These days, implant material technology has developed rapidly, allowing breast implant patients myriad options for the look, feel, and position of their implants. With variations on shape, texture, and filler, breast implants can be fully customized for anyone’s preferences and goals.
Regardless of the other options, most people’s main concern is what material is used to fill the implant. Filler has a direct effect on the feel and look of breasts following breast augmentation, so it’s an important decision. Dr. Wallach helps patients understand the pros and cons of each type as it relates to each person’s unique anatomy and current tissue.
Saline Breast Implants
Both saline and silicone implants are very safe medical devices. Saline implants are filled with sterile saline and typically feel firmer than silicone gel implants, which can be an advantage in some cases, particularly in people who don’t have a lot of natural breast tissue to begin with.
Saline implants can reduce scarring after the procedure because they are sometimes able to be inserted prior to being filled with the sterile saltwater solution. This allows for a shorter incision and more incision options in some cases.
If a saline implant ruptures, the sterile salt water will be absorbed by the patient’s body and the breast will appear flatter. One major disadvantage of the saline implant is that it is easier to feel under the skin than a silicone implant. In eligible patients, a submuscular placement can be used to lessen the likelihood that the implant can be felt through the skin.
Silicone Breast Implants
A silicone implant generally feels more natural than a saline implant. This more natural feel allows a subglandular placement because there’s no worries about an unnatural look or feel. However, if a silicone implant ruptures, the gel must be removed along with the ruptured implant. This sometimes occurs as part of a “silent rupture” in which silicone gel is leaking into the breast capsule, but the person doesn’t notice it because the breast doesn’t change shape.
Dr. Wallach, a board-certified New York City plastic surgeon, was a principal investigator in the original FDA approval study to use silicone gel-filled breast implants under specific criteria. He was also an active participant in the post-approval study for gel implants.
Form-Stable (Gummy Bear) Breast Implants
Form-stable cohesive gel implants are also called “gummy bear” breast implants because they have a texture similar to the gummy candy. These are silicone breast implants that are cross-linked a bit differently than the more common gel implants so that they are more cohesive or solid for the breast augmentation plastic surgery procedure. If the implant ruptures, the gel inside will be stable in shape and will not ooze or leak. In fact, the gel doesn’t even leak when the implants are cut with scissors for demonstration purposes.
Advantages of form-stable gel breast implants include no oozing if the implants rupture, lower potential for rippling, and better shape maintenance than less cohesive gel implants. The disadvantages are that they may rotate on their side, they require a longer incision to insert them in the pocket, they feel slightly less natural compared to less cohesive gel implants, and they are more expensive than silicone gel implants.
There are many different sizes of implants that allow patients to truly become the size they want. When you schedule a consultation with board-certified New York plastic surgeon Dr. Wallach, he will help you make the ideal choices for your unique desires based on your current anatomy and goals.
The width of the chest wall along with patient cup size will impact the choice of implant size for a given patient. Breast implants range from small to high profile depending on your desires. Dr. Wallach recommends people have reasonable expectations, as going “too big” can often result in an unnatural final appearance. A conservative approach still yields excellent results without the risk of needing revision surgery.
In addition to material and size, New York City breast augmentation patients may also be able to opt for textured implants. Textured implants were created to minimize the risk of capsular contracture that can develop after breast implant placement.
However, the plastic surgery scientific literature has conflicting reports about the efficacy of textured implants. In fact, with regards to capsular contracture rates, many plastic surgeons feel that there is no difference between textured and smooth implants. Some plastic surgeons have reported that textured implants are more prone to develop noticeable ridging when implanted. More recently, most textured implants have been removed from the marketplace. If this is a high priority for patients, Dr. Wallach may be able to provide textured implants, most likely for anatomically shaped implants.
Breast implants come in two shapes: round and anatomical, sometimes referred to as biodimensional implants. Round implants are obviously round and symmetrical with no polarity (meaning no “up” or “down” position).
Anatomical implants on the other hand have a “teardrop” shape. Anatomical implants were created to give a more natural look to the breasts, giving some upper pole fullness as well as a full lower pole. These implants require a precise placement in the breast pocket for the intended effect to be achieved without giving an unnatural-looking result.
This type of breast augmentation implant does have polarity, and unfortunately has been known to rotate after insertion. When a breast implant turns, it can make for a very unusual-looking breast, which typically requires correction or excision surgery.
Schedule Your Consultation
With all the options available to people looking for breast augmentation, the process can seem overwhelming. Rest assured that with by consulting with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Wallach, you can find clarity on exactly what you need and feel great about the decisions you’ve made to customize your breast augmentation procedure. Learn more about your options for breast implants by calling our office or contacting us online today.