Breast Implants Types: Saline, Silicone & More Options

Exploring Breast Implant Types

Silicone Implants

Silicone implants are popular. They have a silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel, breast implants of different sizes and volume made from this material. Many people choose silicone shells because they feel like natural breast tissue. The FDA approved these silicone shells for breast augmentation surgery in 2006 for women aged 22 and older.

Saline Implants

Saline implants, used in breast augmentation surgery, have a silicone outer shell but are filled with sterile salt water. They were first introduced in the 1960s. If they rupture, the body absorbs the saline safely. These implants are available for people aged 18 and older.

Gummy Bear Implants

Gummy bear implants are also known as form-stable implants. They maintain their shape even if the shell breaks. These implants use a thicker silicone gel than traditional silicone ones. They often provide more projection at the bottom and taper towards the top, especially in breast implants.

Round Implants

Round implants give a fuller appearance to the upper part of the breast. They come in both saline and silicone varieties. Because of their shape, there’s less concern about rotation within the chest muscle during breast implant surgery, reducing implant complications.

Smooth Implants

Smooth implants move freely within the breast pocket, which can provide more natural movement. They tend to feel softer than textured implants. However, breast implants might have a higher chance of visible rippling under thin skin after implant surgery.

Textured Implants

Textured implants develop scar tissue that sticks to them, making them less likely to move around inside the breast pocket. This reduces the risk of capsular contracture, a common complication where scar tissue tightens around the breast implants.

Anatomical Implants

Anatomical or teardrop-shaped implants mimic the natural slope of the breast, providing a more natural look for some patients. They’re usually used in reconstructive surgeries after mastectomies.

Fat Transfer Augmentation

Fat transfer augmentation is an alternative to traditional breast implants. Surgeons remove fat from other parts of your body using liposuction and inject it into your breasts as part of implant surgery. This option is suitable for those looking for modest increases in breast size without synthetic materials.

Saline Implants Overview

Safety Aspect

Saline implants offer a significant safety advantage. If breast implants leak, the saline solution is harmlessly absorbed by the body. This is because saline is simply sterile salt water. The body can safely process and eliminate breast implants without any health risks.

This feature provides peace of mind for many patients. They know that a rupture of breast implants won’t cause harm or require immediate medical intervention.

Age Requirement

The FDA has set age requirements for saline breast implants. Patients must be at least 18 years old to get breast implants for augmentation purposes. This ensures that candidates are physically mature enough for the breast implants procedure.

Younger patients might not have fully developed breast tissue. Ensuring maturity helps avoid complications and ensures better aesthetic results for breast implants.

Aesthetic Outcomes

Saline implants provide a uniform shape and firmness. They are filled after being placed in the breast pocket, allowing for smaller incisions during surgery.

e people find saline implants feel firmer than natural breast tissue. However, this firmness can help breast implant maintain their shape over time.

Profile Options

Saline implants come in various profiles to suit different body types and preferences. Profiles refer to how much the implant projects from the chest wall.

Options include low, moderate, and high profiles:

  • Low Profile: Offers a subtle enhancement.

  • Moderate Profile: Provides a balanced look.

  • High Profile: Creates a more pronounced appearance.

Choosing the right breast implant profile depends on individual goals and body structure.

Market Availability

Saline implants are widely available on the market. They are often less expensive compared to silicone breast implant options, making them accessible to more patients.

Many reputable clinics offer these implants for sale as part of their services. Always choose certified professionals to ensure quality and safety.

Structured Saline Implants Insight

Inner Structure

Structured saline implants contain a series of nested shells. These shells are filled with sterile salt water. This design aims to provide a more natural feel. Traditional saline implants often feel like water balloons. The inner structure in these implants reduces that sensation.

The layered shells help the implant maintain its shape. They also minimize rippling, which can be noticeable under the skin with breast implants. Patients report feeling more confident with this type of implant.

Natural Look

Many patients want their implants to look natural. Structured saline implants offer this benefit. The unique design helps them mimic the look of natural breast tissue. This is important for those who want subtle enhancements.

These implants also adapt well to various body types. Women with less natural breast tissue often choose structured saline implants for their lifelike appearance.


Structured saline implants suit those seeking a middle ground between saline and silicone options. They combine the safety of saline breast implant with some benefits of silicone gel. This makes them appealing to many women.

Patients concerned about ruptures find these implants reassuring. If a breast implant rupture occurs, sterile salt water is absorbed by the body safely. There is no need for immediate removal of the breast implant, unlike silicone gel ruptures.

