A breast implant is a prosthesis used in breast enlargement surgery. Breast implants are used for cosmetic reasons to create a fuller bust line and firmer breasts. Breast implants are manufactured as a flexible envelope which is filled with either saline, or silicone gel. The breast implant membrane, is made from a highly durable polymer that results in an implant which feels soft and natural. It mimics the consistency of breast tissues very closely while being extremely rupture resistant.
Breast implants come in smooth and textured surfaces. Originally, textured breast implants were designed to reduce the chance of capsular contracture - a condition in which the body forms a layer of scar tissue around foreign objects such as implants. Some studies have suggested that textured breast implants reduce the incidence of capsular contracture. This claim, however, has never been proven in large scale studies. Overall, smooth implants tend to feel softer and are by far the more popular type of breast implant used by plastic surgeons. I use a wide range of breast implants at the Cosmetic Surgery Institute for my breast augmentation patients but I much prefer softer, more natural feeling smooth walled implants.
Breast implants come in round and contoured shapes. A round, smooth implant is the most common type of implant used. Contoured implants are designed to have a slightly tear drop shape with varying degrees of projection. Breast implant types can also be classified in terms of their "profile" or projection. Implants with greater projection are usually appropriate for women with a narrower chest wall. During the consultation visit I can discuss the pros and cons of the various implant shapes and will suggest the best option for each patient’s individual needs.
Choosing the implant size is probably the most important decision to be made when planning a breast augmentation procedure. In general, achieving a full but proportionate look is the most common request in determining implant size. But, there is a wide range of individual goals when it comes to breast augmentation. My role is to provide the kind of change that a patient requests if it surgically possible. The actual volume of the breast implant is something I may discuss during the pre-operative consultation but my specific approach is to ask patients how they would like to look and advise them that I will use an implant volume to achieve that look.