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Surgeon Match

Try Before You Buy

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Celebrities may flaunt what God – or an expensive Beverly Hills plastic surgeon – gave them.  But not every woman feels comfortable talking about the topic of “boob jobs” with friends, family, or co-workers, especially if she has felt self-conscious about her breasts since adolescence.  For decades, the taboo or sensitive nature of the topic made it difficult for many women who could have benefited – both physically and psychologically – from breast reconstruction or enlargement to find adequate and accurate information about these procedures and the saline or silicone implants that are used. 

The advent of the internet made it possible for women to learn about the risks and benefits of procedures, find surgeons in their area, browse through before-and-after images of women with body types like their own, and decide between options for implants, incisions, and other aspects in the comfort and safety of their own homes.  Some physicians and even websites have offered software that creates a three dimensional version of a woman and produces models of what she might look like with various implant sizes and profiles. But until recently, no one had figured out a way to give women the chance to get a firsthand, personal experience with different types of implants without having to confess to anyone that she did.

The new solution comes from breast-implant manufacturer Allergan.  Their branded “Natrelle” line of implants can be tested by a prospective patient in the privacy of her bedroom with the “Natrelle Pre-Consultation Kit.”  The kit, which runs about $45 with shipping and handling factored in, includes four sample breast implants and a profile bra; the bra allows a woman who is interested in getting breast implants for breast reconstruction or augmentation to re-envision her wardrobe while wearing the implants that are provided with the kit.  Additionally, the kit has an educational booklet and DVD.  Specifically, the DVD offers before-and-after images and walks the viewer through a consultation to give a woman an idea of what to expect – and what to ask – when she schedules her first appointment. Finally, the kit includes rebates valued at $50 (making the kit “free”) for women who opt for Natrelle silicone gel implants when they ultimately undergo surgery.

The kit is not intended to replace the professional opinions of a plastic surgeon. The main goal is to make women feel more comfortable talking about breast implants – and eventually having their bust lines enhanced by a qualified cosmetic surgeon – through education and maybe even a bit of fun.  The kits an be purchased through the brand’s website: www.natrelle.com.

Allergan makes both saline and silicone Natrelle implants in, according to the company’s website, over 140 combinations of shapes and styles.  Another major U.S. manufacturer of breast implants is Mentor Corporation, which produces saline and MemoryGel-brand silicone implants. Mentor Corporation’s implants are also made in a range of shapes and sizes.  Sientra also produces and distributes saline- and silicone-gel filled implants in the United States, including pre-filled saline implants. These are sold under the Silimed brand name.