Choosing the best breast implant

June 28, 2012

Choosing the best breast implant
Choosing the best breast implant

With the recent FDA approval of a new type of silicone gel breast implant, women interested in breast augmentation surgery have more choices than ever.

"Surgical techniques for breast augmentation and breast implants themselves are continuously being refined, increasing the safety and reliability of the procedure," reports the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

While there are two main types of implants - saline and silicone - there are considerations to be made for each one. For instance, there's textured versus smooth implants and round versus shaped implants.

Saline implants consist of a solid silicone rubber outer shell filled with sterile salt water. This type of implant may be pre-filled to a predetermined size, or they can also be filled at the time of surgery. One of the main benefits of this type of implant is that they can be inserted via a smaller incision than silicone implants.

"Saline implants are typically used in younger patients as this procedure only requires a small incision," a Michigan-based plastic surgeon told "The disadvantage is that they may not feel as natural as gel implants if the patient lacks the breast tissue needed to cover the implant."
On the other hand, silicone gel-filled breast implants are medical devices implanted under the breast tissue or under the chest muscle. These implants have a silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel. They come in different sizes and have either smooth or textured shells.

Although silicone breast implants are pre-filled and may require a longer incision for implant placement, some people prefer them because they have a more natural feel.

The newly approved "gummy bear" implants - also known as cohesive gel, highly cohesive gel or form-stable gel silicone breast implants - are a type of silicone implant. ABC News reports that the gummy bear nickname because when cut in half, the implant is stable and retains its shape, similar to gummy bear candy.

"[These implants] are longer-lasting and maintain a more attractive and predictable shape," one plastic surgeon explained in a press release.

According to, proponents of gummy bear implants say that other benefits associated with this type of implant include their ability to resist gravity, more infrequent hardening of scar tissue and the fact that they're unlikely to leak.

One of the negatives associated with any type of silicone implant is that they may rupture without the individual knowing about it. Currently, the FDA recommends individuals with silicone implants get an MRI every other year starting with the third year after surgery to look for silent ruptures.

Those who wish to enhance their breast size through breast implant surgery have more decisions other than size. A licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon can help them decide which type and size of breast implant is best for their desired outcome. 

The mission of the Aesthetic Society includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Aesthetic Society, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. The Aesthetic Society is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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