Choosing Your Breast Implants
Preparing to get breast augmentation can be an exciting process – but we understand that sometimes all the choices involved can be a little overwhelming. That’s why choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon is a critical first step on your path to fulfilling your personal aesthetic goals.
Your cosmetic breast surgery specialist creates a custom surgical plan based on your individual preferences, taking into account your body type. Collaborating with your surgeon to select implants can be a fulfilling and fun experience as you talk through each option with your surgeon, who listens carefully to your goals and keeps them at the top of the priority list.
Below, learn more about the different options, including size, material, shape, profile, and texture.
Even though you know you want your breasts to be larger, deciding on a specific size can be difficult. We understand that it’s sometimes hard to imagine how a certain size implant will actually look after the procedure. Implants are measured in cubic centimeters (cc) rather than bra sizes, which can vary depending on the brand. It’s good to let us know if you have a certain bra cup size in mind, and together we’ll figure out how to translate that idea into cc.
Together with your surgeon, you choose an implant size by accounting for your goals, your natural breast tissue, the location of your breasts on your chest wall, the elasticity of your breast skin, and other physical factors. Your surgeon examines your breasts during your consultation, and you can try on what we call “sizers,” which fit inside a bra and show how you might look with different sizes while clothed. It’s also helpful to bring in photos of women who have breasts of a size that is appealing to you. All this helps us better visualize your goals so we can make them reality.
Saline or Silicone
All breast implants have a flexible outer covering called the shell that is made of silicone. Our surgeons offer saline-filled and silicone-filled breast implants, and each type has its own advantages:
- Saline implants are filled with sterile saline solution after they are inserted into the breast; therefore, only a tiny incision is required. The surgeon can fine-tune the implant size once it is placed in the body by adding or removing saline solution. If a saline implant ruptures, the contents are naturally absorbed by the body.
- Silicone gel implants are available for women age 22 and older (or 18 for breast reconstruction). Many patients prefer this type because it feels and moves more like natural breast tissue than saline. Silicone implants do not ripple, wrinkle, or slosh — all possible drawbacks of saline implants. The cohesive gel and highly cohesive gel implants now available represent a significant advancement for breast implants and are increasingly popular, both among our patients and throughout the nation.
The choice of breast implant shape depends on your cosmetic goals. Implants are either round or teardrop-shaped, which are also called anatomical implants. Round is the most popular shape because it provides more upper breast fullness and does not need to be oriented in a particular direction. Teardrop implants are narrow at the top and wider at the bottom to reflect the slope of a natural breast shape. They provide a more subtle enhancement.
The term breast implant profile specifies how far the implant pushes the breast tissue out from the chest wall, or projects. It can range from low to high, and it is an important consideration for getting results that look natural. It is also probably the option that is most difficult to understand. Not only do the projections vary, but the base diameters also change, as you can see in this image. Finding an implant that matches the diameter of your natural breasts and fits your frame is key for beautiful results.
By having a wide selection of profile options available at our practice, we can ensure that the implants you choose look proportional to your body.
Breast implant shells can either be smooth or textured. The implant shape you choose is an important factor influencing the texture. Round implants are the most popular, and patients generally select smooth, round implants because they can move in a natural way within the breast pocket. Teardrop implants have textured shells. The rough exterior makes it easier for the breast’s connective tissue to adhere to the implant, which helps anchor it in place. Unlike a round implant, which can shift within the implant pocket without concern, a shaped implant should not move or rotate. Even a slight shift can result in a distorted shape.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are silicone or saline implants safer?
The safety record of both saline and silicone gel breast implants are impeccable. Both types of implants are approved for use by the FDA and extremely safe. Which implant is best for you is something that should be discussed with your surgeon. Each style has benefits, and the choice is ultimately based on your body type and personal preference.
Can I breastfeed after getting breast implants?
Breast augmentation rarely affects a woman’s ability to breastfeed. It’s important to let your surgeon know if you plan to have children in the future, though, because that may influence your decision about the incision location. An inframammary or axillary incision is often the best choice for women considering breastfeeding, because these incisions avoid the nipple area.
How much do breast implants cost?
When we quote a breast augmentation price to each of our patients, we include more than just the cost of the actual implants, such as the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, and other costs. Saline implants typically cost less than silicone implants. We encourage our patients to choose the implants that fit their goals best rather than deciding based on price alone. We also offer financing options to help patients fit all their goals into their budgets.
To learn more about the choices you have when it comes to breast implants, request a consultation online to meet with one of our surgeons, or call our office at (913) 451-3722 to schedule an appointment.