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Breast Implants

Breast Augmentation Photo Gallery There are many different types of breast implants available today for breast augmentation. No breast implant type is suitable for every augmentation patient. The decision about which breast implant type to use is based upon many factors. Both the plastic surgeon and patient together should choose which type of breast implant to use and which method of augmentation to employ.

Types of Breast Implants

Saline and Silicone

Saline Breast Implants

The majority of breast implants that are used for augmentation today are comprised of a silicone shell which is filled with saline. The implants come from the manufacturer filled with air. The air is removed prior to placement of the implant during breast augmentation and the implants are filled with saline once they are in place. This allows for very short incisions to be used during the augmentation. The main advantages of the saline breast implant for breast augmentation:

Silicone Gel Implants

FDA Study of Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone gel breast implants consist of a silicone shell filled with silicone gel. These are the type of breast implants which were initially introduced by plastic surgeons in the 1960's and have been in use ever since. Controversy developed surrounding the use of these devices for breast augmentation. The controversies were centered around whether or not these breast implants ruptured. If they did rupture, these questions were commonly asked:

It was precisely these questions which led the FDA to suspend use of silicone gel filled breast implants for routine primary breast augmentation. Following this suspension, silicone gel filled breast implants were available as part of an ongoing FDA study. Dr. Bernard Shuster was an investigator in the FDA's silicone gel breast implant study. The goal of the study has been to answer the questions regarding the use of the implants for breast augmentation in order to determine the rupture rate of these implants and whether gel filled breast implants pose a potential health hazard.

To date, significant scientific work has been done by experts in various fields of medicine regarding the issues surrounding the uses of gel filled breast implants for breast augmentation. Their findings suggest there is no systemic health hazard related to the use of gel filled breast implants. Silicone gel breast implants were approved by the FDA in 2006.

Advantages of Silicone Breast Implants

Disadvantages of Silicone Breast Implants

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Round and Anatomic Shaped Breast Implants

Breast implants for augmentation come in a variety of shapes. In general, these are round or anatomic (tear drop) shaped. No one design is best for every augmentation. Rather, each augmentation patient should be evaluated individually regarding which breast implant design is best for them.

Round Breast Implants

Round breast implants are by far the most popular style used for augmentation today. An advantage of the round breast implant, as compared to the tear drop shaped breast implant, is that if the implant rotates it is of no consequence. This type of breast implant is round and therefore has no vertical or horizontal orientation. Another important point to consider is that when a round breast implant is in place and a woman stands up, much of the filler settles in the bottom portion of the breast implant as a result of gravity. This creates a profile quite similar to that of the anatomic breast implant but avoids the risk of visible distortion following breast augmentation.

Anatomic Breast Implants

Anatomic breast implants, also called tear dropped shaped breast implants, have more volume along the lower portion. The concept behind this is that this type will have a more natural appearance. While this works well for a select group of patients undergoing augmentation, it has not become widely used. The drawback with this design is that anatomic breast implants have a distinct vertical orientation. If the implant rotates following augmentation, it distorts the appearance; not an ideal outcome. However, some patients benefit from this design making the tear drop shape the correct choice.

Breast Implant Profiles

Smooth round implants for breast augmentation come in various sizes and styles. The profile of these implants is the view of the implant from the side. This is called the projection of the breast implant. Breast implant manufacturers are now making these breast augmentation devices with a variety of projections and profiles:

For any given breast implant width, the higher the profile the more the projection. The selection of which style to use depends in large part upon a woman's body type and her personal preference.

Cohesive Silicone Gel Breast Implants

Cohesive gel implants are the newest advances in breast augmentation. What is so innovative about these breast implants is that if the shell were to rupture or tear, the gel is thicker and thus less likely to extrude from the shell and enter the tissues. These breast augmentation devices are textured and have an anatomic shape. The Cohesive gel breast implants have more of a firm feel which has led to them being called "Gummy Bear" breast implants. While there is much interest in these implants, they are relatively new to the breast augmentation market. The main advantage of silicone gel implants for breast augmentation is the soft natural feel to them. As the Cohesive gel implants have a firm consistency, it differs from the traditional gel filled breast implants in this regard.

Request a Consultation

Dr. Shuster is committed to his patients' care. From your initial breast implant consultation and past your breast augmentation surgery, Dr. Shuster and his staff will check in and continue to monitor your progress. For credentials, experience, and results you can count on, request a consultation today.

If you would like to learn more, read our what to expect at a breast augmentation consultation page and FAQs section.