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Breast implants can be very successful when performed on
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Breast Implants 101

Everything You Need To Know About Breast Implants

Getting a breast augmentation can be a great confidence
booster, but can also be a scary thought. As with any major
surgery, there are both risks and benefits.  Knowing about
the procedure and options available to you can help put
you at ease and prepare you for undergoing the surgery. 
There are many choices to make:  Size, shape, type of
implant, and surface quality to name a few.  You may
know someone who has had an enhancement and love
the look they have, but always remember, what worked for
her may not be the right fit for you. You may know you want
bigger breasts, but you also need to keep your whole body in
mind when choosing the right implants for you. Make sure you talk to a doctor when you are ready to make your decision, and keep what you read in mind.

Breasts implant components
Fill valve:
Were the implant is filled once inside your body.
The filler:
This is what your implant is filled with. Silicone, Saline and cohesive- gel are the fillers currently on the market. Keep in mind silicone is only used for patients involved in an adjunct study.
The shell:
The shell is the outside layer, also known as the lumen or envelope. These come in two surface types, smooth or textured, and are made of a silicone-elastomor.

Types of implants

Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone gel filled implants are said to have a more "natural look" than saline. Unfortunately not everyone can get this type. There have been concerns about a possible auto immune syndrome. The FDA has only approved silicone to be used if the patient is a candidate for revision, reconstruction or is participating in an ongoing study that monitors her over the course of five year or more.

Types of silicone breast implants
» A single lumen, pre-filled to a fixed volume.
» A double lumen implant. The inner lumen is prefilled to a fixed volume with silicone gel. The outer lumen is filled with saline during surgery.
» A double lumen implant. The inner lumen is prefilled to a fixed volume with silicone gel. The outer lumen is filled with saline during surgery. This can also be filled postoperatively with saline allowing for adjustments.

Saline Breast Implants
This is the “safest” option currently on the market has been used for more than 30 years. It is also the implant that is used the most by US surgeons. A saline implant is composed of a silicone rubber shell filled with a sterile, saltwater based solution. The risk of infection is low should the implant ever rupture or break, as this solution is comparable to body fluid. Keep in mind that although saline implants are available to all patients, they are prone to rippling and wrinkling.

Saline implant types
» Single lumen implant that is filled with fixed volume of saline during the surgery. No adjustments can be made post operatively.

» Single lumen implant filled through a valve. The volume can be adjusted postoperatively for up to six months. This can be done by adding or extracting saline to improve breast size, shape, and symmetry
» Pre-filled single lumen implant. The FDA no longer allows this type in the US

Cohesive Gel Breast Implants
This implant is also known as the "Gummy Bear Implant", and is made from a semi-solid silicone. This is the newest implant on the market and is regulated by the FDA. Patients who need correction to a previous augmentation, or that need reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy are the only ones who qualify for this type. The gel-like filler was designed to hold a better shape and prevent leakage.

Breast Implant Size- Choosing the Right Amount of CC’s
We all find ourselves saying "I wish I was a C or D cup". The problem with that is the same size may vary by manufacturer and by individual. Doctors instead use a measurement of cubic centimeters or more commonly known as cc's. Your doctor will help you determine how much is needed to achieve the size you desire.

Breast Implant Shape
Shape also helps determine your final look. Round implants, which resemble flattened spheres, offers fullness in the upper half of the breast.  Anatomical implants, also known as the "Teardrop Implant" can provide you with greater projection. Some doctors will not use the teardrop implant as they may cause a rotational deformity.

Surface Quality of the Implant
Exterior surface quality is also a factor that you need to keep in mind. Smooth implants have a low risk of rippling and are longer lasting due to a thinner shell. Textures implants are a bit firmer and are more at risk of rippling but are not prone to displacement. Round implants come in both styles, and the teardrop implants are typically textured to maintain their orientation.

Breast Implant Placement
Over the Muscle (sub glandular):
This procedure places the implant underneath the breast tissue and on top of the muscle. Benefits of this procedure include an easier recovery, implants are easier to place, and greater cleavage can be achieved. Keep in mind you may have more of a "fake" look, ripples may be seen, and the implants may interfere with a mammogram.
Under the Muscle (complete sub muscular):
The upper two thirds of the implant is placed behind the chest muscles and the lower third is behind the connective tissue the joins the chest and abdominal muscles. With this procedure there is very little risk of visible rippling and don’t interfere with mammograms. You also can not create that large cleavage look, and recovery takes longer and is more painful.
Partial Unders (partial sub muscular):
The upper two thirds of the implants are placed behind the chest muscles, and the lower third is behind the breast tissue. You have a decreased risk of visible rippling and can create a more natural looking breast. Your implants may take longer to settle into place, may look odd when flexing your chest, and you may have more post op discomfort.

Breast Implant Incision Sites
Periareolar (nipple)

This is the most commonly used method and is very helpful with asymmetrical breasts. The incision is made around the areola which allows the scar to blend in easier post op.
This incision is made on the crease underneath the breast. It is recommended for first-time surgeries, as well as breast implant revisions.
Transaxillary (armpit):
The incision is made in the natural "folds" of the skin, concealing the scar. Finding a plastic surgeon with experience in this method is a must. It is not recommended for saggy or ptotic breasts.
Transumbilical/ TUBA (belly button or navel):
 Made at the rim of the belly button, in which an endoscope, which is a lighted camera, is placed. The implant is placed and filled through this tube.

It is important to remember that although an augmentation can help you feel better about yourself, breast size is not everything. Make sure you discus all of the options we went over with your doctor in order to achieve the best possible look for you. Always keep in mind all plastic surgery, breast augmentation included, will permanently change your body.


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