If you are considering breast augmentation, you may feel a little overwhelmed while researching the different types of breast implants. We hope this guide helps with this highly personal choice.
Breast augmentation is one of the most common cosmetic procedures. People opt for augmentation for a variety of reasons. Some want a more voluptuous appearance, and some want to restore volume after breastfeeding or weight loss. Whatever your reason, we are here to help you choose the right options for your needs and goals.
This guide is to help you identify your options as a patient and a consumer. Always talk with a board-certified plastic surgeon about which breast augmentations are right for you.
Your doctor will discuss the pros and cons of each implant type best suits your needs. The types of breast augmentation are either filled with silicone gel or saline (sterile salt water). Your first decision might be whether you prefer silicone or saline. All breast implant shells are silicone, and the filling, texture, and shape are the main differences.
In addition, there are variations of each kind of implant. For example, both saline and silicone breast implant types can have smooth or textured shells.
The Differences Between Silicone Vs. Saline Implants
Saline Breast Implants
As the name suggests, saline implants contain saltwater. Some benefits are that saline provides a uniform shape and feel. If the implants leak, the body absorbs the fluid and naturally releases it. Since your surgeon may insert saline implants unfilled, the procedure may result in a smaller, more discreet scar.
Saline implants are FDA-approved for augmentation for people 18 years old or older.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone implants contain silicone gel. Some people believe these implants feel more like natural breasts than saline implants. However, there may be additional risks should the implants rupture. If you opt for these implants, visit your doctor as recommended for a check-up to ensure the implants haven’t leaked.
Silicone implants are FDA-approved for augmentation for people 22 years old or older. Of course, there is more to your decision than the binary choice of silicone gel vs. saline.
Additional Options to Consider
Structured Saline Breast Implants
This newer option contains an internal structure in addition to the sterile saltwater. The structure helps create a more natural-looking shape and feel than saline alone. For some people, it offers the right balance between the peace of mind of saline implants that is closer to the natural look of silicone.
Gummy Bear Breast Implants
People sometimes refer to form-stable silicone gel implants as gummy bear implants because they can hold their shape even if the shell ruptures or breaks. The gel is thicker than in traditional silicone implants. These implants don’t leak in the same way that traditional silicone implants occasionally do.
Gummy Bear implants have a unique tear-dropped shape that differs from traditional silicone gel and saline implants. Some believe Gummy Bear implants offer the most natural appearance due to the teardrop shape. Some downsides include a higher price, and usually, these implants require a larger incision, especially when compared to saline implants.
Round Breast Implants
Both saline-filled and traditional silicone gel-filled implants tend to have a round shape. These implants create a fuller-looking breast. They still look the same if they rotate due to the symmetrical circle shape.
Smooth Breast Implants
These implants have a soft and smooth outer silicone rubber shell and can move more freely. Smooth implants are available for either silicone or saline-filled implants. Some believe that smooth textured implants feel more natural since they are softer and move more like natural breasts. Smooth implants are usually round.
Textured Breast Implants
As the name suggests, the silicone rubber outer shell is textured, so they are unlikely to move. Textured implants are available for either silicone or saline-filled implants. Textured implants may be either round-shaped or teardrop-shaped. Sometimes a patient’s bone structure makes textured implants more ideal since they don’t shift as much.
While not exactly an implant, we thought we would mention one other form of breast augmentation some people opt for just for you to know the range of options.
Which Different Types of Breast Implants are Right for You?
With so many options, you may wonder which is most appropriate for you. Choosing your implants is highly individual depending on:
- How you want your breasts to look and feel
- Your skin elasticity
- Your general health history
- Your risk tolerance
- Your budget
- Whether you are combining the augmentation with any other procedures
- Prior history with implants
- Your age
There simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing your breast implants. Talk with your plastic surgeon to discover which different types of breast implants meet your needs. Your doctor will also examine you to assess whether you are a good candidate for the procedure and which options may be best for you.
We at Charlotte Plastic Surgery have felt privileged to help Charlotte-area residents with their cosmetic needs. We love seeing the confidence from loving the way you look. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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