How do I choose the right implant?

What implant is right for you? If you’ve reached this point in your breast augmentation and are completely indecisive, you’re not alone. Patients get stuck at this part in the preliminary breast augmentation process for a few reasons:

  • Silicone or saline?
  • Textured, smooth round or form stable?
  • What size implant do you prefer?
  • If you are asking yourself these exact questions, then this article might help you decide what’s right for you, or at least help steer you in the right direction.

    Saline or Silicone?

    A saline implant is often chosen by patients who would like peace of mind in knowing that if the implant were to rupture, they would know immediately, as the implant would deflate and be noticeable. Saline is merely sterile salt water and will be absorbed by the body causing no harm. A saline implant is a silicone shell filled with salt water and can be inserted into a smaller incision because it is filled after it is implanted. However, saline implants have been known to have a higher risk of visible rippling, and to some, are not as aesthetically appealing or natural feeling as a silicone implant.

    Silicone implants feel and look very natural, and have become quite popular in the past decade as some of the myths behind them have been disbanded. They come in many sizes and even shapes now! Silicone implants can be round or teardrop-shaped (gummy bear), and come in a wide array of projections, meaning how much they protrude when viewing one’s profile. You can also choose if you’d like your implant to be textured or smooth.

    Textured, smooth round or form stable?

    Round implants can sometimes appear to have more fullness at the top, whereas shaped (gummy bear) implants have a more natural slope. Both shapes are popular and can look very natural, but it is up to your doctor to analyze your body type and help you choose a shape that is right for you depending on your goal.

    Studies have shown that smooth round implants have a higher risk of capsular contracture (scar tissue around implant), but have the lowest risk of visible rippling, and tend to move more like a natural breast because the smooth surface allows the implant to move freely within the breast pocket. Textured round implants have a slightly higher chance of visible rippling because the texturing on the implant is almost like a velcro sticking to the underlying tissue, holding it in place. However, a textured round implant has a lower risk of capsular contracture.

    Form stable (gummy bear) implants are made of a highly cohesive gel. Meaning that if you were to cut the implant in half, the gel would stay in place. The gel needs to be cohesive to keep it’s teardrop shape, and all form stable implants have texturing because it is imperative that they stay in place. Since the gel is so cohesive, there is a very small risk of visible rippling and a lower risk of capsular contracture.

    What size implant do you prefer?

    Many patients go into the consultation thinking cup size. They want to go from an A to a small C, or a B to a DD. Since so many different companies manufacture bras, there is no universal way to measure a true cup size. The only way to measure size when working with implants is in CC’s. Implants can range anywhere from 120 cc’s to 800+ cc’s. The key to solving this mystery is by having a sizing appointment with your provider. Also remember that if you are getting your implant below the muscle, about 10% of the projection is lost after surgery. That’s why you hear so many women say, “I wish I would’ve gone bigger!”.

    Ultimately, the decision is up to you. You know your body better than anyone. The important thing is to successfully communicate to your doctor exactly what you want. Once you choose your implant, hold firm to your decision! Going back and forth about what size or type of implant you want is enough to drive anyone mad. Trust your gut!

    Hopefully this helped clarify a few things and will help you in your decision making process.