What Type of Breast Implant Is Best for You?

If you are not happy with the size and shape of your breasts, breast augmentation can dramatically redefine and enhance their appearance to deliver your ideal improvements. With the use of breast implants, your plastic surgeon can also help you choose the new look for your breasts from a range of aesthetic options. But this wide variety of choices can also lead you to wonder: What types of breast implants are best for me?

This is where your personal preference and comfort come into the picture. While you can take your pick from options such as saline implants and silicone implants, it is important to learn how they might affect your experience after your breast implant surgery. Once you discuss these factors with a qualified plastic surgeon, you can pick your breast implant size, shape, and type with the utmost ease.

To help you make this decision, here’s an overview of the different types of breast implants and choosing the best option for your breast augmentation.

Understanding the Different Types of Breast Implants

The advancements in breast implant surgery have opened doors to different types of breast implants. Some of the most widely used options include:

Saline Implants

These implants are made from silicone shells that are filled with a saltwater (saline) solution. The saline solution is added to the implant after your surgeon has inserted the implants into your breast pocket.

Silicone Implants

These implants have a silicone outer shell that itself is filled with a thick silicone gel. Unlike saline implants, silicone implants come prefilled with their silicone gel filling. This means that your surgeon cannot adjust their size at the time of the surgery.

Gummy Bear Implants

These implants also have a silicone outer shell as well as silicone filling, but their filling is of an even thicker consistency like gummy bears. This gives them a softer texture that feels more natural to the touch.

Saline vs. Silicone Implants: Pros and Cons

Besides the main difference of the filling material, saline and silicone implants also have some other variations. This also causes these implants to hold their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of Saline Implants

  • FDA-approved for patients 18 years and older.
  • Biocompatible and medically safe.
  • Less expensive than silicone implants.
  • Smaller incisions during surgery.
  • More flexibility for adjusting implant size during the surgery.
  • In case of a rupture, the saline solution is safely absorbed by your body.

Cons of Saline Implants

  • Harder to the touch than silicone implants.
  • Some patients can feel their implants sloshing.
  • They can cause a rippling effect under the skin.

Pros of Silicone Implants

  • FDA-approved for patients 22 years and older.
  • Biocompatible and medically safe.
  • They deliver more natural-looking results.
  • They are softer to the touch than silicone implants.
  • Extensive range of size options.
  • Gummy bear implants appear even more natural to the touch.
  • Less chance of rippling and rupturing.

Cons of Silicone Implants

  • More expensive than saline implants.
  • Silicone filling requires immediate surgical removal in case of rupturing.
  • Slightly larger incisions during surgery.

To choose the best type of implants for yourself, you should discuss the pros and cons of saline and silicone implants with your plastic surgeon. This allows you to choose an implant type that ticks all the boxes on your list of requirements.

The Role of Implant Shape: Round vs. Anatomical

In addition to the different types of breast implants, you can also have your say in the kind of implant shape that you want for your breast augmentation. This leads you to the following two choices.

Round Implants

Round implants have a spherical shape that is ideal for most patients. They are the most popular implant shape for breast augmentation around the world.

Anatomical Implants

Anatomical implants are also called teardrop implants that are slightly slimmer at the top and wider at the bottom. Some patients find this shape to be more suitable for their figure and aesthetic goals.

The best implant shape is subjective for everyone. After consulting with your Richmond, VA plastic surgeon, you can decide whether round or anatomical implants are a better fit for you.

Implant Textures: Smooth vs. Textured Surfaces

There are also different types of implant textures available. This includes smooth implants and textured implants.

Smooth Implants

These implants have a smooth and even surface that seamlessly fits under your breast tissue. They are the most widely used implant texture.

Textured Implants 

While textured implants can lower the chances of rippling, they are also known to cause a rare form of cancer called BIA-ALCL. That is why many plastic surgeons avoid using them for breast implant safety.

Size Matters: How to Choose the Right Implant Size

When it comes to breast augmentation, choosing the right breast implant size remains one of the most important decisions for your aesthetic goals. Before you go ahead with selecting an implant size, you might want to know that they are measured in5r cubic centimeters (cc) instead of cup size. There is a large range of implant sizes available, but the most popular options range between 300cc-500cc.

