5 Popular Breast Implant Questions, Explained

Making the decision to get breast augmentation is a very exciting moment. While you’re probably eager to see your results as soon as you can, the first step is considering the variety of options available to you, especially when it comes to breast implants. As plastic surgeons, we have made it a priority to offer multiple implant options at our practice in Louisville, and we understand you may feel overwhelmed. Luckily, we’re here to help you understand all the key factors.

Here are my simple, honest explanations to 5 popular questions about breast implants. Remember that each woman’s body, lifestyle, and needs are different, so your choices should always be unique to you. With the help of your board-certified plastic surgeon, you’ll be able to make the decisions that are best for you.

1. Which size should I choose? It’s important to be aware that breast implants are measured in volume by cubic centimeters (cc), not by bra cup size. This is because each patient’s body shape and existing breast tissue are different. For example, a 300-cc size breast implant may achieve the cup size you desire, but it may result in a much larger cup size on a friend who has more existing breast tissue. During your breast augmentation consultation, Dr. Calobrace or I will help you determine what implant size is right for you through a few methods, including a sizing bra and VECTRA® 3-D Imaging. This system enables us to take photos of your body at different angles and create a 3-D simulation of what your breasts would look like with different sized implants. You can virtually adjust the size to give you a better understanding of your potential results. Many patients love this part of the process, which can help them narrow down their goals.

2. What are breast implants made of? There are 2 different materials that fill breast implants: saline and silicone. Each material feels slightly different and offers different benefits.

  • Saline: Available to women 18 years of age and older, this type of implant is filled with a sterile saltwater solution. The implants are inserted empty and filled with the saline solution after they are placed, which means only a very small incision is needed. Take a look at some patient results using saline implants here.
  • Silicone: These implants, available to women 22 years of age and older, contain a silicone gel created to mimic the feeling of real breast tissue, and most people agree they do feel more natural. These implants are also often called “gummy bear” implants, because they are “form stable,” meaning they hold their shape even if they are compressed or torn, as a gummy bear candy would. At our practice, we often use Sientra® brand silicone implants. They are available only to board-certified plastic surgeons and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures, enabling us to customize results for each woman’s individual preferences. View our before-and-after gallery to see the results of these implants.

3. What are the different shapes? There are 2 main shapes of implants available: round and anatomically shaped. Each creates different results.

  • Round: Round implants are circular in shape, projecting outward symmetrically. They are often a good choice for patients who are interested in filling out the upper breast for a more dramatic transformation and more cleavage.
  • Shaped: Shaped implants, also called “anatomically shaped” and “teardrop-shaped,” are created to look more like a natural breast, with more volume in the lower portion of the implant. These are good choice for patients who want a more subtle result and who are happy with the shape of their existing breasts.

4. What is a textured implant? Breast implants are available with either a smooth or textured external surface, each with different benefits.

  • Smooth: Because of their smooth surface, these implants can move freely within the breast capsule. This provides a nice look because the implants move naturally when the woman moves.
  • Textured: Textured implants are covered with tiny, soft bumps that encourage tissue to adhere more securely to the implant, preventing it from moving. All anatomically shaped implants have a textured surface because it’s important they don’t rotate. Round implants can be either smooth or textured. Some studies have shown a textured surface may help prevent a complication called capsular contracture, which occurs when an excess of scar tissue tightens around an implant.

5. How do I make the right decisions? As you collect further information about breast augmentation, be sure to write down questions to ask your surgeon during your consultation. At this appointment, we will discuss your health, body, and desired results to help answer your questions and choose the best implant options for you.

Dr. Calobrace and I believe it is important for patients to understand all of their options before undergoing a breast augmentation. To learn more about implants, surgery steps, and the recovery process, I encourage you to explore the breast augmentation section of our website. Or, if you’re ready to move forward and discuss these options in person, contact us to schedule a consultation.

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