Breast implants have been around for a long time, since the late nineteenth century in fact. In the early stages of the development of breast implants, many different substances were tried, sometimes with disastrous results. From injecting the breast with paraffin, through implants filled with soya oil, to implants filled with polyethylene chips, implants have had a long and chequered history. Used primarily as a reconstructive mechanism after a mastectomy, the use of implants gradually expanded to encompass cosmetic breast augmentation.
The industry has been refined incredibly over the last few decades and now there are only two different fillers used; either a saline solution or silicone gel. There are however many sub-categories of silicon filler and these are what we are going to talk about now.
Before we start, let’s get saline solution implants out of the way. The biggest danger from an implant is if they rupture and leak. If a saline solution implant ruptures, the implant collapses and the saline solution is harmlessly absorbed back into the body.
Silicone implants are filled with silicone gel in a silicone container. If the implant leaks, the implant will not collapse, and there’s a good chance that the silicone won’t leak into the implant pocket. If this does happen however, the implant will have to be replaced. Silicone breast implants have a more natural feel than saline implants.
Form shaped breast implants are also called gummy bear implants. The gel used in these implants is slightly firmer, and these implants are less likely to break. If a shaped implant like this moves, or rotates, it could cause a strange shape to the breast. These implants are not round, but shaped. Form shaped implants are more sloped at the top and project further at the bottom, in an attempt to give a more natural shape.
As the name implies, these implants lend a fuller, rounded shape. Because of this shape, there is less likelihood of breast distortion if the implant rotates.
These implants give the “softest” feeling of the implants. They give a more natural movement, because they move with the breast implant pocket. However these breast implants can display visible rippling.
Textured breast implants are more stable because they are able, through the texturing, to allow scar tissue to adhere to the implant, and thereby prevent rotation, and the formation of a tight scar capsule.
Breast implants were used originally in an attempt to reconstruct the breasts after traumatic surgery or injury, in an attempt to restore a more natural shape to the patient’s breasts. However, these days, implants are often chosen for cosmetic reasons. The type of implant that will suit you depends on a lot of factors. If you are considering breast augmentation surgery, your first step will be to consult a cosmetic surgeon. After discussing your goals, and giving you an examination, the surgeon will be able to advise you as to what is best for you.