Making the decision to get breast implants is a big one. There are many factors to consider, including what kind of implants are best for you. Age, skin laxity, and lifestyle are all important factors to consider when deciding. In addition, breast implants have changed significantly over the years, and several different types are now available. This blog post will discuss the different types of breast implants and help you decide which type is best for you.
Breast implants can change your life in a very positive way. They can improve your appearance and your self-confidence. But before you decide to get breast implants, it is crucial to do some research and ensure you get the correct type of implants. Choosing the right doctor is also essential. Dr. Daniel J. Brown is a board-certified surgeon serving Carmel Valley, Del Mar, La Jolla, and Coronado patients. He specializes in Breast Enhancement which means he has the experience and knowledge to help you choose the right breast implants for your body. When you are ready to schedule a consultation, call us at (619) 461-1500, and we will be happy to help.
Silicone vs. Saline
The first obvious decision when considering breast implants is silicone gel versus saline, as these are the two main types. However, both types have their benefits and risks, so it’s important to talk to Dr. Brown during your consultation about which type is right for you.
Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water, which some people see as a benefit because if the implant leaks, your body will simply absorb the saline solution. They are usually less expensive than silicone gel implants, but they have some disadvantages. For example, if a saline implant leaks, it will deflate. You will know if this happens because your breast will change shape and size. Another downside to saline implants is that they can cause rippling under the skin, especially if they are placed over the muscle (subglandular placement).
There are two types of silicone implants:
- Gummy bear – These implants are made of a thick silicone gel less likely to leak. They are also available in different shapes, giving you more control over your final look. However, gummy bear implants (also called form-stable implants) may require a longer incision.
- Standard – These implants are made of a thinner silicone gel that may leak more easily if the shell is ruptured. They are round in shape, which can give you a more natural look and feel. Silicone implants require yearly visits to Dr. Brown for an ultrasound or MRI screening to ensure the implants function correctly.
Silicone gel implants feel more natural than saline because they are filled with a thick, sticky, cohesive silicone gel similar to the consistency of natural breast tissue.
Silicone implants have been around for a while, but they fell out of favor after concerns over implant sickness. The FDA placed a moratorium on their use, but it was lifted in the early 2000s. The silicone implants used today are FDA-approved and safer than ever.
Implant sickness is a general term that describes various symptoms an implant can cause. These symptoms include:
- Muscle Aches and Pains
- Joint Pain
- Hair loss
- Swelling and inflammation
Newer generations of silicone implants, however, are made with a different type of high-strength silicone that is less likely to leak; if your implant ruptures, the gel will stay in place.
Which Profile Will Best Suit Your Body?
When choosing the right implant, you should consider the proportions of your body. For example, if you have a petite frame, large implants may not be the best option for you. The same can be said for women with large frames and small implants. You want your implants to look proportional to your body to achieve the most aesthetically pleasing results possible.
Another factor to consider is the profile of the implant. Implants come in different shapes and sizes, so you’ll want to choose one that will give you the look you want. For example, if you have a lot of natural breast tissue, you might want a smaller implant with a lower profile. But if you have very little breast tissue, you might need a larger implant with a higher profile.
When considering shape, also consider that not all breast implants are the same shape. The different shapes of breast implants are:
- Round – The benefit of round implants is that the breasts appear fuller. Furthermore, if round implants rotate, it will not create a visible change in the breast.
- Teardrop – These are also called anatomical implants because they boast a more natural look. These implants may cost a bit more, but the effects can be stunning. These implants may be the best option if you have very little breast tissue or are thin. If you have had children, your skin may not be as tight as it once was, and a round implant may be a better option.
In the hands of a skilled surgeon, both shapes can create a natural-looking appearance. However, the existing tissue may require further consideration.
The projection of an implant means how far the implant extends from the chest wall. A high-profile implant has a minimal base width with a lot of projection, while a low-profile implant has a larger base width and less projection. Your ideal choice will be based on your existing breast tissue, skin laxity, and desired look.
The placement of the implants will also affect the final shape of your breasts. The different choices for placement are:
- Submuscular – The implants are placed under the pectoral muscle; this provides more coverage for the implant, which can help create a natural look and feel. It can also help prevent rippling.
- Subglandular – The implants are placed in front of the pectoral muscle; this can provide more upper fullness to the breast. It can also make it easier to feel the implant and may cause more rippling.
The type of incision also affects your procedure. The different incisions used by Dr. Brown are:
- Inframammary – The incision is made in the crease under your breast; this gives the surgeon more control over the placement of the implants and may help reduce the risk of capsular contracture.
- Periareolar – The incision is made around the lower half of your nipple; this can help hide any scars and may also help reduce the risk of capsular contracture.
- Transaxillary – The incision is made in your armpit; this leaves no scars on your breast, but placing the implants can be more challenging.
Additionally, with saline implants that are filled after implantation, Dr. Brown can use the transumbilical breast augmentation (TUBA) technique; this is a very popular incision site because it leaves no visible scars. Unfortunately, the TUBA technique is unavailable for silicone gel implants.
Your Existing Tissue
If you’re younger and have good skin elasticity, you’ll be able to choose from a broader range of implants because more youthful skin has more robust support structures so that it can hold up better to the weight of larger implants. On the other hand, you may want to consider smaller implants if you’re older and have poorer skin elasticity because larger implants can cause your skin to stretch and sag over time.
No matter what kind of breast implants you choose, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure that you get the best results. And don’t forget to take care of your implants by following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions. With the right implants and care, you’ll be able to enjoy your new breasts for many years. So call Dr. Brown, MD Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, to schedule your appointment with Dr. Brown today!
Yet another consideration for your new breasts is your lifestyle. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you live an active lifestyle?
- Do you have children?
- Do you plan on having children in the future?
- Do you breastfeed?
Your answers to these questions can help Dr. Brown determine which type of implant is best for you. For example, if you are planning on having children in the future, you may want to choose a saline implant because it can be easily removed and replaced if necessary.
For very active patients, saline implants may be the better option because they weigh less than silicone gel implants. However, if you are thin with little breast tissue, saline implants are more likely to ripple under the skin.
Breastfeeding and Implants
Will you be able to breastfeed with implants? There is little evidence that silicone can leak into the milk ducts because high molecular weight substances are typically not transported across membranes. Dr. Brown can further answer your questions during your consultation.
What is Capsular Contracture?
Capsular contracture is one of the most common complications associated with breast implants. It occurs when the scar tissue around the implant begins to tighten, causing the implant to harden and distort; this can happen with both saline and silicone gel implants, but it is more common with silicone gel implants.
Risk factors for capsular contracture include:
- Operative Technique
- Pocket Choice
- Alcohol Abuse
If you are considering breast implants, be sure to discuss your lifestyle, your health, and your goals with Dr. Brown. Then, he can help you choose the best type of implant.
Your Consultation with Dr. Brown
Now that you know a little more about the different types of breast implants available, it’s time to consult with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brown to see which type of implant is right for you.
During your consultation, Dr. Brown will ask you about your goals and expectations for the surgery. He will also perform a physical examination to assess your skin laxity, breast tissue, and chest wall. Based on all this information, he can recommend the type of implant best for you.
If you’re ready to take the next step, don’t wait any longer! Schedule your consultation today at our offices conveniently located near Carmel Valley, Del Mar, La Jolla, and Coronado. Give us a call at (619) 461-1500.