Choosing breast implants that best suit your body and cosmetic goals is the most important—and exciting—step after deciding to undergo breast augmentation surgery. Advances in breast implant types mean the choice is no longer simply between saline and silicone implants. Breast implant options have expanded over the past decade, and it’s essential to have the knowledge to make an informed decision about your breast augmentation procedure.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss your breast implant options, offer some tips to help you narrow your choices, and include breast augmentation before and after photos that highlight the results you can expect after your procedure.
How to Choose the Right Implant for You
Researching breast augmentation online yields plenty of information about breast implants—some that’s actually helpful. But it is not very clear. Our plastic surgeons guide patients through the process of choosing implants and reassure patients that there is no single correct implant size for them.
Choosing implants depends on several factors, such as your height, weight, size, shape of the ribcage, elasticity of the skin, breast shape, nipple position, and amount of existing breast tissue. This means that even though 400 cc breast implants may look great on your friend, they may not be the best option for you.
Your Breast Implant Options
We offer our patients a wide range of implants at our practice, but the most popular are round, silicone gel implants. Within the category of silicone gel are distinct differences in the gel’s cohesiveness. This is essentially how firm or soft the implant feels. It can also impact the aesthetic results because more cohesive implants tend to add more volume to the breasts’ upper pole. With increasing cohesiveness, there is generally less rippling or wrinkling and less softness.
Less cohesive breast implants—sometimes called “soft touch” implants—are popular for patients with a good amount of natural breast tissue. The implants are very soft but still hold their shape over time.
Highly cohesive implants are often called “gummy bear” implants because they hold their shape like gummy bear candies do when cut in half. Patients with minimal breast tissue can benefit from these implants because they fill out the breasts nicely, maintain their shape, and there’s no rippling.
Saline breast implants consist of a silicone shell filled with a sterile saline solution after being inserted into the breast pocket. One key advantage of saline implants is that the volume can be adjusted during the surgery, allowing for slight modifications in size to achieve symmetry. Additionally, if a rupture occurs, the body can harmlessly absorb the saline solution.
Silicone gel implants are more popular than saline because most patients believe they look and feel more like natural breasts than their saline counterparts. The risk of visible rippling is greater with saline implants, especially for patients with little natural breast tissue. About 85% of breast augmentation patients nationally choose silicone gel implants.
Other Breast Implant Choices
In addition to choosing the type of implant, you also have options regarding implant size and profile.
Size: Implant sizes are measured in cubic centimeters (cc). Although many patients describe the results they want as an increase in bra size, bras don’t follow a consistent sizing standard from one brand to the next. The size of your implants is one of the most important decisions you will make; therefore, you shouldn’t feel rushed. We will have a separate appointment dedicated entirely to finding the perfect size breast implants for you. The sizing process does take a little time and preparation, but your long-term satisfaction with the results will be worth it.
Implant profiles: This is something patients probably feel the most confused about. An implant profile indicates how much it projects or “sticks out” from the chest. The same size of implant may be either more narrow or broader at the base. In general, the narrower the implant, the more it projects.
Looking for inspiration? View breast augmentation before and after pics in our real patient photo gallery.
VECTRA® 3-D Imaging
Our patients have the opportunity to view how their results might look using the VECTRA 3-D imaging system. The system uses advanced software to combine your image with medical data to create a 3-D simulation. We can change the images to show the potential results of your augmentation depending on the size of the implants.
Patients frequently request a natural-looking breast enhancement that is still proportionate to the rest of their bodies. Together, the use of 3-D imaging and the trained eye of your surgeon can help you determine which implant combination will give you the most flattering results for your frame.
Ultimately, you should choose a breast implant type in collaboration with a board-certified plastic surgeon. With the variety of breast implant types available, making an informed decision is essential. To help you navigate your consultation, we’ve put together a list of important questions to ask your surgeon in our related blog post.