The types of breast implants available today can appear overwhelmingly confusing if you’re not familiar with them. Of course, most first-time breast augmentation patients are not.
New patients usually enter their plastic surgeon’s office for the first time with little to no knowledge of whether a silicone implant is better than a saline implant or how teardrop implants differ from round implants.
The following guide will help you understand the different types of implants you will likely encounter as you embark on your breast augmentation journey. While it can feel overwhelming at first, remember that doing your own research and reading blogs and articles like this one is a fantastic place to start. After that, your plastic surgeon will guide you regarding the pros and cons of breast implants and choosing the ideal breast implant material, shape, and size for you.
There are many types of breast implants available to patients considering breast augmentation surgery. But to understand these types, it’s first important to note how breast implants are categorized.
Breast Implant Filler Material: Most of the time, filler material is the way breast implants are primarily categorized. Options here include saline implants, silicone implants, and cohesive silicone gel implants (often referred to as “gummy bear” implants).
Breast Implant Shape: Another important distinction is the implant’s shape. The two main options are round and teardrop shaped.
Breast Implant Surface Texture: Additionally, breast implants can be categorized by their surface texture. Available options include smooth breast implants and textured breast implants.
Size and Profile (Projection): Finally, size and profile are also key categorizations, allowing patients to select the dimensions that best match their desired results and body type.
Let’s go through each of the options listed above. We’ll explain who might benefit from each option and how you can know what option is right for you.
Saline filled implants are filled with sterile salt water. They are known for their flexibility and typically require smaller incisions because they can be filled or adjusted even after surgery. This makes saline breast implants convenient as it can allow for size modifications down the line.
Silicone breast implants contain a silicone gel that closely mimics the feel of natural breast tissue. They offer a more natural appearance and texture, especially for those with less natural breast tissue.
Cohesive silicone gel implants, often referred to as gummy bear breast implants, feature a firmer, cohesive gel filling that maintains its shape and provides a natural look and feel. This makes them one of the most popular breast implants for many patients. Gummy bear breast implants tend to be more expensive than other options.
Round breast implants are symmetrical, offering fullness to both the upper and lower poles of the breast. They are a versatile choice and can provide enhanced cleavage. Both saline and silicone breast implants can be round.
Teardrop breast implants resemble the natural slope of the breast. They are thinner at the top with more fullness at the bottom. They are often chosen to achieve a more anatomically accurate appearance and are generally filled with silicone gel.
Smooth breast implants have a soft outer shell, which allows for a natural movement within the breast pocket. They are less likely to ripple but may have a slightly higher risk of rotation. With round implants, this is okay.
Textured breast implants have a rough, textured surface designed to reduce the risk of implant rotation within the breast pocket. These implants can be beneficial for patients seeking stability in implant positioning, which is why they are used when a breast implant procedure requires teardrop implants (which should not rotate).
The choice of breast implant size is a highly individual decision, with factors such as body type, desired outcome, and the patient’s personal preferences coming into play. Consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon is crucial when selecting the ideal implant size — one that will best align with your goals.
The profile, or projection, of breast implants determines how far they extend out from the chest wall. Options typically include low, moderate, high, and extra-high profiles.
Choose the option that allows you to achieve the desired level of projection and overall fullness. Your surgeon can help you make this decision based on your anatomy and aesthetic goals.
Some popular brand names in the breast implant industry include Mentor, Allergan, and Sientra. When considering breast implant brands, talk to your surgeon for guidance on the options available. Some surgeons prefer to work with certain breast implant brands over others.
Likewise, each brand will have its own selection of implant types and features. Some specializes in certain types of implants. With the guidance of a skilled surgeon, patients can make an educated decision.
After your surgery, remember to keep the information related to your unique implants in a safe place. And don’t forget to register your implants with the implant company. All breast implants come with a warranty.
Capsular contracture, which can cause scar tissue, breast pain, and other issues may be less likely to occur with silicone implants. However, any type of breast implant can cause capsular contracture.
There are no specific types of implants breast implant illness (BII) is associated with. Though rare, this condition has occurred in patients with saline or silicone gel filled implants, smooth implants, textured implants, and round and teardrop implants. While implants are very safe, there are some rare breast augmentation risks.
There is no one-size-fits-all for breast implants. Each categorization (size, shape, material, texture, profile, etc.) can work in various combinations, depending on what the patient wants and what her anatomy and body frame will look most attractive with.
If you would like to undergo breast augmentation surgery but aren’t sure where to start, scheduling a breast implant surgery consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is your next step.
Call today to set up your consultation appointment with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Aric Aghayan.
Enjoy the pinnacle of cosmetic surgery expertise with board-certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Aric Aghayan at Après Plastic Surgery. With a legacy of over 1600 successful body contouring procedures, Dr. Aghayan stands as the foremost specialist in advanced body contouring technology and treatment options. Take the next big step on your beauty journey by scheduling a comprehensive plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Aghayan today.