The Right Breast Implant for You

Nickie Dobison-Saucedo

by Nickie Dobison-Saucedo | August 16, 2010 @ 10:00AM

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Breast Implants have evolved over time and now there are many choices when it comes to shape, size, and feel. Saline breast implants were the only implants available in the United States for some years after silicone was taken off the market in 1992 due to health concerns. However, now the FDA has approved silicone implants for cosmetic use again. What the implant is filled with is not the only concern. There are implants that are textured or shaped to give a more natural look depending on your preference, and new products like gummy bear implants may soon be widely available.

Gummy Bear Breast Implants

A new type of implant called cohesive gel, or gummy bear, breast implants may be approved in the United States for unrestricted use in the near future. Right now, it is available through clinical trials only. However, it has been used in places like Europe and Brazil for the past few years with promising results. Cohesive gel implants are commonly referred to as gummy bear breast implants because when you cut into them, they feel and look much like a gummy bear. They do not leak out of the silicone shell, which makes them of interest to doctors and patients alike. These gummy bear implants hold their shape much better than silicone and saline implants because they are solid. Doctors and patients believe they feel more like breast tissue. One disadvantage to this type of implant is that it requires a larger incision because it cannot collapse and be manipulated the same way silicone and saline can.

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone implants are back but with restrictions. The FDA feels that they should only be administered by board-certified plastic surgeons that are specially trained to insert them. Proper insertion will help minimize the risk of rupture. The new silicone implants are supposedly more durable, but the FDA will continue to evaluate patients receiving these implants. The controversy around silicone breast implants is that when they rupture and leak, they cause health problems. Studies have shown no conclusive evidence of this, but many women have complained about autoimmune illnesses and connective tissue disorders after receiving their implants. Many people favor silicone implants because they say they feel more natural than liquid-filled saline breast implants. The silicone gel is a thicker consistency than saline solution of course, so that may account for why they feel more like breast tissue to some individuals.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants are still a good choice if you are considering a breast augmentation. It is conclusive that if they do leak, the salt and water solution is harmlessly absorbed into the body. Saline implants can fit through small incisions in the areola or through the belly button in transumbilical breast augmentation. Some drawbacks to saline implants are the tendency they have to fold and ripple under the skin. It is believed that these folds weaken the outer shell of the implant, which make them susceptible to rupture.

The Feel of Your Breast Implants

Saline implants are available in textured and smooth form. The textured form minimizes movement and capsular contracture. Capsular contracture is a condition where too much scarring forms around the implant causing them to feel hard and unnatural. All silicone implants are textured to minimize capsular contracture, which occurred very often with the former silicone implants on the market. Gummy bear breast implants, or cohesive gel implants, are textured as well to resist movement. One concern with textured implants is that there is a risk that they may show a rippled texture under some patients' skin.

The Shape of Your Breast Implants

Cohesive gel implants are anatomically, or teardrop, shaped to look like a natural breast. If they were to rotate though, it would cause an unnatural profile. Some women prefer the rounder look and opt for saline and silicone implants in a circular shape. Saline, silicone and Gummy bear breast implants are all available in the teardrop shape. The saline implants do not hold the teardrop form very well because they are so liquid. All of these factors give you more choices than ever before for your breast augmentation procedure. These days, breast implants are not one size fits all. Now you can have your breast implants custom fit to your own style and taste. 

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