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Your Guide to Breast Implants - Saline vs. Silicone, Round vs. Shaped, Textures

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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on one of the most popular choices in plastic surgery: breast implants. If you've ever considered enhancing your appearance through breast augmentation, you're likely to be met with a variety of options, including implant type, shape, and texture. In this blog, we'll dive into the differences between saline and silicone implants, round and shaped implants, as well as textured implants, to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your goals and preferences.

Saline vs. Silicone Implants: The Core Choice

All breast implants consist of the shell which is silicone and then either filled with saline, salt water solution that is physiologic or the same concentration of our body fluids, or filled with silicone gel.

Saline Implants:

Saline implants consist of a silicone shell that is filled with a sterile saline solution after being inserted into the breast pocket. One of the advantages of saline implants is that they can be inserted through smaller incisions, resulting in potentially smaller scars. Additionally, if a saline implant ruptures, the body will naturally absorb the saline without posing any health risks. However, some individuals find that saline implants might not feel as natural as silicone implants.

Silicone Implants:

Silicone implants are pre-filled with a silicone gel that closely mimics the feel of natural breast tissue. These implants are often favored for their more realistic texture and appearance. Silicone implants tend to have a lower risk of rippling or wrinkling, and they are a popular choice for women with thinner breast tissue. In the unlikely event of a rupture, silicone implants may require an ultrasound or MRI to detect the leakage, but modern implants are designed to minimize the risks associated with silicone leakage.

Round vs. Shaped Implants: Defining Your Silhouette

Round Implants:

Round implants are symmetrically shaped, providing a balanced enhancement to the upper and lower poles of the breast. They are known for creating a fuller look and can result in more cleavage. Women who desire a more voluminous appearance often opt for round implants. Keep in mind that round implants may have a slight tendency to shift or rotate, but advancements in surgical techniques have reduced this occurrence.

Shaped (Anatomical) Implants:

Shaped implants, also known as anatomical or teardrop implants, are designed to mimic the natural contours of the breast. They are fuller at the bottom and taper towards the top, imitating the natural slope of the breast. These implants are ideal for those who want a subtle enhancement that appears more natural. However, placement and orientation are crucial with shaped implants to prevent potential distortion.  

Some textured implants have been found to have a slight risk of development of a rare cancer.  Breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) or Breast implant associated squamous cell carcinoma are both rare and we are learning more about these diseases of the capsule that develops around the implants.  Current understanding is that chronic inflammation leads to the development of cancer in the capsule from the texturing process itself or from the interaction between the implant and capsule over time.

Textured Implants: Adding Grip for Stability

Textured Implants:

Textured implants have a slightly rough surface to promote tissue adherence and reduce the risk of implant movement. This type of implant can be beneficial in preventing complications such as capsular contracture, a condition where scar tissue tightens around the implant. While textured implants are less likely to shift or rotate, they may have a firmer feel compared to smooth implants.

Smooth Implants:

Smooth implants, as the name suggests, have a smooth outer surface. They tend to move more naturally within the breast pocket, resulting in a softer feel. While the risk of capsular contracture might be slightly higher with smooth implants, many women appreciate the softer texture.

Conclusion: Your Journey, Your Choice

When considering breast augmentation, it's important to remember that every individual's body and preferences are unique. Consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is crucial to determine the best option for your desired outcome. Whether you're leaning towards saline or silicone, round or shaped, textured or smooth implants, your surgeon will guide you through the decision-making process and help you achieve the results you've been dreaming of.

Remember, the ultimate goal of breast augmentation is to enhance your self-confidence and empower you to embrace your body. Your journey is personal, and the choices you make should reflect your individuality and aspirations.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.