Unique Design Features

Several features set structured saline implants apart from other types:

  • Nested Shells: Multiple layers create a firmer, more stable structure.

  • Minimal Rippling: The design reduces visible rippling under the skin.

  • Natural Feel: Mimics the consistency of natural breast tissue better than traditional saline options.

Women considering breast augmentation should discuss these features with their surgeon. Understanding these differences helps in making an informed decision.

Silicone Implants Demystified

Natural Feel

Silicone implants offer a natural feel. They contain a silicone gel that mimics human fat. This texture makes them popular among patients. Many prefer silicone over saline because of this realistic touch.

Silicone shells also play a role. They are soft and flexible. This flexibility helps the implant adapt to body movements. It feels more like natural breast tissue.

Regular Monitoring

Regular monitoring is essential for silicone implants. Unlike saline, leaks in silicone implants are not easily noticeable. The gel stays within the shell even if it ruptures.

Doctors recommend MRI scans every two years. These scans detect any silent ruptures. Early detection prevents complications and ensures safety.

Patients should stay vigilant about changes in their breasts. Any unusual signs should prompt a visit to the doctor.

Age Restrictions

Silicone implants have age restrictions. The FDA has set guidelines for their use. Women must be at least 22 years old to get silicone implants for augmentation.

These restrictions exist for several reasons:

  • Mature Breast Development: Breasts continue to develop into early adulthood.

  • Informed Decision-Making: Older patients can make more informed choices.

  • Long-Term Safety Data: Studies focus on adult women, ensuring reliable data on safety and effectiveness.

Gummy Bear Implants Unveiled


Gummy bear implants are form-stable. They maintain their shape better than other types. This gives a firmer feel, which many women prefer. The gel inside these implants is thicker. It stays in place even if the implant shell breaks.

These implants can last longer. Fewer replacements might be needed over time. This can save on health costs and reduce surgical risks.


Implant rotation is a concern with gummy bear implants. Because of their unique shape, they must stay properly aligned. If they rotate, it could lead to an unnatural look.

Corrective procedures might be necessary if rotation happens. Surgery would fix the alignment issue but involves extra recovery time and cost. Women should discuss this risk with their surgeons before choosing these implants.

Aesthetic Outcomes

The unique shape of gummy bear implants offers specific aesthetic benefits. They mimic the natural slope of the breast more closely than round implants. This leads to a more natural appearance.

Their composition also helps in maintaining upper pole fullness. This is important for achieving a youthful look. Many women choose gummy bear implants for these reasons.

Round and Smooth Implants Compared

Aesthetic Effects

Round implants make breasts appear fuller. They provide a more pronounced cleavage. This is because of their symmetrical shape. Many people prefer them for this reason.

Smooth implants offer natural movement. They move with the body, mimicking real breast tissue. This can create a more subtle look. Some find this more appealing.

Implant Profile

Implant profile affects how far the breast projects from the chest wall. Round implants often come in various profiles:

  • Low

  • Moderate

  • High

Higher profiles project more, giving a dramatic effect.

Smooth implants also have different profiles. However, their movement can influence how they look in different positions. The choice depends on personal preference and desired outcome.

Projection Considerations

Projection refers to how much the implant pushes forward. Round implants typically offer consistent projection across all parts of the implant. This results in a uniform fullness.

Smooth implants might vary in projection due to their flexibility and movement. This can lead to a more natural slope, especially when lying down or moving.

Rippling Issues

Rippling is a potential issue with smooth implants. It occurs when folds or wrinkles form on the outer shell of the implant. These ripples can sometimes be felt or seen through the skin, especially if there is not enough breast tissue to cover them.

To minimize rippling:

  1. Choose an implant size that fits your body.

  2. Ensure adequate tissue coverage.

  3. Discuss options with your surgeon.

Textured Implants Explained

Scar Tissue

Textured implants have a rough surface. This texture encourages the growth of scar tissue around the implant. The scar tissue helps to hold the implant in place. It reduces movement within the breast pocket.

This feature can be beneficial for certain patients. For example, it can help those with thin breast tissue or those undergoing reconstructive surgery. The reduced movement can provide a more natural look and feel.


The material used for textured implants is similar to that of smooth implants. However, their outer shell has a different design. The rough surface is created by adding an extra layer during manufacturing.

This unique surface impacts how the implant interacts with the body. It allows for better integration with surrounding tissues.


Textured implants come with risks. One rare but serious risk is Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). This condition is a type of cancer found in the scar tissue around the implant.

