Breast Implants: Exploring the Options

For almost fifty years, the board certified plastic surgeons at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. have been on the forefront of innovation in reconstructive and cosmetic breast surgery, and in that time we have seen breast augmentation become the most commonly performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedure in America.  Many women come in to our Atlanta Plastic Surgery offices with pictures of celebrities they would like to resemble or clothes they would like to be able to wear in order to help their surgeons understand exactly what size and contours they are seeking.  While this can be extremely helpful way to ensure that your surgeon understands your personal plastic surgery goals, it is also important to manage your expectations so that those goals are appropriate for the patient’s individual body type.  Moreover, size and placement are not the only factors that determine the ultimate results of a breast enhancement procedure.  There are several different options available in breast implants, and understanding how those specific factors can impact the look and feel of the breasts can help you achieve the most satisfaction from your breast augmentation results.

Breast Implants: Exploring the OptionsSaline or Silicone

While there was some concern over their safety back in the early 1990’s, fourteen years of exhaustive tests and clinical trials have determined that silicone breast implants are completely safe, and they have been FDA approved for use in patients aged 22 and over since 2006.  Today, the choice of silicone versus saline is largely a matter of personal preference.  Most find silicone implants to be more natural in appearance and texture, and they are less likely to fold or ripple along the lower edge or side of the breast.  However, since saline implants are inserted into the breast pocket while empty and filled once inside, they typically require smaller incisions and leave smaller scars.  Moreover, since the implants can be filled independently, some surgeons prefer to use them in cases of significant breast asymmetry.  In recent years, gummy bear implants have also become increasingly popular.  Filled with a more cohesive, form-stable silicone gel that maintains its shape even if the outer shell ruptures, gummy bear implants can often safely provide noticeably enhanced firmness and projection.

Round or Shaped

Round implants, which are generally the more common of the two, provide exceptional lift and projection and can add a rounded fullness to the upper portion of the breast that many women find desirable.  However, women interested in a more subtle, natural looking breast may prefer shaped implants.  Thicker at the bottom and tapered at the top, shaped implants are designed to look like a tear-drop, more accurately mimicking the natural contours of the female breast.  During plastic surgery consultations patients are given the opportunity to discuss how different implant shapes will potentially look on their body, allowing them to choose the option that best fits their ultimate aesthetic goals.

Smooth or Textured

Smooth breast implants are considered to be the softest feeling, and because they can move and shift with the breast implant pocket they may provide more natural-looking movement.  However, a smooth exterior is really only suitable for round implants.  Shaped implants need to maintain a constant orientation and position in the breast cavity and so their surface is usually textured.  This allows healing tissue to adhere to the implant, making them less likely to move around inside the breast and get repositioned.  Texturing has also been shown to reduce the risk of capsular contracture, a complication that can sometimes occur after breast augmentation surgery.

Every patient is unique, and that’s why it is important to consult carefully with one of our plastic surgeons in order to determine the approach that will best suit your particular needs.  If you would like to further explore your options in plastic surgery or have questions about any of the plastic surgery procedures we provide, contact us to schedule a consultation.  Atlanta Plastic Surgery maintains offices throughout the Atlanta area, including facilities in, Cumming, Newnan, and Alpharetta in order to better serve you.  Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest news and updates.