It might seem like if you’ve seen one breast implant, you’ve seen them all. But the truth is that there are a variety of different breast implant types and options to choose from, so if you’re newly embarking on your breast augmentation journey, you might have some questions about what some of these options are. Here are a few of the decisions you’ll need to make to custom-tailor your breast procedure so you can get the beautiful results you’ve been hoping for.
Silicone or Saline?
One of the first questions you’ll have to ask yourself about your breast augmentation is whether you want silicone or saline implants. While this largely comes down to preference, there are a few pros and cons of each that can make one breast implant type better suited for your needs than the other.
Silicone implants are comprised of an outer silicone shell and an inner silicone gel. One of the advantages of silicone is that it tends to more closely resemble the look and feel of natural breast tissue, although there is a small risk of silent rupture with this type. This is why an MRI is needed to detect a possible rupture, as silicone implants won’t deflate like saline implants do if ruptured.
Saline implants are filled with a sterile saline solution once the empty silicone shell is placed within the breast pocket. For this reason, the incisions used for this type of breast implant are generally a bit smaller than those needed for silicone implants. For women with smaller amounts of natural breast tissue, though, saline implants may create a rippled appearance.
Shaped or Round?
As you might guess, round implants are spherical, whereas anatomically-shaped implants resemble a teardrop shape. Because of the tapered slope of shaped implants, many women feel that this implant type offers more natural-looking results. However, a recent study found that even plastic surgeons have trouble telling the difference between round and shaped implants when shown pictures of women who have had a breast enhancement.
Therefore, the best way to determine which shape of implant might be the right choice for you is to discuss your options with your plastic surgeon.
Gummy bear breast implants are a type of teardrop-shaped implant that’s filled with a special form-stable cohesive silicone gel.
Smooth or Textured?
Breast implants also come in two different textures: smooth and textured. The most common type are smooth implants, which, as the their name suggests, have a smooth, non-abrasive surface.
Textured implants, on the other hand, have a rough, sandpaper-like surface to help them stay in place inside the breast pocket. They were originally developed as a way to minimize the risk of capsular contracture, although there’s no current evidence that this is the case.
Having a rough texture can be beneficial for teardrop-shaped implants, though, as movement within the breast pocket could result in a distorted appearance.
Low, Medium or High Profile?
The profile of your breast implants refers to how far they project outward from your chest. The lowest profile implant will project the least, while the highest will project the most and will therefore create the most dramatic results.
Many women opt for a medium implant profile for a modest projection and very natural-looking results. The best implant profile for you will depend on your goals for your final results and your unique anatomy. These are both things that your plastic surgeon can discuss with you during your consultation.
Dr. Lee B. Daniel is board certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and General Surgery. He is a member of numerous societies including the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.