After careful consideration, you’ve decided to enhance your appearance with breast implants. Although this is an exciting time in your life and you’re looking forward to finally achieving the ideal you, there are still a few more decisions to make before you can make your ideal appearance a reality. What type of implant should you get? Have you considered how big or small you’d like to be? What about shape? Our board-certified plastic surgeons would like to help you get started in planning your breast implant procedure by creating this guide to choosing your ideal shape and size.
What Are My Choices for Breast Implants?
With a seemingly endless amount of breast implant options available, it’s easier now more than ever for women to achieve a look that meets their expectations and compliments their body shape and size. Our board-certified plastic surgeons are experts in the field of breast surgery and have training and experience in silicone implants, saline implants, and implants made from a cohesive gel, known as “gummy bear implants.” If you are considering a breast augmentation in, schedule a consultation to learn more about how our board-certified plastic surgeons can use their expertise to provide you with the best possible results.
The Great Debate: Silicone vs Saline
When you come into our office to discuss breast augmentation with implants, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is choosing between silicone or saline implants. Considering that both options are safe, effective, and come with their own advantages and disadvantages, this isn’t always an easy choice to make. Although choosing an implant is largely based on your individual goals and preferences, here’s some information you can expect to go over during your consultation. Whether you choose saline or silicone implants, it’s important to understand that both types of implants are both composed of an outer shell made from silicone, and the only differences between the two are in material and consistency.
Silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone, a thick, sticky gel that closely resembles fatty tissue. Many women and plastic surgeons prefer silicone implants since they look and feel very similar to natural breasts. They are also softer and have a lower risk of rippling and wrinkling, which makes them a good option for women who have modest amounts of breast tissue. Silicone breast implants are FDA-approved for women over the age of 22.
Now let’s explore the potential disadvantages of silicone breast implants. Since they are already pre-filled with silicone, their size can’t be adjusted once you are in the operating room, and they typically require a larger incision compared to saline implants. Silicone breast implants are also slightly more expensive, and it’s not as easy to detect ruptures or leaks from silicone implants. Known as a silent rupture, this occurs when the silicone gel leaks inside the implant shell. Since a silicone implant can leak or break without causing any noticeable changes in the appearance of your breasts, it’s recommended by the FDA that you receive an MRI screening three years after your breast implant surgery and every two years afterward to detect a silicone implant rupture. This is only considered a cautionary measure, though, since a ruptured silicone implant poses very few health risks.
If you’ve spent any time researching or reading about breast implants, you’ve likely heard about a supposed link to silicone implants and an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Though much of what was being published about silicone implants was simply not true, concerns arose in the 1980s and caused the FDA to halt the sale of silicone breast implants in the early 1990s. After years of extensive testing for their safety and effectiveness, the FDA concluded that there is no association between an increased risk of breast cancer in women who have silicone breast implants. If you choose to have silicone breast implants, you can rest assured that they have been FDA-approved for their safety and effectiveness.
Saline implants are FDA-approved for women over 18 years old. They are filled with a sterile saltwater solution after they are placed, allowing for more precise sizing during placement and a smaller incision during surgery in comparison to silicone implants.  There is also no risk of a silent rupture with saline implants since the affected breast will noticeably change in size or shape if it leaks or breaks. Like silicone implants, there are no major health risks if a saline implant ruptures, and your body will naturally absorb the saline solution, though an additional procedure may be required to remove the implant and replace it with a new one.
The primary disadvantage of saline implants is they tend to look round and stiff, and many women think they don’t look or feel as similar to natural breasts compared to silicone implants. There is also an increased risk of noticeable rippling or wrinkling through the skin with saline implants.
In general, when making a decision between silicone or saline implants, we recommend you consider the advantages and disadvantages that are the most important to you. If a natural look and feel is your primary concern, silicone breast implants may be your best option. If you’re more interested in a smaller incision, lower overall cost, and no risk of a silent rupture, saline implants might be the choice for you.
Breast Implant Shapes and Sizes
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to breast implants. A certain size or shape that looks great on someone else may not be the right choice for you. Our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons will work with you to find a breast implant size and shape that helps you meet your aesthetic goals and works with your existing proportions.
Choose Your Breast Implants With the Help of a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages between saline or silicone implants and the different breast implant shapes and sizes can be overwhelming at first, but our board-certified plastic surgeons will use their training and expertise to help guide you through the process, so you can trust that you’ll receive exceptional care from the moment you arrive for your initial consultation.
We welcome you to contact us for a consultation so you can have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the breast implant procedure. Schedule a consultation today and begin the first step in achieving your ideal appearance!