What Types Of Breast Implants Are Available?

April 19, 2024

Breast Implant Types

For those of you that may be considering breast augmentation, it’s common to feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing breast implants. Due to that, we wanted to make sure you had a resource that explains these in detail.

Breast augmentation is one of the most common cosmetic procedures. There are many different reasons why people choose to get an augmentation. For example, some women want to feel sexy, while others are trying to restore volume after breastfeeding or weight loss; some women just want to get their breasts even. No matter what that reason is, we are here to help you choose the right options for your needs and goals.

This guide is to help you identify your options as a patient and a consumer. Always talk with a board-certified plastic surgeon about which breast augmentations are right for you.

This is why your consultation is so important, it allows you and your doctor to go over the pros and cons of each implant type. You and your plastic surgeon will be able to discuss everything, and they will be able to answer any questions you may have. For example, one decision may be choosing between silicone or saline implants. All breast implant shells are composed of silicone, but the filling differs.  Saline implants use salt water as a filler while silicone implants use a gelatinous, cohesive form of silicone.

In addition, there are a few different variations of each kind of implant. For example, both saline and silicone breast implant types can have smooth or textured shells. They also come in different shapes.  Below, we’ll explain each breast implant type and what makes each one of them unique.

Saline Breast Implants

One of the most common breast implants used is saline breast implants, these are filled using sterile salt water. Should the implant shell leak, a saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally processed by the body.

Saline breast implants provide a uniform shape, firmness and feel, and can be used for breast augmentation on women 18 and older. That is approved by the FDA.

Structured Saline Breast Implants

Structured implants are filled with sterile salt water and contain an inner structure of multiple layers which claims to make the implant feel more natural.

Silicone Breast Implants

Another popular breast implant is silicone breast implants, these are filled with silicone gel. The reason a lot of women like silicone implants is because the gel feels a bit more like natural breast tissue. If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into the breast implant pocket. A leaking implant filled with silicone gel will not collapse.

If you decide to go with silicone implants, you may need to visit your plastic surgeon on a regularly to make sure the implants are intact and that there’s no other issues.  This should include either an ultrasound or MRI screening can assess the integrity of the implants after five years.

Silicone breast implants can be used for breast augmentation in women age 22 or older. That is FDA approved.

Gummy Bear Breast Implants

Form-stable implants are commonly referred to as “gummy bear breast implants.”   This is because they have and maintain their shape when placed in the body.  They are often referred to as “tear drop” shaped implants and are more commonly used in reconstruction.  

The silicone gel inside this implant is thicker or more cohesive than traditional silicone gel implants. These implants are also firmer than traditional implants.

Shaped gummy bear breast implants have more projection at the bottom and are tapered towards the top. If a shaped implant rotates, it may lead to an unusual appearance of the breast that requires a separate procedure to correct.

It usually requires a longer incision for the placement of gummy bear implants.

Round Breast Implants

Round breast implants have a tendency to make breasts appear fuller than form-stable implants. Higher profile options can achieve even more projection.

Because round implants are the same shape all over, there is little concern about them moving inside your breasts.

Smooth Breast Implants

Smooth breast implants are the softest feeling. They can move with the breast implant pocket, which may give more natural movement.

Smooth implants may have some palpable or visible rippling under the skin.

Textured Breast Implants

Textured breast implants develop scar tissue to stick to the implant, making them less likely to move around inside of the breast and become repositioned.

Texturing offers some slight advantage in diminishing the risk of a tight scar capsule but also have other complications associated with them including ALCL.

Which Implants Are Right For You?

With so many options, you may wonder which is most appropriate for you. Choosing your implants is highly individual depending on:

  1. How you want your breasts to look and feel
  2. Your skin elasticity
  3. Your general health history
  4. Your risk tolerance
  5. Your budget
  6. Whether you are combining the augmentation with any other procedures
  7. Prior history with implants
  8. Your age

When it comes to choosing breast implants, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Make sure you talk with your plastic surgeon to discover which different types of breast implants meet your specific needs. Your doctor will also examine you to assess whether you are a good candidate for the procedure and which options may be best for you.

There’s a variety of different types of breast implants, your doctor will help with any questions you may have about implants, breast surgery as well.

Here at Providence Plastic Surgery & Skin Center, we’re proud to help Charlotte-area residents with their cosmetic needs. We love seeing the confidence from loving the way you look. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.