Breast Enhancement Surgery: Which Implant is Right for You? - Dr Mark Kohout

Breast Enhancement Surgery: Which Implant is Right for You?

Dr. Mark Kohout

15 October 2014

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Breast Enhancement Surgery: Which Implant is Right for You?

Breast Enhancement Surgery: Which Implant is Right for You?

If you’re considering breast enhancement surgery, also known as breast augmentation or augmentation mammoplasty, it’s important that you have a general understanding of the procedure. Breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgery in which silicone or saline implants are inserted under the skin in order to create larger, firmer breasts. Once you have had a consultation with your surgeon, you’re ready to take the next step: choosing between silicone and saline breast implants. They both have an outer silicone shell, but they differ in material and consistency. To help you choose what is best for you, the following will look at the differences between silicone and saline implants.

Silicone implants

Silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone gel, which is a thick and sticky fluid that feels like human fat. The majority of women feel that silicone gel-filled breast implants look and feel more like natural breast tissue. Silicone gel-filled implants are used in more than 99% of breast augmentation procedures in Australia. A new, cohesive form of silicone gel (which sticks together in a predetermined shape) has been developed and is being used in new generation implants. The gel’s cohesiveness reduces the risk of dispersal in the event that the implant ruptures, as well as lowers the risk of visible implant rippling. It also maintains the shape of the breast more effectively than saline implants, particularly in the implant’s upper pole. Cohesive gel implants are available in both the anatomical (teardrop) and round shape.

Saline implants

These are empty when inserted beneath the skin and are then filled with sterile saltwater once they’re in place. Saline implants are readily available, but are no longer commonly used at the moment in Australia. They are, however, safe – should the implant rupture, the saline is released and then absorbed by the body. The design of saline-filled implants has significantly improved, so the approximate incidence of rupture and deflation is only 1.5% compared to 5% previously. Although they feel firmer than silicone implants, many women prefer saline-filled implants because of the saline’s inherent safety. They’re also available in either the round or teardrop shape.

Implant shapes - round versus anatomical (teardrop)

Regarding breast implant shapes, round implants will give you more full and higher-looking breasts. They also will not rotate within the breast. On the other hand, the anatomical (teardrop) shape more closely resembles a breast’s natural shape and will thus give you a more natural and softer appearance with a naturally sloping upper pole. Your surgeon can discuss in more detail the advantages of each with you, but the implant shape you choose will depend on what you prefer. Also, during the consultation with your surgeon for breast augmentation, a decision will be made in regards to the amount of breast augmentation that will best meet your needs.

Other useful information

Here’s more information to help you choose which breast implant is best for you:

  • You can reduce the amount of gel that might bleed from a silicone gel-filled implant by having “low bleed” shells that contain a barrier membrane in your breast implants.
  • Having silicone breast implants doesn’t interfere with early tumour detection. You can self-examine your breasts, undergo mammography (i.e. regular breast cancer screening, using the Eklund technique or submuscular implantation), or have an ultrasound to examine breast tissue.
  • Calcification of the implant capsule will also not interfere with tumour detection when undergoing mammography.
  • Both silicone and saline breast implants do not increase your risk of getting breast cancer following surgery.
  • Silicone materials in breast implants aren’t toxic or teratogenic and therefore won’t affect your reproductive system.
  • Silicone gel-filled and saline-filled implants don’t cause immunological disorders or connective tissue diseases.
  • The elastomer shells of both silicone and saline breast implants are strengthened using fumed silica, a form of amorphous silica. This means that it won’t cause any biological effects.
  • Silicone in breast milk can be found in women with and without breast implants, so it shouldn’t be considered an issue relevant to the safety of both silicone and saline implants.

The breast implant type you choose will directly affect your overall look. Whether you want a subtle change or a more dramatic difference, there’s a breast implant that’s right for you. Your surgeon may recommend one implant over the other for best results, based on the anatomy of your breast, your body type and other factors. In the end, however, it’s up to you to choose between the two. What’s important is that after the surgery, you are happy with the result, and more confident too.If you have any question feel free to contact our Team in Sydney or visit