Choosing to have breast augmentation is a big decision. What looks and works well for one woman may not necessarily meet your individual needs or expectations. Basically, modern breast implants are made of a silicone outer shell that is filled internally with either regular silicone gel, highly cohesive silicone gel, or saline implants. Each of these implant types can be a good choice, but they vary in the way they look, feel, and perform.
That’s why it is important to know the different types of breast implants that are available before you discuss your desire enhancement with an experienced and knowledgeable plastic surgeon.
Choosing the Right Implant
Here’s an overview of each of your implant choices:
Ø Regular Silicone Gel Implants – Silicone implants are FDA-approved for breast augmentation in women over the age of 22. They can also be used for breast reconstruction surgery.
The main advantage of a regular silicone gel implant is that it has a more natural look and feel, compared to saline implants. Also, implant “rippling” is less likely to occur with regular silicone implants. In addition, silicone breast implants are considered safe and have not been linked to causing breast cancer or any other disease.
Nevertheless, you may need to visit your cosmetic surgeon regularly after surgery and undergo periodic MRI screening exams to be sure the implants are functioning properly. That’s because it is difficult to detect ruptures, and if a silicone breast implant leaks, the gel may escape into the breast implant pocket.
Also, silicone gel implants are only available in a round (as opposed to teardrop) shape. Plus, because they are pre-filled, they require a slightly longer incision in the skin compared to saline breast implants.
Ø Highly Cohesive Silicone Gel Breast Implants – Also known as “gummy bear” or form stable implants, these implants are filled with a gel that makes them thicker and firmer than implants filled with regular silicone. Gummy bear implants are becoming popular for several reasons:
- They’re available in both round and teardrop shapes.
- They offer superior long-term performance with lower rates of rupture and rippling.
- They maintain better long-term shape.
- The teardrop-shaped gummy bear can provide a more natural look with less bulging and roundness.
The only drawbacks are that gummy bear implants feel firmer to the touch than regular silicone breast implants, require a slightly longer incision in the skin, and are slightly more expensive than other breast implant options.
Ø Saline Breast Implants – These breast implants are filled with sterile saltwater. The implants require a slightly smaller incision, and are adjustable in terms of the volume filled at the time of surgery. This can help correct breast size in women who don’t have equal breast sizes.
Saline implants are generally less costly than silicone implants, yet they can provide the highest degree of upper pole fullness and projection. Also, implant rupture is easier to detect.
On the downside, saline implants feel firmer and less natural compared to silicone implants. Also, implant rupture and rippling are slightly more likely to occur. Plus, saline implants weigh slightly more than silicone implants, increasing the risk of ‘bottoming out’ due to gravity.
Ø Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation – This procedure involves removing unwanted fat from your thighs, abdomen, or hips, purifying these fat cells and then injecting them into your breasts. It’s an all-natural option that offers the benefit of sculpting other areas. However, it is less commonly performed than implant breast augmentation because it is less consistent and reliable.
For one thing, fat transfer is typically limited to approximately one cup size increase in breast
size. Also, the transferred fat may be absorbed again by the body. Plus, it is more expensive due
to the extra time involved in harvesting and processing the donor fat.
Fat transfer breast augmentation is best for women who want only a modest increase in size without using an implant. It also may be used along with breast implants to provide additional softness and cover for the implants.
When it comes to deciding your breast implant type, it’s best to realize that all women are different in terms of their physical makeup and their desired results. That’s why it’s best to consult with a plastic surgeon who is not merely certified, but also an expert in breast augmentation. Dr. Iorio has years of experience helping women find the look they desire, and can go over several before and after photos to give you an idea about what you’re in search of.
Call Iorio Plastic Surgery & Medspa today for a personal consultation on our aesthetic breast enhancement services. We can be reached at (732) 780-9191 in Colts Neck, New Jersey or (732) 458-7400 for Brick, New Jersey, or you can request an appointment online