Life is full of choices. At the grocery store, you choose between paper and plastic. At the mall, you choose between credit or debit. And when it comes to breast augmentation, you can choose between silicone or saline implants.
As it turns out, there’s more to choosing the right implants than picking the material. You also want to think about the size and shape of the implants and how they’ll affect your lifestyle. These tips will help you choose the best implants for your body and your life.
Silicone vs. Saline Implants
When it comes to choosing between saline and silicone, you’re not just picking the material. How the implants look and feel and how they’re placed varies based on their primary material.
Let’s start with saline, which tends to be the less popular of the two. A saline implant consists of a silicone shell that is filled with saline. Compared to silicone-filled implants, saline has three advantages.
One benefit is that a surgeon can fill the implant after placing it. This means that he can make a smaller incision in the chest area so that there’s a smaller scar when all is said and done.
The second advantage of a saline implant is that the surgeon can customize its size. Since it’s filled after placement, more or less saline can be added depending on the patient’s aesthetic preferences.
The final advantage that a saline implant has over a silicone implant is that it’s FDA-approved for women over the age of 18. If a woman wants to choose silicone, she needs to wait until she’s 22.
Although saline has its advantages, many people argue that silicone implants are overall better, at least for the right patients. The gel used to fill a silicone implant tends to feel more natural than saline. Saline can feel hard to the touch while silicone feels soft, almost like real breast tissue.
When you choose silicone, you’re also less likely to see rippling or unwanted texture beneath the skin, which can occur with a saline implant. The amount of natural breast tissue you have can affect how much “rippling” there is. Ripples tend to be more common in thinner patients.
If you’ve ever bought a bra, then you know that breast sizes can be downright confusing. Although plenty of women say that they want implants to give them a “C cup,” there’s almost no way to guarantee that you’ll walk away with a C cup after breast augmentation. It’s worth remembering that what a C cup is varies based on bra brand and style and based on the band size as well. A 32C is nothing like a 42C, for example.
Instead of focusing on your bra size, ask your surgeon to let you try out implant sizers. That will give you a better idea of what the implants will feel and look like and how a range of sizes will look on your body.
Another thing to consider when choosing the size of the implant is how natural you want your results to be. Larger implants, particularly on smaller frames, tend to look less natural than smaller implants. It’s all a matter of preference, though. You might be comfortable with a less natural look in exchange for considerably larger breasts.
Your day-to-day life should influence the type of implants you choose and their size. If you are a marathoner or regularly participate in strenuous sports or exercise, large implants could get in the way of your favorite hobbies.
Shape and Placement
Today’s implants are available in a variety of shapes, from round to teardrop and from high profile to low profile. The shape of the implant affects the final results. For example, round implants tend to create fuller breasts while teardrop shaped implants tend to create a more natural-looking breast shape. Often, teardrop breast implants are best for women who are having breast reconstruction surgery while round implants work best for augmenting the size of the existing breasts.
When it comes to implant placement, the question is “over or under the muscle?” Under-the-muscle placement tends to create a more natural look and can reduce the risk of deformities or problems with the implant (such as capsular contracture). Over-the-muscle placement can be appropriate for some patients, but many surgeons prefer under-the-muscle.
If you’re ready to learn more about your implant options, Dr. Paul Vitenas is a Houston-based, board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery. To schedule a consultation, call 281-484-0088 today.