If you’re considering breast augmentation and you’ve begun to research your options, you’ve probably discovered something important: when it comes to choosing the right breast implant for you, there are so many different factors to consider. Differences between cohesive gel silicone and saline breast implants are fairly commonly known, and after that you likely start looking into volume, projection and implant shape. But did you know that there are different textures for different types of breast implants as well?
The outer shell of a breast implant—whether it’s cohesive gel silicone or saline—can be perfectly smooth or rough and textured, kind of like velcro. Texturization was introduced for a couple of different reasons. When we use a teardrop shaped breast implant, for example, then we need that texturization to help keep the implant in place. Whereas the movement of a round breast implant likely won’t cause any abnormalities, if a teardrop or anatomical shaped implant moves around beneath the breast tissue, that particular shape won’t be able to stay in the right position. We don’t want our patients to have oddly-shaped, unnatural-looking breasts, so we use a textured implant with that velco-like shell to prevent it from moving around too much while still giving a natural look and feel.
The other reason texturization was invented was to help reduce the risk of capsular contracture. Capsular contracture is a complication that very rarely occurs in breast augmentation. The body forms scar tissue around the breast implants, which causes it to feel hard. It’s not the breast tissue, and it’s not the implant, but rather it’s the scar tissue that your body forms around the implant that creates this feeling. Plastic surgeons everywhere take every precaution to prevent this complication from happening with our patients, because we know it doesn’t let your breasts look and feel as natural as they should. What we discovered through significant research is that textured implants can help reduce the risk of capsular contracture.
But there’s a catch. Texturization can reduce this risk, but only when the implant is placed above the muscle. When we place the implant behind the muscle, studies show that no matter what texture you use, the rate of capsular contracture will be about the same. In that case, you always go with the implant with the lowest overall complication rate, and that’s a smooth implant.
Whether to place the implant above the muscle or behind the muscle is based entirely on what’s right for you, your goals, and your body type. Modern breast implants have been invented and designed for exactly these types of reasons. There is no standard best choice of implant that will work for everyone, but there is a best type of breast implant that can be perfectly customized to you.
- posted by Dr. Frank Lista, MD, FRCSC