As the most popular cosmetic surgery in the United States, with more than 300,000 surgeries performed each year, breast augmentation surgery has come a long way. If you’re considering this popular surgery, you will have lots to discuss during your thorough consultation. With the guidance of your surgeon, you will need to decide the type of implants you want as well as their size, texture, shape and position. Here, we talk about all the considerations that go into choosing implants.
Breast implants are made of outer silicone shells that are filled with either saline or silicone gel. Each type offers its own benefits over the other. Saline implants are made of sterile saltwater solution and are filled after placement, which means incisions can be smaller. Silicone gel implants are pre-filled, which means they require larger incisions to insert the implant into the breast implant pocket.
Silicone implants tend to be the most popular implant type because they feel most like natural breast tissue. One of the biggest drawbacks to silicone implants is that you may not know if they rupture and may require an MRI to detect, whereas when a saline implant ruptures, the implant collapses as the sterile saltwater is absorbed and naturally expelled by the body.
During your consultation, your surgeon will use several approaches to help you visualize and choose the right size for you. You will review photos of women who have the breast size and shape you desire. 3-D imaging software will show what you might look like with various types and sizes of implants. You can also touch and feel various sizes and shapes of implants as well.
You also will determine the shape of the implant, which is either round or shaped. They are also called anatomical, teardrop or contoured. Round implants increase fullness, while teardrop implants have a gentler slope and fullness at the bottom for a natural breast shape.
Implants are made using either smooth or textured surfaces. Smooth textured implants can slide around more freely in the implant pocket, while textured implants help the body adhere to the surface of the implant to prevent it from shifting. Shaped implants are made with textured surfaces for this reason.