Types of Breast Implants - How to Choose

Breast Implant Options for Breast Implant Surgery

Breast augmentation surgery is one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the world. With it, comes many breast augmentation considerations such as breast implant options and choices.

There are many ways to make your breasts look younger and perkier, however, using breast implants offers the most reliable result.

When it comes to a ‘plastic boob job’, choosing the right breast implant plays a critical role in determining how your boobs will look, feel, and move after the operation. If you try searching on the internet for the “perfect breast implants”, you’re bound to get lost in all the different types, sizes, shapes, projections, and brands without even understanding what most of it means.

Here is everything you need to know about breast implants and breast implant options – brands,  types, sizes, shapes, textures – how they work, how they compare and breast surgery options.

What Are Breast Implants?

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A breast implant is a medical prosthetic device that’s designed to be used in breast augmentation surgery. Breast implants aim to enhance the contour, size, and shape of your breasts to give you a more aesthetically pleasing look. There are tens of breast implant brands worldwide, and they offer thousands of implant models with an incredible variety of features to choose from, allowing for incredible customization.

There are several reasons why you might want a boob job. Some women are just not satisfied with the size and projection of their breasts and feel like they are not proportional to the rest of their body. Breast implants help make your boobs look bigger, perkier, and fuller. If you’ve had a mastectomy (breast removal) to treat breast cancer, breast implants are also a great option for reconstructive surgery to restore your natural beauty and confidence in your body image. Another reason why breast implants are used is to correct congenital breast deformities like tuberous (conical) breasts, asymmetric breasts, hypomastia, amastia, and pigeon chest.

Breast Implant Brands

Your breast implant brand says a lot about the quality of the implant you’re getting and it can play a critical role in how your breasts look and feel in the long run. Here, at Gold Coast Plastic Surgery, we only offer the most reputable breast implant brands in Australia to make sure that our patients get the quality and aesthetics they desire. Here are some of the top breast implant brands:

Motiva ®

motiva breast implants

Motiva breast implants are arguably the best silicone breast implants available in Australia. These premium implants utilise innovative technologies that make them perfect for women who want the most natural-looking and feeling breasts possible after their boob job. If you want round and perky boobs with maximal upper pole fullness to flatter your cleavage, the popular Motiva Round implant is an excellent choice. The Motiva Ergonomix implant, on the other hand, is for you, if you’re aiming for a more natural look and feel since these implants are carefully engineered to adapt to your body movements.

Mentor ®

mentor breast implants

Mentor is another great breast implant brand that’s been around for over 4 decades, with tens of thousands of satisfied women having their implants worldwide. Mentor breast implants are known for their durability and outstanding quality. They offer both saline and silicone implants in a wide variety of sizes, models, and projections. Their Silicone MemoryGel® implants were designed using advanced technologies that are guaranteed to give you full and perky breasts with very natural consistency and feel.

Allergan Natrelle ®

Allergan has been around for some time, and they provide silicone implants with either smooth or textured surfaces. Currently, their textured implants are suspended in Australia after many studies showed that they’re associated with Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

Eurosilicone ®

Eurosilicone by GC Aesthetics is known for its extremely comprehensive inventory. They have an extraordinary variety of breast implant sizes, shapes, textures, and consistencies that are sure to give you the breasts you’ve always wanted.

Several other reputable breast implant brands such as Sebbin, Silimed, and Nagor are available in Australia. You can discuss your choice of breast implant brand with Dr Doyle in more detail when you come in for your initial consultation.

Breast Implant Types

All breast implants have soft silicone outer shells, however, on the inside, they can be either saline or silicone-filled. Each implant type has its advantages and disadvantages, and Dr Doyle will help you choose the best breast implant type for your specific desired outcomes:

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants are without a doubt the type most favoured by Dr Doyle and our patients, and there are several good reasons why. The main advantage of silicone breast implants is that they provide a lot more aesthetically pleasing results. Compared to saline implants, silicone breast implants will give you a more natural look and firmer and perkier breasts that move and feel very much like the real deal. The advanced technologies used in silicone breast implants give them a lot of superb features that deliver higher quality, better outcomes, and more durability compared to saline implants.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline breast implants are less popular among women getting boob jobs at our clinic, however, they still have some advantages. Saline breast implants contain sterile salt water that closely resembles the natural fluid in our tissue. So, if your implant ruptures, the saline solution would be absorbed and won’t cause any reaction in the surrounding tissue. Another advantage of saline breast implants is that they require a smaller incision when inserting them during breast augmentation surgery. Saline implants are originally deflated, and Dr Doyle inflates them after they’re inserted into your breasts. This also gives him more control over their size, as he can inflate or deflate them as needed before closing your wound. The disadvantage of saline breast implants is that they look and feel less natural compared to silicone implants.

