949.945.0025 Appointment

Types of Breast Augmentation: Implants for the Perfect Fit

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Women considering breast augmentation are faced with a challenging decision: which breast implant or procedure should they choose? This decision carries significant weight, as each implant type differs in appearance, texture, medical risks, and cost. As implants remain in the body for an extended period, you must be confident in your choice.

Each implant type has advantages and disadvantages, and no clear winner exists. Understanding everything involved in getting this procedure can help you make an informed decision about the type of breast augmentation that is best for you.

Key Takeaways about Types of Breast Augmentation

  • Breast augmentation is a procedure intended to enhance the size and shape of the breasts.
  • Two types of breast augmentation procedures are available; one uses inserting breast implants, and the other uses fat transfer injected into the breasts from other areas of your body.
  • Different types of breast implants are available, such as saline, silicone, structured saline, gummy bear, and round varieties.
  • Advantages and disadvantages regarding feel, placement risks, and breast augmentation cost. It’s best to understand the pros and cons of each before choosing which one to opt for.
  • FDA approval for silicone implants only applies to women age 22 and older for cosmetic uses, while breast reconstructive surgery has no age restriction.

Overview of Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure intended to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. It commonly uses breast implants placed under the breast tissue or underneath the chest muscle during the surgery to increase breast volume.

It involves making incisions in strategic locations around the nipple or under the breast. Breast augmentation can use different types of implants, such as silicone or saline, to give the chest a natural yet defined look with improved symmetry.

Common Reasons for Getting Breast Augmentation

Women seek out breast enlargement for various reasons, such as to correct asymmetrical breasts or increase their size overall.

Some may look for subtle changes in shape or projection, whereas some seek a dramatic difference with more noticeable results. Those considering the procedure should discuss all options available during their consultation to make the best decision possible for their desired results.

Others may opt for reconstructive breast surgery due to trauma from mastectomy or medical conditions like tuberous breasts, Poland’s syndrome, congenital malformations, and developmental anomalies.

Prevalence of Breast Augmentation Procedures

Breast augmentation has become a popular cosmetic procedure among women, with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reporting 324,608 breast implant procedures in 2019 alone.

As one of the most commonly done plastic surgery procedures, breast augmentation is well loved for its long track record of satisfying results and adequately addressing individual aesthetic desires.

Types of Breast Implants

Breast augmentation has become more complex in recent years, with women choosing between different types of implants: saline, silicone, gummy bear, and fat graft. Each class has advantages and disadvantages, and it’s essential to have a clear idea of your goals before deciding. Ultimately, the choice of implant should be based on your personal preferences and your cosmetic surgeon’s recommendations.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline breast implants are silicone shells filled with sterile salt water. The FDA has approved them since 2000, making them a safe and reliable option for many patients.

These types of implants are less expensive compared to silicone gel filled implants. Regarding breast implant safety, saline implant rupture is generally safe due to the harmless saline solution filling, which the body can absorb without any health risks or adverse effects on appearance.

Saline implants are known to give more lift than silicone gel as they are firmer, which leads to a less natural look and feel.

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone implants are very popular among women who undergo breast augmentation. These medically approved devices use a silicone gel that closely resembles natural breast tissue, allowing for a more natural look and feel.

Implants filled with silicone have been on the market since the 1960s after undergoing rigorous safety testing, including anatomic studies and implant performance evaluation.

Structured Saline Breast Implants

Structured saline, a relatively new type of breast implant, was developed to provide more excellent shape and support than traditional saline breast implants. These implants are filled with sterile salt water, similar to regular saline implants, but also contain an internal structure made out of silicone that helps to give them more form and reinstate tissue lost during surgery.

Structured saline creates smooth curves while supporting newly formed mass simultaneously, promoting longer lasting results compared to other popular implant options that need frequent upkeep.

Gummy Bear Breast Implants

Gummy bear breast implants feature the safest and most natural looking composition out of all the different types of implants available. These innovative implants are filled with a stable, cohesive gel that resembles gummy candy. It is made from cross-linked polymer chains and routinely exceeds FDA standards for safety.

Gummy bear implants have earned their nickname because they mimic the shape of natural breasts more than traditional saline or silicone options. They offer superior longevity due to their gel consistency, are less prone to rippling, and produce unsightly results over time.

Patients can expect improved structural integrity as these implants retain their teardrop shape even when placed in unusual positions. While not right for everyone’s needs, gummy bear breast implants remain a popular choice among those seeking realistic and safe outcomes that will last long-term.

