Dr. Prashant Soni, Board Certified Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeon at Advanced Specialty Care explains the differences between breast implant options including the pros and cons of each type.Silicone, smooth, saline, textured, gel, gummy bear. What does any of this mean?
We understand that considering breast implants can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! We’ve put together a guide to help you understand which implant options are available and which may be right for you.
Two Types of Implants
You may have seen some implants marketed as gummy bear but there are really only two types of breast implants; silicone and saline. Gummy bear implants are a part of the silicone implant family but we’ll dive into that in a bit.
Silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel. The offer the most natural look and feel as they more closely resemble your natural breast tissue. Silicone implants in the United States are FDA-approved and the material used has been rigorously tested and studied to ensure its safety.
- More natural look and feel
- In the rare event that the implant shell, or casing, “breaks”, the implant will not collapse and will remain in the breast pocket.
- Variety of shape options available
- More expensive
- May be contraindicated in certain patients
Saline implants are also FDA-approved and have gone through the same testing standards as silicone implants. The obvious difference is, saline implants are filled with sterile salt water instead of silicone gel.
- In the event of a an implant shell “breaking”, the saline is simple reabsorbed by the body
- Typically less expensive than silicone implants
- Less natural look and feel
- No option of changing the implant shape
- If the implant shell “breaks”, the implant will collapse meaning that breast will become smaller in appearance
What about gummy bear implants?
These are simply a type of silicone implants. The silicone gel used is thicker than that used in regular silicone implants which creates a firmer feel.
- If the implant shell breaks, the implant will retain its shape
- The implant is firmer which some patients may not prefer
- The majority of gummy bear implants are shaped almost like a teardrop with the bottom being fuller than the top. If the implant rotates, this will cause the breast to appear distorted
- * Shaped implants have a textured shell which can pose health risks; see below for more on this
Left: Silicone | Right: Saline
Smooth or Textured?
Implant shells can either be smooth or textured. At Advanced Specialty Care, we only use smooth implants and here’s why: Textured implants are designed to stay in place and not move around. The texture on the shell of the implants causes the body to form scar tissue that sticks to the implant holding it in place. Unfortunately, the texture also irritates the tissue creating fluid build-up and can potentially cause a cancer known as Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma which can spread throughout the body.
- Allows the implant to move very slightly which mimics the movement of natural breast tissue
- Much safer than textured implants
- Depending on implant size and how thin the patient is, these maybe be slightly more visible under the skin
- Textured implants are available in a variety of shapes such as the teardrop shape mentioned earlier
- Less movement or chance of implant rotation
- Carries more risk and has been linked to Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
- Only available for silicone implants
Right: Textured Implant | Left: Smooth Implant
Beyond the textured implant shapes, smooth, silicone implants also offer different choices for fullness and projection. Depending on your desired look, your surgeon will be able to determine whether a round or higher profile implant will achieve the best result for you. But here’s an overview of what some of these terms mean:
Round/Moderate/Regular: This is your normal implant in terms of projection (how much the implant protrudes) and the roundness of the implant (how wide the implant is).
High Profile: High profile implants are less round and project further out.
Contoured/Teardrop/Shaped: These are more full at the bottom and less full at the top. These are only available as a textured silicone implant.
Dr. Prashant Soni is a Baord Certified Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon. He is a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Board of Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgery, an Associate Fellow of the Fairfield County Medical Association and a Diplomate of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Soni practices and accepts new patients at Advanced Specialty Care's offices in Danbury, Norwalk and Ridgefield, CT.
At Advanced Specialty Care, our Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons offer both medical and cosmetic procedures such as skin cancer removal, post-weight loss surgery, breast reconstruction as well as facelifts, breast augmentation, botox and fillers injections and more. We have offices in the Fairfield County towns of Danbury, Norwalk and Ridgefield and in the Litchfield County town of New Milford. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call our office at (203) 830-4700 or simply click here to fill out an appointment request form.
Advanced Specialty Care is a multi-specialty private practice caring for patients in Fairfield County, CT for over 30 years. We are committed to the well-being of our patients. In addition to Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery, we have expertise in Allergy & Asthma, Audiology, Dermatology and Skin Care, Ear, Nose & Throat, Head & Neck Surgery and Hand Surgery. Our six, convenient Connecticut offices include, Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Southbury and Stamford.