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Breast Implant Options
Breast augmentation, commonly referred to as a “boob job,” is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures for women. This cosmetic enhancement surgery, which increases the patient’s breast size via artificial breast implants can have a tremendous impact on an individual’s appearance and self-esteem.
Breast implants come in assorted sizes, shapes and even textures. There are many options available and the type you choose will influence the final aesthetic results as well as the associated risks and/or complications of the procedure. Therefore, it is important to have a clear understanding of your options before undergoing a breast augmentation.
Breast Augmentation With Saline
The two basic types of implants used for breast augmentation are saline and silicone gel implants. For your convenience, the features of each type are outlined below.
Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water that is completely sterile, meaning there is no risk of contamination or exposure to the environment. In some instances, these saline implants are available pre-filled by the manufacturers while others are filled by the surgeon during the procedure.
The advantage of using the unfilled breast implant is that the surgical incision is much smaller and less painful, which leads to a quicker recovery and smaller scars. In the event of an accidental rupture or leak, the saline will be absorbed by your body and expelled, without harming you. Saline implants are a good option when considering breast augmentation since they are safe, FDA-approved, and provide a uniform shape, feel, and level of firmness.
Although silicone implants once had a bad reputation due to safety issues from the liquid silicone that filled the shells, they are now filled with a cohesive silicone gel that is safe and FDA-approved for breast augmentation. The use of silicone gel prevents the collapse of the material if a rupture were to occur, thus reducing health risks.
Silicone implants are gaining popularity due to their natural look and feel. “Gummy bear” breast implants are form-stable implants that feel similar to natural breast tissue and are made of a thicker and firmer silicone gel than traditional implants. As a result, they maintain their shape in the case of a ruptured implant shell.
However, if this type of implant shifts from its original placement, it requires additional procedures to restore the breast’s appearance. There also a variety of shapes for silicone implants. For those that prefer a more natural slope, there is a textured teardrop form providing less of upper volume fullness. This is a very popular shape for the European patients, but in the U.S. the round silicone smooth are the most popular.
Regardless of which type of implant you choose, saline and silicone gel implants come in a thick, silicone-based shell that is made of a malleable elastomer containing multiple layers to increase its durability and protect from ruptures. The exterior surface of the breast implant shell can either be smooth or textured. Smooth breast implants have a thinner shell, which makes them softer but also means they are more likely to move within the surgically constructed breast pocket. In contrast, there is a reduced risk of movement and repositioning with textured breast implants because scar tissue is able to develop on its surface to hold the implants in place.
Whether you choose saline or silicone gel implants with smooth or textured outer shells, it is important to schedule regular check-ups with your plastic surgeon following your procedure.
To learn more about these options for breast augmentation and the risks and benefits of each, please schedule a private consultation with Dr. Craft to find the most suitable implant for you.
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