Breast Implant Sizes

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Size, size, size! The first thing women say when they come to our clinic or a boob job is that they want bigger boobs. When it comes to breast enhancement surgery, implant size definitely matters. Breast implants come in a wide range of sizes (measured in “ccs”) extending from 80 ccs for those who want slightly larger and firmer boobs to 800 ccs for women who want to get very large round boobs. Another factor that determines how big your breasts look after a boob job is the implant projection (or profile).

Breast implant projection refers to how much the implant extends forward from your chest wall. An implant with a high profile is one that provides the most projection of your breasts in front of you, so they will look more prominent from a side view. The most popular implants among our patients are 300 to 400 ccs high profile implants. Women who get these implants at our clinic are usually extremely satisfied with how natural and perky they make their breasts look.

How to Choose the Right Size Breast Implant for You

The use of 3D imaging tool, Crisalix is standard practice Gold Coast Plastic Surgery. This offers patients a representation of post-operative results that can be achieved using various sized breast implants.

Breast Implant Shapes

breast implant shape options round vs teardrop

When getting a boob job, you don’t just want your breasts to look bigger, you’ll also want them to look better, perkier, rounder, and fuller. There are many models and shapes of breasts implants, and they can generally be classified into two main shapes, round and anatomical:

Round breast implants are more popular among our patients. Round implants have the advantage of providing more fullness, especially in the upper poles of your breasts. This makes them perfect for women who want round perky breasts with prominent cleavage.

Anatomical (teardrop) breast implants are implants that are shaped to look like natural breasts. They are usually teardrop-shaped; wide at the bottom poles, and slightly narrower at the upper poles. These implants are great for women who want a more natural look, however, they provide less fullness in the upper poles of your breasts.

Breast Implant Texture

textured vs smooth breast implants risks
Image sourced from Motiva Health

Breast implant texture refers to the texture of the outer surface (shell) of your breast implant. Generally, breast implants are classified as either textured or smooth. The greatest advantage of smooth breast implants is that they’re less likely to be felt in your boobs since they have a very smooth natural-feeling surface. Textured breast implants have a slightly rough surface that allows them to adhere tightly to your breast tissue, so your implants would be less likely to migrate and lose position. Moreover, another pro of textured breast implants is that they cause less scarring inside your breast and less capsular contracture. Despite these great advantages, textured implants are associated with breast implant cancer (BIA-ALCL), so most textured products are currently suspended by the TGA.

Breast Implant Placement

Breast implant placement above below muscle

During breast augmentation surgery, your plastic surgeon will insert the implants in one of several possible locations (placement options).

The most popular placement option is the submuscular or dual plane placement. These techniques are more technically demanding and time-consuming, however, they provide better outcomes. Submuscular placement is when the implants are inserted under your chest muscles (pectoralis major). This technique has several advantages over other placement options. It is considered the most sterile placement technique and it’s recommended in the 14-point antibacterial plan that Dr Doyle follows.

Submuscular breast implants are less likely to cause complications like capsular contracture, interference with mammography results, and disruption of lactation and nipple sensation. Moreover, breast implants inserted under the chest muscles provide more natural and aesthetically pleasing results, and that’s why Dr Doyle takes the time and puts in more effort to perform this technique for his breast augmentation patients.

Breast Implant Incisions and Scars

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When getting breast augmentation surgery, your plastic surgeon will have to cut your skin open to insert the implants. Three different incisions are used in boob jobs: Inframammary incision, periareolar incision, and axillary incision. Each of these techniques has its advantages and disadvantages, however, Dr Doyle uses the inframammary incision in most of his surgeries. Here’s how different boob job incisions compare:

Inframammary incision

This is Dr Doyle’s favourite access technique when performing breast augmentation surgery. Dr Doyle will make an incision along the crease of your underboob to access your breast. This technique is considered the most sterile and is part of the 14-points plan to reduce the risks of complications after breast augmentation surgery. The final scar from your inframammary incision will be well hidden in your underboob and barely noticeable.

