Breast implant options

Other that choosing the best plastic surgeon to perform breast augmentation, choosing the best breast implant is the most important breast augmentation decision.

A thorough consultation is necessary to adequately determine which breast implant will best accomplish your goals.  In the office of Dr. Yates, the primary tools are: 1) breast shape and size goal discussion, 2) breast dimension and soft tissue analysis, 3) breast implant size recommendation and fitting, 4) 3D imaging to simulate the breast augmentation outcome.

Saline vs Silicone Breast Implants

Whether saline or silicone, all implants have a soft, silastic shell to hold the material.  Saline breast implants are filled in surgery with sterile saline solution.  Silicone implants come pre-filled by the manufacturer.  All three manufacturers offer silicone implants, Sientra does not offer saline.  Saline breast implants were the only implants available for several years after silicone implants were taken off the market for further studies.  Since their re-approval, silicone breast implants have continued to become a more and more popular choice for breast augmentation.  They have many advantages including a more natural shape and feel, lower rippling and rupture rates, and higher patient satisfaction.  Saline implants have the advantage of a lower cost, slightly shorter scar, and piece of mind that the material is simply saline in the event of a rupture.

Round vs tear drop shaped (gummy bear) breast implants

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Round implants are the most commonly used implants in the U.S. for breast augmentation.  The shaped silicone (gummy bear) breast implants are the newest generation of breast implants available and over the past year these have become increasingly popular.  Round implants are a little softer and less expensive.  For the patient who wants to maximize upper breast fullness, a round implant is a better choice.

The highly cohesive (gummy bear) breast implants are filled with a silicone that is more cohesive and can hold a shape.  These implants have been shown to have a lower rippling rate (particularly the smooth round gummy bears), capsular contracture and rupture rate.  The tear drop shaped versions are ideal for the woman who wants a more natural, softer upper breast transition.  They are a little more expensive and there are not as many size options.

Textured vs smooth breast implants

Smooth vs textured refers to the surface characteristics of the implant.  A smooth breast implant is designed to move naturally in the breast for a softer result.  A textured implants is intended to “stay put” with the body bonding to the implant.  There has been shown to be a lower capsular contracture rate with textured implants but this becomes less significant with a submuscular implant position.  Rippling can be more common and more significant with textured implants.  Dr. Yates currently prefers smooth implants for most standard augmentations with textured breast implants used for tear drop (gummy bear) implants and patients with certain chest wall or soft tissue issues.