Deciding whether to undergo breast augmentation is very personal and ultimately depends on your own preferences and priorities. Whatever your reasons are, it may come as a surprise that breast implants are one of the most popular surgical cosmetic procedures with the highest satisfaction rate of up to 98% (1). If you decide on getting breast implants, you need the be certain that you receive the results of your choice in one go. Especially if you’re considering getting implants for the first time, it’s not something you should take lightly. There’s a wide variety of options for choosing the preferred shape, size, texture, and volume of the implants. Do you want them to be small, big, or medium-sized? Saline or silicone? Round or oval? When you have too many choices, it’s easy to get confused about which option is best for you. This article will walk you through a step-by-step guide to choosing the perfect size and shape of your desired breast implants.
What are Breast Implants?
Breast implants are prosthesis that is used in breast augmentation procedures. These prostheses are inserted beneath the breast tissue or chest muscle through a complex surgical procedure to enhance or change the size, shape, and contour or to replace breast tissue that has been lost due to cancer or trauma, or that has failed to grow properly owing to a serious breast deformity (2).
The price of breast implants may depend on the place you’re getting it done, the surgeon, and the type of implant you choose. Prices usually run between $5,000 and $10,000 (3).
Breast implants can have varying life spans, typically between 15 and 20 years, meaning they don’t last forever. Unfortunately, this means that in the future, women with breast implants may need additional surgery.
Choosing Your Ideal Breast Implants
Until you meet your surgeon, the thought of deciding precisely how you want your breasts to be may be a tough challenge, so we have compiled some recommendations that we think you will find useful.
Be sure to choose a surgeon that has a lot of expertise while making your decision. For example, if you pick a board-certified surgeon with at least five years of surgical training and at least two years of experience in plastic surgery, you may be less likely to encounter complications in the future.
Here are some of the factors that medical professionals take into consideration when you choose breast implants:
- Breast measurements
- Bodyweight and size
- The present shape of your breasts
- Characteristics of the breast tissue
- Characteristics of the chest wall
- Your personality
- Your fitness routine
What type of breast implant is the most suitable?
When it comes to choosing the ideal breast implant type, there’re 2 types. So let’s explore which suits you best (4).
1. Saline Implants
- It comes with an outermost layer that is made of silicone and filled with saline water.
- Lower cost than the silicone implants
- Customizable although may experience wrinkling
- The size of saline implants can be adjusted to accommodate changing body weight as these implants contain a valve
- FDA approved, and anyone above age 18+ can undergo this procedure
- Saline water will is absorbed by the body in case there is a rapture
2. Silicone Implants
- It consists of a silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel
- Approved by the FDA for women of age 22 and older
- Look and feel more natural
- Less likely to cause rippling or wrinkling
- Removal of the silicone gel might be required in case of a rupture
- Lighter in weight
- More expensive
- It cannot be adjusted or changed since silicone implants are factory sealed. This results in the inability to change the volume other than to replace it with a different size.
Which implant shape do you prefer?
These are the most common breast implant shapes, which come in a variety of sizes:
Teardrop Implants(Shaped/ Anatomic Implants)
Teardrop implants are often made of semi-solid gels. Since these materials are rather robust, they may keep their teardrop shape while being soft to the touch. Teardrop-shaped implants, with a unique contoured shape, are more natural-looking than round implants. These implants are more about projection than volume.
It’s no secret that round implants are everyone’s favorite. Round implants have the shape of a sphere, which is completely symmetrical. They have a larger diameter that is useful when you want to add more volume on top, such as when your breasts stick out more.
What are the sizing options available?
Many people believe that the bra cup size is an accurate reflection of their breast volume. In actuality, the relationship between cups and breasts depends upon several factors, including manufacturer variation in sizing and the method by which cup volumes are determined. Due to these challenges, it is recommended that you visit your plastic surgeon for an evaluation before finalizing your breast implant surgery.
