Which Breast Implant Is Best for You?
You have made the decision to have breast augmentation with implants. Now you face another major choice—which type of implant is best for you? “It is all dependent on how much tissue you are starting with,” says Dr. Deborah Pan, one of Esana’s award winning board-certified breast surgery specialists. Which type of implant does she prefer? “I use them all,” she explains. Dr. Pan works closely with her patients to explain the pros and cons of all three types so that each patient derives maximum benefit, comfort, and satisfaction.
A brief summary of the qualities of each type of implant, which are offered by all three major manufacturers: Natrelle (Allergan), Mentor and Sientra.
Saline implants are an excellent choice if you have ample breast tissue to naturally hide the texture of the implant. Other factors to consider:
- Since they are filled with saline after the implantation, there is a smaller scar on the breast.
- The size of the implant can be changed with the addition or removal of additional saline solution with a syringe during surgery, allowing mild adjustment ability.
- Saline implants may be prone to rippling.
- If the implant ruptures, the saline is easily absorbed into the body.
Silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue. According to Dr. Pan, “Compared head to head, regular silicone always wins out in naturalness of texture.” Additional factors to consider:
- If a silicone implant develops a small hole, the rupture will not be noticeable. The silicone stays in the implant. While studies haven’t found any increase in health risks, most doctors recommend removing the implant and exchanging for new ones.
- Since the rupture may be invisible, you may be advised to have an MRI three years after implantation and every two years after that, or at least annual mammograms if you are over 35 years old.
Form stable or “gummy bear” implants are the latest generation of silicone implants and are comprised of stiffer gel. Other aspects of form stable implants:
- Because of the firmer texture, the patient’s risk of developing a capsular contracture (scar tissue that squeezes the implant) could be lessened.
- Insertion of the implant may require a slightly longer incision.
- Another potential disadvantage is the risk of rotation of the implant in which case the thicker part of the implant can distort the breast’s shape.
Each implant type has its advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Pan has not found any difference in the satisfaction of her patients. “I make sure the patient makes the right choice that suits her lifestyle and aesthetic goals,” she says.