Focus on Breast Augmentation Part 7: Silicone Gel Breast Implants
As mentioned in our post on Saline Breast Implants, Silicone Gel Breast Implants have been in the news quite a bit in recent years. This is largely due to the fact that silicone implants were not available for a period from 1992 until Silicone Gel Implants were approved for use in Breast Augmentation in 2006, contingent upon FDA overview and follow-up studies. Since their approval, they have proven not only safe but popular for many women at our Inland Empire Cosmetic Surgery center, although they are not preferred in all instances. Many of the reasons women may prefer Saline Breast Implants are listed in the previously linked post as well as on our office’s page featuring costs, recovery, before and after photos and more regarding having breast augmentation in the Inland Empire.
Silicone Gel Breast Implants
Q. What are Silicone Gel Breast Implants?
A. Silicone Gel Breast Implants are implants that are filled with a cohesive gel which hold together uniformly while retaining the natural give that is meant to resemble breast tissue.
Q. What are some of the available features of Silicone Gel Breast Implants?
A. The main options you have with silicone gel implants are as follows:
- Shape of implant
- Round: most silicone gel implants are in a round shell, which, when combined with certain profile options, generally gives a more dramatic silhouette.
- Shaped: these silicone gel implants are tapered in a teardrop shape, filling out and projecting more towards the bottom and having a silhouette which is meant to mimic the natural breast.
- Round silicone gel implants have four projection options: classic, moderate plus, high profile and ultra-high profile. These profile options are available for round implants due to the nature of the shape of the implants allowing more drastic projections.
- Shaped silicone gel implants are available in a medium height, moderate profile. As the shaped implants are meant to mimic the natural shape of the female breast — only larger — the profile is, by definition, more moderate.
- Round silicone gel implants are available with either smooth or textured surface.
- Shaped silicone gel implants are available with a textured surface which works to keep the implant in place and correctly positioned. This is less vital in the round implant as the round implant is identical in spite of rotation.
Individual cases call for different selections to be determined by the patient in consultation with Dr. Farzaneh. The only way to truly decide what is best for you is through a complimentary consultation with Dr. Farzaneh. Call (909) 590-2299 to set up a meeting, or email us via our contact form.
Q. What are some of the advantages of Silicone Gel Breast Implants?
A. The top concern among women who have received Silicone Gel Breast Implants in our office is that Silicone Gel Implants are perceived as more natural, either via the eye — especially in the case of the shaped silicone gel implants — or by feel. That is to say: over time, women have generally felt that silicone gel implants feel more like actual breasts.
While the previous statement regarding feel is true, it is in many ways less so than it used to be as, with advances in saline implants, modern saline implants have come a long way towards having a more natural feel. Much of this can also be influenced by placement of implants.
I mention this in order to be completely transparent: women are much happier now with Saline Implants than at any time before, and while the advantages of saline implants in regards to incision options has much to do with that, the improvement in the implants themselves also deserves some notice.
That being said, there are many for whom only silicone gel will do, and the fact is that it comes down to the preference of the patient combined with her needs. For instance, silicone gel breast implants would not be appropriate for certain incisions (such as the increasingly-popular Transumbilical Breast Augmentation, or “scarless breast augmentation” as many refer to it), but for those who desire silicone gel there are still many excellent incision options which typically lead to excellent results.
Q. What are some of the disadvantages of Silicone Gel Breast Implants when compared to Saline implants?
A. There are three main disadvantages: 1) breast augmentation with silicone gel breast implants is typically more expensive, 2) the lack of smaller incision options — due to the fact that silicone gel implants come pre-filled and can not be filled after insertion — means that the insertion of silicone implants may require more recovery, and 3) the size of the implant has a direct impact on the size of the insertion scar (due again to the fact that the implants can not be filled after insertion).
In short, both silicone gel and saline breast implants have their advantages, and in many ways, from the perspective of the surgeon, the only deciding factor would be the patient’s preference (unless there is some physical reason that one may be preferred medically over the other).
For a patient wants silicone gel implants but her only concern is the recovery since smaller, nearly invisible incision options are not available, I would advise to project a few months into the future and think about how she will feel when the recovery period is an increasingly distant memory, whatever her choice. Often, what she imagines her perspective to be at that time may help her decide what she truly wants to do: if she generally scars well and the idea of a belly button incision is not much more attractive to her than an inframammary incision, she may decide to go with silicone gel; if the idea of an invisible scar that’s away from the chest is more appealing to her in a very strong way, this may sway her towards saline.
Silicone gel breast implants have a strong reputation which is both earned and also a result of excitement over the work that has gone into making them safer and more natural-feeling than ever before. Speaking of safety, did you know that a silicone gel breast implant can be cut in half with a scalpel and still not leak? The cohesive gel, while having a natural give (like breast tissue), is strong enough and designed to remain in place even through significant trauma. Safety in this regard, while an issue for some in the past, has been well-addressed by both the manufacturers and the FDA, which presents an exhaustive list of safety notes on its website.
Dr. Farzaneh has many highly satisfied Inland Empire patients who have chosen silicone gel breast implants for the natural look and feel they offer. Again, to learn for yourself what YOU would prefer, set up a meeting with Dr. Farzaneh. Consultations are complimentary and can be requested by calling (909) 590-2299 or emailing us here.