Ideal Implant

IDEAL diagram

The IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant has the natural feel that women want and many advantages over silicone gel implants. After years of research, engineering and product development — including the contributions of clinical expertise from Board Certified plastic surgeons — the IDEAL IMPLANT has been in use since 2009 and is approved by the FDA and Health Canada.  Read Dr. Mahony’s personal viewpoint on the IDEAL implant here.

This article, IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants: Core Study Results at 6 Years, from the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal, digs into the details on the IDEAL implants.

IDEAL IMPLANT Clinical Advantages

  • Structured Saline implant that feels like gel
  • Lowest capsule contracture rate on the market
  • Higher rupture strength; lowest leak rate on the market
  • Smaller incision
  • Easy to remove

IDEAL IMPLANT Filler Advantages

  • Only saline inside for peace of mind
  • Safety of saline: same physiologic concentration of our body’s saline
  • Saline is harmlessly absorbed by the body
  • Look in the mirror and know implants are intact: no MRI needed

IDEAL IMPLANT Rupture Advantages*

  • No risk of silicone gel in tissues
  • No MRI scans needed to detect ruptures
  • No silent ruptures
  • All aspects of replacement for a simple leak are covered under warranty


*Intact silicone gel implants are FDA-approved and safe. However, if ruptured, the FDA says the “implant and any gel should be removed.” Since these ruptures are silent, an MRI scan is recommended every two years to detect rupture.



I never knew that there were pretty significant risks with regular gel implants. How can I be sure that I’m making the right choice for my health and my desire for a more proportional look for my chest?

You can rest easy knowing that I’m an IDEAL IMPLANT Premier Surgeon precisely because of my knowledge and experience with IDEAL implants.  My consultation is focused on educating patients on the differences between gel and IDEAL.  It’s not a surprise that upon learning the comparative issues, women choose IDEAL.

I recommend this implant choice to more of my patients than any other type of implant. While many years ago women didn’t ask as many questions about the safety of their implants, that is no longer the case. Women want to be sure they are selecting the safest option when considering breast augmentation and have often researched and read an amazing amount of information before we meet in our initial consultation. You deserve peace of mind and don’t want to have to worry every time you look in the mirror that you’ve made a mistake.

Is there really that much difference in the look and feel of the IDEAL IMPLANT and other saline implants? Aren’t they all pretty much the same?

In my experience there is a pretty big difference between IDEAL and other saline implants. Traditional saline implants don’t have the double-walled structure of the IDEAL implant which gives Ideal a more natural feel, controls the movement of the saline and reduces the rippling and wrinkling often found with traditional saline implants. The series of chambers holds up better over the long term which is a big advantage to have “under the surface” as you age, and your skin naturally thins and stretches.

How should I prepare to have my silicone implants replaced with IDEAL impants?

I’m so happy to hear that you’ve made the smart decision to proactively switch out your implants to a safer option. I have been doing many of these procedures for women like you who want to make sure they are choosing the safest option for their implants and, frankly, don’t want the anxiety and expense of annual MRIs to check for leaks! Read more about preparing for surgery on the IDEAL implant website. They’ve got some great advice!

Are the new IDEAL implants more expensive than standard saline implants or gel implants?

That’s a great question since most people assume a new innovation equals a higher cost. The really good news with IDEAL implants is that they are very cost effective. They are priced at just $750 per implant which is only a little more than the price for a standard saline implant and quite a bit less than a gel implant. I think the pricing is another way that the folks at IDEAL show just how committed they are to getting this safe, natural-feeling implant into the market. It really is a game changer!

I already have gel implants and have had no problems with them. Do you recommend women with gel implants consider replacing them with IDEAL implants? What does “silent rupture” mean?

I’m happy to hear that you are having no obvious issues with your gel implants.

As part of your consideration to replace your gel implants, it’s important to know how long you have had them, the manufacturer and model.  Also you would want to review your warranty information.  If you have had an MRI, it is helpful to have the report and films with you.  Gel implant leaks may be related to how the shell of the implant is designed such that it lacks uniform thickness throughout.  This irregularity in thickness contributes to folds in the implant which become weak spots and break down, leaking gel. In addition, be aware that replacement may include some significant out of pocket costs beyond your warranty coverage, depending on whether a “Silent Rupture” has occurred.  This is a good time for me to comment on the reality of what a Silent Rupture actually means to you.

First, it is important to recognize that an MRI is not useful in screening for leaks. I have yet to obtain an MRI that accurately reflected the status of a gel implant correctly, so relying on it to assure your safety is a mistake.  Second, a Silent Rupture/Leak is not silent at all.  As it turns out, gel can still be in contact with your tissue and cause not only a capsular contracture but also effect the muscle and breast tissue such that removing the implant and capsule necessarily includes removing some portion of damaged breast and muscle tissue.  Depending on the degree of surgery required, it is not uncommon to stage what actually becomes a breast reconstruction into two different operations.  One, to remove the ruptured gel implant, the gel and any involved tissue.  And the second is to do a second breast augmentation.  These costs are not covered under warranty.  In summary, most women do not know they have a leaking implant due to the fact that the MRI is useless as a diagnostic test and the leak will not be obvious to you until other issues arise such as pain, a tight chest or an overly firm/hard implant.  By that time, you are already predictably into expenses in dollars, time out of work and loss of peace of mind.

In comparison, the IDEAL implant provides all the safety criteria that one could want as well as the same aesthetic outcome that was believed to be the selling point of gel. Due to its double wall shell and saline fill, the risks of leaks and complex capsular contractures  are extremely low- in fact lower than any other implant on the market today. Replacement is a straight forward procedure. Plus, it offers a lifetime warranty.

I am sure that this is new information to many and as this data has become clear, we are talking about this quite a bit at our national meetings- so you will hear more over time. In my practice we have more women than ever before asking to remove and replace their gel implants due to their concerns about health and safety.  Hopefully this information will help guide you as you weigh out this complex decision.  In my own opinion, I would choose the implant that offers me ultimate safety first as well as a great aesthetic result, and thus far, there is only Ideal in the line up.  Please call for an appointment if you would like more information about your particular situation.

What is ALCL??  I’ve been hearing about it on the internet and the news.  I have textured gel implants, should I be concerned?

BIA-ALCL stands for Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma.  This is a T-Cell lymphoma that can occur following breast augmentation with textured walled gel implants.  It is a non-Hodgkins lymphoma that effects the immune system.  It seems to appear several years post surgery and may appear as an enlarged breast or as fluid around the implant.  Although this was originally thought to be a very rare occurrence, we are seeing it now in greater numbers. This type of lymphoma requires immediate attention and typically involves surgery and subsequent chemotherapy.

It has not been seen with saline implants or smooth walled implants.

If you have implants of this type, it is important to visit your surgeon for evaluation and plan for a follow up visit plan.  The option to remove your implants and replace with another type is one that many women are requesting.