Overview of the types of breast implants
There are several different types of breast implants that we offer at Athenix. If there was a single breast implant that was the best choice for every woman, then we would offer only that one choice. However, different people have different goals and preferences. We use several types of breast implants in order to be able to offer you the best match.
When patients ask us "what is the best type of breast implant for me", we educate them on the different types of implants and some important considerations in making that decision. Here we will give you an overview of the types of implants, as well as answers to specific questions about finding the best type of breast implant for your body.
Goals of breast implants
There are quite a few reasons that women want breast implants. Some of the goals our patients come to us with include:
- Wanting larger or more full breasts
- Augmenting breasts that have lost volume after pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Correcting a lack of symmetry in the breasts
- Restoring breasts that are drooping or look “deflated”
- Replacing breast implants they are not happy with for medical or cosmetic reasons
At your consultation we will talk in length about your individuals goals. That conversation will help us answer the question “what is the best type of breast implant for me?” An important part of answering this question is understanding the differences between saline and silicone breast implants.
Understanding saline breast implants
Saline implants are actually part silicone also: the shell of the implant is silicone. In these implants, the saline is what fills the shell. If you choose saline implants, we will put the deflated implants in place and then fill them to the volume that we’ve decided on together. One advantage of this procedure is that saline breast implants generally require smaller scars, since the implants are put in place while they are small and deflated. Some saline implants can also have their volume increased or decreased over time, without reoperation. This can be an advantage over silicone implants because if someone decides they want larger or smaller silicone implants years later, surgery is required.
An important consideration is how saline implants feel. Because saline is a thin liquid, these implants feel somewhat more like water. Additionally, some patients find that with a saline implant, the fold of the implant can be seen or felt. This is not the case with all people, but is something to consider. This side effect is called rippling. While it is not dangerous, rippling is one reason that saline implants may feel less like natural breasts. Rippling is more common in people who have less body fat in the breast area to begin with. It can also be a more likely side-effect when the surgery is done by a less-experienced surgeon.
Understanding silicone breast implants
Silicone breast implants are silicone shells that are filled with silicone. Some women prefer silicone implants because the texture of the silicone means that the implant moves more like real breast tissue. Silicone implants tend to result in the most natural feeling breasts. A common question we are asked is “are silicone breast implants safe?” The answer is yes. These breast implants have been tested rigorously for decades to ensure that they not only work well, but are safe for patients. The silicone in these implants does not cause allergic reactions, and the FDA has approved them. For younger patients, it is important to note that the FDA approval for silicone implants is for people ages 22 or older, while saline implants are approved for people ages 18 or older.
What is the best breast implant for me if I want the longest lasting breast implant?
Surgeon skill can play a critical role in how long your breast implants will last. However, it is important to understand that even though implants can safely last for decades, the reality is that many women will choose to have another breast operation at some point. There are several reasons for this:
- Body changes from pregnancy or weight gain/loss
- Natural effects of aging such as drooping of the breasts because of gravity
- Development of asymmetry in the breasts
- Desire for a different size/volume of breast implants
- Implant rupture
Many patients have their original breast implants for decades, but it is important to know that neither silicone nor saline breast implants are guaranteed to be permanent. This can be because of rupture, but in many cases is because of the changes our bodies go through as we age, and the desire to improve upon a previous surgery after time.
What is the best breast implant for me if I want the most natural feeling breast implant?
In general, most patients find that silicone implants are more natural feeling than saline. This is because the silicone filling has more viscosity than saline, meaning the filling is a thicker type of liquid that moves more like natural breast tissue. Because of this, silicone implants can be best for someone who prioritizes the most natural feeling breast implant.
What is the best breast implant for me if I want the safest breast implant?
Today’s breast implants are very safe. There has been extensive testing of implants for safety, and the implants we use at Athenix are those we feel very secure using in our patients. One factor to consider is that in the rare case that a breast implant ruptures, it is easier to identify the rupture if the implant is saline-filled. When a saline implant ruptures, you should notice a deflation in the breast within days. This will alert you to see your surgeon who can recommend the appropriate course of action. On the other hand, when a silicone-filled implant ruptures, you may not know. This is because the silicone is a more dense filling and can stay in place inside the breast. In many cases people do not know they’ve had a silicone breast implant rupture unless they have an MRI scan. It is recommended that people with silicone implants have an MRI every few years to check for ruptures.
What is best breast implant for me if I want the lowest cost breast implant?
On average, saline breast implant surgery tends to cost less than silicone breast implant surgery. So if cost is a primary factor for you, it may be important to note that saline implants are sometimes less expensive. We can give you a detailed understanding of the cost of each operation during a consultation.
What is your advice for choosing a type of breast implant?
One of the most important pieces of advice we can give you is that the results of your breast implant surgery are extremely dependent on the skill of your surgeon. No matter what implants you choose, if the surgeon is not extensively trained and experienced in how to best perform breast augmentation surgery, the implants may not give you the results you want.
Not only do we use implants that we know our patients love, but we also include a Confidence Plus Warranty with our breast implant surgeries. This includes lifetime product replacement. We would be happy to meet with you and educate you on the different types of breast implants, and how implants can help you feel more confident about your breast shape or size.