Round Breast Implants

Round breast implants are the most commonly used type of implant, which come in both saline and silicone options. They provide a complete profile with firm but natural looking cheeks, thus offering an attractive overall result for women who desire fuller looking breasts.

Saline round implants offer a slightly firmer feeling when compared to silicone smooth implants but will look the same once placed inside the body due to their more uniform shape. Silicone round implants tend to have a softer feel while giving good projection over time.

The uniform shape of round implants also helps them hold their position better under clothing, ensuring curves remain visible from all angles. It won’t appear fake or artificial in any way.

Image Credit: Branislavpet / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Pros and Cons of Each Type of Implant

It’s best to be aware of the pros and cons of each implant type before choosing which to use for your breast augmentation procedure.

Saline filled implants are known for feeling natural and requiring smaller incisions. However, they can be prone to wrinkling or rippling as water shifts within the artificial implant shell.

Traditional silicone implants provide a more realistic look and feel than saline but need larger incisions and cost more.

Newer cohesive gel shaped implants or gummy bear aspires to more excellent shape retention in case of ruptures. Some patients might find their synthetic consistency unnatural due to less skin stretching capacity.

Round breast implants usually offer higher projection but may come at the cost of an increased risk of visible lower pole fullness when larger sizes are chosen.

FDA Approval and Age Restrictions

The FDA has approved silicone breast implants for augmentation in women aged 22 and above. The use of silicone breast implants for breast reconstruction is not subject to this same age restriction.

Since several kinds of bust and breast augmentations are available, patients must consider their aesthetic choices and which procedure may best suit them medically.

Procedure Types for Breast Augmentation

There are two common procedure types for breast enhancement. One uses foreign devices, and the other uses a patient’s fat.

Breast Implants

Breast implants are commonly used to enhance breast size. Implants can be filled with saline or silicone gel and come in various shapes to fit different anatomies.

Saline filled implants are composed of a silicone shell filled with sterile salt water, making them lightweight and flexible while providing a natural feel and look under the skin. On the other hand, silicone gel breast implants contain a thicker, more cohesive gel filling that creates a more aesthetically pleasing shape on narrower chests while achieving a more natural look than saline implants in many cases.

Fat Transfer Augmentation

Fat transfer breast augmentation is a popular procedure to enhance breast size, shape, and symmetry. This natural method uses liposuction to remove fat from other body areas, such as the abdomen, thighs, or hips, and then carefully injected into the breasts for fuller curves.

The best part about this procedure lies in its results. Patients achieve a more subtle contour than standard breast implants while dramatically increasing size.

Fat transfer improves symmetry by matching both breasts exactly to your preference, instead of relying on pre-filled silicone implants. You won’t need additional treatments or surgery if one side becomes noticeably different.

Consultation and Preparation

Knowing what will occur during the consultation is important before proceeding with a breast augmentation procedure. During the consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss the desired outcome of your surgery, potential risks, complications associated with the process, and any health concerns or allergies that may need special consideration before undergoing anesthesia or going into surgery.

The surgeon will also review your medical history and assess your body type to customize an individualized treatment plan for your needs. They’ll explain the different types of implants and surgical techniques so you can decide which option is better.

Safety protocols such as FDA approval ratings and age restrictions for each implant type should be discussed. If you have budget constraints due to insurance coverage issues, ensure these are discussed in detail during this time.

Preparing for Breast Augmentation Surgery

Preparation covers physical and mental aspects, and a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon should always be part of the process.

During the consultation, ask questions about the surgeon’s experience and specialization in breast augmentation. It is also suggested to research any patient reviews or testimonials about your preferred cosmetic surgeon that might be available online.

Preparing for surgery involves following pre surgery instructions provided by the plastic surgeon, such as quitting smoking up to six weeks before the procedure, taking certain medications regularly if prescribed, refraining from drinking alcohol at least 24 hours before surgery day, and fasting until after the process has been completed successfully.

Breast Augmentation Surgery

Breast augmentation surgery is generally performed in an outpatient setting under general anesthesia. The specific type of breast implant procedure and the placement of the implants depend on the patient’s aesthetic goals and anatomy, which should be discussed before scheduling the procedure.

During breast augmentation surgery, incisions are made along predetermined locations discussed between the surgeon and the patient before the procedure. Once these incisions have been made, pockets are created within the breast tissue or chest muscle for implant insertion.

