Types Of Breast Implants
There are two types of breast implants: saline-filled (saltwater solution) and silicone gel-filled. Both have a silicone outer shell and can vary in size, shell thickness, shell surface texture, and shape (contour) to achieve the patient’s desired look and feel.
At a consultation with Dr. Svehlak or Dr. Yamini, up to an hour will be scheduled in order to understand the reasons for wanting surgery, address any concerns and questions, discuss the available or appropriate procedures, and undergo an exam to make sure the size and types of breast implants are exactly what the patient has in mind.
Saline Implants for Breast Augmentation
Saline is a solution frequently used to fill breast implants. To use a saline implant, your doctor will first insert either a round or teardrop-shaped silicone shell into a pre-made pocket within the tissue, then fill it to the desired size. This method allows for smaller incisions, since the opening does not need to accommodate a full-size implant.
Many women find that breast augmentation with saline implants creates breasts that are firmer to the touch.
Silicone Implants for Breast Augmentation
Advances in breast augmentation technology led to the creation of silicone implants, which come pre-filled with a fat-like gel. Like saline, silicone can be used in either round or teardrop-shaped implants, which may feel softer and more natural than shells filled with salt water.
Since silicone breast implants are inserted as-is, the incisions are necessarily larger. Also, in the event of a rupture, a leak may not be noticeable, so periodic check-ups are necessary for any woman who chooses this type for breast augmentation.
Since it is basically just salt water, saline is sterile and safe in the event of a rupture, which would likely be visually noticeable. In such a case, the deflated shell can be removed, and a new implant inserted in its place to maintain the results of the initial breast augmentation.
Form Stable Silicone Implants for Breast Augmentation
Known as “gummy bear implants,” shells filled with form stable gel are an even more advanced development in the breast augmentation field. These implants have a very natural feel, but in the case of a rupture, the gel is so cohesive, it will stay in the shell without leaking.
As noted above, breast augmentation is typically accomplished with implants that come in one of two shapes: round or teardrop.
The circular shape of these implants means they fill out both the upper and lower sections of the breast, creating a very full look overall. If a round implant happens to rotate within its pocket after breast augmentation surgery, there will likely be no noticeable difference.
Teardrop-shaped breast implants are also known as anatomical implants for the way they mimic the natural slope of the breast. Since these taper from a thinner top to a thicker base, they create fullness that favors the lower portion of the breast. Unlike round implants, cases of rotation can be visually obvious.
As with shapes, breast implants come in two different styles: smooth and textured.
Smooth Breast Implants
A smooth silicone shell is more likely to rotate after being implanted, but some breast augmentation patients prefer an implant to have a greater allowance for motion within its pocket, citing the look as more natural.
Textured Breast Implants
A textured silicone shell gives scar tissue a greater opportunity to form in the pocket, which better holds the implant in place and guards against the possibility of rotation. Textured implants are rarely used now because of the small risk of developing lymphoma, specifically BIA-ALCL. Some companies have stopped manufacturing textured implants because of this reason.
The Sunset Cosmetic Surgery team will help each breast augmentation patient decide the ideal size for her body shape and proportions. A woman is obviously free to choose whichever size she desires, but for most, the goal is to add volume for natural-looking results.
We provide before-and-after photos that show the results of breast augmentation surgery at Sunset, with real patients who made the same choices you are making. While no exact outcomes can be duplicated, the images can give you a visual reference that reveals what the size and shape you are considering for your implants could do for you.
BREAST AUGMENTATION TECHNIQUES
At Sunset, we use high-quality Natrelle and Mentor brands implants in all available styles to customize the desired size and profile for each breast augmentation patient. These implants have been vigorously tested and are safe and FDA-approved. Incision location is also something that is customized for each patient. Our goal is always to achieve the least-noticeable scar, wherever you and the doctor decide will be best for you.
- Periareolar Incision: The most popular choice at Sunset, this hides any resulting lines in the area where skin coloration changes from dark to light in the areola. Our breast augmentation surgeons are well experienced in blending the incision into the tissue surrounding the areola, and this type of incision works well for both saline and silicone implants. Read more and view photos of periareolar incisions.
- Transaxillary Incision: This incision is made by your plastic surgeon in your armpit, away from the breast area and is used for saline implants only.
- Inframammary Incision: An incision on the underside of the breast, near the breast crease, this was how breast implants were placed when they were first being used. This is still a common incision site.
The pockets created to hold breast implants may be made either over or under the pectoral muscles.
- Submuscular Placement: Breast implants that sit beneath the muscle may be necessary to create a more natural look for patients who have a smaller amount of breast tissue. This placement allows for more tissue coverage of the underlying implant, thereby giving the breast a more natural look. This placement can reduce the risk of capsular contracture.
- Subglandular Placement: Also known as submammary placement, this situates the breast implants directly under the glandular breast tissue, but above the muscle. Breast augmentation patients with a significant amount of existing tissue may find the placement ideal, and it keeps the pectoral muscle from pressing down on the implants. This placement also is much less painful during recovery.
Your doctor will make a placement recommendation based on several elements, including the amount of breast tissue you have to cover an implant and the type and size of breast implants being used.