Which type of breast implant is right for you?
So you are interested in getting a breast enlargement? Which breast implants should you choose? This is an important decision and no doubt you are feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety about it. In this article we provide you with some easy-to-understand information so you can feel empowered to make a well-informed decision.
There are several choices to consider when deciding which breast implants are right for you. These include:
• Silicone or saline inner filler material
• Smooth, Textured (‘Rough’) or Polyurethane Foam-Covered Surfaces
• Round or Tear-Drop shapes
We won’t go into size in this article because that is really a choice that you should make with the assistance of your breast surgeon. But we will expand on the other choices for you.
Silicone or saline inner filler material
All breast Implants consist of an outer casing (called the ‘shell’ or ‘wall’) plus an inner filler material, which is either saline or silicone. Silicone and saline implants have very different characteristics. The main advantages of saline implants are that they can be inflated and deflated (see the image below).
However there are several disadvantages that are reasons why our patients very rarely choose them:
• Less natural feel (more like a “waterbed” feel)
• There is the risk of spontaneous deflation (which could be a very embarrassing situation)
• If a Saline implant wall ruptures, the implant will simply deflate, whereas Silicone implants have a shape retaining memory, so breast fullness is not lost
• The chance of surface wrinkling or rippling is greater for Saline implants than Silicone implants
• The risk of Capsular Contracture (firming of the breasts or ‘stuck-on’ boob look) is higher than with our preferred Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants (“Furry Brazilians”)
See these comparisons in table form on our website page: Silicone versus Saline Implants
Smooth, Textured or Polyurethane Foam-Covered Implant Surfaces
Until 2009, the only choice in Australia was between Smooth and Textured (also called ‘Rough’) implants. We refer to these as ‘traditional implants’. In 2009, an additional type of implant surface in the form of Polyurethane Foam-Covered Implants became available. These still have silicone gel as their filler material but the implant shell is coated with a fine 1-2mm layer of polyurethane foam which gives them a ‘furry-feel’ – hence their colloquial name “Furries”!
Polyurethane Foam-Covered Implants have the following reported advantages:
• The risk of Capsular Contracture – the commonest reason for repeat surgery – is dramatically less compared to Smooth and Textured implants.
• By adhering to the implant pocket walls like ‘velcro’, they virtually eliminate the risk of the implant rotating, descending or moving away from its original position – another common reason for repeat surgery with Smooth & Textured Implants.
Smooth And Textured Implants: Not All Are The Same!
There are many brands out there with greatly differing levels of quality. If a patient specifically wants a Smooth or Textured Implant, we only recommend the highest quality brands.
You can read more details about implant surfaces on our website.
Round or ‘Tear-Drop’ Implant Shapes
Round Implant Shapes:
• Deliver more upper breast fullness
• Sometimes are the preferred shape to restore upper breast volume lost through breast-feeding or weight loss.
• Can be inserted through any incision location.
• Being perfectly round, rotation cannot produce any deformity of breast shape.
‘Tear-Drop’ Implant Shapes:
• Have more fullness in the mid and lower sections that tapers off towards the top
• Produces an attractive and natural straight-line drape of skin from collar-bone down to nipple
• Can only be inserted through an incision under the breast
Making Your Choice
A good place to start when considering what type of breast implant is best for you is to decide what shape you would prefer. You’re going to be attached to these ‘babies’ for a long-time so you really want to choose only the best quality implant that can deliver the ‘look’ you’re after.
If you prefer the Tear-Drop shape, then Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants are really the stand-out choice because with textured ‘tear-drops’ you still have a higher risk of implant rotation or displacement than the negligible risk with “Furries”!
Some of our patients are restricted by budget and because the “Furries” cost more, they turn to Smooth or Textured Implants instead. However, this is not always a wise decision because they could end requiring repeat surgery at considerable additional cost for a complication that may have been avoided by using “Furries”!
So, you may wish to consider Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants which come in both Round and Tear-Drop shapes depending on the ‘look’ you’re after.
Everyone’s situation is different and making the right decision is all important, so make sure you meet with your surgeon for a consultation and get personalised advice prior to making any decision.
Call us on 1300 73 63 53 and have an obligation-free chat with one of our friendly Clinical Advisors!