3 Factors in Choosing Breast Implants
- Posted on: Jan 8 2019
What You Need to Know
Although the thought of having a new bikini body is exciting, many patients planning to have breast augmentation surgery feel uncertainty around choosing breast implants. There’s an abundance of options available and it can be hard to make sense of what’s best for one’s body and lifestyle.
Between plastic surgery websites, online forums, and input from friends and family, the volume of information is nearly impossible to navigate. And, not all of it is clinically sound. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone.
Dr. Restifo breaks down the decision-making to the three most important factors to consider when choosing breast implants.
Choosing Breast Implants Factor 1: Saline or Silicone
The first decision is whether to choose saline or silicone breast implants.
Saline implants are filled with a saline solution – sterile salt water – and behave as such. They are filled at the time of surgery to allow for a shorter incision and for minor modifications in implant size.
Silicone implants have the same shell as saline implants but are filled with a silicone gel which has a higher viscosity. All silicone breast implants are pre-filled and may require a longer incision for implant placement.
Although saline implants have been around longer, both saline and silicone implants are FDA-approved and have a long history of exceptional patient results.
Silicone implants tend to be the more popular type of implant, mostly because on their own they look and feel more like breast tissue than do saline implants.
However, this difference between silicone and saline depends greatly on the amount of breast tissue that a woman has to cover the implant.
“It is an under-appreciated fact that in a woman with a lot of breast tissue, a saline implant can give a spectacular and natural result,” shares Dr. Restifo, detailing one scenario where the “old” saline implants may actually achieve the best result.
“On the other hand, in a woman with minimal breast tissue and low body fat, they may have a more natural look and feel with one of the silicone implant options.”
Choosing Breast Implants Factor 2: Profile
Beyond choosing the implant type, patients should also consider the implant profile or projection. This variable describes how much an implant protrudes from the chest as related to the implant base diameter.
“The choice of profile depends upon measurements of the chest, as well as a woman’s anatomy and the specific look she is striving for,” says Dr. Restifo.
An implant with a broader base diameter, but the same “size” or volume as measured in cubic centimeters (CCs) will have a lower projection, while an implant with a smaller base diameter will have higher projection.
A good surgeon will recommend the appropriate profile or projection of implants relative to each patient’s unique anatomy, including the width of the chest, the patient’s height, and their personal preference in terms of the “curves” they want to achieve.
Choosing Breast Implants Factor 3: Size
Once the implant type and profile have been selected, implant size is the next important factor.
Breast implants generally start at about 150 CCs and go up from there, with each 150 to 200 CCs reflecting an additional cup to cup-in-a-half in size. However, bra manufacturer’s use all different sizing methods so it’s not really helpful to start a conversation using “cup size” as a communication or measurement tool.
Instead, Dr. Restifo encourages patients to focus on the ultimate look they want to achieve by bringing in photos. Before & After Photo Galleries can be a useful starting point.
Moreover, since “a picture is worth a thousand words”, the advent of Vectra 3-D imaging has also made the size selection process much easier than it was in the past.
“We basically take a picture of the woman’s chest and the computer will show her what she’s going to look like with any size of implant she’s curious about,” says Restifo.
Although there are limits to the technology, 3D imaging minimizes the likelihood of misunderstandings about a patient’s ultimate goal.
For many patients, the availability of 3D imaging has been a game-changer in achieving ideal breast augmentation results. You can learn more about Vectra here.
During a consultation, all of these factors can be discussed with respect to your particular body type and goals, and you can be confident that you are choosing the right implant for you.
If you’re curious how you might look with breast implants, you can try MENTOR’S breast implant simulator (please note this is not as advanced as the Vectra 3D imaging used at the preoperative appointment but is simply a tool to begin envisioning your transformation).
Finally, to get the best breast augmentation results, Dr. Restifo has three more recommendations:
- Find a board-certified plastic surgeon who is credentialed through the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Learn the important Difference Between Cosmetic Surgeons & Plastic Surgeons here.
- Collect photos of your desired outcome. Visit Before & After Photo Galleries and try to find images of people with a similar frame, but the breast contours that represent your ideal look.
- Choose a surgeon that has significant expertise not just in Breast Augmentation, but also Breast Lift, Breast Reconstruction, and Breast Revision. Your long-term safety and satisfaction depend on it. Find someone who does breast surgery weekly; capable of accommodating your needs as your body changes over the years.
Not sure if Breast Implants alone will get you the results you want?
For women who have lost volume or shape post-pregnancy or with aging or weight loss, a Breast Lift with Implants might be worth considering. If you’re struggling with Breast Asymmetry, learn about treatment options here.
Ready to schedule a consultation with Dr. Restifo?
Text or call now: 203-772-1444. After 5PM, use our online contact form.