What Are the Different Types of Breast Implants?
When considering the prospect of undergoing breast augmentation, the variety of available choices can seem daunting. Breast implants come in numerous shapes, sizes, and materials, each designed to fit the unique requirements and aesthetic goals of individual women. In this blog, we will explore the different types of breast implants to help provide a comprehensive understanding, empowering you to make the most informed decision.
Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna combines her surgical acumen with a deeply empathetic approach, understanding the intimate and personal nature of each patient’s decision to pursue cosmetic surgery. As a female surgeon, she offers a unique perspective, addressing the concerns and desires of her patients with unparalleled sensitivity and respect. Her relentless dedication to her craft, coupled with her relentless commitment to her patients’ satisfaction, makes her one of the most respected figures in the field. She takes pride in being one of the few leading female Plastic, Reconstructive, and Cosmetic surgeons in the UK, serving communities primarily across Cheshire, Merseyside, North Wales, and The Wirral.
What Are the Types of Breast Implants?
· Saline Implants
Saline implants were the first kind to be used for breast augmentation. They have an outer silicone shell and are filled with sterile saline, which your body can naturally absorb if the implant ruptures. A primary benefit of saline implants is that they can be inserted while empty and filled once they’re in place. This flexibility allows for smaller incisions. Moreover, the volume can be adjusted after placement, which is beneficial for women with asymmetrical breasts. However, some people find that saline implants don’t feel as natural as other types.
· Silicone Implants
Silicone implants are often praised for their natural look and feel, due to the silicone gel that closely resembles human fat. One potential downside is the risk of “silent rupture.” If a silicone implant ruptures, the gel may remain in the shell or in the breast implant pocket, making it harder to detect. Thus, the FDA recommends routine MRI scans for women with silicone implants to detect any ruptures.
· Gummy Bear Implants
Gummy bear implants, officially known as form-stable implants, are filled with a thick, cohesive silicone gel that helps them maintain their shape even if the shell breaks. Their primary advantage lies in their ability to hold their shape while also yielding a natural, soft feel.
· Round Implants
Round implants are a popular choice because they provide a fuller appearance than gummy bear implants and are less likely to cause issues if they rotate, as their shape is the same all over. They also offer the most projection, making the breasts appear fuller.
· Anatomically Shaped Implants
Anatomically shaped implants, also referred to as ‘teardrop’ implants, represent a significant innovation in the field of plastic surgery, particularly in breast augmentation and reconstruction. Their defining feature is a design that more accurately reflects the natural shape of a breast, with more fullness in the lower part and tapering towards the top, mimicking the silhouette of a teardrop. These implants offer more options in terms of size, height, and projection, enabling a more personalised approach to patient treatment.
· Smooth Implants
Smooth implants have the softest feeling shells. They can move freely within the breast pocket, potentially giving a more natural movement to the breast. However, this movement can also lead to rippling under the skin, making them more noticeable.
· Textured Implants
Textured implants were designed to reduce the risk of capsular contracture, a condition where the scar tissue around the implant tightens, causing the breast to feel hard. The texture allows the tissue to adhere to the implant, minimising movement. However, the FDA recently requested a recall of certain types of textured implants due to a low risk of a rare type of lymphoma.
Why There Are So Many Types of Breast Implants?
The sheer variety of breast implants available today might seem overwhelming at first glance. The reason for this breadth of options is rooted in the understanding that every woman is unique, with individual desires, needs, and body types.
· Individual Body Types and Aesthetics
Just as there are countless body shapes and sizes, there are a multitude of breast implant types. This wide range allows plastic surgeons to choose an implant that will harmonise with a patient’s existing proportions and aesthetic goals. For instance, some women might seek a more dramatic augmentation, while others prefer a subtler enhancement. Different implant shapes and sizes cater to these diverse goals. Round implants often provide a fuller, more pronounced appearance, while shaped or “anatomical” implants can offer a more subtly sloped, natural-looking result.
· Achieving Symmetry
Breast asymmetry is quite common among women, with one study noting that as much as 88% of women have naturally asymmetrical breasts. With the broad selection of implants, surgeons can effectively address this asymmetry. Different sized implants can be used for each breast to achieve a more balanced look, tailored precisely to the individual’s body.
· Diverse Material Options
The variety in implant materials – primarily saline, silicone, and the more recent structured saline and cohesive silicone gel or “gummy bear” implants – also exists for diverse reasons. Saline implants, filled with sterile salt water, are praised for their safety in case of rupture, as the body naturally absorbs the saline. Silicone implants, on the other hand, are often preferred for their more natural feel and aesthetic. More recent innovations, like the structured saline and gummy bear implants, seek to merge the advantages of both types.
