Saline implants are still good implants but will always be a little firmer and put you at more risk of rippling. Around the country saline implants are being used less and less as more people are choosing silicone implants. The benefit of a saline implant is that if it deflates or gets a leak you will notice the difference as one breast will be smaller than the other. Since the implant is filled with saline (salt water) your body will absorb the saline without any problems.
Silicone implants have become very popular since they were introduced on the market in 2006. The increase in popularity is because the silicone implants tend to feel and look more natural. Silicone implants also tend to have less rippling then saline implants. Recently the highly cohesive gel implants were introduced, which have been called gummy bear implants in the media. These highly cohesive gel implants have a silicone that stays together and is not as liquid as the previous generations of silicone implants.
Gummy Bear Implants
There are the traditional silicone implants and now the “gummy bear” silicone implants. The gummy bear implants are a more cohesive silicone gel. This means that the gel stays together an is not a liquid as previous generations of silicone breast implants. The benefit of a “gummy bear” implant is that the gel stays together if the implant has a leak. Also the gummy bear implant can reduce the risk of rippling from your breast implant.
What should I consider when choosing breast implants?
The vast choices can be overwhelming for patients, however the good news is there is no one perfect answer. The majority of these implants silicone breast implants will give you a soft appearance to your breast.
There are several factors that are important to keep in mind when choosing a breast implant to keep a natural soft appearance:
- The implant needs to fit your body frame
- Silicone implants will be softer and more natural in appearance when compared to saline breast implants
- The amount of natural breast tissue that you have will act as a natural buffer for your implant.
- The size of the implant will have an affect in the final appearance of your breasts.
I tell the majority of my patients that I want to help them find a size that they can dress up (for a night out on the town) or dress down (for work or dinner with the in laws) depending on the situation.
What breast implant is going to give me a natural feel and appearance?
This is a very common question as the majority of my patients want to have a full, youthful appearance, but they don’t want to look overly fake. The great news is there a large variety of implants available to patients to help them achieve the results they desire.
The use of silicone implants has made a dramatic change in terms of the natural feel and shape women have after their breast augmentation. The silicone implants in general are much softer in look and feel than the saline implants which leads to a more natural appearance. This is because the saline implants are very firm and thus create a round unnatural shape.
For patients that want a natural feel and appearance to their breasts I strongly recommend silicone (gel) breast implants. There are several implants in this category including but not limited to Allegran, Sientra and Mentor breast implants. Within each of these companies there is also a variety of implants from round to shaped, smooth and textured. There are also terms such as gummy bear implants which refer to the highly cohesive silicone gel. It has the nickname gummy bear because the gel is thicker and holds together.
Most patients are extremely happy with whichever implant they choose for their breast augmentation.
Benefits of Silicone Implants
The other benefit of silicone implants over saline is the decrease appearance of rippling from your implants. Patients that are very thin are at risk for rippling, the use of silicone implants can help decrease this visible rippling as the new silicone implants have a cohesive gel that is much less likely to ripple.
The majority of my patients use silicone gel breast implants, as they tend to be softer, more natural and less likely to have visible rippling.
Please discuss your breast augmentation surgery with your board certified plastic surgeon and let them help guide you during the process. He or she will be able to show you the range of silicone and gummy bear breast implants during your consultation.
Teardrop vs. Round Silicone Implants
Teardrop shaped implants tend to be used for either breast reconstruction or for thinner patients, as it creates a more natural slope of the breast. Shaped implants are also good for patients who are interested in getting a bigger size but still want to avoid the fake appearance. When using a small implant the differences between shaped and round implants is very small.
That being said, when using a silicone gel implant, your overall result will tend to be more natural so a shaped implant may not be necessary. Consult with your board-certified plastic surgeon to pick the best implant for your breast augmentation.
Textured vs. Smooth Implants
- Shaped implants should always be textured as they will keep the implant in position
- Implants placed above the muscle should also be textured as it helps decrease the scar tissue that will form around the implant
- Textured implants have not shown proven benefit for implants placed below the muscle, so this is left to surgeon preference
- Usually can be placed through a smaller incision than their textured counterparts
- Tend to have a softer feel after the breast augmentation
- Will have a little movement in the pocket giving them a more natural feel and appearance
It is important to discuss the various breast implants with your board certified plastic surgeon to determine which choice is right for you. He or she will help guide you during your breast augmentation process to an implant that will meet your specific needs.