Breast implants have been available for more than 60 years at this point. Breast augmentation surgery has been steadily gaining popularity since implants first became available. In fact, the number of augmentation procedures surged by more than 40 percent last year alone. Over time, breast implants have evolved, branching out into numerous options. Each one has its own unique characteristics and advantages.
If you’re considering breast augmentation surgery, consider learning all you can about the different types of breast implants beforehand. That’ll give you a better understanding of your options and their benefits. In turn, you’ll be better equipped to choose the best ones to meet your expectations.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone implants are among the most common options for augmentation procedures. They’re made of a tough but flexible shell that’s filled with a fairly thin silicone gel. They come in different shapes and sizes, so you can choose the one that suits your body type and desired results.
One of the most important benefits of silicone implants is their consistency. They look and feel more like natural breast tissue than some other options. That’s one of the reasons for their popularity. Their consistency reduces the risks of rippling under the skin, which can be a problem with some implants. These implants can last 20 years or more before needing to be replaced though routine exams are recommended after augmentation surgery to reduce the risks of ruptures and resulting complications.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline breast implants are widely used as well. They consist of a silicone outer shell filled with sterile saltwater. As is the case with other implants, they’re available in different shapes and sizes.
Saline implants offer several advantages. For one, they’re adjustable, so their size and firmness can be modified a bit before and during surgery. Some are made to be filled after they’re inserted. Those require smaller incisions and can result in less scarring. Saline breast implants are considered safer than silicone versions because the solution they’re filled with is harmless and can easily be absorbed by the body if they rupture. That’s not the case with silicone gel.
Gummy Bear Breast Implants
Gummy bear breast implants, also known as cohesive gel implants, are filled with a thick silicone gel. They’re firmer than conventional silicone implants, and their gel holds its shape even if the shell surrounding it is damaged. These implants closely resemble the natural shape and feel of the breast.
Cohesive gel implants’ natural shape and firmness are among their key benefits. Like standard gel implants, they can last for 20 years or more though this varies on an individual basis. Since their gel maintains its shape and consistency if a rupture develops, there’s less risk of leakage with these implants. Still, if they sustain damage, they should be replaced.
Textured and Smooth Implants
In addition to being available in various types, breast implants come with different shell surfaces. Though all their shells are made of silicone, they’re available in both smooth and textured varieties. Textured implants adhere to the surrounding breast tissue more effectively, so they’re less likely to rotate or migrate. Experts recommend textured shells for anatomical implants.
Smooth shells are often best for round implants. Since they move around more freely within the breast tissue, they’re more prone to rotation. That’s far less noticeable with round implants than it is with teardrop versions. Smooth implants are softer to the touch as well.
Round Versus Teardrop Breast Implants
As alluded to, breast implants come in both round and teardrop shapes. Round implants add fullness to both the upper and lower portions of the breasts. They can provide a little lift while creating cleavage. They’re a great choice if you want a fuller, rounder appearance and enhanced cleavage.
Anatomical implants have a teardrop shape. They more closely resemble the natural shape of the breasts. They add more fullness in the lower portion of the breasts and gradually taper upwards. Teardrop implants are recommended for those who want a more subtle, natural look.
Implants can be placed in different ways as well. Their placement will affect the results of your breast augmentation surgery. Implants are placed using either a submuscular or subglandular technique. Submuscular implants are inserted below the pectoral muscle. That may lead to more natural results and reduce the likelihood of rippling or wrinkling. This placement is often best for those with thinner builds or minimal breast tissue.
Subglandular implants, on the other hand, are placed above the pectoral muscle behind the breast tissue. This type of placement may result in a faster, less painful recovery period. It’s recommended for those with a moderate amount of natural breast tissue.
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
It’s also important to mention that there’s an alternative to implants. In some cases, excess fat from other areas of the body can be removed and transferred to the breasts. Fat transfer breast augmentation offers a natural feel since it uses the body’s natural fat rather than synthetic implants. It often results in minimal scarring, and as a happy side effect, it gets rid of fat in areas where it’s not wanted. This option isn’t for everyone, though. Some people aren’t ideal candidates for liposuction, and others may not have enough excess fat elsewhere to donate to their breasts.
Choosing the Right Options for You
Breast augmentation has become a highly popular type of cosmetic surgery with hundreds of thousands of procedures being performed each year in America. Different types of implants are available, including silicone, saline, and cohesive gel. They also come with either smooth or textured shells and are available in round or teardrop shapes. Implants can be inserted in different ways as well.
Which breast augmentation option is right for you depends on several factors. Those include your anatomy and desired results. Consider the points mentioned here and the benefits of each option to help you choose. Working with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon is essential for achieving the best results. Whether you want a subtle enhancement or a clearly noticeable change, there’s an option to meet your needs and expectations.