Periareolar incision

The areola is the pigmented skin around your nipple. A periareolar incision is an incision that’s made right on the border of the areola. This technique is not used too often, since it’s considered less sterile than inframammary incisions with a higher complication rate.

Axillary incision

An axillary incision is an incision done along the crease in your armpit. This incision is usually done for women who want an Asian boob job, also called a scarless boob job, since it leaves no scars on the breast itself. Nevertheless, this technique makes it a little harder to put in larger implants and is also considered less sterile than an inframammary incision.

Breast Implant Insertion

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When inserting breast implants, Dr Doyle follows well-proven antibacterial methods to reduce the risks of complications like infection, capsular contracture, and BIA-ALCL. One specific protocol we believe in and adopt at Gold Coast Plastic Surgery is the 14-point plan. This plan was developed in 2013, and it contains 14 recommendations for surgeons performing boob jobs to reduce bacterial contamination during surgery. Since your skin contains many bacteria, Dr Doyle puts extra effort to avoid contact between your skin and the implants. For this purpose, he uses a device called a “Keller funnel”, which is a mechanical insertion device that delivers the breast implant directly into the breast without coming in contact with your skin.

Overview of Different Breast Implant Surgery Types

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Breast implants can be used in different cosmetic, reconstructive, and corrective breast surgeries to improve aesthetics and treat different breast conditions. Whether you just want bigger and perkier boobs or you want to fix a breast deformity, breast implants might be for you. Dr Doyle might recommend breast augmentation alone, and he might sometimes combine it with fat transfer or breast lifting to optimize your results:

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation surgery (boob job) is the cosmetic surgical procedure done to make your boobs larger, perkier, rounder, and more symmetric. During the procedure, Dr Doyle performs an inframammary skin incision and creates a pocket under your breast tissue. He then inserts your breast implants into position and closes your skin carefully using absorbable sutures to minimize the leftover scar. Dr Doyle will customize your surgery depending on your specific case, and he’ll choose a skin incision and implant position that best fit your desired outcomes and expectations.

Hybrid Breast Augmentation – Implant and Added Fat

For women looking for absolute perfection, Dr Doyle will gladly combine traditional breast augmentation with fat transfer. Fat transfer is when Dr Doyle removes excess fat from different parts of your body (like your thighs or tummy) by liposuction, and then strategically injects the fat into your boobs to contour them and give them a fuller look.

Breast Lift with Implants (Mastopexy with Implants)

If you have drooping boobs, Dr Doyle will offer you breast implant surgery in combination with breast lifting. After inserting the implants into your breasts, Dr Doyle will remove any excess skin and then pull your breasts tighter to raise them into a higher position. After surgery, your boobs will look younger and firmer and will be back in their normal position.

Breast Reduction with Implants

 For women who have large and saggy boobs, a breast reduction with subsequent implants is a perfect choice. Dr Doyle will first remove breast tissue to reduce the size of your breasts. He will then insert your implants into position and pull the tissue tighter together over them. After breast reduction with implants, you’ll have youthful and symmetric breasts with a round and beautiful contour.

Breast Implant Risks and Complications

Elective cosmetic surgeries like breast augmentation are considered very safe, however, like any other surgical procedure, there are still some risks. The short term complications of breast implants include:

Breast implant infection

Sometimes, bacteria manage to get into the wound, even if your surgeon follows all sterility protocols. When this happens, the microbes might cause an infection around your implant, which might require a long course of antibiotic treatment.

Seroma formation

A seroma is a collection of fluid that might develop around your implant after surgery, and it’s sometimes drained by your surgeon using a needle.

Haematoma formation

A haematoma is a collection of blood that might build up in your wound near the implant. If a hematoma does not resolve on its own, your surgeon might need to surgically drain it.

In addition to the general post-surgical complications, there are a few complications that are specific to breast augmentation surgery with breast implants, and these usually happen in the long term:

Capsular contracture

After breast implants are inserted, your body forms a fibrous (scar tissue) capsule around them as part of the normal healing process. Sometimes, this reaction is exaggerated and leads to breast deformity and pain, a condition known as capsular contracture. If the contracture is severe, you might need breast revision surgery (capsulotomy or capsulectomy).

