David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253

Silicone Breast Implants

Over 98% of the women we see in our office decide to use silicone implants rather than saline. We recommend Natrelle Inspira silicone breast implants from Allergan.

The Facts About Silicone Implants

In the early 1990’s, silicone breast implants were removed from the market due to safety concerns but the data that has been gathered since that time has proven these implants to be safe. This data was gathered over 14 years through an adjunct study that allowed the use of silicone implants for only very select patients. Dr. Reath was one of the plastic surgeons who participated in this study, and has been using silicone cohesive gel breast implants ever since.

We can offer silicone breasts implants to our breast augmentation patients, who visit from in and around Knoxville, as well as Johnson City, Cookeville, Cleveland, and beyond, as long as they are over the age of 22. (The reason for this is that the FDA feels that in some women breast development may not be complete until age 22.) Silicone implants can also be used in women of any age seeking breast reconstruction, or the correction of developmental abnormalities, including breast asymmetry.

Four Advantages of Silicone Breast Implants

  •     They are softer and have a more natural feel.
  •     They have a slightly lower deflation rate.
  •     They don’t ripple.
  •     They are more easily used above the muscle (subglandular).

The Downside of Silicone Breast Implants

  •     It is harder to detect when they rupture.
  •     They require a longer incision.
  •     They cost more.
  •     The filler could be considered “less physiologic”.

Video Demonstration

The best way to illustrate the properties of a silicone cohesive gel implant is by watching this brief video. In it Dr. Reath and Mandi cut a Natrelle cohesive gel silicone implant in half so you can see what’s inside the outer shell. (Not easy to do, by the way. Thank goodness they got it done in one take.)

You can see how the silicone gel material holds together uniformly (no leaking) while still retaining the natural give of breast tissue.

Now available: “SoftTouch” silicone implants

All of the silicone implants plastic surgeons work with are cohesive gel implants, but some are more cohesive than others. Breast implant manufacturers have been using cross-linking technology to create more implant options that may work well in different circumstances. 

Recently, Allergan has introduced round implants with greater cohesivity. Dr. Reath’s favorite of these are the SoftTouch implants. The advantage of this increased cohesivity is to have greater fullness in the upper breast (referred to in medicalese as “upper pole fullness.”)

Soft touch implants

In breast lift patients, maintaining this upper pole fullness is always a challenge depending upon the amount of natural breast tissue present. These newer implants may well help with this desired fullness, which is why he has started using them in most breast lift patients.

Have you read our free ebook? “A Girlfriend’s Guide to Breast Augmentation” is 40-pages of everything you need to know about breast augmentation… plus some fun stuff to lighten things up! It’s written by some girlfriends in the know…Dr Reath’s office staff. It’s a must-read for anyone considering breast augmentation.

Download Our Free E-Book! A Girlfriend's Guide to Breast Augmentation Download Now

David B. Reath, MD

Board-certified plastic surgeon David B. Reath, MD is renowned for his surgical skills and his commitment to public education. Practicing in Knoxville, Tennessee since 1986, his personal approach with patients is what truly sets him apart.

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Trans-Umbilical Breast Augmentation: Never an Option with Silicone
Recently we have gotten some questions about breast augmentation through the belly button which is known as trans-umbilical breast augmentation or “TUBA”. This is a procedure that Dr. Reath does not perform or recommend. In fact, this approach is not even an option for silicone breast implants. To understand more, read Dr. Reath’s recent blog post:

Breast Augmentation: The Incision Decision

There are many important questions to answer and decisions to be made when considering breast augmentation. Such as saline or silicone? Over or under the muscle? What size implant? And, where to place the incision. This last question is one that I have been asked a lot, but as of yet I haven’t explained my … Read more »

The History of Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants were first introduced in 1962 (first produced by Dow Corning). Both the outer shell and the silicone used to fill the implants have been much improved over the the generations. For example, changes in the shell have proven to decrease the silicone “bleed,” (the amount of silicone that is shed by the implant) while the silicone fill has become more cohesive during the development and generations of implants. These changes explain why in a recent study, scientists found more traces of silicone in canned infant formula than in breast milk from augmented patients with silicone implants!

