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Ideal Implants- What Do you Do If you Have Them?

By: Dr. Glenn Lyle


The Ideal Implant was introduced in 2006.  It was a novel type of saline implant with multiple shells with internal baffles to reduce rippling and provide better internal integrity.  The company was founded by a plastic surgeon and the device was touted to provide the natural feel of the silicone gel breast implant with the safety features of a saline implant.  The primary benefit being that if the implant leaked it would be immediately noticeable and no specific radiographic imaging would be necessary.  It became more popular over the years.  However, in May 2023, the company announced cessation of all operations stating that they were unable to obtain enough investment to generate a profit.  Patients with the device no longer had any coverage from the warranty for rupture or capsular contracture.  This warranty covered the implant for these problems over a 10-year period.  The company did receive a warning letter from the FDA in 2020 with concerns that they were not addressing patient complaints properly and had some manufacturing flaws.  One of the issues was deflation of one of the chambers which would cause a partial deflation which is not common with a single lumen saline device. These implants have 2 separate self-sealing fill valves, and it is possible that the more complex design lead to more issues with leakage.

This 31-year-old woman had the Ideal Implant placed just 7 years ago.  Recently, she noted a change in the left breast described as feeling " less full".  Dr. Lyle evaluated her and determined that a partial deflation had occurred.  Unfortunately, the company does not provide the patient with a replacement implant.  The patient decided upon silicone gel breast implants and was very satisfied with her replacement.  Generally, when this occurs in the absence of encapsulation the replacement is quite simple with minimal recovery.  Although the implant was supposed to feel just as good as a silicone gel device, Dr. Lyle never felt this was entirely true.  Although it did have some advantages over standard saline devices, it was still more palpable than a silicone gel implant.  Most patients who developed a deflation of their devices have had their implants changed to silicone gel breast implants.  Fortunately, these implants have improved warranties, but patient still should have some form of imaging such as ultrasound or MRI done periodically as leakage is not clinically apparent in many cases.

Women who have had this implant who develop problems should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon familiar with these devices.  Surgical options include replacement with a saline device or a silicone gel device.  Fortunately, leakage of the saline is a harmless event with the body naturally absorbing the leaking saline.  Because the device has 2 chambers it frequently does not deflate completely so the changes can be more subtle.  Although it is not an emergency, prompt replacement is beneficial as the body's natural tendency is to shrink the capsule around the implant which sometimes requires manipulation of the normal capsule during implant exchange which can affect symmetry.

Partially Deflated Ideal Impla

This image shows a very subtle change in the left breast implant. It had a partial deflation from a Ideal implant.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.