Implant rupture

Although the implants we use are top quality and very durable implants, the outer shell can sometimes break and the filling can get out. If you suddenly start noticing that one breast is becoming smaller and asymmetric with the other one, you might have a ruptured implant. If this happens, your implant needs to be replaced.

BIA-ALCL

This is a type of rare immune cell cancer that develops in association with breast implants. This breast implant cancer is only seen in women who have textured implants, but never with smooth implants. That’s why the TGA has suspended several textured implants in Australia and prohibited their use. If BIA-ALCL is diagnosed early it can be effectively cured, and the outcomes are very positive.

Implant dislocation

Sometimes, your implant might lose its normal position and you’ll start noticing that your breasts are asymmetric. This is usually corrected by breast revision surgery.

Most of the long term complications like capsular contracture, rupture, and BIA-ALCL are covered by your brand’s warranty programs. The manufacturers usually provide free replacement implants and financial coverage to help you restore your beautiful breasts.

More Breast Implant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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How long do breast implants last?

Breast implants are not lifetime devices, and they will eventually need replacement someday in the future. On average, breast implants need replacement after 10 years of the original boob job, however, this can be later or earlier depending on your specific case.

When do you need to replace breast implants?

There are several reasons why you might need to replace your breast implants, such as implant rupture, capsular contracture, BIA-ALCL, and implant infection.

How do I know if my Breast Implant is ruptured?

Symptoms of implant rupture include a sudden loss in breast size, change in shape, and asymmetry with the other breast. If this happens, you need to visit your plastic surgeon for evaluation of rupture.

How do I know if something is wrong with my breast implant?

Several breast implant symptoms warrant a surgeon’s visit to make sure everything is okay. Some symptoms that may indicate a problem with your breast implant include breast pain, swelling, deformity, nipple retraction, change in size, or a palpable mass.

Do breast implants feel heavy?

Some women report feeling some heaviness in their breasts after their boob job. The implants themselves are fairly light, however, your skin and tissue need some time to adapt after surgery before you become used to your new breasts.

Do breast implants get hard over time?

Normally, breast implants do not become harder over time. On some rare occasions, excessive scarring in your breast might occur, a condition known as “capsular contracture”, making your breasts feel harder than normal.

How hard can you squeeze breast implants before they pop?

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Image sourced from Motiva Health

Breast implants are VERY tough, especially silicone ones. They can usually withstand a couple of hundred kilograms of pressure before they rupture. If you’re worried about your implants “popping” during usual foreplay, you should rest assured that they won’t.

How safe are breast implants?

Breast implants are considered very safe devices that have shown no life-threatening long term side effects. The only exception is the very rare occurrence of breast implant cancer (BIA-ALCL) that’s recently been linked to textured implants only, specifically BIOCELL implants by Allergan. As for smooth implants, there are still no reports of associated BIA-ALCL.

What are the alternatives to breast implants?

Fat transfer boob jobs are becoming a popular choice for some women who want bigger boobs without implants. During fat grafting, Dr Doyle uses liposuction to remove fat from different parts of your body and then re-inject it carefully into strategic areas of your breast to improve the contour, fill your cleavage, and enlarge your boobs.

What do breast implants look like when you’re old?

As you get older, the skin and tissue around your breast implants will still age and some degree of sagging skin will develop. Depending on your specific case, you might need breast revision surgery that can include implant replacement, breast lifting (mastopexy), or a combination of the two.

What happens if you don’t replace breast implants?

If your implants rupture and you don’t replace them, there’s a chance that the leaking material will cause tissue inflammation and subsequent capsular contracture and breast deformity. If your implants are still maintaining their integrity without causing any problems, there’s no reason why you should remove them, regardless of how long you’ve had them.

What is the most common breast implant type?

The most commonly used breast implant type is silicone implants. The most commonly used shapes are round implants.

What type of breast implant feel more natural?

The best breast implants to get natural-feeling breasts are silicone implants.

Is getting breast implants worth it?

The vast majority of women who get breast augmentation surgery are extremely satisfied with how beautiful and perky their boobs look. According to patient reviews on realself.com, more than 97% of women that had gotten breast augmentation say that the procedure is worth it.

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