You’ve decided to go to a few consultations regarding enhancing your breast size. You did all of your homework, you asked all of the questions, and you finally chose the right surgeon to complete your breast augmentation surgery. Choosing your breast implant size and type is one of the final, and most important, steps before undergoing your surgery. Just like breasts, breast implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes. From CC’s to projection, to type, we have you covered regarding making the right choice for yourself.
The most common reference which many people hear regarding breast implant size is CC (cubic centimeters). The CC is the total volume of the breast implant, and essentially, where many patients can find themselves metaphorically stuck when choosing a size.
The CC is important, however, there are more factors such as the profile of the implant and the type of implant used (saline or silicone) which are also of importance.
The profile is the projection of the implant, or how far off of your chest the implant sits; or, the side view while standing. The profiles range from low to high, with high profile projecting the most off of the chest, as you may have guessed it. As per, www.plasticsurgery.org, below is a brief description of what to expect from each profile:
Low Profile Implants: Implants that are lower in profile are relatively flat in appearance and minimally project the chest. This type of implant is ideal for women with wider chests.
Moderate Profile Implants: Implants with a moderate profile tend to yield the most natural-looking results. As the name implies, they provide more projection compared to low profile implants but not as much as high profile implants. Moderate implants are typically ideal for women with smaller or narrower chests.
High Profile Implants: This type of implant is extremely narrow at the base to provide the maximum projection. High-profile implants yield the fullest and most rounded results, which may look less natural on some patients. However, high-profile implants are often ideal for petite women who have a narrow chest wall.
Saline vs. Silicone
Finally, we’ve arrived at the two different types of devices that are on the market to choose from. Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water which is filled into a silicone “shell,” during surgery. Since the implant is filled to the desired size after it is placed within the created pocket, the incision may be smaller than that of a silicone gel implant. Keep in mind, this should not be the only deciding factor for the type of implant you choose. Patients 18-21 years have saline as their only option per FDA regulation. While saline-filled implants are not considered lifetime devices by the FDA, there is no reason to replace them or remove them unless there is a rupture (when the implant “bursts” and deflates) and needs to be replaced, or for aesthetic reasons such as going larger or smaller in size.
At a slightly higher cost, silicone gel implants, on the other hand, are pre-filled and have a “gummy bear” feel to them. FDA approved and reintroduced back into the market in 2006, for patients 22 years of age and older, many have said that silicone implants have more of a natural look and feel to them and move with the body better. Again, this shouldn’t be the only deciding factor on the type of implant you choose. It is recommended that silicone implants should be monitored by MRI every 5yrs as well. While rupture is highly unlikely, there can be the instance of a “silent” rupture, where the only indication of possibility is pain or the breast taking a different shape. Both types of implants certainly have their strong points and drawbacks.
It is always best to consult with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, like Drs. Breslow or Greaney, when choosing if breast implants are the right choice for you and which type of implant to choose.