We currently use the round Fourth generation (1993 to present) silicone breast implants for most of our patients. They contain a cohesive silicone gel in a thick, low bleed shell. Although the FDA approval for cosmetic breast augmentation is recent, don’t be concerned that the Fourth Generation implants are new to us. They are the same ones we have been using in the study patients. So you can be confident that they are safe. Also, Dr. Reath has been using silicone implants since 1986 (even longer than this if you consider his training) he has extensive history with silicone implants.

A fifth generation of shaped highly cohesive form stable implants (gummy bear implants) are now available for our patients. They are more expensive than our regular silicone breast implants (our cost is $510 more for each implant). Although they are highly promoted by the implant manufacturers, Dr. Reath is not convinced that they make much of a difference in most women.

At the recent meeting of the American Society of Aesthetic Surgeons he was in a meeting where a group of about 250 Board-certified plastic surgeons were shown before and after photos of patients and asked to vote electronically on whether patients had shaped or round implants. They got it right 46% of the time, and they are the experts. Here is a link to the blog where he reveals the inside story:

Shaped vs Round Breast Implants: Can You Tell The Difference?

Highly cohesive breast implants are getting a lot of play in the media and at the meetings I attend. I’ve also noticed a real push from the breast implant manufacturers to persuade us to use these in our practice. They even have a cute, catchy nickname: gummy bear implants. But the question in the minds … Read more »

Now that you know the differences in the implants themselves, you can understand that there are not inserted the same way and they behave differently after the surgery too. Especially if you are considering silicone implants, make sure your doctor has experience working with them.

Have a question about silicone breast implants? Ask Dr. Reath.
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Breast Augmentation: Helpful Pages On Our Site

The Latest Breast Implants Posts from Dr. Reath's Blog

  • Breast Implants: How To Know When You’re Going Too Big

    From the Blog

    A recent phenomenon that I have noticed is that women are choosing larger and larger breast implants when having breast augmentation. The average implant size has gradually increased over the years that I have been performing breast augmentation here in Knoxville, TN. I am left with 2 questions: is there an upper limit in sight? … Read more »
  • My Top 10 Most Important Blog Posts (So Far)

    From the Blog

    Back in November of 2009, I started my Facebook page, got my first smart phone, and wrote my first blog post. Since then, we have been honored with over 11,500 facebook fans and our practice You Tube channel has 273 videos with over 680,000 views. Pretty amazing, right? Now, eight years later, I have written almost 300 … Read more »
  • How the New Opiod Law Affects Your Recovery (and our brilliant solution for leftover pills)

    From the Blog

    On July 1 of this year, our state legislature passed “The Tennessee Together Plan”, which regulates the use and prescription of narcotic pain medications. The intent of this law is certainly laudable: to curb the overuse of opioids such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxycontin, and fentanyl, to name a few. Certainly, as a state we need … Read more »

Meet Mandi Millsaps, M.A.

Mandi Breast Augmentation Specialist

If you have a breast augmentation with Dr. Reath, prepare for Mandi to become your new BFF. Whenever you read a glowing review of our practice online, it’s likely that you will see Mandi mentioned by name. Kind, caring and detail-oriented, Mandi has been a patient favorite since she started with our practice in 2002. Working side by side with Dr. Reath, Mandi takes the time during clinic to listen to our breast augmentation patients while kindly and expertly guiding them through the surgery process.

Mandi is famously known as a “sizer sister” because of her close work with our breast augmentation patients. She has literally helped thousands of women pick out the size of their breast implants. She will not steer you wrong.

Where she really shines is in our pre-op appointments. Mandi is the one who will help you finalize all the details prior to your surgery from what vitamins to take to when you can shower afterward. Her experience, patience and hand-holding are so reassuring to patients who are a little nervous just before and right after their surgery.

Mandi received her degree in Health Care Administration in 2001, has been a member of the American Registry of Medical Assistants since 2003 and is an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses.

“I feel very blessed to work for such an honorable physician. Seeing amazing results and positive changes in our patients makes my job so fulfilling.”

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A Girlfriend's Guide to Breast Augmentation A Girlfriend's Guide to Breast Augmentation

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