Different Options for Breast Implants
Many women who feel that their breasts are too small, misshapen or are not in proportion to the
rest of their body opt for breast augmentation surgery with breast implants. This procedure
remains the #1 cosmetic surgery in the United States at over 279,000 performed in 2015, with
most patients being ecstatic with their new breasts. Before undergoing a breast augmentation, it
is important to consider which type of implants to choose. Today we have choices that should
ensure a perfect match for you.
Saline breast implants have been available for decades and have lost popularity in recent years.
They contain a sterile salt water solution and are FDA approved for use in patients 18 years or
older. If this type of implant were to break, the saline will simply be absorbed into the body and
you would know immediately that your implant deflated. In thin, small breasted patients, they
are more likely to feel unnatural and show rippling. They are also less durable than silicone
implants. Today’s silicone breast implants are filled with more cohesive silicone gel than earlier
versions, and are FDA approved for use in patients age 22 years or older. These implants feel
more like natural breast tissue and are less likely to show rippling. The one disadvantage of
silicone implants is that a rupture may be completely ‘silent’ – you may have no symptoms to let
you know that the implant is broken. These implants require regular MRI monitoring to be sure
they are intact.
Breast implants also come in different shapes and textures, with the recent introduction of
highly-cohesive shaped implants (nick-named ‘Gummy Bear’ implants). The most commonly
used breast implants in the U.S. are round and have a smooth shell. They give a fuller upper pole
appearance and come in saline or silicone from 3 approved manufacturers. The highly-cohesive
shaped implants are an exciting new arrival to the United States market, though they have been
the most widely used option in the rest of the world for more than 10 years. They have a textured
shell, are available in several more natural, anatomic shapes and have lower rates of capsular
contracture, rippling and rupture. They have a slightly firmer feel and for larger sizes, we need a
slightly larger incision to insert them. It will be interesting to see if they become as popular her
in the U.S. as elsewhere in the world but in my brief experience with them, I think they are a
wonderful option for many of my patients looking for a more natural look.
Before undergoing any breast augmentation procedure, it is important for you to come in for a
consultation to voice your goals and concerns, questions you may have, and for me to determine
the best options for you. If you are interested in breast augmentation, contact our office today!