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Choosing the Right Size and Type of Breast Implant for You

Are you researching and talking to others about their breast augmentation while trying to understand all your options? Are you a good candidate? What are the best options for you? Plastic surgery is a personal choice and should be right for you; not to meet someone else’s expectations, to look like someone else or to try to fit an ideal image.

Breast augmentation (mammoplasty) is a surgical procedure to enlarge and enhance the size and shape of the breast with the use of implants. There are many factors (and misconceptions out there) when considering breast augmentation surgery and your options.

Many assume they know how breast implants actually work, what they are, and how they exist over time. However, augmentation has progressed, and even what women are choosing now for implants and preferred size is changing. Breast implants are simply not the same today as they were 20 or 30 years ago. They are evolving, along with big advances in surgical techniques.

Choosing the Right Implant

Today’s breast implants are much more advanced than a few decades ago. Many different implant styles exist, ranging from round to tear drop (anatomical) shaped with a variety of dimensions. Implants can be textured or smooth walled and function differently depending on type.

Implants can be placed in front or behind the muscle. The incisions for placement of the implants can be transaxillary (under the armpit), periareolar (around the nipple) or inframammary (in the fold of the breast). The best position and incision will vary for each patient. Using the latest endoscopic technology, scars can be minimized by placing the implants through small incisions.

The type of implant will depend on the characteristics of your individual breast. The best implant for each breast needs to be carefully selected and matched to achieve the specific goals for each particular patient. A consultation with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon is crucial to help you sort through which options are best for you.

There are three main breast implant options:

Silicone Gel

  • Silicone gel is an inert polymer with no known human allergies, sensitivities or reactions
  • Silicone is more viscous than saline. In contrast to saline, it flows differently within its shell and can often create a more natural look and feel to the breast, like breast tissue
  • If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into the breast implant pocket. A leaking implant filled with silicone gel will not collapse
  • Women must be 22 years of age or older to be offered silicone gel implants for breast augmentation, as per FDA regulations

Saline (Sterile Salt Water)

  • A silicone shell is inserted into the body and then filled with saline fluid to its desired volume by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Saline has the consistency of water. Underneath very thin skin, folds of a saline implant might be seen or felt more often – this is known as implant “rippling” or “wrinkling”
  • Should the implant shell leak, a saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body
  • Some saline implants have the advantage of being postoperatively adjustable via a remote injection port – this is commonly used in some types of breast reconstruction procedures to fine-tune the final implant volume over months before the implant port is removed
  • Saline-filled implants are available to all women for breast augmentation over the age of 18

Highly Cohesive Silicone Gel

  • Form-stable implants are sometimes referred to as “gummy bear” breast implants because they maintain their shape even when the implant shell is broken
  • The consistency of the silicone gel inside the implant is thicker than traditional silicone gel implants. These implants are also firmer than traditional implants
  • The highly cohesive gel implants come in both round and anatomical shapes. These implants maintain shape better potentially affording better projection than saline or standard silicone.
  • Placement of cohesive gel implants requires a slightly longer incision in the skin

 

Choosing the Right Size

The right size for you may – or may not be – what you initially think. A more natural appearance is what’s trending now, versus larger implants of past decades. When it comes to implant selection, bigger is not necessarily better in the long run.

Today, not all women who pursue breast augmentation desire a dramatic increase in breast size. There have been an increasing number of requests for subtle increases in size. For many women, moderately sized breast implants can complement the body’s curves beautifully, creating a more balanced overall figure.

For the most natural results, the chosen implant should match the patient’s own breast dimensions and characteristics, in terms of breast width, diameter and position on the chest wall. All of these considerations will be discussed in your exam and consultation with your surgeon.

 

Are Breast Implants Safe?

While any surgical procedure involves some risk, breast augmentation is generally considered safe. Breast augmentation has been around for many decades and there have been numerous studies documenting the safety of this procedure. In fact, silicone gel breast implants are the most widely studied medical device, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. All of the implants used at Village Pointe Aesthetic Surgery have been approved by the FDA and are considered safe.

Village Pointe Aesthetic Surgery is committed to great results and we are here to help you. Consultations are always complimentary, even if you decide surgery isn’t right for you. To set up a cosmetic consultation, please call us at 402.596.4000 or schedule online.