Different Types of Breast Implants Used

At the Plastic Surgery Institute of California one frequent question goes something like this; “What type of breast implant will be used and what will it be made of?”

Below we’ll lay out the types of implants used by surgeons along with a short description of each. Remember that no two patients are completely alike and that every medical decision should include a thorough consultation with your physician.

Saline Breast Implants
This commonly used implant typically uses an elastomer silicone shell filled with sterile salt water. The use of saltwater provides an additional measure of safety, because should the implant leak, the salt water will be absorbed safety and processed naturally by the body.  Saline implants are fairly uniform in shape, movement and feel due to the salt water used in the implant itself.

Silicone Breast Implants
The chief difference in silicone breast implant devices is the material used to fill the implant itself. Silicone gel implants are more often used in implants for their more natural feel. The gel and encapsulating shell work together to produce a more natural response and movement than saline breast implants. For patients choosing silicone implants, we advise regularly checking in with your PSI physician regularly to ensure the implants are performing properly.

Gummy Bear Breast Implants
Gummy bear breast implant devices maintain a predetermined shape chosen by the physician and patient during pre-surgery consultations.  The silicone gel used in the gummy bear implant is thicker than that used in the traditional implants. These implants feel more firm and move differently than other standard silicone or saline implants.

Smooth Breast Implants
Smooth breast implants deliver the softest feeling of any option available. Since they move with the breast implant pocket, they can move fairly naturally. Because of the materials used their can be some visible rippling in some instances.

Textured Breast Implants
Textured breast implants are often used to address the potential for shifting of movement of the implant. They stay in place by allowing the surrounding scar tissue to form and “stick” to the implant.  Some surgeons recommend textured implants when faced with a case they deem may be subject to capsular contracture.

Again, as with any medical procedure be sure to consult with your physician during the entire decision making process, including the period leading up to your procedure and during your recovery.