Breast Augmentation: Which Implant Is Right for You?
Posted August 28, 2023 in Breast Augmentation
4 Minute Read:
Enhancing the shape and volume of your breasts can significantly improve confidence and self-perception. Everyone wants to look in the mirror and feel pleased with what they see, and breast augmentation is the answer for many.
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures today. With advances in implant technology, along with FDA approval of more types of implants, there are many options for patients to choose from when considering the procedure.
It’s a big decision when deciding what implant to choose: shape, material, size, and position are all factors to consider and discuss with your doctor.
We will discuss three different types of implants: saline, silicone, and form-stable silicone (gummy bear), so you can make the best decision for your body.
What Are Saline Implants?
Saline implants consist of a round silicone shell inserted through a small incision. Saline implants are inserted empty and filled with medical-grade saline once they are positioned in the breast pocket. The benefit of filling the implant after insertion is that it allows the surgeon to make a smaller incision.
The implant is similar to a water balloon, and once inserted into the body, the breasts may feel firmer than before.
Saline breast implants typically result in rounder breasts; if you want a more dramatic result, this might be the implant for you.
What Are the Benefits of Saline Implants?
Saline implants are FDA approved for people over 18, so many doctors recommend them for younger patients. These are also the least expensive options.
Any leaks or ruptures are easier to detect than silicone implants. Deflation is immediate, obvious, and the body absorbs the saline solution quickly and safely.
What Are Silicone Implants?
Filled with silicone gel, silicone implants have a more natural feel and appearance, making them the most popular choice. These implants are pre-filled, meaning your surgeon must make a slightly larger incision than necessary for saline implants, but many people opt for a larger incision in favor of a more natural feel.
Because silicone gel is thicker than saline, if a rupture occurs, the gel is usually contained within the breast pocket and is not absorbed by the body, making leaks harder to detect. It is advised that patients with silicone gel implants have a regular MRI or high resolution ultrasound (HRUS) to ensure implant integrity. Dr. Boyd recommends an MRI at five years and then every three years thereafter in accordance with the Joint Advisory Statement of the Aesthetic Society and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
What Are the Benefits of Silicone Implants?
Traditional silicone implants are a great option if a natural look and feel are high priorities for your breast augmentation. Many patients feel silicone breast implants look and feel similar to natural breast tissue.
Additionally, silicone breast implants feature less rippling than saline, adding to the authenticity of their appearance. Depending on where your surgeon places the implant (over or under the muscle), their movement on the body can be more natural as well.
Silicone breast implants are FDA approved for individuals over 22 and are incredibly versatile, depending on size and placement.
What Are Gummy Bear Implants?
Form-stable implants (AKA gummy bear implants) are a newer type of silicone implant with a thicker gel than traditional silicone implants, resulting in firmer, more precisely shaped implants.
The gummy bear implant got its name from the consistency of the silicone gel used. Unlike traditional silicone and saline, the gummy bear implant holds its shape even when the implant shell is cut into two pieces.
Not only does this minimize the risk of leaks, but the thickness of the silicone can also be shaped into a more natural, breast-like structure. Often, gummy bear implants have a larger projection towards the bottom with a tapered top, mirroring the shape of anatomical breast tissue.
Due to the “teardrop” shape of the implants, surgeons usually require a slightly larger incision. Unfortunately, additional surgery may be required if the shaped implant rotates over time.
What Are the Benefits of Gummy Bear Implants?
Because of the thicker consistency of form-stable implants, there is less risk of folds, rippling, or leaks. The gummy bear-like texture allows the implants to retain their shape while feeling soft and having authentic mobility.
Form-stable or gummy bear implants are FDA approved for people over the age of 22 and are an excellent choice for those concerned with achieving the highest level of natural look and feel with the least risk of leaking or rippling.
Want to Learn More About Breast Augmentation and Implants in Palos Verdes, CA?
Choosing the right implant for you and your body is a big decision, but you don’t have to do it alone. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Boyd is an expert in breast augmentation and implants and is ready to discuss your best options.
Take a look at the beautiful transformations he has performed for his patients in our breast augmentation photo gallery.