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How to Choose Your Ideal Breast Implants
May 1, 2022
When you want to change the look and feel of your breasts, you have decisions to make. If your breasts are too big and are causing back pain and bra-strap indentations, you may need a breast reduction. If your breasts are drooping due to age or breastfeeding, a breast lift can reposition them.
But if you’re looking to increase your cup size, correct asymmetry, or create a more attractive shape, then breast augmentation is the procedure for you. However, once you decide on breast augmentation, you still have a few more choices to make.
Here, Dr. Kiran Polavarapu, our highly experienced, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Pavarapu Plastic Surgery, offers her insight into the various types of breast implants you can choose from.
Exploring the different types of breast implants
All breast implants are medical devices we place into your existing breast tissue to change its size and shape. However, there are several different varieties, and each comes with unique characteristics that may or may not suit you.
Silicone breast implants
While all breast implants have a rubber or silicone outer shell, the term “silicone breast implant” refers to the filling, not the shell.
If you choose a silicone breast implant, you’re choosing an implant filled with silicone gel that feels natural, just like real breast tissue. The FDA approves silicone breast implants for women age 22 and older.
All breast implants run the risk of rupture and leakage, and if this happens to your silicone breast implants, the good news is they won’t collapse and leave you flat. But for this reason, you need to come in periodically so Dr. Polavarapu can examine the implant for signs of leakage.
If the implant ruptures, the gel may leak into the pocket created to house your implant, in which case, you’ll have to have it replaced.
Saline breast implants
Instead of silicone gel, saline breast implants contain a sterile saline solution. The FDA approves saline breast implants for women age 18 and older.
Because saline is less viscous than silicone gel, it may feel less natural, but it still provides a uniform shape and a firm feel.
One of the main differences between silicone and saline breast implants is that if a saline implant ruptures, you’ll know it right away. Your breast will collapse and your body will absorb the harmless saline solution. This means you won’t have to come in for regular checks, but it also means you’ll have a flat breast that needs a new implant.
Shaped breast implants
Some breast implants come in predetermined shapes. If you’re only looking to increase the size of your breasts, you don’t need a specific shape. But if you’re looking to replace your breasts after a mastectomy, when you have no existing shape and are starting from scratch, this is a good option.
You may also choose a “gummy bear” implant, which gets its name from the thicker, firmer silicone gel that enables it to hold its shape even if the shell breaks. These implants are bigger at the bottom and tapered at the top to replicate a natural breast, but if they rotate, the shape will no longer look natural. Gummy bear implants also require a slightly longer incision.
If you like a more rounded shape, you can go with a round implant that will make your breasts appear fuller all the way around. These tend to give you a higher, more forward projection than a regular implant.
Smooth or textured implants
Implants come with either a smooth or textured surface, and each has advantages. Smooth implants move more freely under your breast tissue, so the movement feels more natural.
Textured implants, however, tend to stay in place, which makes them a good choice if you choose a shaped implant that you don’t want to rotate.
However, textured implants come with a higher risk of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, which is a cancer of the immune system.
How to choose the right breast implant
This guide gives you a good overview of the types of implants available, but the best way to make a final decision is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Polavarapu. You may think you want a certain bra size, but all bra manufacturers differ slightly, so symmetry and proportion are better goals.
Dr. Polavarapu helps you understand your body and the proportions that will help you achieve your desired look. To learn more, call our office today, or book a consultation using our online tool.
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