The types of breast implants include:
- Silicone or Saline inner filler material
- Smooth or textured
- Round or tear-drop shape
- Size of the implant
Silicone vs. Saline
Silicone and saline have very different characteristics. However, one thing they do have in common is the outer casing, also known as the ‘shell’ or ‘wall’ of the implant, which is always made of solid silicone. The inner filled material consists of either saline (salt water) or silicone.
One common advantage of fillable saline implants is they sometimes can be inflated or deflated, depending on the implant style. Patients and surgeons are sometimes less likely to choose saline filled implants since these implants have a less natural feel to them and there can be a higher chance of visible or palpable rippling than with silicone filled implants.
Silicone filled implants are a more common choice with patients and surgeons. They are implants filled with a “cohesive” silicon gel. These implants are highly durable and feel more natural and evenly shaped for most patients. If the implant leaks, the gel remains within the implant which does not effect the shape. Since the gel is quite thick and sticks together, they are sometimes called “gummy bear” implants.
Smooth vs. Textured
Smooth breast implants are the softest implants. These implants move within the breast implant pocket, which can give a more natural look and feel than textured implants. However, smooth implants can also have visible rippling under the skin. They also tend to move around more with muscle contraction and over time will drop down into the bottom of the breast (bottom out) or out to the sides (lateral drift) more than textured implants.
Textured breast implants usually develop a capsule (scar tissue) that may stick to the implant, causing them to have less movement so they maintain their position better over time. Whilst this reduces the lateral drift and bottoming out, it can make the breasts feel less natural and if the tissues drop whilst the implant stays high, they may result in the “snoopy dog” or “waterfall” deformity that can sometimes occur over time when the breast tissues are deflated and droopy.
Round vs. Tear-drop (Anatomical) Shape
Choosing the shape is crucial as this will decide where your breasts will have more fullness. With round implants there are many advantages. They are commonly used to restore the upper breast volume that may have been lost from breast feeding or weight loss. In very slim women who have very little of their own tissue in their breasts or in women with mild sagging, round implants may produce a less natural appearance than teardrop shaped implants. This is especially the case if the implants have a high profile (high projection) or are placed in front if the pectoralis muscle.
Tear-drop implants have more fullness in the lower section of the breasts. They produce a natural slope from the collar-bone down to the nipple. For larger volume implants or in very slim women and those with slight sagging, they usually produce the most natural looking result over time. These implants do have the most cohesive (stiffest) silicone gel fill so they may feel firmer than other implants.
The size breasts you would like is completely up to you, though in some cases your tissues may not be capable of holding some sizes without undue risks of stretch marks or a distorted appearance. The implants are going to be with you for a long time so it’s important to make the right decision with the help of your surgeon. Try not to pay too much attention to the number of cc’s as the same breast implant size can look very different in different individuals. It’s better to think in terms of being “subtle”, being “in proportion” or being “enhanced” (out of proportion) relative to your general build.
Whichever implants you choose it is important to monitor your breast implants and follow up with your plastic surgeon for reviews. Book a consultation with Dr Mark Hanikeri to see what implants are best for you. Ph: 08 9380 0311
To see Dr Mark Hanikeri's Before and After Breast Augmentation portfolio click here.