Before Choosing Between Saline, Structured, and Silicone Implants Determine if Cosmetic Surgery is the Right Path

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the United States. It offers women increased self-esteem and satisfaction with their bodies. But before you start researching topics like structured implants versus silicone gel implants (sometimes referred to simply as silicone breast implants), you need to determine if you are a good candidate for surgery. Read our guide below before you make an appointment with your board-certified plastic surgeon.

Evaluating Your “Why”

Why are you seeking out a breast augmentation? There are many reasons women want to enhance their breasts. For some, pregnancy or weight loss has left them with less volume. Others have always had naturally small breasts and want a more feminine look. Most women experience some amount of asymmetry, but for some this asymmetry is very noticable and they want to even out their breasts. Sit down and think about your “why.” There is no wrong answer, as long as you are doing it for yourself. A breast augmentation will not improve personal relationships, job status, or social standing. If you feel pressured by a friend, relative, boss, or significant other to get a breast augmentation, your surgery will leave you feeling unsatisfied.

Set Realistic Expectations to Help You Choose Saline, Structured, or Silicone Implants

Setting realistic expectations is one of the keys to a successful cosmetic procedure. Every woman is different in needs, wants, and results. Rather than expecting to become a “perfect” version of yourself, strive to enhance your natural beauty though cosmetic surgery. Know that what worked for one person won’t necessarily work for you.

To get an idea of how choosing implants works, we talked to Dr. Eric Desman, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Alexandria, Virginia. He tells us

“A 300cc implant is going to look vastly different in a woman who is 5’ 1”, 105 pounds, who’s never had any children compared to a 5’ 7”, 147 pound woman who’s had two or three kids. Those women are very different in body physique and tissue type. So, during the course of a consultation, we’ll take some measurements of your breast tissues. This helps me see if what you wish to get out of breast augmentation is an achievable result. If you come in for your consultation and want to have exactly the same procedure as your best friend, that may just not be right for you. I try not to focus so much on cup size, and really hone in on the final look my patient wants.”

Looking at breast augmentation before and after pictures will give you an idea of the results you can expect. Make a note of the breast implant type (structured, saline, or silicone), breast implant size, and placement that you like. Bring these factors up with your plastic surgeon to help you decide the right path for you. Dr. Scott Greenberg, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Winter Park, Florida, explains the process his patients go through when choosing an implant. He says

“we recommend that they go to our website where they can look at photos of patients who have had breast augmentation. We have pictures taken from the front and the sides. I ask my patients to especially look at the side views. It’s been my experience that if we can get the upper pole of the breasts the way a patient wants in terms of the amount of fullness, then they will be happy. I tell my patients not to get caught up in letters or numbers when it comes to the cup size they want.”

Preparing for Surgery and Beyond

Breast augmentation is an investment in your happiness and in your future. But before you take the plunge you need to know what is involved. Make sure you consider the risks associated with surgery so you can weigh them against the benefits a breast augmentation will bring you. Your board-certified plastic surgeon should be upfront with you about these risks so you can choose the best path for yourself.

It is important to know that costs associated with a breast augmentation don’t stop after your primary augmentation. Women with silicone implants incur extra costs when they adhere to FDA MRI guidelines. Some women seek out revision surgery to increase their implant size. Others require additional surgery to address complications.

Dr. Paul Zwiebel, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, explains how and why women should prepare themselves for future surgery

“Many women ask about the durability of the implant or whether or not they’re going to have repeat operations in the future. For years, there’s been kind of an urban myth out there that implants have to be replaced at 10 years. That’s not the case. Implants don’t really have an expiration date. However, even the latest data does show that there’s a high likelihood that anybody who chooses to have breast augmentation will probably have another operation sometime during their lifetime. I think the most important thing women can do is to go into surgery emotionally and financially prepared for the likelihood of another operation at some point in the future. While we always hope that the implants will last forever, realistically, doctors and patients have to be prepared for the eventuality of some additional surgery in the years to come.”

The breast implant you choose will have a statistically higher or lower rate of complications. For example, silicone breast implants have rupture rates for primary augmentation as high as 13% at eight years, while the IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implant rate is only 2.1% at eight years. Knowing these statistics will help you choose the best breast implant, and help you prepare for your future. To learn more about breast implant complication statistics visit our comparison page.

Breast Augmentation Recovery

While you will see immediate results after a breast augmentation, you shouldn’t expect to return to your normal routine as quickly. Dr. Larry Weinstein, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Chester, New Jersey, tells us, “We explain to our patients that they won’t be able to exercise for several weeks afterwards. I usually recommend waiting three weeks to exercise again. I do encourage and appreciate patients who exercise regularly, but you have to give your body some time to rest and heal from a procedure like this. You can’t expect to go out and conquer the world in the first three weeks. Most patients can go back to work in four or five days, but you shouldn’t try to do every activity that you would normally do.” Recovery is generally the same if you choose saline, structured, or silicone implants. In every case it is important to adhere to your surgeon’s instructions for the best results.

Schedule Your Consultation with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Today

When you’re ready to start your journey, make an appointment with an IDEAL IMPLANT surgeon. IDEAL IMPLANT surgeons are board-certified, and have shown a commitment to high quality patient care. They offer IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants so their patients can experience a natural looking result with the peace of mind of only saline inside.

At your first consultation, your plastic surgeon will help you determine whether or not you are a good candidate for surgery. Your surgeon should always be honest with you while you compare enhancement options including silicone breast implants and the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant. Find the right surgeon near you with our easy Surgeon Finder.