Choosing the breast implant that’s right for you is a very personal decision. You’ll need to consider several factors like your lifestyle, natural body shape, existing breast tissue and aesthetic goals before the best shape for you becomes clear. You’ll also need the help of an experienced plastic surgeon — scheduling a consultation with one of our board-certified providers is the best way to learn about your options and get an expert’s opinion on what kind of implant will make sense based on your needs. Your surgeon will take your breast measurements, consider your weight and height, listen to your goals, and will explain in detail the different implant types and shapes. This guide can introduce you to some of the factors that impact implant shape so you’ll be ready to discuss them with your surgeon as you pick out your implants at your consultation.
Saline vs. Silicone
Something any breast augmentation candidate must consider is the type of material from which they want their breast implants to be made. There are two options here: saline solution or silicone gel.
Saline breast implants are the original, time-tested breast implant. They are composed of a simple saltwater solution within a silicone outer shell. These implants can give a particularly lifted, rounded and symmetrical appearance as opposed to a softer shape. They can also be filled after they are placed inside of your breast tissue during your surgery — this is a benefit for women who have significantly different breast sizes, and can also result in a smaller scar. It is also easier to determine if a leak or deflation has occurred.
On the other hand, many patients prefer silicone breast implants because they look and feel more natural. These implants have a silicone outer shell and come pre-filled with silicone gel in the size you want. The gel has a cohesive, gummy consistency, which complements the feel of natural breast tissue and offers a malleable shape that can more closely match natural breasts. Silicone gel implants are considered safe and are the most commonly used breast implants on the market. Leaks or ruptures are very rare, though they may be more difficult to detect as the cohesive gel sticks together to retain the implant shape. Occasional imaging may be recommended by your surgeon to check for leaks, as well.
Choosing a breast implant width that closely resembles your current breast tissue width is key to creating a natural, balanced appearance. To determine the proper implant width, your surgeon will measure your breasts from the outside near your underarm straight across to the inside of the breast near the sternum. Most patients have a breast width between 11 and 14 centimeters, but implants come in a variety of widths to accommodate the unique size of each patient. At Advanced Aesthetics, we most often recommend an implant width that is the same or slightly smaller than your natural breast width. A significantly wider implant can take away from breast symmetry and put your breasts out of proportion from the rest of the body. Your surgeon will take careful measurements, consider your goals and recommend a breast implant that mirrors your current breast width to give you beautiful, natural results.
Many patients think that breast augmentation is solely about cup size. But in fact, breast implants are not measured by cup size — instead, implant volume is measured in cubic centimeters, or ccs. Cup size can be inaccurate since this measurement is actually relative to bra band size and the same cup will look very different on different women’s bodies. Cubic centimeters, on the other hand, measure precise volume and give you greater control over the size of your new breasts. Implants range from 100 ccs to 850cc but most of our patients choose implants in the middle of that range.
During your consultation at Advanced Aesthetics, your surgeon will be able to show you sample implants and what different sizes look like.
Breast profile refers to the amount of projection your new breasts will have — or, the amount that your new breasts will project outward from your chest wall. In general, the higher the profile of the breast implant, the more projection and upper breast fullness you will achieve. Low profile implants create subtle volume without adding significant lift. Medium profile implants will be noticeably perkier but retain natural breast shape. High profile implants create obvious, dramatic lift and an overall round shape. The most popular types are high profile or medium-plus profile breast implants, which add some fullness to the breasts without causing an “overdone” look. Your Advanced Aesthetics surgeon will offer a wide selection of implant profiles, in both saline and silicone gel, to provide you with the look you desire.
The final factor in determining the right shape for your breast implants is the sculpted shape of the implant itself. While material, size, and profile all play important parts in how your new breasts will look and all contribute in some way to the overall shape of the implants, you can also choose between two common implant shapes: round or teardrop. Round breast implants provide more projection on both the upper and lower part of the breast, and create a breast with a noticeably circular and symmetrical base. Teardrop-shaped breast implants are more anatomically correct, with a fuller bottom and a narrower upper pole similar to the way natural breast tissue settles over time. Teardrop implants give the most seamless result, though they don’t always have the dramatic “wow factor” that some women want in their new breasts.
If you’re interested in a breast augmentation in Atlanta and want to get a surgeon’s expert opinion on the type of implant that will give you your best shape, contact Advanced Aesthetics Plastic Surgery Center at 770-461-4000 to schedule a consultation. Our experienced staff and friendly board-certified surgeons will guide you through all of the considerations and help you determine which breast implant is right for you.