Everything you need to know about breast implants Introduction Breast implant surgery is a plastic surgery procedure that increases the size of the breasts. Implants are artificial objects that are inserted and placed with the goal to add projection and volume to the breasts. Women are extremely sensitive when it comes to the size and shape of the breasts. The breasts define the femininity and physical attractiveness in women. As such, smaller breasts affect the self-esteem of women. If your breasts have become smaller and you desire to have bigger and voluptuous breasts, you may consider the breast implant procedure. The surgery is very popular and one of the most common procedures in the US. However, despite its popularity, many women are unaware of some of the important facts about breast implants. In this article, I will discuss everything you need to know about breast implants. Breast implants Breast implants are prosthetic objects. They come in different sizes and profiles. There is no standard size that can fit every woman. Every patient has unique body features, outline, and breast dimensions, which is why every woman needs a different breast implant size and profile. What size and profile are best for you will be recommended during the pre-operative consultation. The plastic surgeon will perform a medical examination on your breasts, take certain measurements, and know your aesthetic goals to recommend you a suitable implant size and profile. There are two types of breast implants: saline and silicone implants. Let’s discuss the types of breast implants in detail. Silicone implants Silicone breast implants are the most common and preferred breast implants. The silicone implant is made of a silicone shell that comes pre-filled with silicone gel. The FDA has approved the use of silicone implants in breast augmentation. The results of the silicone implant appear more natural than that of saline implants. Silicone breast implants are normally soft and have a natural feel and look. It is less likely to ripple compared to the saline implant. As a result of the safe history and impressive outcomes provided by silicone breast implants, majority of patients prefer to get this type of implant. When it comes to the cons, the silicone implant needs larger incisions to be placed on the breasts. This is required because the implants come filled with silicone gel. Even though the saline implant is conveniently placed inside the breasts via incisions on the areola and underarm, this option does not exist for the silicone implant. In case the silicone implant ruptures, the gel remains within the shell or implant pocket. It does not move to other areas of the body. What this means is that your breast shape will not immediately change if the implant ruptures. This makes it hard to detect a ruptured silicone implant. To diagnose the condition, the patient must get an MRI. Also, keep in mind that regular silicone breast implants are available in round shape only. The silicone breast implant has seen many advancements and improvements. Today, silicone implants also come filled with highly cohesive gel. Popularly known as the gummy bear implant, highly cohesive gel implants are the most advanced form of silicone breast implants. These implants are form-stable and more consistent than regular silicone breast implants. The gel is thicker and firmer. Cohesive gel breast implants are increasing in popularity these days. They have a good record of delivering better results and are more durable than regular silicone implants. It entails a lower risk of capsular contracture, palpability, rippling, and rupture. When the cohesive gel implant is used, it provides better shape to the breasts and enough projection and increase in size. Cohesive gel silicone implants are available in teardrop and round shapes. Most patients prefer to get teardrop implants. Saline implants The second type of breast implant is the saline implant. It is made of a silicone shell that is filled with saline solution after inserting the shell inside the breasts. These implants hit the height of popularity when they were first launched. However, it soon lost its glory due to the development of silicone implants. Saline implants are rarely used these days. However, depending on your needs and aesthetic goals, the plastic surgeon may recommend you a saline breast implant. You can opt to get saline implants is you are not comfortable getting silicone implants. Also, saline implants are used for patients who desire to have maximum upper pole fullness and projection. Keep in mind that while saline implants are not so popular, if they are used on the right candidate who has certain aesthetic goals and flaws in her breasts, they can make your breasts look beautiful and projected. However, the outcomes of the saline implant don’t look as natural as that of the silicone implant. The saline solution is sterile saltwater that does not expose your body to any risks. Even when the implants rupture or leak, the solution will be naturally and safely absorbed and excreted by your body. The saline implant comes with the advantage that its volume can be adjusted because the saline solution is filled in the shell after placing the implant inside the breasts. Breast implant textures Modern breast implants come in two forms: smooth and textured exterior surface. Textured implants have a rough exterior surface. As a result, they provide maximum grip to the breasts. Smooth implants have an even external surface. This makes the implants highly coherent and suave. In most cases, smooth-surfaced breast implants are used. Smooth implants can be conveniently inserted and placed inside the breasts. It is also thinner than textured breast implants, which is why they feel soft inside the breasts. Furthermore, smooth implants are also more durable, and the outcomes will stay with you relatively longer. Their price is also somehow lower than textured implants. The risk of implant rippling and palpability is lower in the case of smooth implants. On the other hand, textured implants are meant to reduce the risk of capsular contracture and implant rotation within the breasts. The textures hold the implant in place, preventing rotation and movements. However, there is no strong evidence that can suggest that textured implants are less likely to cause capsular contracture. The risk of rippling and palpability is higher in the case of textured implants. Furthermore, they cost slightly higher than smooth implants. Breast implant profiles Breast implants come in different profiles. The profile of the implant shows the degree to which the implant can project forward from your chest when you are standing straight. The implants come in low, medium, high, and ultra-high profiles. The breast implant profile suitable for you will be determined during the pre-operative consultation. The plastic surgeon will know your expectations and desired goals and measure your chest dimensions, height, and weight before recommending you a certain profile. Low profile breast implants appear flat in shape and provide little projection to your breasts. Women with wider chest dimensions mostly get low profile implants because it has a very wide base. On the other hand, the medium or moderate profile is recommended if you desire to have a moderate projection in your breasts. With this profile, your breasts will appear more natural. This implant profile is best for patients with a narrow or small chest dimension. On the other hand, high profile breast implants feature an extremely narrow base that enables them to add maximum projection to the breasts. You can get this if you are petite or have a narrow chest wall. Ultra-high breast implants have the narrowest base. It adds maximum upper pole fullness to the breasts. Breast implant size options Breast implants also come in different sizes, which offers flexibility to which you desire to increase your breast size. The normal breast implant size ranges from 100cc to 900cc. Which breast implant size is best for you depends on your aesthetic goals, the breast implant profile, your chest dimension, body outline, and weight. Ideally, the breast implant size should accentuate and be in tune with your body outline and chest dimension. Conclusion Implants are foreign objects that are inserted and placed inside the breasts with the goal to make the breasts bigger and shapelier. There are two types of breast implants that have been explained above. Moreover, breast implants differ regarding profile, size, and surface. These aspects have been discussed in detail in this article. It is important to find out all the details about implants before scheduling your breast augmentation procedure. Make sure to choose an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon to play out your procedure and to guide you in choosing the right type of implants for your anatomy.