Today there are more breast implant options for breast augmentation than ever before. Implants can be textured or smooth, round or anatomic (shaped), saline filled or silicone gel filled, and are available in all sizes and degrees of projection and width to accommodate each woman’s unique anatomy, needs, and desires for enhancement.
Breast Implant Types
Following a thorough examination and discussion, plastic surgeon Ram Kalus, MD will recommend the type of breast implant most appropriate for you. Silicone implants contain an elastic cohesive silicone gel that feels much like a natural soft breast. This gives patients both a more natural look and feel. The FDA has approved the use of silicone implants as safe both for cosmetic augmentation in women 22 years old and older, and in reconstruction. However they may also be used for younger women whose breasts may have developed with asymmetry or other abnormalities. By far, the most commonly used breast implant is a smooth round implant, either silicone gel filled or saline filled and, with proper size selection, will usually result in a very pretty enhancement for most women. The reason this seems to be a popular choice for women is that a smooth round implant will move slightly with a woman’s breast, more accurately resembling the behavior of the natural breast.
IDEAL® Structured Saline Breast Implants
The IDEAL® Structured Saline Implant is the newest and most technologically advanced breast implant to become available to all women, and Dr. Kalus was the first plastic surgeon in South Carolina to make use of these implants and offer them to his patients.
The Problem with Traditional Saline Implants
Saline implants, according to the FDA guidelines, are the only implants approved for use in patients under 22 years of age. Yet saline implants feel more like a Baggie filled with water, and the vast majority of women—young and older—prefer the feel of silicone gel. Saline implants also have a higher failure rate.
The Solution Provided by the IDEAL IMPLANT®
The IDEAL IMPLANT® is a structured saline implant that is comprised of multiple shells or implants within one, and is essentially indistinguishable in feel from a silicone gel-filled implant. When placing both a silicone gel-filled implant and an IDEAL IMPLANT® in the hands of a patient, she can rarely distinguish one from the other.
Key Advantages of the IDEAL IMPLANT®
There are five obvious advantages of the IDEAL IMPLANT®:
- They are filled with saline at the time of surgery, allowing for a smaller incision by your surgeon to insert the implant
- The fact that they are filled at the time of surgery makes them adjustable to account for the fact that most women have subtle breast asymmetry. This gives your surgeon the ability to fine-tune your final volume and, therefore, achieve optimal symmetry for you.
- The IDEAL IMPLANT is filled with normal saline, which comprises 70% of your total body weight. There is nothing more “natural” than salt water.
- Removing or replacing the IDEAL IMPLANT® is generally far easier and requires less extensive surgery than the removal or replacement of a silicone gel implant if future surgery is needed years later.
- According to the FDA trials, the long-term performance of the IDEAL IMPLANT® is better than any other implant on the market, gel or saline.
Anatomic (Shaped) Breast Implants
Anatomic Breast Implants, otherwise known as Shaped Breast Implants or “Gummy Bear” contain a cohesive gel that is form stable and keeps its teardrop shape. These implants have been in worldwide use for nearly 15 years and have recently been FDA approved and are now available for cosmetic breast surgery, or for breast reconstruction. Anatomic implants or shaped implants have been preferred by many European and South American plastic surgeons because of their ability to achieve a more natural upper breast pole without an overdone artificially round appearance to the breast that can often be a clear sign that there is an implant in the breast, a look that most women would like to avoid whenever possible. The anatomic breast implants or shaped breast implants may, however, feel slightly firmer than a round smooth device.
Understanding Implant Sizes
Implants vary in width, projection and volume. This can be very confusing to women, who are used to discussing one number only such as “300 cc’s”. To better understand which implant is best for you, please notice that on the top shelf in the photo below, all the implants have exactly the same width (12.5 cm), yet the less projecting implant with that width is a 275 cc Moderate or Classic, and the most projecting is a 590 cc Ultra High Profile. On the lower shelf, all of the implants are 300 cc implants, yet the less projecting implant has a width or diameter of 12.8 cm, and the most projecting of the 300 cc implants is the Ultra High Profile which has a 9.7 cm diameter.
Once it is determined which implant width or diameter would best fit you, the next step is to decide which what sort of look you are hoping to achieve, i.e. more projection, moderate, or least. This is determined by how much breast tissue you have naturally, and how large you ultimately wish to be. All of this would be discussed during your consultation. And don’t be shy about coming prepared with images which you feel best represent your desired end point. These can be determined by visiting our gallery, www.WhatSizeShouldiBe.com, or any other photos you wish to bring. The advantage of using our gallery is that all of the relevant information about patient age, implant size and type, are clearly indicated.
Who Might Benefit From a Shaped Implant?
There are three categories of patients who might benefit from an anatomic shaped implant over a conventional round implant:
- A woman undergoing breast reconstruction after mastectomy may prefer a less round look that a conventional round implant may provide.
- The woman who is very small breasted with little or no shape to her breast.
- The woman who is small breasted but has some ptosis or sagging, but would like to avoid a breast lift or mastopexy. Because the anatomic implants have a textured surface rather than a smooth surface, they can be more effective in correcting mild sagging or drooping, and therefore help avoid the need for extra scars that might result from a breast lift procedure.
MemoryGel® Breast Implants Video
Contact Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas
For more information on breast implants, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kalus, please contact Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas.