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There is a broad range of implant types, shapes, sizes, projection styles and surface textures available today for women considering breast augmentation or other breast enhancement procedures. When choosing which implants would be most appropriate for you, it is imperative to keep in mind that the final decision will be dependent on several different factors including your personal goals and expectations, tissue characteristics and specific anatomical indicators. Dr. Steven H. Turkeltaub has been performing breast surgery with implants for many years and has the knowledge, skill and experience to precisely evaluate all variables and help you select the implants that can most effectively achieve the results that you desire.
- Silicone or Saline Breast Implants
- Selecting the Ideal Implant Size
- Implant Projection Style
- Breast Implant Shape
- Surface Type – Smooth or Textured
Silicone or Saline Breast Implants
Round Silicone or Saline Breast Implants
The two types of breast implants available for breast enlargement are silicone and saline. The silicone implants are the “gold standard” with regard to the aesthetic outcome: they feel and can look more natural and generally last significantly longer than the saline implants.
Essentially all of Dr. Turkeltaub’s patients select the silicone implants for their breast augmentations. It is extremely rare anymore for a patient to specifically request a saline implant. Anecdotally, in his patients who have had both types of implants at different points in time, every one of them preferred, by far, the silicone implants over the saline ones.
Natrelle® 410 Silicone Breast Implants (“Gummy Bear” Implants)
The Natrelle® 410 breast implants, also known as the “gummy bear” implants, are composed of highly-cohesive silicone gel and are anatomically shaped (in the form of a teardrop) to more resemble “natural” body curves. These implants generally have a lower rate of wrinkling and rippling and last longer than other implants but do feel firmer and less natural compared to the traditional round silicone implants and cost more.
My experience relating to this implant is that only a very small minority of my Arizona breast enlargement patients feel that these tear dropped shaped implants could help them meet their desired results. They are, however, far more useful in breast reconstruction.
Selecting the Ideal Implant Size
The number one topic that people think and talk about regarding breast augmentation is size. Though it isn’t the only important factor, size really does matter. In fact, when women are not thoroughly satisfied with their results following a breast enlargement, the number one reason relates to size and it is usually because they want to be larger. Therefore, it is crucial that the patient have an idea of the look she wants to achieve, how it impacts the appearance and harmony of her body size and shape, the effect that the enhanced breast size may have on other aspects of her lifestyle, and the image that will be projected.
In Dr. Turkeltaub’s experience, most women prefer to be slightly larger than proportional though there are many who request to be double “D’s” or larger.
But what is “proportional”? This is an ambiguous term which will mean different things to different women. What is proportional to one person may be either too small or too large (rarely) for somebody else. Compounding this problem is the confusion as to what appearance different cup sizes represent since there are no universal standards. Consequently, bras of a specific cup size manufactured by different companies often do not fit the same. One company’s “C” cup may be the same size and shape as another company’s “D” cup.
Dr. Turkeltaub finds that trying on implants and reviewing photos are very helpful though there are limitations. In the end, he finds that selecting the most appropriate size is both a science and an art.
For additional information about the importance of implant size, read Dr. Turkeltaub’s blog post: “Size Really Does Matter.”
Implant Projection Style
Implants can be categorized based on their relative projection as related to their base width. This is a very important parameter that must be considered in order to be able to obtain the best possible results. Though terminology can vary, implants come in super-high, high, moderate and low profile.
What does this mean?
High profile breast implants will have greater projection and less width for a given size compared to a moderate profile which is broader and less projecting. The style that would be most appropriate for you would depend on many factors including your chest width and configuration, amount of breast tissue present, and the ultimate size, projection, shape, cleavage, and overall appearance that you desire. (See Figure 1a and 1b.)
Figure 1a. This is a side view of implants of the same volume but different projections. The implant on the left side is a high profile implant and the one on the right is a moderate profile implant. Note the greater projection and narrower width of the high profile implant.
Figure 1b. Frontal view of the implants in Figure 1a. Note the greater width of the moderate profile implant on the right which projects less than the narrower high profile implant.
Breast Implant Shape
A majority of the breast implants used today for breast enlargement are round in shape. However, there are certain situations related to anatomy, preferences and other factors where tear-dropped shaped silicone implants may be “better” suited. The “anatomic” style implants, of which the Natrelle® Style 410 (“gummy bear” implants) is one example, have a wedge shape that can be of varied vertical height and width that can provide for a more customized result in certain situations.
Surface Type – Smooth or Textured
The outer shell (envelope) around the breast implants can have either a smooth or textured surface. With technological advances in implant design and construction, there may not be unequivocal evidence in most situations regarding silicone implants that this is an important factor. In some situations regarding capsular contracture, textured silicone implants may offer some protection from recurrence. (See Figure 2)
Figure 2. The Silicone breast implant on the left is a smooth surface implant while the one on the right is a textured surfaced one.
Interested in Breast Implants?
If you are considering breast implants and would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub, please do not hesitate to contact us today.