About Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants are silicone shells filled with a dense, tacky silicone gel that mimics the soft feel of human fat. This is desirable among women seeking a natural look and feel. The density of the filler also makes them more durable and less susceptible to rupture than saline implants.
Women of all breast types and thickness can benefit from these implants, which makes this implant type the most commonly used for breast augmentation.
Silicone implant types
Silicone implants can be smooth or textured and round or teardrop. They also come in a variety of profiles, with the highest (ultra-high) giving the most projection.
Smooth silicone implants glide within the breast pocket, following the natural movements of the breast. Textured are designed to adhere to the breast tissue and become one with the breast. However, this texture type has a particular drawback for some women, known as traction rippling, where incomplete adherence causes areas of the breast to be pulled, creating a ripple or wave effect.
Round shapes are exactly that, round, and are beneficial because in the event the implants rotate, they will retain their shape. Teadrop has the shape of a natural breast—a sloping top and fuller bottom—but if they rotate, it will cause distortion.
Women with lots of breast tissue and no particular issues with breast shape are better suited for rounds. Teardrop is best for creating shape when there is none, and examples would be women who have had a mastectomy or congenital breast deformities like tubular breasts.
Silicone gel also varies in thickness (cohesion). The most liquid ones are softest and flow easier, but this may result in similar implant rippling to saline. Highly cohesive implants are stiff, retain their shape and should the implant rupture, the contents are less likely to leak out.
How silicone implants are put in
Your breast augmentation is performed in a hospital or outpatient surgical clinic under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision along your breast crease (inframammary fold) or nipple (areola)—armpit (axillary) and belly button (transumbilical) incisions are reserved for saline implants.
The pre-filled implants are slid through the incision and placed in a pocket created below the pectoralis muscle or directly behind the breast tissue. Unlike saline implants, these are delivered at size and leave no room for adjustments during the operation.
The breast tissue is layered with sutures, and additional stitching closes the skin. Adhesives or surgical tape are placed over the incisions to provide a barrier against infection and to prevent the cuts from opening. Bandages or a post-surgical bra are placed for support and promote healing by reducing swelling.
Cost of silicone implants
Silicone implants cost between $1,000-$2,000 more than saline implants. This is due to silicone implants being filled with a cohesive gel filler that makes them durable and longer-lasting.
Talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon about the overall cost of the procedure, as prices vary based on factors like geographical location and surgeon skill.