Today, there are more choices than ever when choosing breast implants. Although it can be overwhelming to a patient, this is one reason it’s okay to go for breast augmentation.
Don’t worry! A board-certified plastic surgeon can help educate and direct you on what breast implant to choose.
Saline Filled Implants
The outer shell of a saline filled implant is silicone, but it is filled with salt water. It is very safe and there’s no known problems caused by it.
However, the implant has many physical limitations when it comes to the shape of the breast.
The implant tends to look and feel more “fake” compared to silicone. It is also notorious of rippling, which can be visible through the skin. In fact, rippling is the most common complaint from women who choose saline implants.
Most patients will see a deflation of one of the breast when an implant ruptures. This makes the detection of a leak very simple.
Silicone Gel Filled Implants
The most common implants is the silicone gel filled implant. They share the same outer shell as the saline implants, but are much softer and more cohesive.
This “stickiness” helps to limit some of the irregularities usually seen with saline filled implants. These implants tend to be much more natural in their appearance. They blend into the natural breast tissue, making them almost imperceptible.
Due to low incidence, silicone implants are usually chosen in breast augmentation surgeries.
Fifth Generation Gummy Bear Implants
Gummy bear implants are the fifth generation implants and the most modern available today. However, being the newest does not always mean that they are the best.
These implants are even more cohesive than the fourth-generation implants discussed above. As a result, they ripple even less and are the best at reducing this phenomenon especially in thin women.
They are a bit firmer to touch and have a bit more dense feel to them. Thus, they are considerably softer and more natural than any saline alternative.
The “Ideal Implant”
Finally, there is a new implant called the “ideal implant.”
This implant is a combination of both saline and silicone. It allows for volume adjustments for individualization of the size. The combination of silicone implants and flexibility of saline makes it softer than the traditional ones.
Check out our interview on FOX 5 San Diego Morning News to learn more about breast implants:
Different Shapes of Breast Implants
Implants also come in different shapes. The vast majority of these implants are round, but some are in an anatomic or “teardrop” shape.
Anatomic or Teardrop-Shaped Implants
These implants are all cohesive, gummy bear style implants that have a textured outer surface.
The reason for the texturing is that anatomic implants cannot move within the breast pocket. This will lead to “malposition,” where the implant is not sitting in its proper location or orientation. This can result in a misshapen breast appearance.
This implant is useful in certain anatomic scenarios. Say, when a patient is deficient in volume or needs a subtle lifting of the nipple.
This implant was first designed to be more natural in its appearance. However, scientific studies have shown this not to be the case. Most patients desiring a natural outcome can achieve this with either round or anatomic implants.
Certain physicians prefer this implant, although there are significant limitations when it comes to the mobility and feel of the breast. Thus, teardrop-shaped implants are only chosen in certain, very specific anatomic situations.
Round implants also come with a textured surface option. This was first designed to reduce the incidence of capsular contracture.
Scientific research has not found this to be conclusive. As a result this kind of implant is not usually recommended. Yet, the texturing acts as a “velcro” to the underlying tissues which helps hold the implant in place.
This is ideal for patients with odd-shaped chests, where there is a tendency for the implant to drift over time. The textured surface allows for maintenance of position of the implant overtime.
Got more questions about breast implants? Let us know in the comments!