BIA-ALCL is not common but should be considered when choosing an implant type. Regular check-ups and monitoring are essential for early detection.

Stability and Feel

The unique surface of textured implants also affects their stability within the breast pocket. They tend to stay in place better than smooth implants due to increased friction between the implant and surrounding tissues.

This stability can lead to a more consistent shape over time. Patients might feel more confident knowing their implants are less likely to shift.

Safety and Risks of Breast Implants

General Safety

Breast implants are generally safe but require careful consideration. Regular follow-ups with a healthcare provider are crucial. These check-ups help detect any issues early. Women should also be aware of the need for periodic MRI scans to monitor silicone gel implants.

Implant Complications

All types of breast implants come with potential complications. Capsular contracture is one common issue. This occurs when scar tissue around the implant tightens, causing discomfort. Another complication is implant rupture, which can happen in both saline and silicone implants.

Saline Implants Risks

Saline implants have specific risks. They may deflate if they rupture, leading to noticeable changes in breast shape and size. However, the saline solution is harmlessly absorbed by the body. Regular monitoring can help manage these risks effectively.

Silicone Implants Risks

Silicone implants pose different risks. If they rupture, the silicone gel may stay within the scar tissue capsule or spread to other parts of the body. This type of rupture is often “silent,” meaning it may not cause noticeable symptoms immediately.

Textured Implants Concerns

Textured implants have been linked to a rare form of lymphoma known as BIA-ALCL (Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma). The FDA has issued warnings about this risk since 2011. Patients should discuss this with their surgeon to understand their options better.

Recovery Process

Recovery from breast implant surgery varies among individuals but usually involves several weeks of downtime. Pain and swelling are common during this period. Following post-surgery care instructions from your surgeon minimizes complications and promotes healing.

Choosing a Surgeon

Choosing a qualified plastic surgeon is vital for minimizing risks and complications. Look for board certification and extensive experience in breast augmentation procedures. A skilled surgeon can provide valuable advice tailored to your specific needs.

Before You Decide on Implants

Thorough Research

Thorough research is crucial. Understand the different implant types available. Saline and silicone are common options. Each has pros and cons. Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. They can be adjusted during surgery. Silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue.

Consultation with a Surgeon

Consultation with a cosmetic surgeon is essential. Discuss your goals and concerns. The surgeon will explain the implant procedure in detail. Ask about possible risks and complications. Revision surgeries may be necessary later on.

Personal Health Considerations

Consider your personal health before making a decision. Some health conditions may affect your suitability for implants. Discuss any medical history with your doctor. Your skin’s condition also matters. Thinner skin may not support larger implants well.

Lifestyle and Aesthetic Goals

Think about your lifestyle and aesthetic goals. Larger implants might suit some people but not others. If you lead an active lifestyle, smaller implants might be better. Your overall body shape should guide your choice too.

Realistic Expectations

Have realistic expectations about the results of the surgery. Implants can enhance appearance but won’t solve all self-esteem issues. Understand that results vary from person to person.

Long-term Commitment

Understand the long-term commitment involved in getting breast implants. They are not lifetime devices; they may need replacing after 10-15 years or due to complications like rupture or capsular contracture.

Informed Decisions

Make informed decisions by gathering all relevant health information and understanding the factors involved in implant surgery choices:

  • Types of implants

  • Potential risks

  • Recovery time

  • Long-term care requirements


Choosing the right breast implants is a big decision. You’ve explored various types, from saline to silicone, and learned about their unique benefits and risks. Each type offers different advantages, whether it’s natural feel, firmness, or safety features.

Now it’s up to you to decide which option aligns with your goals and lifestyle. Consult with a certified plastic surgeon to get personalized advice. Your journey toward enhancing your confidence starts now. Ready to take the next step? Schedule your consultation today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of breast implants?

There are several types: saline, structured saline, silicone, gummy bear, round and smooth, and textured implants.

How do saline implants work?

Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. They offer a uniform shape and firmness.

What makes gummy bear implants unique?

Gummy bear implants retain their shape even if the shell breaks. They have a thicker consistency than traditional silicone implants.

Are silicone implants safe?

Yes, when used correctly. Silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue and are FDA-approved for safety.

What is the difference between round and smooth implants?

Round implants provide fuller results. Smooth implants move within the breast pocket, mimicking natural movement.

Do textured implants reduce the risk of complications?

Textured implants lower the chance of movement within the breast pocket but may have a higher risk of certain complications.

What should I consider before getting breast implants?

Consider your health, desired outcome, and potential risks. Consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to make an informed decision.


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