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Types of Breast Implants

Vishnu Rumalla May 13, 2013

Fort Worth Breast ImplantsFort Worth patients considering breast implants have several options regarding the size, shape, and look they want to achieve with their implants. Our Fort Worth plastic surgeon helps work with each patient to decide the best types of implant and insertion procedures for her body and goals. The look, feel, and shape of breast implants are determined by the patient’s body, breast tissue, type of implant, type of incision, and placement above or below the breast muscle.

At Tarrant Plastic Surgery, PA, Dr. Vishnu Rumalla offers both saline and silicone implants, each of which provides a specific look and unique benefits for patients’ breast augmentations.

Saline implants are comprised of a silicone shell filled with saline, or sterile salt water, solution. Saline implants may be filled partially or not at all before their insertion into the breast, where they are filled the rest of the way. Saline implants can be filled to slightly different fullness dependent on our plastic surgeon’s judgment. Because they can be filled after they are placed in the breast, they may necessitate a smaller incision during surgery and thus, a smaller scar.

For many women, saline implants offer natural looking results. However, saline implants may look less natural than silicone gel implants in women with smaller breasts and smaller frames.

Silicone gel implants are comprised of a silicone shell filled with silicone gel. They are filled prior to surgery to a predetermined amount. They tend to look more natural than saline implants. They are also lighter than saline implants and may droop less comparatively over time.

Silicone implants may require a larger incision because they cannot be deflated before insertion, which may result in a larger scar, although discreetly hidden. Silicone implants also carry a small risk for “silent” rupture in which the outer shell of the implant is ruptured, but the thick silicone gel stays in place, making it difficult for woen to tell that the implant has ruptures. Whereas with saline implants, the implants completely deflate, making ruptures far more noticeable.

Types of Incisions

Both silicone and saline implants can be inserted in a number of ways dependent upon the look a patient wants to achieve and the amount of scarring and placement of scarring she is comfortable with. However, there are limitations to the size of silicone implants that can be inserted through the periareolar, tranaxillary, and TUBA incisions. For our patients in Fort Worth, breast augmentation incision techniques include:

  • The periareolar incision, which is an incision made around the circular dark skin surrounding the nipple. This incision usually has little visible scarring because it is at the line of color change of the nipple. If a woman has small areolasor wants large breast implants, she may not be able to receive silicone implants through this method. It provides very accurate placement of the implant and symmetry.
  • The transaxillary incision, which is made in the fold of the armpit. This method involves channeling the implant through a “tunnel” under the skin to the breast. The scar is fully hidden in this technique, but it may result in less symmetry of breast implants than other methods.
  • The TUBA incision, which is an incision on the rim of the navel. In this technique, the breast implant is channeled, as in transaxillary incision, under the skin to the breast. It also has a fully hidden scar, but may also result in asymmetry in some cases.
  • The inframammary incision, which is an incision made along the bottom of the breast where breast tissue meets the skin covering the ribs. This incision is best suited to breast implant insertion and has the best symmetrical results of any incision technique.

Placement Above or Below the Breast Tissue

Breast implants may be inserted above (subglandular) or below (submuscular) the muscle of the breast. This placement can greatly affect the look and feel of breast implants, saline or silicone, and can affect whether a woman will have difficulty breast feeding.

Subglandular placement causes less discomfort and a shorter recovery time because it affects less tissue during surgery. Women with ample breast tissue to begin with may be better suited to this technique, as women with a small amount of breast tissue may feel the implants look less natural. This placement approach has a higher risk of capsular contracture and interference with nipple sensitivity and breast feeding.

Submuscular placement usually requires a longer recovery period, while offering several benefits. It interferes less with mammograms, breast feeding, and nipple sensitivity. Women with small breasts pre-surgery may obtain a more natural look with submuscular insertion. Swelling usually lasts for several weeks or months with this placement approach.

For more information on breast augmentation and the techniques that will suit your body and goals best, contact us today for a complimentary, confidential consultation.

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