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So Many Breast Implant Options: Which One to Choose

If you’ve been considering breast augmentation, you’ve likely come across the many variations in breast implants from which to choose. Because there are so many FDA-approved options, you’ll need more information about the different types available.  During a personal consultation with Dr. Cangello, he will help guide you to the best implant choices for yourself and your body. Below are some of the options explained:

Saline Versus Silicone Implants

In general, breast implants can be filled with two types of substances.  While all implants have a safe and long-lasting silicone shell, the inside may contain either saline or silicone.  Saline implants are filled with a salt-water solution. The advantage of using saline implants is that they are filled after placement; this means they can be positioned in the breasts using a relatively small incision.  Also, your surgeon has flexibility in determining the fill volume of the implants.  This can be useful when correcting asymmetry of the breasts that is caused by one breast being larger than the other. The implant placed in the breast that is smaller can be filled more than the one placed in the larger breast.

Silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel which has the same texture as soft flesh, giving the implants a very natural feel. Typically they also have a more natural appearance than saline implants because they are less firm. Silicone filled implants are less likely to show visible rippling of the device along the edges of the breast. Silicone implants come in “round” or “anatomically shaped” varieties.

Differences in Size and Shape

The anatomically shaped silicone-filled implants are knows as “form stable” , “teardrop” or “gummy bear” silicone implants. These terms are confusing as they are often used interchangeably, yet they all refer to the same type of implant.  These have a firmer texture than the silicone gel implants, and their surface is textured as opposed to smooth. The downside to these implants is that if they rotate within the breast pocket, the patient must have another operation to reorient them properly.  This is never a concern when “round” silicone gel-filled implants are used for breast augmentation. The proposed advantage of “anatomically shaped” implants is that they create a more naturally appearing breast. However, research has been done to assess the validity of this assertion and it has demonstrated that neither patients, observers, or plastic surgeons can tell the difference between patients who have had “teardrop” vs. Round silicone gel-filled implants. For this reason, Dr. Cangello feels that round silicone gel-filled implants are the gold standard for breast augmentation. For patients who want a “gummy bear” implant due to the fact that the silicone gel that fills the implant is more “form stable” and will not leak, there are round (not tear drop shaped) gummy bear implants available.

There are also variations in the “profile” of the implants or which determines the roundness/fullness of the breasts and the degree to which they project from the body.  Implants come in low, moderate, moderate plus, high and extra high profiles. Low profile implants create less protrusion, while high profile implants create more fullness and projection. Most often, Dr. Cangello uses implants in the moderate to high profile range.

Finally, you have a large array of options when it comes to the size of the implant that you choose.  When you meet with Dr. Cangello, you can explore differently sized and shaped implants and determine what will give you the outcome you desire.

Smooth Versus Textured Implants

Implants can also be smooth or textured on the surface. While you would not be able to feel the difference from the outside, the surface texture does affect the movement of the implant in the body. Round implants, for instance, can shift or turn with no noticeable difference; however, the turning of an anatomical implant would not be desirable.  For this reason, teardrop-shaped implants come with a surface texture that causes the body to form a scar tissue that anchors the implant in place. This prevents shifting that would create a misshapen look to the breast.

Your choices in material, shape, size, texture, and profile of your breast implants will depend on several factors, such as what look you’d like to achieve and how much natural breast tissue you have. Rest assured that you will be patiently guided through your options and supported to make the choice that is right for you!

With so many options, we will find the right one for you to give you the breasts you want!  If you are in New York, call 212.644.4416 today to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Cangello!

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