Plastic Surgery Blog

January 9th, 2018

Implant Options: How to Ensure You Make the Best Choice

Selecting the right breast implants can be a nerve-wracking process. There are a number of variables to consider—such as the type of implant you want, what size you need, and where you want your implants placed—and all of these factor into achieving a pleasing outcome. If you’re not sure how to begin weighing all of your options, we can help; this simple guide to choosing the right breast implants covers all of the basics you’ll need to know before booking a consultation:

Choosing the Right Implant Size

One of the most common misconceptions about choosing breast implants is the idea that you can simply walk into a plastic surgeon’s office and request a cup size (e.g., “Make me a D cup.”) This approach is not advised because cup sizes are not standardized; they vary between different band sizes and even different underwear brands. What you should do is try on a set of “mock implants.”  Ask your plastic surgeon for a set of sample sizes.

Choosing an Implant Type

Today, patients over 22 years of age can choose to have either saline or silicone gel implants. Both options are safe, contrary to some of the early rumors about silicone implants that made their way into the media. Silicone implants are made from a type of medical-grade, durable silicone. Other types of silicone implants, like highly cohesive implants, are increasingly popular because if the implant ever ruptures, the filling sticks together rather than leaking into the body.

The only caveat to be aware of when choosing silicone implants is that implant ruptures can be harder to detect. Unlike saline implants, silicone gel implants do not obviously deflate after rupturing, so you will have to pay close attention to any minor changes in the shape of your implants. If you notice any small dents or lumps around one of your implants, make sure to book an MRI as quickly as possible.

Silicone implants are the preferred choice for most breast augmentation patients because they look and feel more like natural breast tissue. That being said, some people still prefer traditional saline implants because surgeons can adjust the filling during surgery before the pocket has been sewn up. They are also slightly less expensive and leave a much shorter scar. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, both saline and silicone implants can be made to look very natural, so you should choose the implant type that works best with your goals.

Choosing the Right Implant Placement

Breast implants can be placed either above the pectoral muscles or below them. When implants are placed under the muscle, the top of the implant is effectively hidden by muscle tissue. Some surgeons believe that placing implants under the muscle allows for more natural results, while others believe that placement can interfere with athletic activity. This creates a very natural “slope” to the breast and prevents the overly round look that’s associated with breast augmentation surgery.

However, not all patients are suitable candidates for under the muscle implant placement. Most notably, patients with very small chests who want to have large implants inserted usually require over the muscle placement. (This is necessary because they do not have enough natural breast tissue to accommodate under the muscle placement.) Fortunately, if you’re not able to have your implants inserted beneath your pectoral muscles, there are other options available. For many patients, over-the-muscle placement can still create natural results, but it’s crucial that they work with a skilled plastic surgeon with years of experience with breast augmentation.

If you still have questions about breast augmentation surgery after reviewing the information above, feel free to get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to explain your options in more depth or help you book a consultation with one of our board certified plastic surgeons.