What Breast Implants Are Right for Me?
Breast implants change the shape, size, and contour of your breasts. Implants are typically placed for cosmetic reasons, helping women become more satisfied with breast size and figure, or as part of breast reconstructive surgery to restore a breast after a mastectomy.
Breast implants come in a variety of options. Many women think they only have to decide on the size and the filling of their implants. However, besides the size and type of material, there are options available for the shape, profile, and texture of the implant. The choice can be confusing, but at Denton Plastic Surgery, Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet are here to make your choices easier for breast implants. After your detailed consultation and examination with your doctor, we will guide you through the decision-making process, providing you with the features of each option so that you can feel confident that the choice you make will lead to your desired result.
Textured vs Smooth Breast Implants
Breast implants come in different textures, and the most important consideration is your preference. How to decide the right texture for you?
Smooth: A smooth implant might be preferable if you have little breast tissue. These implants are the most commonly used and most effective type of implant.
Textured: Whether an implant is textured or smooth does not affect the texture of the breast itself. While your breast will feel the same with either option, textured implants do provide different features than smooth implants.
- The texture on the implant’s shell helps it to adhere to the breast tissue so that it is less likely to move. For example, teardrop-shaped implants are usually textured to avoid rotation.
- Textured implants are slightly more prone to rippling and have an increased risk of developing BIA-ALCL (breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma). Textured implants are considered safe by the FDA.
Allergan Announces Recall of Biocell Textured Implants
Allergan has made the decision to recall Allergan implants that have BioCell texturing. Although there is no recommendation to remove the implants in place, Allergan advises patients to contact their plastic surgeons about the risks of their implants. For more information, you will find Allergan’s statement here.
Round vs Teardrop-Shaped Implants
Round implants: Traditionally the most commonly used option, round implants add more fullness to the upper portion of the breast.
Teardrop-shaped implants: Also known as “anatomically-shaped” implants, teardrop-shaped implants have less volume at the top of each implant than the bottom. Therefore, these implants are often shaped more like a natural breast and are an excellent option when a more naturally shaped upper breast is desired. Teardrop implants are increasingly popular in the U.S.
Types of Breast Implants
At Denton Plastic Surgery, we have extensive experience with saline, silicone gel, and “Gummy Bear” implants from major US manufacturers Sientra, Mentor, and Allergan. The one that is best for you will depend on your anatomy, your personal preferences, and how you wish to look and feel.
Saline implants are silicone polymer shells filled with saline solution after they have been inserted into the breast. Saline implants are:
- FDA-approved for women 18 and over
- Firm when filled, which some women prefer
- Placed using a smaller incision
- Customized to a precise degree
Potential disadvantages to saline implants are that some women feel that they do not feel “natural,” they are slightly more prone to rippling, and, in the rare instance of a rupture, the implant will deflate. They also sometimes feel heavier when used in larger sizes.
Silicone Gel Implants
Silicone gel implants are silicone polymer shells filled with silicone gel. These implants are:
- FDA-approved for women 22 and over
- Softer than saline, which many women believe to feel more natural as a result
- Predetermined in size
- Less prone to rippling than saline implants
- Highly cohesive, so the gel and the shell can be removed in the unlikely event of a rupture
Silicone gel implants were removed from the market three decades ago to determine their safety and then returned to the market in 2006. Moreover, the newer generations of silicone gel implants are even more durable than before. Potential disadvantages to silicone gel implants include a slightly larger incision and a recommendation for regular screening.
“Gummy Bear” Implants
“Gummy Bear” is a nickname for implants made of highly cohesive silicone gel and a silicone gel filling that leaves breasts with an excellent shape. They are slightly firmer than standard silicone gel implants. Manufactured by Allergan, Sientra, and Mentor, “Gummy Bear” implants are:
- FDA-approved for women 22 and over
- Round or anatomic-shaped
- Reported as some of the best breast shaping implants on the market
- Can retain gel and prevent gel leakage if the silicone shell ruptures
If considering gummy bear implants, particularly the anatomically-shaped option, it is helpful to consider that a longer incision may be necessary for these implants. Therefore, there is a slight increase in visible scarring and a recommendation for regular screening under this option.
Dr. Flugstad and Dr. Rivet will go over all the implant options with you during your breast augmentation or reconstruction consultation. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our office in Denton, TX at (940) 287-3795.