You know having a breast enlargement or augmentation procedure is one of the most popular types of plastic surgery today. There are several reasons that women choose to have breast augmentation. Some reasons can be psychological, some due to the natural effects of aging, some due to changes following childbearing and some due to other aesthetic reasons such as asymmetry. Whatever the reason, having or not having a breast augmentation surgery is a very personal decision that only you can, the patient, can make.
There’s an abundance of information available on the internet today regarding breast augmentation surgery, so I definitely recommend doing your research before making any decisions.
In today’s post, I’m going to turn the focus on one question that frequently comes up which seems to be not quite clear. That is what type of implant do I choose? This can get a bit more technical so I’m just going to review a few of the basic points that you should take into the consultation with you and ask of your surgeon.
1. FILL – Saline or Silicone
2. SHAPE – ROUND or ANATOMICAL
3. PROJECTION – low, medium or high
4. TEXTURE – smooth surface or textured
5. BRAND – Quality
Saline or Silicone?
Saline-filled implants are exactly what they are …saline solution filled up into a tough outer silicone shell. Visually you can picture (simply) a ‘thick plastic bag filled with sea water’. The ’empty’ bag is inserted first into the chest and then filled with the water. Scaring is minimal due to the fact that an empty bag is inserted first and then filled with the ‘salt water’ once inside the breast. If there is a slight asymmetry between the right and the left breast, this may also be corrected with minor adjustments in volume filling. Finally, if there is any leakage in the implant, this is immediately detectable as the ‘water’ flow right out and this can be managed or replaced.
Silicone – on the other hand
This is the more popular type of implant, nowadays. The silicone material is a ‘thick jelly’ type fill material inside a similar outer shell or ‘thick plastic bag’. The difference is that the ‘jelly’ won’t leak out of the implant in the case of an outer shell or so-called ‘bag’ breaks. In the early days of silicone ‘jelly’ implants, the ‘jelly’ was more of a ‘syrup’ material than a ‘jelly’. But nowadays, with new technology, the ‘syrup’ was really turned into a ‘jelly-like’, ‘sticky’ material that won’t ooze out even if the outer shell breaks. This is what is commonly referred to as ‘cohesive silicone gel’ or ‘gummy bear’ implants and is what most surgeons are recommending and what most women are choosing. Aesthetically the look is very natural and smooth with less chance of any complication developing and the lifespan of the implants is longer.
There are two basic types of implants with regards to the overall shape; Round-shaped and Anatomical- or ‘teardrop’- shaped. Round-shape implants are exactly what they are, ’round’ in shape meaning that there is a more equal distribution of jelly-like material all throughout the implant which can fill up the upper and lower poles of the breasts.
With anatomical- or ‘teardrop’ shaped implant more ‘jelly’ is located at the lower pole then the upper pole of the implant and this shape will maintain or hold itself in that position which is the shape of a ‘teardrop’.
Which implant is better, Round or ‘Tear Dropped’ shaped? Well, there isn’t a clear answer. This is something that you will discuss in detail with your surgeon at your consultation.
As silicone ‘gummy bear’ implants are able to hold their shape, the actual forward projection and volume of the implant can be contoured for your individual needs as well – which could be a bigger size, more forward projection, and more or less cleavage. Low-, moderate-, and High- Profiles simply refer to how much forward projection you desire and what part of your breast you want to emphasize more. The lower, middle or upper parts. This also needs to be discussed with your doctor to determine what’s the best fit for your body and chest size along with your desires.
Generally speaking, we are talking about the outer silicone shell surface which can be made to be either ‘smooth’ or ‘textured’. The ‘smooth’ surface implants are softer and thus give a ‘softer feel’ to the breasts. Because of this, the implants can be inserted through a slightly smaller incision as well and thus leave slightly smaller scar lines.
Textured implants, on the other hand, are a bit harder and give a harder, stiffer feel to the touch. The insertion needs a slightly larger incision which leaves a slightly larger scar line. Made mostly with ‘anatomical’ or ‘tear dropped’ shaped implants, the textured surface hold the position of the implant a bit better in the chest wall and thus reduce any chances that the implant will flip in its place. The textured surface gives a better ‘grip’ holding to the implant in the body.
While both implant surfaces are associated with low risks of the main complication of breast augmentation surgery – Capsular Contraction. It’s been found that certain ‘textured’ surfaces greatly reduce the chance of CC of developing.
There are several different manufacturers in the world and, for the most part, they all make good implants and each brand has several different shapes, sizes, projections, and textures. Internationally recognized brands have either and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration )certification from the USA or a CE mark from the EU. Both marking essentially means the same and give represent a mark of the highest quality tested products that are safe to sell on the open market.
In closing, the decision to have breast augmentation surgery is a very personal one. Not only is it important to choose the right surgeon, but in choosing that surgeon I hope you have understood a little better some of the basics of choosing the right implant as well.
And if you’re hearing about this for the first time and are interested in breast augmentation, make sure you download our free eBook ‘5 Things You Should Know About Breast Implants Before Your Consultation. If you want more information about breast augmentation surgery, please visit our website, register for a free online consultation or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time
Dr. Randy Simor