Exploring the Types of Breast Implant Shapes and Materials

type of Breast Implant Materials and Shapes

When considering a breast augmentation, choosing the right types of breast implant shapes and materials is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Each type of breast implant material available today is designed to meet specific aesthetic goals and body types. In this post, we’ll provide a comparison of the types of breast implants, defining all the options to help you make an informed choice.

Types of Breast Implant Shapes

Selecting the shape of your breast implants is just as important as choosing a size, as it affects the overall appearance of the augmentation. You primarily have two types of breast implant shapes to choose from:

Round Breast Implants

Round implants are ideal for those who desire more lift, volume, and cleavage. They are particularly beneficial because their symmetrical shape ensures the appearance remains unchanged even if the implants rotate within the breast pocket.

Teardrop Breast Implants

Also known as contoured implants, teardrop-shaped implants mimic the natural slope of the breast by having less volume at the top and more at the bottom. While teardrop implants can offer a more natural silhouette, they carry a slight risk of shifting position over time, which could alter the breast’s appearance.

Teardrop vs. Round Breast Implants

When deciding between round breast implants and anatomical (or teardrop) breast implants, understanding your aesthetic goals is key. Choosing between these shapes largely depends on whether you want a more dramatic enhancement or a subtle, natural-looking increase. 

Consider what will make you feel most confident and comfortable with your body. Here’s why you may choose one or the other breast implant shape:

Why Choose Round Breast Implants?

  • It is best for achieving a fuller appearance and more pronounced cleavage.
  • It is ideal if you desire a noticeable, round contour at the top of the breasts.
  • A symmetrical shape means the appearance remains stable even if implants rotate.

Why Choose Teardrop Breast Implants?

  • It is designed to replicate the natural slope of the breast, providing a gradual transition from the top to the more filled bottom.
  • Suitable for those seeking a subtle and natural-looking enhancement.
  • Risk of rotation, which could lead to an unnatural appearance and may require surgical correction.

Types of Breast Implant Materials

The type of breast implant material you’ll use is a major consideration, as it influences the feel, look, and durability of the implant.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants are filled with sterilized salt water and are known for their safety and uniform feel. They are filled to the desired volume after insertion, allowing for some flexibility in size adjustment during surgery.

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone implants are filled with a soft, gel-like silicone that mimics the feel of natural breast tissue. While they offer a more natural feel, there’s a need for regular follow-ups as the silicone gel breast implants can leak into the breast implant pocket.

Types of Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants come in various types, each designed to cater to different aesthetic preferences and physical considerations. Here’s a breakdown of the primary types of silicone breast implants available:

  • Traditional Silicone Gel Breast Implants: Filled with a soft, viscous silicone gel that closely mimics natural breast tissue feel.
  • Cohesive Gel “Gummy Bear” Implants: Use a thicker, form-stable gel that holds its shape even if the implant shell is damaged.
  • Highly Cohesive Silicone Gel Implants: Similar to gummy bear implants but feature a firmer gel, providing additional shape retention and durability.
  • Round Silicone Gel Implants: Offer a fuller appearance and more lift, ideal for those seeking a noticeable enhancement.
  • Anatomical or Teardrop Silicone Gel Implants: Shaped to mimic the natural slope of the breast, ideal for those desiring a subtle and natural-looking increase.

Types of Saline Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants are available in various types, each offering distinct benefits for different aesthetic preferences:

  • Traditional Saline Implants: These implants are filled with sterile saltwater during the procedure, allowing the surgeon to adjust the volume as needed.
  • Adjustable Saline Implants: Feature a valve that can be accessed after surgery to adjust the implant size for optimal results.
  • Structured Saline Implants: Incorporate an internal structure that aims to provide a more natural feel compared to traditional saline implants.

Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants

Many women find themselves deciding between silicone breast implants and saline breast implants specifically. Each material offers its own advantages, catering to different preferences and priorities:

Why Choose Silicone Breast Implants?

  • Offer a more natural feel, closely mimicking the texture and movement of natural breast tissue.
  • Less likely to wrinkle or ripple, making them a good choice for women with thinner skin or less breast tissue.
  • Require a larger incision for placement because they are pre-filled.
  • Higher cost compared to saline implants but are preferred for their natural aesthetic and feel.

Why Choose Saline Breast Implants?

  • Allow for smaller incision sites as they are filled after being inserted.
  • Provide the ability to adjust size during surgery, which can help achieve symmetry.
  • If they leak, the saline (sterile salt water) is safely absorbed by the body.
  • Generally less expensive than silicone implants but may feel less natural and more prone to rippling.

What is the Safest Type of Breast Implant?

Choosing the safest type of breast implant involves considering how the body responds to different materials during the healing process. Though no one breast implant type is inherently less safe than the others, saline implants are often viewed as the safest option. They are filled with a sterile saltwater solution that the body can safely absorb and naturally expel if the implants were to rupture. This feature significantly reduces health risks associated with implant leakage.

Additionally, saline implants require a smaller incision since they are filled post-insertion, potentially lowering the risk of complications like infections and noticeable scarring. The ability to adjust the volume of saline during surgery also helps surgeons achieve precise symmetry, reducing the likelihood of needing further corrective procedures.

It’s important to note here all FDA-approved breast implants undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet safety standards before they are made available to the public. In any case, discussing options with a board-certified plastic surgeon is essential. They can help assess which implant type aligns best with your health needs and cosmetic goals.

Get the Look You’ve Always Wanted with Perimeter Plastic Surgery 

Choosing the right breast implants is crucial for achieving your desired aesthetic and feeling confident in your appearance. Having a surgeon who offers expert advice tailored to your personal needs and goals can make all the difference.

Feel confident under the care of Dr. Mark Franklin Deutsch, a double board-certified plastic surgeon recognized as a Top Doctor annually for nearly a decade by Castle Connolly. With over 34 years of exceptional medical practice, Dr. Deutsch combines profound knowledge, precise technical skills, and genuine compassion to deliver the best results possible for each patient.

See why Atlanta plastic surgery and Fayetteville’s top choice for breast augmentation. Learn more about our financing options and contact us today to schedule a consultation.