While both saline and silicone breast implants are generally considered safe, silicone implants are preferred by many because of their natural look.
Breast augmentation surgery can be done with a variety of fillers, and the best type depends on your body type, breast anatomy, and other factors. Talk to your doctor about which implant is best for you.
Saline vs. silicone breast implants
There are two major types of breast implants: saline and silicone.
Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. These implants are unique in that they can be filled either before or after the implant operation. If the implant shell leaks, the saline implant will collapse, with the saline being absorbed and expelled by the body.
Saline implants are often used to correct asymmetry in the breasts and may feel stiffer than silicone implants due to the nature of salt water. Structured saline implants have an interior structure that helps the implant feel more natural.
Saline breast implants are approved by the FDA for use in people over 18 years of age.
Silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone gel that has a texture similar to genuine breast tissue. If damage to the outer shell of the implant occurs, the silicone gel may leak into the breast implant pocket or be confined to the implant shell. A leaking silicone gel implant will not collapse.
If you choose silicone implants, you may need to see your plastic surgeon regularly to ensure that the implants are working properly. An ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging scan can be used to evaluate the status of breast implants.
Silicone breast implants have been approved by the FDA for use in people aged 22 and up.
4 types of breast implants
1. Gummy bear breast implant
Gummy bear breast implants are silicone breast implants that are designed to provide a uniform shape and look more natural than traditional silicone implants. The shape of the implant is retained even if damage occurs to the shell.
The silicone in a gummy bear implant is thicker and more durable than regular implants. The shape is broader at the bottom and tapers toward the top.
Gummy bear implants are less likely to move around as your body moves and retains its shape. The implants have shape memory, which allows them to revert to their previous contours after being repositioned. This can significantly lessen the likelihood of the implant folding or rippling.
Because gummy bear implants are relatively new, studies regarding their durability have yet to be done. This type of implant is more expensive than other types, and a larger incision is required to implant them in the breast. Some women also feel that the implants do not move naturally when changing body positions.
2. Textured breast implants
Textured breast implants have a rough surface, which helps them adhere to the tissue around them, making it less likely to move around inside the breast.
Surface texturing of breast implants is intended to reduce some of the more common problems of breast augmentation and reconstruction, such as lowering the risk of a tight scar or capsular contracture (where breast tissue around the capsule becomes tight) and excessive implant movement inside the breast pocket.
3. Round breast implants
Round breast implants are sphere-shaped and have equal dimensions all around. They make the breasts appear fuller and more round.
Because round implants have the same form all over, they are less likely to rotate out of position.
4. Smooth breast implants
Smooth breast implants are the most comfortable to wear. These are made up of an exterior silicone rubber shell encasing with a filler of either silicone gel or saline. The outside silicone rubber shell is smooth and slippery.
Smooth implants can move freely within the breast implant pocket, allowing for more natural movement. However, they may have visible ripples under the skin.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Zwiebel Center. Which Breast Implants are Right for Me? https://www.drzwiebel.com/blog/which-breast-implants-are-right-for-me
Kremer D. Which breast implant is best? Harley St Aesthetics Ltd. https://www.harleystreetaesthetics.com/blog/dr-kremers-blog/2015/09/11/which-breast-implant-is-best
77 Plastic Surgery & Larry K. Fan, MD Inc. What Are the Safest Types of Breast Implants? https://www.77plasticsurgery.com/blog/what-are-the-safest-types-of-breast-implants