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Breast Augmentation 101: All About the Implant

Posted April 11, 2016 in Breast Surgery

Karlinsky, BA Implant - Image

With a wide variety of implants on the market, it can be hard to know where to start—let alone decide which implant is best for your breast augmentation. Along with understanding the benefits of each type of implant, it is also important to learn about the risks and uncertainties that each implant is bound to carry. As you make your decision, it is wise to not only consider the type of implant, but also how the size, shape, and surface quality will affect the outcome of your breast augmentation.

Understanding the Anatomy of an Implant

The Shell: Smooth or Texturized

All implants, regardless of whether they are filled with saline, silicone, or silicone gel, are encased by a form of rubber silicone known as silicone elastomer Also known as the envelope, or the lumien, the shell is the outermost layer that encompasses the implant’s filling.

The shell’s surface qualities vary and can be either smooth or textured. Seemingly so, a smooth implant has a sleek and unvarying texture. Textured implants were designed to prevent capsular contraction. Similar in feel to sand paper, the texture lends to a more stable placement and works to better keep the implant in place. Smooth implants can feel slightly softer and have a tendency to “jiggle”.

Filler: Saline, Silicone, or Silicone Cohesive Gel

Saline or Silicone? A question Dr. Karlinsky is constantly asked. And, rightly so—this is an important decision as the implant fill will ultimately affect the look and feel of your breasts.

Saline: Saline implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution. Dating back to the 1960’s, saline has long been used by cosmetic surgeons to augment the breasts. Saline implants have become a less popular choice as the use of silicone has become more prevalent. In fact, in 2015, saline implants were used in only 20 percent of breast augmentations. With a harder fill, silicone implants are prone to some wrinkling, rippling, and have a higher rupture rate than implants filled with silicone. However, some patients are reassured that, in the case the implant ruptures, saline is naturally compatible with the body. One advantage that saline has over silicone implants is that they are considerably less expensive.

Silicone (Cohesive Gel): More closely mimicking the feel of a woman’s breast tissue, silicone implants tout a more natural look and feel as well as are more organic in how they move. The new generation of gel implants has eliminated the past issues of micro-bleeding and therefore, have reduced their risk of capsular contracture to be comparable to that of saline implants. While more expensive, silicone implants usually offer better insurance plan—covering the costs in the case of capsular contraction or rupture. It should also be noted that, in the case of a rupture, silicone has not been shown to be harmful.

Shape: Round or Shaped

Coming in two different shapes, implants are generally either round or shaped in the likes of a teardrop. Seemingly so, a round implant is circular in shape and tends to provide a more pronounced projection and prominent appearance. With a fullness in the bottom and softly tapering towards the top, shaped implants were designed to allow for a more natural appearing bust line.

Whereas round implants are better suited for women with excess breast tissue; shaped implants are the better choice for a smaller-framed woman with little to no natural breast tissue. Take for example, at New Look New Life, woman with naturally small breasts tend to opt for Natrelle’s shaped implants averaging from 295cc to 325cc.

Seek Advice from an Experienced Cosmetic Surgeon like Dr. Karlinsky

With so many types of implants available, it only makes sense that you will have more questions. We encourage you to schedule a consultation with a board certified cosmetic surgeon like Dr. Karlinksy. Together, the two of you can discuss and decide which texture, fill, and shape will make for the right implant for you.