Are larger, firmer, higher breasts something you’ve wanted for a long time, maybe your whole life? Would you like to look better in bathing suits and bras? If so, breast implants — either saline, silicone, or the newer structured saline ones — are a safe, highly successful way to achieve the breast size you’ve always wanted. But which one should you choose, and what size?
What I have found in my practice is that the more information patients have about the types and sizes of implants, the more confident they are about their decision to have breast augmentation surgery and the happier they are with the results. As well as breast augmentation, I offer a complete range of breast procedures which you can learn about here.
I offer three types of breast implants, all of them safe
There are three types of breast implants currently available in the United States today:
- Silicone breast implants that are filled with silicone gel
- Saline breast implants that are filled with saline (sterile saltwater)
- Structured, saline-filled implants that combine silicone gel and saline
- Silicone breast implants
Most women and plastic surgeons prefer the look and feel of silicone breast implants, which are generally considered to be more like real breast tissue. However, silicone implants are more expensive, require a slightly longer incision, and are a little more difficult to tell if they have ruptured. Although they were taken off the market by the FDA for several years due to safety concerns, recent scientific studies have shown this type of implant to be safe.
- Saline breast implants
Saline breast implants are silicone shells filled with saline. Since they are filled after they are inserted into the body, they require a slightly smaller incision than silicone implants. This type of implant provides a uniform shape, firmness and feel and are less expensive than silicone ones.
- Structured, saline-filled implants
The relatively new structured IDEAL implant provides a natural look and feel without using silicone gel. Consisting of a series of implant shells nested together and two separate chambers that hold the saline, its internal structure controls movement of the saline and supports the implant edges to reduce collapsing and wrinkling.
I only use smooth breast implants in my practice, not textured
You may have read or heard in the news that the breast implant manufacturer Allergan has recalled its textured breast implants, here in the U.S. and around the world. To reassure my patients who have breast implants or are considering getting breast implants, I want to clearly state that I only use smooth implants, not textured ones. Therefore, none of my patients have to worry about the Allergan BIOCELL recall. (Read my blog about this issue here.)
What size is best? 3 things to keep in mind
There are many things you should consider when deciding which breast implant size would be right for you. Implants are not a one-size-fits-all situation. Your body type, lifestyle and post-surgery goals are unique to you, and you need to keep these in mind when choosing your implants.
1) Your body type
If you’re a petit person and have always had small breasts, you might want to think carefully before choosing a large-sized implant. Most patients are seeking a “natural” look that is in proportion to the rest of their body, but if your implants are overly large, they will throw off the symmetry and more obviously look artificial. Additionally, very large breasts on a small body often can cause significant shoulder and back pain.
2) Your body shape
Your body shape also influences what type of breast implants will best suit you. Large women with a wider chest can more easily carry large breasts than lighter-built, narrow-chested women.
3) Your age
Age is another factor to consider when choosing breast implant size. Younger patients usually want to enhance the size of their current breasts, while women who have had children are often interested in restoring shape or volume that has been lost with pregnancy and age.
Some additional tips to help you choose a size
- Openly discuss with your plastic surgeon your breast size goals and reasons for having breast implant surgery so that he/she knows what you are aiming for.
- Choose photos of the breast size you’re looking for and show these to your surgeon as a guide. Make sure though that the body type of the women in the photos matches yours.
- Bra cup size is not a good measurement to use when choosing breast implant sizes, as cup size can vary widely among bra brands.
- Many plastic surgeons have breast implant samples that fit inside the bra to help patients decide which size would best suit their body.
- Have realistic goals. Bigger is not always better. The advice I always give my patients is to choose breast implants that will look natural and in proportion with their body.
The important thing is to choose the implant you will be most comfortable with
The decision of which breast implant to choose is something you should discuss with your plastic surgeon and together, determine which one will bring you the most satisfaction. If cost and incision size are big concerns, you may want to go with saline. If you are worried about having silicone in your body, choose saline. But keep in mind, if you want the most natural feeling implants, silicone might be your best bet, especially if you have very little breast tissue to begin with.
Learn more about your choices of breast implants in this short video
No matter which type of plastic surgery procedure my patients are considering, I truly believe that the best patient is an informed patient. That's why I like providing short videos where I briefly explain a certain body enhancing procedure — in this case, breast implants. Watch my 2-minute video by clicking here or on the image below.
Are breast implants safe? My answer is yes.
In over 20 years of performing breast implant surgery in my plastic surgery practice, I have encountered very few complications in my patients as a result. For women who want larger breasts, who want the size and shape of their breasts to match, or who have had a mastectomy and want breast reconstruction, breast implants are a highly satisfying, long-lasting solution.
If you have breast implants, you should get them checked regularly
If you have breast implants—saline, silicone, structured or textured—it’s important to get them checked for ruptures, slippage, leakage, swelling or any other potential problems. For all my patients with implants, I highly recommend getting them examined once a year. Please make an appointment to come in and see me so I can check for any problems.
Symptoms of potential implant problems
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact me right away:
- breast asymmetry
However, if there are no symptoms, there is no reason to remove the implants.
See the beautiful results for yourself
To see unretouched “before and after” photos of actual patients of mine who have had successful breast implant surgery, please visit the Breast Augmentation page in the Photo Gallery section of my website.
Considering breast implants?
If you are thinking about breast augmentation and would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact me and I will send you additional information prior to your appointment. During our consultation, I will assess the current appearance of your breasts, your reasons for wanting surgery, and your expectations. Then together, we will decide which breast procedure will bring you the results you’re looking for. I specialize in the most advanced techniques of breast augmentation surgery and am ready to help you achieve your goals.
To learn more about breast implants, I recommend these 3 blogs
So that you can be fully informed about this important decision, I’ve written several blogs explaining the many aspects of breast implant surgery:
- For Great Breast Implant Results, Go To A Great Plastic Surgeon
- Are You A Good Candidate For Breast Augmentation?
- How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?
For more information on the many types of breast procedures I offer, please visit these pages on my website
- Breast Procedures
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Lift
- Breast Reconstruction
- Breast Reduction
- Breast Revision
Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), Samuel J. Beran, MD is a highly accomplished plastic surgeon with offices in Manhattan, Harrison and Mount Kisco, NY. With more than 20 years’ experience and a thorough command of the most advanced techniques and technologies, Dr. Beran consistently provides his patients with the highest level of plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, face, skin and body. Recently, Dr. Beran was named a “Top Doctor” by RealSelf for his dedication to responding to consumer questions and patient feedback. The “Top Doctor” designation is awarded to less than 10% of the RealSelf physician community.