Offering a low rate of complications, POLYTECH polyurethane implants are the optimal choice for superior aesthetic shape and safety.
While POLYTECH implants are fast becoming the implants of tomorrow, the high standards, quality and reliability of the German-made implants is nothing new.
Manufactured and packaged in Germany and distributed in Australia by JT Medical, the micropolyurethane-coated implants offer a reliable and long-lasting option for breast reconstruction and augmentation.
Melbourne plastic and reconstructive surgeon Associate Professor Bruce Johnstone exclusively uses POLYTECH implants for breast reconstruction, describing it as a reliable implant with a significantly lower risk of complications.
Lower Risk of Complications
As with any surgery, the primary aim is to minimise risks and complications. Polyurethane-coated implants have been shown to have considerably lower results in capsular contracture rates in comparison to conventional smooth or textured implants.
“The main benefit with polyurethane-coated implants is that the rate of capsular contracture is signifi cantly lower, which is very important for breast reconstruction patients, especially when they are undergoing radiotherapy which is associated with a higher risk of capsular contracture,” says A/P Johnstone. “The collagen fibres wrap around the individual foam struts of the implant and are not aligned end on end, unlike smooth implants where the collagen fibres wrap themselves around the implant with ease.”
“Breast reconstruction constitutes around 80% of the surgeries I perform, and the mastectomy patients I see have immune systems that have been knocked around with chemotherapy, and then they often need to have radiation. This is why polyurethane implants are ideal – they can deliver the right scar tissue around the implants without resulting in capsular contracture.”
According to a study by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Stefano Pompei in the European Journal of Publication in 2011, for a patient having a breast reconstruction with textured silicone implant whilst also undergoing irradiation, a grade 3 and 4 risk of capsular contracture is 22%.
Contrastingly, if a patient is having breast reconstruction with polyurethane implants and is undergoing irradiation, there is a 6.3% risk of capsular contracture.
“Statistically, this is quite a significant difference,” says A/P Johnstone. “And if you look at a breast reconstruction with textured silicone implants and the absence of irradiation, 8.3% will experience capsular contracture, but with polyurethane and the absence of irradiation, 0% will experience capsular contracture.”
“Up to about five years after a breast reconstruction with textured implants, around 10% of patients will experience capsular contracture, whilst for polyurethane implants this rate is 1%.”
Polyurethane implants not only have a significantly lower risk in capsular contracture, but the polyurethane coating also helps resist rotation, a common problem with anatomical implants. It also prevents excessive friction between the implant and the surrounding tissue, thereby reducing haematoma and seroma formation.
“Simply put, polyurethane implants don’t move. There is no space around the implant, meaning tissues are bonded to the implant itself, which helps to prevent seroma formation and therefore lymphoma,” says A/P Johnstone.
Protocol & Technique
The shell of POLYTECH implants consists of several layers of silicone. Each implant is also equipped with a diffusion barrier, which is designed to prevent the gel from permeating through the shell into surrounding tissue.
The medical-grade silicone gel used to fill POLYTECH implants is form-stable and returns to its original shape after moderate mechanical impact. In terms of tactility and movement, it is designed to closely resemble the natural breast.
A/P Johnstone emphasises that surgical precision, careful planning and correct pre-surgery protocol are imperative when using POLYTECH implants.
“It is critical to get the implant in the right place, because if you don’t it will stick to the rib cage,” he explains. “You have to be absolutely precise. Have your patient stand up and mark out the areas, because once they are lying down the other breast may move up or look different. There is a fairly sharp learning curve.”
“Instead of placing the POLYTECH implant under the pectoral muscle, a somewhat exciting technique that I have been using is to insert it under the skin. I find this causes less capsular contracture and, in my opinion, exhibits a better aesthetic result.”
POLYTECH has a wide variety of shapes and sizes of silicone implants to create the most appropriate breast shape for each patient, and they have evolved to offer a wide range of unusual shapes or sizes on request. “And if JT Medical doesn’t stock a particular implant, they’ll order them directly from Germany in a quick and efficient manner,” adds A/P Johnstone.
“Ten years ago, people would say if you’re having radiotherapy you can’t have implants – that was the belief. But we made it work; with an experienced breast surgeon and quality implants, good results can be achieved. “
“If we can do a little rebuilding and help women feel more confident by using the correct principles and implants, then it really makes it worthwhile,” he concludes.