Everything You Need to Know About Silicone Implants

When pursuing breast augmentation surgery with Benjamin Gelfant MD of Broadway Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Centre, you must make a number of decisions regarding your procedure. One of the main choices you have to make is what type of breast implants you would like. You have a choice between saline, traditional silicone gel and highly cohesive silicone gel breast implants.

To help you decide which type of implant is right for you, Vancouver breast augmentation surgeon Dr. Gelfant shares everything you need to know about silicone breast implants, the most popular choice of implants among breast enhancement patients.

Traditional vs. Highly Cohesive Silicone Implants

Traditional silicone breast implants are comprised of a silicone outer shell and a silicone-gel filling material. All silicone implants today are considered “cohesive,” as described by one manufacturer, and may be referred to as “memory gel” by other major manufacturers. So-called “highly cohesive” silicone gel implants are also comprised of a silicone shell and filling material. However, highly cohesive silicone gel implants are made with more solid, form-stable silicone filling material, giving them a slightly firmer feel than their traditional silicone counterpart.

The Benefits of Silicone Implants

Although saline implants offer the security of knowing that the body can safely absorb the saline solution (sterile saltwater) in case of implant rupture, silicone breast implants more closely resemble the look and feel of natural breasts. This is the main reason they are a popular choice among patients.

In addition, traditional silicone gel and highly cohesive silicone gel implants offer several other benefits. For instance, silicone gel implants are less likely to fold or ripple within the implant pocket. They are also less likely to be visible underneath the surface of skin, even in women with thin skin or little breast tissue, especially when placed under the chest muscle during surgery.

Additionally, in cohesive silicone implants, the filling material will stay intact — within the space around the  implant — in case the implant ruptures. This facilitates the surgical removal of the implant, if necessary.

“Form-stable” implants, used by some surgeons, have a shape (e.g., teardrop, pear, anatomical), but they also have a textured surface like Velcro® to keep the implant positioned properly. While there are some advantages of their use, Dr. Gelfant feels their disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

In addition, when images of patients with shaped implants that are placed under the chest muscle are studied by plastic surgeons and by those not in the medical field, the results are indistinguishable from traditional round, smooth implants.

The Benefits of Saline Implants

Although the use of saline-filled implants has decreased in recent years, they are still chosen by many patients. This may be because saline is safe and, if a leak occurs, the diagnosis is obvious. Most breast implant patients will have implants for the rest of their lives, a very long time if you are in your 20s, 30s or even in your 50s. The big disadvantage of saline is visibility and rippling through thin skin and minimal breast tissue. For some patients, this isn’t a big disadvantage. Also, the chance of visible rippling is reduced with smaller implants, greater natural breast tissue and with implants placed under the chest muscle. Patients opting for saline implants may also benefit from transferring fat to the areas where any visibility is greatest to conceal the implant better.

Benjamin Gelfant MD’s choice of implants, made with you, is made on the basis of providing you with the best possible option. There is no perfect implant. Each one has advantages and disadvantages.

To schedule a consultation with Benjamin Gelfant MD or to learn more about your cosmetic surgery treatment options and what we can do to optimize your results, please contact his Vancouver cosmetic plastic surgery clinic by calling (604) 874-2078.