Center for Plastic Surgery
3299 Woodburn Road, Suite 490
Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: (703) 560-2850
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Center for Plastic Surgery
5550 Friendship Blvd, Suite 130
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Phone: (301) 652-7700
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Breast Implant Options
Once you’ve decided to have breast augmentation, there are still a number of decisions to be made. A variety of factors will impact how your final results will look, and what works for one woman may not work for your body type and desired outcome. During your personalized consultation, one of our board certified plastic surgeons will help you understand your options and recommend what choices may be best for you.
To help prepare you, we’ve created a breast implant guide to help you understand your options and how they contribute to the look of your breasts after surgery.
Saline or Silicone?
Breast augmentation patients have a choice between silicone and saline breast implants. A new generation of silicone gel implants, approved by the FDA since 2006, are available to women over the age of 22. Mentor and Allergan, two U.S. companies which manufacture silicone implants, have both concluded through long-term clinical trials in cooperation with the FDA that silicone implants are safe and effective.
For the first time in 20 years, Sientra has had a successful breakthrough in the implant market that has long been vested in just these two producers. Also FDA approved, Sientra provides safety, quality, and reliability in addition to offering a cutting edge portfolio of implants for patients and surgeons to choose from. If you’re interested in learning more about the safety of silicone breast implants, visit breastimplantsafety.org.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline implants are comprised of a silicone rubber shell that is filled with saline solution during surgery. Since saline implants are filled after insertion, it is possible to place these implants with slightly smaller incisions. Should a saline breast implant ever rupture, it is perfectly safe for the saline to be absorbed into the body.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone gel implants are now much more popular than saline. In 2012, 72 percent of the 330,631 breast-augmentation procedures in the U.S. used silicone implants, while 28 percent used saline. Silicone gel implants are known to look and feel more natural than saline.
The latest implant to gain FDA approval is unlike your other options. Available only through a network of board certified plastic surgeons, the IDEAL IMPLANT was designed with beautiful results and patient safety in mind.
Unlike traditional saline and silicone implants, the IDEAL IMPLANT is designed with a series of implant shells nested together. The implant has two separate chambers that hold saline filler. This unique structure controls movement of the saline filler and reduces the likelihood of wrinkling, folding, and rupture.
IDEAL offers the natural look and feel of silicone, without the associated risks of undetected rupture and leakage, by using the same time-tested and safe saline solution patients have been enjoying for years. Behaving like a silicone gel implant, the IDEAL IMPLANT does not collapse when upright and does not bounce excessively—the internal structure of the implant and separated chambers of saline allow for movement that more closely resembles natural breast tissue.
Implant Shape: Round or Teardrop
Breast implants also come in different shapes. While round implants have long been a popular option, new textured, teardrop shaped implants are gaining traction as a great option for natural looking and feeling results.
Round implants are available in both saline and silicone. They are circular and flat, allowing them to conform to the natural anatomy of your existing breast tissue and chest wall. On many patients, they project farther out from the body, making them a great option if you desire greater fullness in the upper part of the breast (upper pole).
Shaped or Teardrop Implants
These implants are anatomically shaped and resemble the teardrop contour of a natural breast. They are available in highly cohesive silicone and are often recommended to patients who want more fullness in the lower breast and a natural appearance.
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Breast Implant Size and Placement
There are two placement options for breast implants: behind the breast gland or, more commonly, behind the pectoralis muscle under the breast. Your desired result, the amount of natural breast tissue you have, and your body type will all play a role in which placement option will work best for you. Our surgeons and staff can discuss placement recommendations during your consultation.
Over the Muscle Placement (Subglandular)
If your implants are placed over the pectoralis muscle, you will likely experience a quicker recovery and less implant movement during chest exercise. This placement is a good option for women who have a decent amount of natural breast tissue, as subglandular placement may result in implant visibility on very thin patients.
Under the Muscle Placement (Submuscular)
When implants are placed under the muscle, they are typically covered better, reducing the risk of implant rippling or palpability (seeing or feeling implant through skin). This option also helps keep your glandular tissue fully visible during a mammogram. This option does require a slightly longer recovery, wherein your implants will settle (“dropping & fluffing”) over the course of up to six months.
Implant volume is measured in cc (cubic centimeters), and implants typically range between 100 to 800 cc. During your consultation, we will help you select the size of your implants by placing trial implants (known as “sizers”) in a bra for you to visualize the potential changes in your appearance. Depending on your natural breasts, your implants may be filled to different volumes to create a symmetrical appearance.
Breast Augmentation Incision Options
How your incision is placed is a decision that will be made based on your natural anatomy, where you would like your scars, the other implant options you have selected, and recommendations from your surgeon.
This incision is placed along the natural fold beneath your breast, where it is barely visible.
This incision is made around the lower edge of the areola, where it is concealed by the darker pigmentation of the areola.
Find Out More About Your Options
Ready to get started? Get in touch with us today to schedule your complimentary consultation and sizing session! Our surgeons will help you understand all of your options and how they will work together to create the perfect breasts for you.Back to Top