After ensuring proper positioning, size, and symmetry of each breast implantation pocket, if requested, fat is harvested from other body areas for injection into desired areas within each cup.

Image Credit: Kuprevich / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Potential Risks and Complications

When considering a breast augmentation procedure, understand the potential risks and complications associated with the surgery. Common side effects of this surgical procedure include swelling, bruising, and temporary pain.

There has also been speculation about a condition known as breast implant illness, which may be linked to symptoms such as fatigue, cognitive impairment, rashes, chest pain, and gastrointestinal problems in some cases.

Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon before undergoing any medical or cosmetic procedures to discuss risk factors specific to your body type and medical history.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Types of Breast Augmentation

1. What Types of Breast Augmentation Procedures Are There?

The two main types of breast augmentation surgery are silicone gel implants and saline implants. Both can improve the size, shape, and symmetry of the breasts.

Other options for augmenting the size or shape of a person’s breasts include fat transfer and autologous tissue grafting.

2. How Will I Know Which Type is Best for Me?

The right implant depends on your aesthetic goal, individual anatomy, and desired look and feel after the procedure. During the initial consultation with your plastic surgeon, assessment can determine the most suitable type based on their expertise in cosmetic surgery techniques and safety protocols.

3. What Kind of Recovery Period is Associated with Breast Augmentation Surgeries?

Recovery time following a breast augmentation procedure varies from patient to patient. Still, it takes at least one week before you can resume everyday activities such as exercising or driving, and this could take longer if complications develop during recovery or if pain persists. Patients should wear a supportive bra throughout their healing so incisions receive proper care as swelling gradually reduces over time.

4. Are there any Long Term Risks Associated with Breast Augmentation?

When adequately performed by an experienced specialist following appropriate guidelines, risks should remain low. Possible side effects may occur, including occasional changes in sensation or temporary wrinkles around the area because the skin had tissue moved or removed during the operation. There is no permanent damage to the breast unless unusual circumstances exist beforehand, like allergies

Image Credit: Lightfieldstudios / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Conclusion and Summary of Types of Breast Augmentation: Implants for the Perfect Fit

Are you looking to enhance your breasts’ size, shape, or volume? Breast augmentation is a personalized procedure that can achieve this goal for you. Different types of implants are available, including saline, silicone, structured saline, and gummy bear breast implants, depending on your preferences and needs.

Fat transfer augmentation is another option if you prefer an autologous solution with natural looking results. Choose a board certified plastic surgeon who will carefully evaluate your goals and design the best strategy for your desired outcome, whether you opt for breast implant surgery or fat transfer augmentation.

Having realistic expectations and being well prepared before surgery is key to ensuring a better outcome during the recovery period after the procedure.

Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Before making any changes to your treatments, please consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the appropriateness and safety of such changes.

Ready For Your First-Class Cosmetic Experience in Orange County (OC) California (CA)?

Are you located in one of these Orange County (OC) / Southern California cities?

Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Coto de Caza, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Ladera Ranch, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, or Yorba Linda?

Plastic Surgeon Dr. Brandon Richland, MD and our Cosmetic Aesthetics Team are ready to help you look and feel your absolute best.

Elevate your confidence and self esteem levels to unfathomable new heights!

Schedule your in-person consultation in our modern and luxurious offices in either Fountain Valley, CA (Main HQ) or our Newport Beach, CA office. 

Do you live outside of Southern California or short on time? For your convenience, Virtual Consultations are also available.

Our warm and engaging Team of carefully selected Aesthetics Professionals will make you feel calm, cool, collected, and right at home throughout your entire consultation and surgery process.

Schedule Your Aesthetics Consultation here, or call us directly at 714-241-0646 or 949-945-0025 today.

About the Author

Dr. Brandon Richland, MD is a respected Board Certified Licensed Plastic Surgeon in Orange County / Southern California specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

Driven by his passion for medicine, Dr. Richland obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the prestigious program at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine in 2013. His exceptional skills were recognized when he received the McGraw Hill / Lange Medical Student Academic Achievement Award, and graduated top of his class with Honors. For his undergraduate degree, he attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with Honors in 2009.

To further enhance his surgical expertise, Dr. Richland completed his Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2013 to 2019 earning the Academic Achievement Award twice during this period. A total of 14 years in dedicated schooling and medical residency.

Dr. Richland is actively involved with healthcare and medical societies, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Contact Dr. Richland today by visiting RichlandMD.com, scheduling a cosmetic consultation, or by calling 714-241-0646 or 949-945-0025 directly.