If you want to increase your breast size, breast augmentation may be an ideal choice. However, you might have read online about potential risks with breast implants, such as rupture or implant movement.
Most plastic surgeons field questions about breast implant safety all the time, as people wonder if some implants are safer than others. Below, we address the safety of various types of breast implants.
FDA Requirements For Breast Implant Safety
All women considering breast implants should know that as of November 2021, FDA requires all breast implant manufacturers to include a Patient Decision Checklist with each implant.
The checklist has information on known and reported breast implant risks. Your surgeon will go over everything on the checklist for your particular implants.
The Safest Breast Implants
Before discussing the safest implants, it is important to remember that all breast implants used in the United States by board-certified plastic surgeons are FDA-approved for safety. So, the kind of breast implant you select shouldn’t just be about which one is ‘safest.’
Also, despite what you may have heard, there isn’t any scientific evidence that breast implants cause cancer or various autoimmune disorders.
Surgeons recommend selecting a breast implant based on your body type and personal and aesthetic goals.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants are the most popular type. They’re made of a silicone shell that contains a semi-solid silicone gel. These are the softest implants on the market and tend to feel more like natural breast tissue.
Standard silicone gel breast implants are round in shape and are chosen most often by patients for these reasons:
- Excellent safety and performance record
- Feel like natural breast tissue compared to saline implants
- Not as likely as saline implants to be visible under the skin compared to saline implants
In the unlikely event a silicone implant ruptures, the breast may have a different feel, but the implant will not change shape or collapse. However, a ruptured silicone implant should be replaced as soon as possible.
Note that silicone implants have a longer incision than saline implants.
Gummy Bear Breast Implants
Gummy bear implants are made from highly cohesive silicone gel. They’re also called form-stable implants.
Gummy bear breast implants have a firmer and thicker silicone gel compared to standard silicone implants. The gel is more cohesive, so the device can take more pressure and return to its regular shape.
This type of implant is available in teardrop and round shapes. Some think the teardrop shape better resembles a natural breast so it’s becoming more popular.
These implants are often chosen by patients for the following reasons:
- May be longer-lasting than silicone and saline breast implants
- Offer a more natural shape than regular saline and silicone breast implants
- Less likely to be visible under the skin compared to the other implants
- Firmer than regular silicone implants, but still look and feel natural
If the gummy bear implant ruptures, the breast probably won’t feel different. But it is recommended the ruptured implant be removed and replaced. This is the case even though there’s no scientific evidence that a ruptured implant is dangerous for your health. =
Saline Breast Implants
Saline breast implants have a silicone shell that is filled with saltwater during the procedure. This type of implant has a uniform firmness and shape, and it feels a bit firmer than silicone implants.
Saline implants are less common than silicone, but you may want them for a few reasons:
- Lower costs
- Smaller incision
- Some patients think, despite scientific evidence, that saline is safer than silicone
If the saline implant leaks, the breast implant will collapse and the salt water is absorbed by your body. While no harm is done, one breast will be bigger than the other, so the defective implant needs to be replaced.
Breast Implant Alternatives
If you want something other than breast implants, there are other options. Patients who don’t want implants may consider breast augmentation with fat transfer. This procedure uses liposuction to remove fat from one part of the body. The fat is washed and processed and injected into the breasts.
Breast augmentation with fat transfer is an all-natural way to augment the breasts and only requires small incisions to insert the cannula for fat transfer.
Another option is a breast lift. After childbirth and breastfeeding, the breasts may deflate and sag. If sagging is your biggest concern, you may want a breast lift instead of implants. But you also can have breast augmentation and a breast lift in the same procedure.
There are many ways to enhance the size and shape of the breasts today. A board-certified plastic surgeon can help you decide which type of implant or breast augmentation is best for you.
And most importantly, keep in mind that all breast implants used in the US are FDA-approved for safety.
Request A Breast Augmentation Consultation
Considering breast augmentation in New Jersey? Dr. Smita. R. Ramanadham can help you obtain the results you want. Dr. Ramanadham will go over your options and goals to determine if this procedure fits your aesthetic and personal goals.
Breast Implant Safety. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.webmd.com/beauty/breast-implant-safety
Breast Implant Safety Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/patient-safety/breast-implant-safety
Saline vs. Silicone Implants For Breast Augmentation. (2020). Accessed at https://www.healthline.com/health/saline-vs-silicone-implants