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Types of Breast Implants

Breast implants are used for a cosmetic procedure called breast augmentation. Commonly referred to as a “breast aug” or “boob job,” this procedure aims to improve the size, fullness, projection, and even symmetry of the breasts.

According to FDA, breast implants must only contain either silicone gel or saline water. Either way, both implants have shells made of silicone.


Silicone vs Saline Implants
Between the two, silicone-filled breast implants provide a more natural feeling result. It’s because the thick silicone gel inside the shell provides the firmness that resembles the real body tissue. Silicone breast implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women age 22 or older.

In a rare case of a rupture, the gel will still hold much of its shape and is less likely to invade other areas of the patient’s body. The patient may not know that she has a rupture, as the silicone gel will not collapse until she experiences pain or notices any changes to her breasts. The only way to find out if there is a ruptured silicone-filled breast implant is through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). If you choose silicone implants, it is recommended to visit your plastic surgeon regularly to make sure the implants are functioning properly.

Saline implants, on the other hand, are filled with sterilized saltwater. Although most implants are filled intra-operatively, one advantage of these implants over the silicone ones is that they can be placed while they’re empty and filled later. Filling these implants later allows the surgeon to control the volume, ensuring symmetry between the breasts.

While they don’t feel as natural as silicone implants, they are relatively inexpensive. If they burst (which is unusual), the saline will just be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body. Saline implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women age 18 or older.
Although implants can only be either silicone or saline, they can be round vs. anatomic (shaped) and smooth vs. textured. Other variations include:


Structured Saline Breast Implants
These implants are filled with sterile water and have an inner structure that makes them feel more natural.


Gummy Bear Breast Implants
These form-stable implants are becoming popular because they are less likely to deflate and rupture. They are effective in maintaining their shape, even if a tear or damage occurs. It got its name from its durability – thanks to the extra thick silicone gel contained inside them.


If you’ve been considering breast augmentation, it’s important to see an experienced Plastic Surgeon like Dr. David Lo of Premier Surgical Plastic Surgery in Knoxville. He and his team will explain all your breast augmentation options and help you select the implant that is the most appropriate for you and your body.