Breast Implants Compared

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You deserve the results you want. Explore different breast implants to choose from if you’re planning to undergo breast augmentation.

If you’re unhappy with the size and structure of your breast, you don’t have to live with it forever. Breast augmentation has been here for a quite some time. Most women who underwent this cosmetic procedure were satisfied with their results.

Plastic surgery experts are using three kinds of breast implants that women can choose from to use in the surgery. These are the silicone, saline, and ‘gummy bear’ implants.

Silicone Breast Implants

The traditional silicone breast implants have been on the market for quite some time. Though it was banned in 1992, the FDA lifted the ban in 2006 after the product was proven safe to use as a breast implant. The outer shell being used is thicker this time.

Silicone-filled breast implants are covered with a thick silicone outer shell. It’s available in a variety of projection options to fit most dimensions or shapes of breasts. The FDA approves the breast implant for women aging 22 years and above.

  1. COST:
    Compared to saline implants, silicone costs more, but the longevity is longer. It may cost $6,750 more or less, depending on several factors like your location and plastic surgeon.
    Silicone breast implants require longer incisions, usually located along the breast crease. Some plastic surgeons create incisions near the armpit or on the navel. Don’t worry about the incisions. Great cosmetic surgeons can make them as unnoticeable as possible.
  3. PROS:
    Silicone breast implants are great because:

    • They give a natural appearance and feeling
    • They have minimal rupture possibility
    • They’re lighter and softer
    • They’re less prone to rippling
  4. CONS:
    Silicone breast implants also have drawbacks such as:

    • They’re expensive
    • Silent ruptures (ruptures that may come undetected)
    • High rate of capsular contracture (a scar formation around the implants harden and uncomfortably squeezes them)
    • Require larger incisions for insertion since they’re pre-filled
    • Silicone-related health risks
    • Routine MRI scans and complicated mammograms

Silicone breast implants require regular visits to your cosmetic surgeon to check if there’s any rupture. There can be periodic MRI scans scheduled to make sure the implants are still in place.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline breast implants are great options if you’re up for something cheaper than silicone. It has a silicone outer shell, but it’s filled with a saline solution (sterile saltwater). Although some saline breast implants are pre-filled, they’re usually filled right after the insertion of the implant into the breast incision site.

Since the silicone was hauled from 1992 to 2006, breast augmentation procedures have been using saline. Saline-filled implants are FDA-approved for women 18 years old and above who wish to increase their bust size. They’re also for breast reconstruction. It’s available in a variety of projection options to fit most dimensions or shapes of breasts.

    1. COST:
      Saline breast implants are cheaper than silicone with an average cost of $6,325 for the whole augmentation or reconstruction procedure. The price may vary due to several factors like your location and your plastic surgeon.

    2. INCISION:
      Since saline breast implants are usually filled with saline solution after the implant is inserted, it only needs a shorter incision. It’s typically done around the areola. Often, the placement is below or beneath the pectoral muscle.
    3. PROS:
      Saline breast implants are great because:

      • They’re cost-efficient
      • Smaller incisions
      • Low rate of capsular contracture
      • No need for follow-up MRI scans and regular visits to your doctor
      • They’re adjustable
      • In case of leaks, the saline solution is absorbed by the body and won’t cause any health issue because saline is a normal constituent in the body
  1. CONS:
    Saline breast implants also have drawbacks such as:

    • Don’t give a natural feeling
    • Don’t give a natural feeling
    • Firmer
    • Limited lifespan
    • High chance of rupture
    • Show more rippling especially to thin women

      By: MichaelJazayeriMD

Gummy Bear Breast Implants

One of the modern breast implants is the ‘gummy bear‘ or the highly cohesive silicone gel implants. They’re also called ‘form stable’ implants. These implants took their name from its texture that’s similar to gummy bear chewable candies. They’re still made of silicone but with a brand new take.

Just like the traditional silicone gel, the outer shell is pre-filled with silicone. However, this one has a ‘teardrop’ shape. The shape helps contribute to the implant’s stability. It also creates an upper pole that’s more sloping just like a natural, mature breast.

FDA has been conducting studies about this implant, but it’s made available to the public. The FDA approves gummy bear implants for women ages 22 years old and above.

    1. COST:
      The gummy bear implants are considered as an expensive implant. In an average, you may have to spend about $3,000 per pair aside from the cost of the whole procedure.
    2. INCISION:
      Gummy bear implants can’t be compressed, so they need to be placed through inframammary incisions. It creates a slightly extended incision, but the incision site and the placement are the same.
    3. PROS:
      Gummy bear breast implants are great because:

      • They have a distinct shape that maintains the form of the breast for a long time
      • Less scar formation
      • Ripple and fold free
      • Less prone to leakage
      • Holds up well to applied pressure, returns to its original shape when released
      • Looks and feels natural
      • Low chance of capsular contracture
    4. CONS:
      Gummy bear breast implants also have drawbacks such as:

      • Expensive
      • Need follow-up visits with your doctor
      • Periodic MRI screenings
      • Points to Keep in Mind
      • Breast implants aren’t meant to stay forever, regardless of what type you choose. They may only differ in lifespan. At some point in your life, you may need to remove or change them.
      • Surgery is surgery. You’re opening yourself to any probable infection. Proper care before and after the procedure is essential.
      • You may need to visit your doctor regularly in case of silent ruptures. There are also regular MRI screenings.

What’s the Best Implant to Choose?

There’s no better breast implant than the other. Each breast implant has their own set of characteristics that may fit a patient. No one can point out a single best type. They’re all FDA approved, so it means they’re safe to use if you want to undergo breast augmentation.

If you’re unsure of what implant to choose, talk with your cosmetic surgeon. Your doctor knows what type of implant fits your needs. Make sure you select a plastic surgeon that you feel safe with and is board-certified.