Breast Implant Options
Once you’ve decided to have breast augmentation, there are still a number of decisions to make regarding your breast implants. At our practice serving Washington, DC; Chevy Chase and Bethesda, MD; Arlington and Fairfax, VA; and other nearby areas, your plastic surgeon will review how choices such as implant size and fill material will impact the look and feel of your final results. What works for one woman may not work for your body type and desired outcome.
We’ve created this page to help you understand your options and how they contribute to the look of your breasts after surgery.
Are Silicone or Saline Breast Implants Better?
Breast augmentation patients have a choice between silicone gel and saline breast implants. Breast implants filled with cohesive silicone gel are the most popular, but the decision basically comes down to personal preference.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline implants are comprised of a silicone rubber shell that is filled with saline solution during surgery. Because saline implants are filled after being inserted, surgeons can make slightly smaller incisions. If a saline breast implant ruptures, the body safely absorbs the fluid.
Silicone Breast Implants
Most patients and surgeons believe cohesive silicone gel implants look and feel more like natural breast tissue than saline implants. In fact, they are now much more popular than saline. According to The Aesthetic Society, in 2019, 88% of the 280,692 breast augmentation procedures in the U.S. used silicone implants, while 12% used 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 the movement of the saline filler and reduces the likelihood of wrinkling, folding, and rupture.
The IDEAL IMPLANT 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.
Are Silicone Breast Implants Safe?
A new generation of silicone gel implants, approved by the FDA in 2006, is available to women over the age of 22. Mentor and Allergan, 2 U.S. companies that 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.
Breast 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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What’s the Best Size for Breast Implants?
Choosing the size of your breast implants is both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking because it can be difficult to make a decision. Most of our patients say they want their results to look natural, which is another way of saying they want breasts that appear in proportion to their body’s frame.
Even though patients often say they want to increase the size of their breasts by a certain bra cup size (i.e., from an A cup to a C cup) breast implants are measured in cc (cubic centimeters). 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 Without Implants
Women who want fuller breasts and are looking for an alternative to breast implants may consider breast augmentation with fat transfer. Our surgeons can increase the breast size by about 1 to 1.5 cup sizes using the patient’s excess fat that is harvested with liposuction, purified, and injected into the breasts.
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Discover Your Breast Implant Options
Ready to get started? Get in touch with us today to schedule your complimentary consultation and sizing session! One of our board-certified plastic surgeons will help you understand all your breast implant options at our Chevy Chase, MD, or Annandale, VA, locations and how they will work together to create the perfect breasts for you.