Biocompatible polyhydroxyalkanoate compositions with controlled degradation rates have been developed. In one embodiment, the polyhydroxyalkanoates contain additives to alter the degradation rates. In another embodiment, the polyhydroxyalkanoates are formed of mixtures of monomers or include pendant groups or modifications in their backbones to alter their degradation rates. In still another embodiment, the polyhydroxyalkanoates are chemically modified. Methods for manufacturing the devices which increase porosity or exposed surface area can be used to alter degradability. For example, as demonstrated by the examples, porous polyhydroxyalkanoates can be made using methods that creates pores, voids, or interstitial spacing, such as an emulsion or spray drying technique, or which incorporate leachable or lyophilizable particles within the polymer. Examples describe poly(4HB) compositions including foams, coatings, meshes, and microparticles. As demonstrated by the examples, these polyhydroxyalkanoate compositions have extremely favorable mechanical properties, as well as are biocompatible and degrade within desirable time frames under physiological conditions. These polyhydroxyalkanoate materials provide a wider range of polyhydroxyalkanoate degradation rates than are currently available. Methods for processing these materials, particularly for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic applications, or into devices which can be implanted or injected, are also described.