Today, breast implants’ choices for breast augmentation are more extensive than ever. In the past years, the biggest decision a patient needed to make was choosing between saline and silicone. Fortunately, implant options have significantly increased over the years. Not only have the profile options expanded, so too have the fill options.
Let’s break these options down further.
The Implant Fills and Volume
Both saline and silicone implants have their own ranges of fills. These are as follows:
Saline Implants Fills
Saline implants are filled with salt water and can be filled to a range of 50-100 cc of their recommended volume. This can allow the fine-tuning of the implant volume to meet the needs of patients.
However, saline implants tend to appear unnatural and have the highest incidence of rippling.
Silicone Implants Fills
- Traditional Silicone Implants
These silicone implants are the most commonly used available in the market today. These are solid but soft and give a very natural feeling that mimics the natural breast tissue. They tend to achieve a “teardrop” look to the breast and are an excellent choice for patients who prefer a natural look. They do still run the risk of rippling that can be seen through the skin.
- “Soft Touch” Silicone Implants
Compared to the traditional type, this is more cohesive or solid. This means they are slightly firmer to touch and hold their shape better. As a result, it produces less of a chance for visible rippling and has a slightly stronger implant that can better reshape the breasts. This implant is also a good choice for those who want a slightly fuller upper breast due to its connection with the silicone.
- Gummy Bear Implants
The most cohesive or solid of any of the implants available in the market. These implants keep their shape even when cut and can easily reshape the breast. They also hold their height when upright maintaining upper pole fullness. More to this, they have the least chance for visible rippling and an excellent choice for patients who have very little breast tissue.
The Implant profiles
Both silicone and saline implants have the same outer shell. However, these are the implant profiles that help create the ideal breast shape for the patients.
Although saline implants remain a viable FDA approved option, we rarely use these since they feel less natural and have more intrinsic limitations such as rippling or wrinkling. So, let’s concentrate on the silicone options instead.
Silicone implants come in five different profile types:
- Low Profile Implants
- Low Plus Profile Implants
- Moderate Profile Implants
- High Profile Implants
- Ultra-High Profile Implants
These profiles are designed to allow patients to achieve a specific aesthetic look while matching their particular anatomy. It is important that the implants match the patient’s breast width.
If implants are too small, patients are often left with a large gap between their breasts in the cleavage zone, leading to less attractive and natural results. Likewise, if the implants were too large, the cleavage zone can be too full, appearing unnaturally augmented or too wide for the patient’s frame. These patients frequently had trouble finding clothes that may fit and often feel their implants make them look “heavy”.
The Ideal Implant
Finding the ideal implant for patients is not just about the volume alone, it is the combination of matching the ideal breast width (measured by the surgeon before the surgery) and aesthetic goals with the overall breast shape and size. The final volume (CC) is a product of these two much more important measurements.
For example, a patient who has a 12 cm breast width wants a natural look. They may benefit from a 12 cm low plus implant which equates to 250 ccs, but if this same patient wanted a fuller and rounder look, we can respect the same width of 12 cm, but use a full profile implant that allows us to place a 365 cc implant in the same space.
The only difference is the projection – how far the implant projects out from the body. In this example, we can increase the breast volume by nearly 50% just by changing the profile.
Thus, different patients who may have the same body type frequently want entirely different looks to their breasts. The specific profiles allow us to make these small adjustments to the implant chosen to give patients the best possible outcome.
The Relationship Between Breast Implant Volume and Profiles
Each of these different implant fills is available in each of the five different profiles – a total of 100 implants per fill. That means patients have a choice of over 300 implants in the silicone variety alone!
This can be daunting and confusing, but your plastic surgeon should help you walk through the decision to find your perfect implant.
*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.