Which Breast Implant is Right for You?

Determining Which Type of Breast Implant Is Right For You

Breast augmentation with implants can offer a new aesthetic, renewed confidence after pregnancy, improvements after a weight loss journey, or restored breasts after treatment related to breast cancer.

Your options depend on the desired outcome and lifestyle considerations. Here are a few important items to consider.

Saline Implants

Saline implant insertion sites are generally smaller, and ruptures are more easily detected. Some people also find saline implants to be less natural-looking on the average person and can sometimes show wrinkles or ripples over time.  Saline implants are less natural to the touch than the silicone alternative.

Silicone Implants

Silicone implants are the most popular option and are often preferred to saline for their more natural look and feel. They also usually require slightly larger incision sites than saline options, and ruptures can be more difficult to detect without an MRI.

Factors To Consider When Choosing

Patients may also choose either round or teardrop-shaped implants. Round implants are generally preferred by most patients because they add greater projection and are less likely to wrinkle or become displaced over time. They also tend to be less costly than teardrop implants. 

Some patients still prefer teardrop implants because their sloping shape more closely mimics the natural shape of the breast. The main drawback of teardrop implants is that they are more likely to shift and become displaced over time. Also, teardrop implants are always textured.  Texturing has been associated with some specific complications that should be discussed carefully with your surgeon.

Implants may also be placed either over or under the pectoral muscles of the chest. Placing implants above the muscle is easier and may lead to a less painful recovery period, but below-muscle placement is often preferable for several reasons. 

Compared to implants placed above the muscle, subpectoral implants tend to result in less internal scar tissue and create a more natural-looking shape for the breasts. They are also less likely to shift over time and interfere with mammography.

Some experienced plastic surgeons also offer a dual-plane approach, where the top portion of the implant is placed below the pectoral muscle and the bottom 10-20% is placed directly below the breast tissue. This technique allows the breast implant to settle into a more natural shape over time while still offering the benefits of subpectoral implants.

Lifestyle and baseline anatomy play large roles in determining the ideal placement of breast implants. A female patient who is extremely athletic, for example, might be best suited for an implant placed above the pectoralis muscle.  However, this would be unusual unless you perform at the professional level.

Pros & Cons 

The best way to choose the size and shape of your implants is to consult with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. Modern implants differ not only by width and volume but also by shape, projection, viscosity, and fill pressure. The best size for you will also depend on your body type and what results you are looking for.

An experienced plastic surgeon will be able to guide you through your different options and help you choose the implant size that will help you meet your aesthetic goals