The breast size is actually defined in cc or cubic centimeters, which measures the volume of the implant. The size of the implants grows in proportion to the volume. For example, a standard-sized implant may hold roughly 400 ccs of filler, while a 200 cc of filler would result in a one-cup increase in breast size. Patients may choose a breast implant size that ranges from 150 ccs to 700 ccs, although the most popular size is a 350 cc implant. It is possible to try on different implant sizes during your consultation with a cosmetic surgeon if you have a good concept of what kind of look you’re going for.
TIP: A simple rice test is an excellent technique to identify what size you are most comfortable with. To do so, stuff small sachets of rice inside your bra to see how your breasts would look if their volume was raised. For every cc of implant volume, you want to try, measure out 1/8 cup of rice. In other words, a 300cc implant would be equivalent to one-and-a-quarter cups of rice (5).
What’s the ideal type of breast implant projection?
Breast implant projection is a measure of how far your breasts extend from your chest. Breast implants are available in different profiles. Their diameter and projection measure these profiles. Aside from implant size, the profile of your breasts influences how much they will project. There’re 3 main types of profiles:
1. Low Profile – If your goal is to minimize the size of the implant, then a low profile implant would likely be the best option for you. It will provide a wider, less rounded look while still enhancing your natural breast shape.
2. Medium Profile – Medium profile implants are the most popular implant used by all women. They provide a balance between fullness and cleavage. Compared to low profile implants, they give greater projection; however, it doesn’t project much as high profile implants.
3. High Profile – When compared to lower-profile implants, higher-profile implants extend further from the chest. A higher profile implant may be more suited for you if you want more upper fullness in your breasts.
Which breast implant texture should you go for?
Most people know what the materials are that go into an implant, like silicone and saline. Implants, on the other hand, come in a variety of exterior shells. In addition, they can be either textured or smooth.
Textured Implants – Indeed, textured implants are not as soft as smooth implants on the outside, but inside the body, textured implants feel softer. These implants provide a better surface for the body to grow into while minimizing scarring and decreasing the risk of capsular contracture.
Smooth Implants – Smooth implants are the softest, most comfortable breast implants and a great option if you’re looking for comfort and natural aesthetics. Smooth implants tend to move a bit more than textured implants do during certain activities, so it’s important to understand what is best for you.
Side-Effects & Risks of Breast Implants
After surgery, you may require a short recovery period to allow the body time to adjust to the implant. As a result, you will notice temporary swelling, bruising, and tightness in your chest. Gradually, these side effects will subside over time. However, there’re a few long-term risks associated with breast implants as well. The following are potential risks and complications associated with breast implants:
- Visible scars that stay on your body for a long period of time
- Implant position changes
- Implant leakage or ruptures; The silicone gel in the implants could break down and cause hard lumps of silicone to form inside the body.
- Trouble breastfeeding or producing less breast milk than before
- Breast implants are not permanent; breast implants will need to be replaced or removed, especially in the long term.
When you decide to have breast implants there are many factors to take into account. It’s best to do your research before having surgery, but what looks good on paper may not work when you actually get the treatment. Breast implants vary in type, shape, size, projection, and texture. Before your initial consultation, it is recommended that women should have an idea of what they want in terms of breast size, or whether their goal is to look natural or more prominent. A skilled surgeon will consider your body’s proportion and advise you on the breast implant that will fit you best.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do breast implants harden over time?
Breast implants, just like any plastic surgery procedure, have risks. One such risk is the hardening of the implants, which occurs due to inflammation and scarring within the implant surrounding tissue. This condition is known as a capsular contract.
What is the difference between breast augmentation and breast implants?
The process of breast enhancement is called breast augmentation, while implants are used to accomplish it.
Which breast implant type feels more natural?
Silicone breast implants may feel similar to natural breast tissue, whereas saline implants will not.
What happens to breast implants when you’re old?
Depending on various factors such as weight gain, breast implants could cause your breasts to sag as you age.
- “Breast Augmentation Patients Report High Satisfaction Rates” – plasticsurgery.org
- “Breast Implants” – fda.gov
- “Breast Implants” – webmd.com
- “Types of Breast Implants” – fda.gov
- “Use the Rice Test to Try On Different Breast Implants Sizes” – aboutplasticsurgery.com