Depending on your desires and goals, Dr. Priti Patel MD can explain the differences between common breast implants.
Round Breast Implants
The most common type of implant used in cosmetic surgery are smooth round breast implants. This shape doesn’t change the breast’s appearance if the implant rotates or shifts. Round breast implants generally use either saline or silicone for a more fluid-like conformity. Currently, textured implants are not being used in the USA.
There are two basic types of breast implants: saline and silicone gel.
Saline-filled implants are silicone shells filled with sterile salt water (saline). Some are pre-filled and others are filled during the implant operation. Silicone gel-filled implants are silicone shells filled with a plastic gel (silicone). Although many women say that silicone gel implants feel more like real breasts than saline, they pose more of a concern for some if they leak.
Both saline and silicone come in different sizes and have either smooth or textured shells. Each has its own pros and cons, so it is a matter of preference. The newer generation of silicone implants are cohesive gel which means they don't leak throughout the body like the older models. Due to it's gummy bear like consistency they usually stay put in the breast pocket. However, we always recommend continued monitoring of breast implants after placement.
Smooth Breast Implants
Most implant procedures use a smooth type of implant for a number of reasons. The most notable reasons are these implants have a pronounced longevity and significantly lower odds of rippling after placement. The thinner skin covering on the implant allows it to move inside the breast pocket unhindered.
There are two main types of implants: silicone gel implants and saline implants. Both implants have a silicone shell, but saline implants are filled with salt water rather than silicone gel.
If a saline implant shell leaks, the body reabsorbs the saline, causing the implant to deflate and collapse. Saline filled implants can have a different feel compared to the silicone filled implant. Although all implants can show some degree of rippling of the skin in a thin person without much breast tissue to cover the implant, saline filled ripples the most.
The most popular type of implant is the cohesive gel smooth implant. This usually leads to a nice shape with good upper pole fullness, reduced chance of ‘rippling’ associated with saline implants, and gives a more natural appearance and feel. During your consultation we will demonstrate both types. Ultimately it is a patient decision on the type of implant utilized.
Both round and tear dropped shaped implants can create a natural appearance. Round implants typically improve the upper fullness or projection of the breast while teardrop implants result in more fullness in the lower breast. Currently, these textured, teardrop implants aren't available in the USA.
Most patients prefer or are more suited to round implants. Under the muscle placement of round implants actually provides a natural contour to the chest which mimics a teardrop appearance.
Breast implants are man made medical devices and as such will not necessarily last a lifetime however if they are not symptomatic there is no specific timeframe in which you need to change them. Your breasts may change as you age, have children or even sustain weight changes.
We recommend routine visits in our office so we can help monitor your breast implants. As per FDA guidelines, we usually recommend an MRI every few years for patients with silicone implants to evaluate for silent ruptures or other implant related concerns.
There are no hard and fast rules as to how long breast implants will last, but rupture rates are generally though to be very low.
Yes. We use silicone gel implants for most breast augmentations. These are quality implants that are supported by many years of medical research and clinical data and are considered to be safe products. However, saline implants are an alternative for those who prefer another option.
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