During your breast augmentation consultation, you can discuss your overall goals with your plastic surgeon to determine your ideal range of breast implant sizes. You can also benefit from the following tips to make the selection process easier for yourself.

  • Try the sizers offered by your plastic surgeon’s office.
  • Make DIY sizers by filling stockings with rice and tying them on both ends.
  • Choose an implant that is a size larger than your ideal breast implant.
  • Be open to suggestions from your plastic surgeon.

Safety and Longevity of Breast Implants

Both saline and silicone implants are FDA-approved for breast augmentation. This means that they are deemed safe for enhancing the size and shape of your breasts. In most cases, your breast implants can last between 10-20 years without causing any complications. 

There are certain cases where implants can cause some issues such as rippling and rupturing. These problems often require surgical intervention to be resolved. For example, when saline implants rupture, they safely deflate under your breast tissue, and their saltwater solution gets absorbed by your body. Silicone implants, on the other hand, spread their gel filling within your breast tissue that needs to be removed immediately. In either case, both implant shells need to be extracted through surgery after rupturing.

To maintain the longevity of breast implants, your plastic surgeon provides you with a list of aftercare instructions that you can follow post-surgery. This aids in your recovery, while also contributing to the long-term health of your implants. In the future, these instructions also help you identify signs that indicate you need breast revision surgery.

Surgical Considerations and Placement Options

The surgical placement of implants is yet another factor that can influence your breast augmentation choices. For instance, while saline implants require smaller incisions and get filled in after being placed within your breast tissue, silicone implants need slightly larger incisions to be placed correctly in the breast pocket. With that, different techniques such as inframammary incision under your breast fold and peri-areolar incision around your areola can also help you minimize scarring while achieving ideal breast implant placement.

After discussing your options with your plastic surgeon, you can determine which placement technique is the right fit for you.

The Importance of a Personal Consultation With a Plastic Surgeon

Choosing the right breast implants can be overwhelming, but consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast and body contouring procedures can turn this process into a walk in the park.

During your consultation, your Richmond, VA board-certified plastic surgeon considers factors such as your aesthetic goals, lifestyle requirements, and physical anatomy. In light of these findings, Dr. Zinsser can then provide you with a personalized treatment plan that includes suggestions for the ideal breast implants for you.

Managing Expectations: Realistic Outcomes of Breast Augmentation

While breast augmentation can deliver breathtaking enhancements, you can still run into limitations on how much improvement breast implants can bring to the table. This requires you to manage your expectations for realistic results and understand exactly how breast augmentation can help you redefine your breasts’ proportions.

With breast augmentation, you can modify the size and shape of your breasts, but if you have sagging breasts or drooping nipples, you need to turn to a breast lift that helps uplift your breast tissue for a perkier and more youthful look. That is why it is important that you discuss your goals with your plastic surgeon at length to see how the surgery can help you fulfill them.

Post-Surgery Care and Monitoring for Implant Health

To maintain breast implant safety, you need to follow certain instructions for post-surgery care. These instructions are provided to you by your plastic surgeon and could vary according to your breast augmentation surgery and lifestyle requirements. General advice includes practices such as taking at least a week off of work, avoiding heavy physical activity for 4-6 weeks, and wearing compression garments to reduce swelling and bruising.

Through follow-up appointments as well as active guidance from your plastic surgeon and medical team, you can also learn about monitoring requirements for breast implant safety. This can help you keep an eye on the health and longevity of breast implants for years to come. 

Contact Our Richmond Breast Implant Expert

Whether you are simply exploring the idea of getting breast implants or want to go through a breast revision surgery, it is crucial that you reach out to an experienced plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation. With his skill set and expertise in body contouring, Dr. John Zinsser can guide you along the path to your ideal figure while prioritizing your health and safety at every step.

To learn more about breast augmentation or revision with implants, book a consultation with Dr. Zinsser. You can contact Zinsser Plastic Surgery using our online form or call (804) 474-9805 today. We serve patients in Richmond and the surrounding areas of Virginia.