Mentor Corporation was founded in 1969 as a small urology company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Company started with four employees and initial capital of $50,000 and went public in 1970. The product line introduced in the first year consisted of several electronic laboratory instruments for the detection and measurement of the electrical activity of nerve cells and neural systems, and development began on new devices to control urological disorders by electrical nerve stimulation.
Mentor's involvement in urology led to the development of new disposable products for managing urinary control problems. In 1984, Mentor acquired the Heyer-Schulte division of American Hospital Supply located in Santa Barbara, California. The acquisition more than doubled Mentor's sales and diversified its product lines. Heyer-Schulte produced several implantable products, including breast implants, and gave Mentor a leading position in the plastic surgery market. Mentor moved its headquarters from Minneapolis to the Heyer-Schulte facilities in Santa Barbara in 1985.
In 1990, Mentor acquired Mentor O&O, an ophthalmology product manufacturer based in Boston. In 1999, Mentor divested the ophthalmology division as a strategic decision to concentrate its future efforts in plastic and reconstructive surgery and urology where the Company had strong market leadership.
In May of 2006, Mentor divested the urology business in order to enhance shareholder value and focus more fully on expanding the company’s global position in the fast-growing field of aesthetic medicine. In November of 2006, Mentor received FDA approval for its MemoryGel® (silicone gel-filled) breast implants for use in breast augmentation and reconstruction surgery. Since the approval, the popularity of silicone gel-filled products has grown tremendously.
Mentor has a long history of being a global company. International sales rose steadily during the 1980s, and took a dramatic leap in 1991 following the opening of direct sales offices in Germany, Australia, United Kingdom and Canada. In 1993, the Company selected a European manufacturing site in Leiden, The Netherlands, which became operational in 1994. In 2007, Mentor acquired French breast implant manufacturer Perouse Plastie to expand its product portfolio and international market leadership. Mentor now has manufacturing and research operations in the United States, The Netherlands, Mauritius, and France.
Mentor’s Aesthetics franchise also includes the Byron line of lipoplasty products for body contouring and the Caromed® line of post-surgical garments to help the healing process. In addition, Mentor offers a unique practice management service called Mentor Solutions. Mentor Solutions provides software for analyzing aesthetic practice business processes and consulting services to help drive revenue and growth for clients. Mentor recently expanded into the cosmetic dermatology market with the addition of Prevelle® Silk, a hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler that includes lidocaine to reduce the pain of injection. This product is the first in a line of “comfort” based HA products. Mentor is developing Purtox®, a highly purified botulinum toxin product in which is in Phase III clinical trials in the US.
Mentor is the leader in the Global Aesthetic and Reconstructive surgery marketplace and is dedicated to developing, manufacturing and marketing science-based products for surgical and non-surgical medical procedures. These procedures allow patients to retain a more youthful appearance and improve the quality of their lives.
On Jan 23, 2009, Mentor was acquired by Johnson & Johnson and is a stand-alone business unit reporting through ETHICON, Inc. a Johnson & Johnson company and leading provider of suture, mesh, hemostats and other products for a wide range of surgical procedures. By joining forces, we aspire to be the trusted global leader in aesthetic medicine among both consumers and professionals by providing a broad range of innovative, science and clinical-based solutions to maintain, enhance, and restore self-esteem and quality of life. Simply said, our mission is to make life more beautiful.