Understanding the Different Types of Breast Implant Materials

Breast augmentation continues to dominate the plastic surgery world as the number one cosmetic surgery in the country. Over the years, the technology behind the implants has made the procedure one of the safest available to patients. There are a few different types of breast implant materials, the three most common being saline, silicone, and gummy bear silicone.

Saline Implants

This type of implant is essentially a bag that is filled with saltwater. The bag has a tough outer shell made of silicone that is inserted into the patient while it’s still empty. Once the implant is positioned correctly, it is filled with a saline solution until it reaches the correct volume. There are different sizes for the outer shells depending on how much of an increase you want to see in the size of your breasts.

Saline implants tend to feel more firm and have a little more bounce to them than other types of implants. In the event that one of your implants ruptures, the saline solution is harmlessly absorbed by your body. You will still probably need to have surgery to remove the silicone bag and have a new one inserted, but there are fewer risks associated with this type of material.

Silicone Implants

This material was actually discontinued in the 90s after the FDA decided that it needed to be reevaluated in terms of its health risks to patients. About ten years ago, silicone implants were reintroduced in the market and are now considered safer than ever. Silicone implants also have a tough outer shell, but are filled with a silicone gel instead of saline. These are different than saline implants in that they come pre-shaped and are inserted directly into the patient as is, which requires a bigger incision on the patient during surgery.

Silicone implants tend to feel smoother and look a little more natural than saline implants. The gel has a thick consistency, so if one of the implants ruptures, you won’t have silicone going throughout your entire body right away. That being said, there are more risks involved with this type of material, which is why you have to be at least 22 years of age and specifically approved to get these implants.

Gummy Bear Implants

You probably jumped right down to this section if you’ve never heard of these before! Despite the name, gummy bear implants are not actually made of gummy bears. They are actually another type of silicone implant. This type of implant got its nickname due to the consistency of the silicone inside the implant; it is really thick to the point that if they were damaged, the shape and size of the implant wouldn’t be affected, much like a gummy bear.

These implants are the newest form of silicone implants and have already achieved a reputation for creating breasts that look and feel more natural than other implant types. They are also the most easily customizable, which makes them more adaptable for patients based on their body type and the breast size they want. Because the gel is so thick, however, it can start to harden over time, which means you may have to replace your implants over the long-term.

Breast Augmentation Consultation with Dr. Weniger

Choosing the type of material that you want for your breast implants can be a little daunting. You want to choose a material that is safe for you and also will give you amazing results. Dr. Weniger feels the exact same way! During your consultation, he will go over your options for implants and discuss your goals for surgery so he can help you choose the best implant for you. You can set up a breast augmentation consultation today by calling Weniger Plastic Surgery at (843) 757-0123 or by going to our Contact page to provide us with some basic information about you.