There are numerous factors to consider when thinking about breast augmentation. At Finesse Plastic Surgery, we strongly believe that well-informed women are best prepared to make the highly personal decision to undergo breast augmentation. If you are thinking about breast augmentation, taking time to learn about the different types of breast implants can help you to achieve the best possible results.
Types of Breast Implants
The United States maintains a strict regulatory process for breast implant approval. All breast implants used in the U.S. are FDA-approved and have been proven safe. There are two types of breast implants used: silicone and saline.
Saline breast implants are made of a silicone shell that is filled with a saltwater solution. These implants are filled at the time of surgery. This means a smaller incision can be used during surgery and that there is room for minor modification in terms of size.
One benefit to saline implants is that implant rupture is immediately noticeable and harmless. If ruptured, the implant will deflate quickly and the saline will be safely absorbed by the body. Saline implants are less popular than silicone implants because they tend to look and feel slightly less natural.
Saline implants consist of empty silicone shells that are filled with a sterile saltwater solution. Saline implants are filled at the time of surgery; thus they may be inserted via a smaller incision than silicone implants. Saline implants allow for minor modifications in implant size at the time of the operation. If a saline implant were to leak or rupture, it is immediately noticeable and the saltwater will be harmlessly and naturally absorbed by the body.
Silicone filled breast implants have a solid silicone rubber outer shell filled with cohesive silicone gel. Silicone is a naturally occurring element found in sand, quartz and rock. Silicone can be manufactured in a variety of ways, including oils, gels and solids. Silicone products have been shown to be biocompatible, reliable, flexible and easy to sterilize. All silicone breast implants are prefilled and may require a longer incision for implant placement. Patients tend to think that silicone implants feel more natural. If silicone implants rupture, it may not be obvious immediately. Current FDA recommendations include getting an MRI every other year starting with the third year to look for silent ruptures.
Highly Cohesive Silicone “Gummy Bear” Implants
These implants are relatively new to breast augmentation. They are FDA approved and consist of a silicone shell that is prefilled with a higher concentration of silicone gel than regular silicone implants. The increased crosslinking of silicone bonds results in a firmer silicone gel that does not usually leak if a rupture occurs.
BREAST IMPLANT SHAPE
Implants come in two common shapes: round and teardrop. The shape that is chosen for surgery will be determined during a consultation with our surgeons.
Round implants have no orientation. They come in a multitude of different base diameters and variable projections from low profile to very high profile.
Teardrop or “shaped” implants are made with silicone that has 3% more cross linking and it is thus more viscous. The silicone does not flow, it is form stable, and has an anatomic (teardrop) shape. This anatomically shaped implant maintains its shape in all positions. The shell does not fold. Thus the upper pole remains full even in the upright position and there is minimal rippling.
Shaped implants are designed with a textured silicone outer shell to reduce the chances of them shifting in the breast pocket.
BREAST IMPLANT SIZE
The size of the implants also plays a major role in the overall appearance of the breasts. During your consultation, the current size of your breasts will be measured and our surgeons will help you evaluate what size implant will be best for you.
Breast augmentation is a highly individualized procedure that should only be performed by a physician certified in plastic surgery.