. Polyurethane-Coated Silicone Gel Breast Implants Used for 18 years. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2007.
  2. Dr Neal Handel, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery in Los Angeles reviewed all of the breast implant patients from his practice covering the period 1981-2004. 345 smooth implants, 618 textured and 568 polyurethane foam covered implants were used. Dr Handel reported:“Based on analysis of our data, we conclude that the contracture rate after all types of breast surgery is dramatically lower with polyurethane foam covered implants than with smooth or textured implants”“There is nothing…to suggest that polyurethane foam, or its in vivo breakdown products, pose a threat to the health or safety of patients. Polyurethane implants have measurable advantages over smooth and mechanically textured gel-filled prostheses and do not appear to be associated with an increased risk of complications or morbidity.” Source: Handel, N. Long–term safety and efficacy of polyurethane foam-covered breast implants. Aesthetic Surgery Journal Vol.26 2006
  3. Dr Roderick Hester, Dr John Tebbetts and Dr Patrick Maxwell from Georgia, Dallas and Nashville respectively, reviewed the literature on and their experience with polyurethane covered breast implants. The senior author concluded“During the span of this author’s practice, he has never been able to match the number and quality of superior results exemplified by these patients when using other devices.”Source: Hester T.R., Tebbbets, J. Maxwell, G.P. The polyurethane-covered mammary prosthesis: Facts and fiction (II). Clinics in Plastic Surgery Vol.28 2001.

Implant Descent & Rotation of ‘Tear Drop’ (Anatomical) Implants

Descent of an implant from its original position has always been a risk of smooth and textured implants and is the second commonest reason for revision surgery after Breast Augmentation*.

Rotation of a ROUND implant is of no concern because being round, rotation cannot produce any deformity. However, descent of a ROUND implant (be it Smooth or Textured) will produce a deformity and requires surgery to return the implant to its original position.

In contrasts, rotation of a ‘TEAR DROP’ implant will produce a deformity and further surgery is required to return the implant to its former position.

The unique advantage of Polyurethane Foam-Covered implants is that the unique Polyurethane surface grips to the surrounding capsule like ‘Velcro’. Accordingly, the risk of implant descent or rotation is dramatically reduced. This translates into a reduced risk of needing future revision surgery.

Prior to the introduction of Polyurethane Foam-Covered implants, many patients were wary of choosing ‘Tear Drop’ Implants because of the risk of rotation – even though they may have preferred the more natural shape they offered over Round Implants.

Now, however, with the greatly reduced risk of rotation with Polyurethane ‘Tear Drop’ implants, more of our patients are choosing ‘Tear Drop’ over Round Implants because of the natural shape they offer without the risk of rotation traditionally associated with non-Polyurethane ‘Tear Drop’ implants.

*Source: Allergan Core Study, 2008


Are Polyurethane Foam-Covered Implants New?

Polyurethane Foam-Covered implants are not new. They were first introduced in 1970 and have been in use throughout the world ever since. However, they were only approved by Australia’s regulatory body, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, in 2008.

Are They Safe?

Yes. Since their introduction in 1970, there have been more than 60 papers published in learned journals around the world in relation to these implants. These papers have confirmed their safety and reduced rate of Capsular Contracture.

Are They Likely to be Available in the Size and Shape I Want?

Yes. The current range of Silimed Polyurethane surface implants is very extensive. Implants are available in many sizes and many shapes – round, tear- drop, conical and oval.

What If My Surgeon Does Not Use These Implants?

Sadly, not all Breast Augmentation Surgeons are currently offering to patients the choice of Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants. Based on the overwhelming evidence of the major benefits of these implants over traditional Smooth and Textured Silicone implants, we believe that every patient intending to have a Breast Augmentation should at least be given the choice of Polyurethane Silicone Implants. If you find that the surgeon you are seeing does not offer these to you as an implant option, you owe it to yourself to find one that will.

What Guarantees Are There With Polyurethane Surface Implants?

Silimed offers a lifetime warranty against any rupture of the implant wall. In the event of wall rupture, a new Silimed Polyurethane Silicone Implant will be made available to the doctor through its Distributor, Device Technology.

Silimed also offers full implant replacement for up to 10 years in the case of Capsular Contracture (Baker Grade III or IV), implant rotation and implant displacement.

These warranties do not cover the costs of a new operation, but only offer to replace the Polyurethane Implant.


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