How Breast Implant Type and Placement Affect Your Result
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin, and Nearby Nevada
May 10, 2023
You have a vision of how you want your breast implants to look after recovery. Breast augmentation is a customized procedure, and the choices you make with our board-certified plastic surgeon will affect the projection and fullness of your results. Dr. Stephen M. Miller in Las Vegas can help you determine the best implant type and surgical placement during your consultation.
Silicone Vs. Saline Breast Implants
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approves silicone implants for ages 22 and up and saline implants for 18 and older. The saline option involves a silicone shell that is filled with sterile salt water after being placed in the body. Silicone implants come pre-filled with a cohesive silicone gel. Dr. Miller also provides “gummy bear” breast implants, a form-stable, high-strength silicone gel that makes the implant less likely to break and leak.
Implant Ruptures and Visible Wrinkling
Silicone gel is more viscous than the saltwater solution used in saline implants, and it flows and moves more like natural breast tissue. Saline implants may be more prone to visible rippling or wrinkling under thin skin tissue due to the watery feel, though a 2020 study found similar rates of ripples and wrinkles in saline and silicone implants (subpectoral placement).
It’s easy to detect an implant rupture with saline implants because your body absorbs the salt water, but silicone ruptures require an MRI for diagnosis. Women who choose silicone implants should have an MRI three years after their procedure and every two years after that to ensure the shell remains intact. Gummy bear implants are less likely to rupture but still require regular MRI monitoring.
Silicone breast implants are known for providing a more natural look and feel and tend to provide a sloped appearance that mimics the tapered look of breast tissue. Saline implants tend to offer more breast projection and fullness in the upper portion of the breast above the nipple. The breast shape also relies on the shape of the implants, which may be teardrop-shaped or round.
Submuscular (Subpectoral) Vs. Subglandular Placement
The placement of your breast implants depends on your body type, chosen implant size, style of implant, and cosmetic goals.
Subglandular, or over-the-muscle, placement positions the breast implant between the chest muscle and breast tissue, leading to less discomfort during recovery and less implant movement during physical activity, but subglandular placement may affect mammogram readings and have an artificial look. Capsular contracture may be more common with this option, where scar tissue around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant, causing pain and a distorted breast appearance. Women with large chest muscles may prefer over-the-muscle implants because strong chest muscles can distort the breasts when they flex.
Submuscular, or under-the-muscle, placement positions the implant partially under the chest muscle, providing for more accurate mammogram readings and a natural appearance. This option may reduce the risk of capsular contracture but involves a longer recovery and more discomfort during healing. Women with thin skin tissue or insufficient breast tissue may prefer under-the-muscle placement.
Category: Breast Augmentation