· Different Lifestyles
Certain types of implants may be better suited to different lifestyles. For instance, athletes or highly active individuals might find that certain implants hold up better or look and feel more natural during physical activity. The position of the implant, either submuscular or subglandular, can also be influenced by the patient’s lifestyle and physical activity level.
· Safety and Comfort
The field of cosmetic surgery is one of continual advancement, with patient safety, comfort, and satisfaction at the forefront. This ongoing commitment to improving outcomes has resulted in several different types of implants over the years, each with their unique benefits and potential drawbacks.
The vast array of breast implants mirrors the spectrum of women’s needs and desires when it comes to their bodies. It underlines the importance of personalisation in cosmetic surgery, ensuring every woman can find the option that best aligns with her individual aesthetic goals, body type, lifestyle, and comfort.
Choosing the Breast Implants – Factors to Consider
When deciding on the type of implant, several factors come into play. One crucial element is your body type. Your body’s anatomy – including your chest width, the amount of breast tissue you have, and your overall body shape and size – can significantly influence the kind of implant suitable for you. Additionally, your lifestyle and the desired look you want to achieve are also important considerations.
Understanding the procedural aspects of breast implant surgery can help you make an informed decision. Your plastic surgeon will place the breast implant either under the pectoral muscle (submuscular) or directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (subglandular). The placement can impact the final aesthetic result and the potential for certain complications.
Moreover, the incision’s location can also vary: it could be at the edge of the areola (peri-areolar), in the breast fold (inframammary), or in the armpit (transaxillary). Each incision location has its pros and cons, which your plastic surgeon can discuss in detail with you.
Choosing the Right Surgeon for Breast Implants Surgery
The importance of a skilled, experienced, and empathetic surgeon cannot be overstated when considering breast augmentation. A professional like Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna can guide you through the decision-making process, providing comprehensive information on the types of implants and how each might look and feel in your unique body. They can also discuss potential risks, complications, and the expected recovery process.
Understanding the different types of breast implants and the associated considerations can lead to a more informed decision, leading to greater satisfaction with your results. It’s important to remember that there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to the best type of breast implant. Instead, the best choice is the one that suits your body, lifestyle, and aesthetic desires the best, and is made in consultation with a reputable and experienced plastic surgeon like Anca Breahna.
FAQs about Types of Breast Implants
Which type of breast implant feels the most natural?
- Silicone implants are often regarded as the type that feels the most natural due to their silicone gel filling, which closely resembles the feel of natural breast tissue. However, the new generation of ‘gummy bear’ or form-stable implants also offer a natural feel while maintaining their shape better than traditional silicone implants.
What is the difference between smooth and textured implants?
- The difference between smooth and textured implants lies in their outer shell. Smooth implants have a soft outer shell that allows them to move more freely within the implant pocket, giving a more natural movement. Textured implants, on the other hand, have a rough outer surface that helps them adhere to the surrounding tissue, reducing the chance of movement and rotation.
Are saline implants safe?
- Yes, saline implants are generally considered safe. If a saline implant ruptures, the saline (sterile saltwater) is safely absorbed by the body. However, a rupture will cause the implant to deflate, requiring surgical removal and replacement.
Which type of implant is best for me?
- The best type of implant for you depends on several factors, including your body type, the amount of natural breast tissue you have, your lifestyle, and your aesthetic goals. It’s a decision best made through a detailed consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon, who can guide you through the pros and cons of each type in relation to your unique needs and desires.
Do round implants always create a ‘fake’ or ‘done’ look?
- No, round implants do not necessarily create a ‘fake’ look. While they can provide more fullness in the upper part of the breast compared to shaped implants, the final look can also be influenced by factors such as the size of the implant, the placement (over or under the muscle), and the amount of existing natural breast tissue. Some women can achieve very natural-looking results with round implants.
Further Reading about Breast Surgery with Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna
- Read Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna’s Breast Augmentation Surgery Page
- Read Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna’s Breast Lift Surgery Page
- Read Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna’s Breast Lift with Implants Surgery Page
- Read Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna’s Breast Implant Removal and Lift Surgery Page
- Read Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna’s Fat Transfer to the Breasts Surgery Page
Medical References about Types of Breast Implants
- Breast Implants: Silicone Vs. Saline, Cost, Problems, Recovery
- Types of Breast Implants
- Types of Breast Implants – FDA
- Breast Augmentation: What it is, Types, Surgery & Recovery