Breast Implant Materials
Saline Breast Implants are filled with sterile salt water. A saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body, should the implant ever leak. Saline implants provide a uniform shape, firmness and feel. They are FDA-approved for augmentation in women age 18 years of age or older.
Silicone Breast Implants are filled with a silicone gel which provides a feel a bit more like natural breast tissue. The gel may remain within the implant shell if the implant leaks, or may escape into the breast implant pocket. Unlike a saline implant, a leaking silicone implant will not collapse. You may need to visit your plastic surgeon regularly to to be sure your implants are functioning properly if you choose a silicone implant. The condition of breast implants can be assessed using ultrasound or MRI screening. The FDA has approved silicone breast implants for augmentation in women age 22 or older.
Breast Implant Shapes
Gummy Bear Breast Implants are referred to as form-stable implants because they maintain their shape even if the implant shell breaks. They are also firmer than traditional implants and are thought to be less likely to break. Shaped rather than round, Gummy bear breast implants have more projection at the bottom and are tapered towards the top. For this reason, if a shaped implant rotates, it could lead to an unusual appearance of the breast. A longer incision in the skin is also required in their placement.
Round Breast Implants are more likely to make breasts appear fuller than form-stable implants. Even more projection can be achieved with higher profile options. With round implants there is less concern about them rotating out of place because they are round all over.
Breast Implant Textures
Smooth Breast Implants are the softest feeling but may have some palpable or visible rippling. Because they can move with the breast implant pocket, they may give more natural movement.
Textured Breast Implants are less likely to move around inside of the breast and get repositioned because scar tissue develops that sticks to the implant. Texturing offers some advantage in minimizing the risk of a tight scar capsule.
Because implant manufacturers from time to time introduce new styles and types of breast implants, additional options may become available. It is important for you to monitor your breast implants with follow-up visits with your plastic surgeon for appropriate checkups regardless of which kind of breast implant you choose.