Breast implants are a type of medical prosthesis that is placed inside of the breasts in order to augment, reconstruct, or alter the physical form of the breasts during breast augmentation and breast reconstruction surgery. The best type, size, shape, and placement of implants depend on numerous medical and lifestyle factors that are unique to each patient's requirements and preferences for breast enhancement surgery.
In addition to selecting the material from which the implants are made, patients may also choose among a number of options regarding the shape and texture of their implants. If you are considering undergoing breast plastic surgery, contact the plastic surgeons in Gainesville, FL, with Nesmith Plastic Surgery Center. Our cosmetic surgeons can help you select the implants ideal for your aesthetic and functional preferences.
Saline implants contain a silicone outer shell that is filled with sterile saltwater (saline) solution. Saline-filled breast implants are filled with saline after the shell is inserted into the breast pocket in order to achieve the desired degree of fullness and volume within the breasts as well as optimal breast symmetry. Implants filled with saline require a smaller incision than silicone-filled implants and they are typically round in shape. Saline implants feel firmer than other types of implants and are optimal for patients with an adequate amount of existing breast tissue.
Cohesive-gel filled implants, or gummy bear implants, comprise a silicone outer shell that is filled with cohesive silicone gel. Compared with other silicone implants, gummy bear implants are highly resilient and more effectively retain their shape. In addition, gummy bear implants are soft to the touch and produce voluminous, natural-looking breasts. Gummy implants are teardrop-shaped and textured in order to prevent shifting of the implants over time. Cohesive gel implants carry a lower risk of capsular contracture than saline implants and silicone implants.
Silicone implants have a silicone outer shell and are pre-filled with a thick, sticky fluid that closely mimics the look and feel of natural breasts. This type of implant is available in a number of different sizes and can either have a smooth or textured shell. Silicone gel implants provide a natural, tissue-like feel and they are commonly used during breast enhancement and breast reconstruction surgery. In addition, silicone implants are less susceptible to rippling than with other types of implants, such as saline implants, due to the resilient nature of silicone.
Fat transfer breast augmentation is an alternative to breast implants in which liposuction is used to transfer a portion of fat from one area of the patient’s body to the breasts in order to increase breast size and volume. Fat transfer, or fat grafting, is a minimally invasive and low-risk procedure that may be used in conjunction with breast implants in order to fulfill a patient’s desired degree of breast fullness. Fat grafting is commonly used for patients that seek breast enhancement but do not have adequate breast tissue to both cover and retain implants.
Breast Implant Sizes
There are numerous factors to consider when choosing among different types of breast implants and implant sizes. The patient’s current breast measurements, desired cup size, and characteristics of the patient’s breasts, tissues, and chest wall are critical in selecting the best implant size. Breast implants are measured in cubic centimeters (cm3) and they range from approximately 150-800 cm3 or larger. The ideal size of each breast implant depends upon the existing breast size, the patient’s personal goals, and the recommendation of the Gainesville plastic surgeon. The best way for a patient to determine their ideal implant size is to schedule a consultation at our plastic surgery center. Both Dr. Richard L. Nesmith and Dr. Brad Nesmith are available to help patients select the ideal breast implants for their cosmetic procedure.
Round Vs. Teardrop Implants
As with selecting a breast implant size, choosing the shape of breast implants requires consideration of a number of factors, such as the shape and symmetry of the rib cage and muscles, the shape and depth of the breastbone, the current breast volume and availability of skin, among other important factors. Saline-filled implants and silicone-filled implants are typically round, while gummy bear implants are available in a teardrop shape. Round implants are symmetrical and produce a fuller appearance to the top portion of the breasts, while teardrop implants lend a subtle, sloped appearance to the breast profile, which mimics natural breasts. Patients with a petite frame require high-profile implants to achieve the desired bust size while ensuring the implant base is not too wide.
Smooth Vs. Textured Implants
Smooth breast implants have a thinner shell than with textured implants, which produces a softer appearance to the overall breast. Smooth implants, commonly referred to as smooth, round implants, move freely within the breast cavity in a greater capacity than textured implants. Textured implants have a thick, textured outer shell, which helps the implant adheres to the breast tissue. This serves to prevent the implant from rotating within the breast cavity and creating a deformed appearance to the bust. Both smooth and textured implants are popular options frequently used in breast implant surgery, however, textured breast implants may be preferable for patients with a convex breast bone, sagging breasts, and breasts that bottom-out.
Breast Implant Placement
During the breast implant procedure, our plastic surgeon can either place breast implants over the muscle (subglandular placement) or under the chest muscles (subpectoral placement). For assistance with determining the best type of breast implant placement, contact Nesmith Plastic Surgery Center to schedule a plastic surgery consultation for breast lift with implants or breast augmentation.
Over The Muscle
The subglandular technique places the implant between the breast tissue and the chest muscles and may be optimal for patients with a moderate amount of breast tissue. The recovery process is typically simpler and quicker with subglandular placement than with subpectoral placement. Smooth implants should not be placed over the muscle, as this placement may result in a higher risk of capsular contracture development and visible rippling of the implants.
Under The Muscle
Subpectoral placement, or submuscular placement, is a technique in which the breast implants are placed partially beneath the pectoralis — the primary muscles located within the chest. Using smooth implants under the pectoralis reduces the chance of capsular contracture. However, under-the-muscle implant placement may result in a more lengthy recovery process, as greater time is required for swelling to subside and for breasts to settle.