Are you considering breast implants but feel overwhelmed with all the breast implant options? Researching breast implants on the internet can be difficult. That’s why we’ve put together these important facts you should know about breast implants. Board-certified plastic surgeons from around the country weigh in on the benefits and compromises of breast implant types, and tell us why they love the newest implant option, the IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implant. Read what they have to say about making the best choice for your body and your future.
What Breast Implant Options are Available?
In the past, women had to choose between two FDA approved breast implant types: saline breast implants and silicone gel breast implants. In 2014, the FDA approved a third type of implant, the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant. What makes each breast implant different? Read below to learn more about each type:
- Saline Breast Implants: Saline implants are filled with saline, a sterile saltwater solution. Saline is the same fluid that fills IV bags. Women with saline implants enjoy the peace of mind that their breast implants are filled with a natural substance that their body will absorb if the implant ruptures.
- Silicone Gel Breast Implants: These implants, often referred to simply as “silicone implants,” are known for providing a natural look and feel, similar to breast tissue. They are filled with silicone gel, which is thick and sticky to provide support to the implant. The silicone gel, however, is not naturally absorbed by the body and needs to be removed if the implant ruptures.
- IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants: IDEAL IMPLANT was developed by a plastic surgeon who wanted to combine the safety and peace of mind of saline implants with the look and feel of silicone gel implants. The IDEAL IMPLANT is filled with saline and is made of two chambers and baffled shells that control the flow of saline. The result is a breast implant that looks and feels natural with only saline inside.
IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants are only available from exclusive board-certified plastic surgeons. Many of these surgeons are excited to finally offer their patients a third breast implant option. Dr. Sophie Bartsich, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York, tells us,
“When I found IDEAL IMPLANT, I was very excited about it. I remember thinking, ‘If it looks and feels even half as good as silicone gel, I’m probably going to to try it because I think my patients will respond to that.’ The IDEAL IMPLANT has been a very welcome addition to both my practice and my patients.”
Common Complications and Revision Surgery
Two of the most common breast implant complications are breast implant rupture and capsular contracture. In both instances reoperation with or without breast implant replacement may be necessary. It is important to compare the complication rates of breast implants so you know how likely it is you will need a future surgery. Colorado board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Zwiebel tells us many of his patients are concerned about whether or not their implants will expire. He says,
“Many women ask about the 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 ten years. That’s not the case. Implants don’t really have an expiration date.”
Your breast implants, whether saline implants, silicone implants, or IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants, only need to be replaced if they encounter a complication. IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants have some of the lowest rates of rupture and capsular contracture on the market today. Dr. Larry Nichter, board-certified plastic surgeon in California, says of the IDEAL IMPLANT, “it’s incredibly safe and so there’s far fewer lifetime surgeries with an IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant, compared to traditional silicone gel implants.” To learn more and compare breast implant complication rates visit idealimplant.com/compare/.
Breast Implant Rupture and Maintenance
Breast implant rupture happens when a hole or tear forms in the shell of the implant causing the filling to leak. In saline breast implants and the IDEAL IMPLANT the saline inside is naturally absorbed by the body. Reoperation is needed to remove and replace the shell with a new breast implant, but this operation is simple and only requires a small incision.
In silicone gel breast implants, rupture can be a more serious issue. Dr. Eric Desman, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Virginia, explains,
“if you have silicone gel implants and you detect a rupture early enough, a lot of times we’re able to remove the implant as well as the scar tissue that surrounds the implant as one unit. But frequently that leak in the silicone gel implant is not detected quickly and the silicone starts to leak through that scar tissue. A patient will then need a challenging, complicated surgery to get that old implant out and then put a new implant in. If the patient puts new silicone gel implants back in, then they’re just restarting the clock on the next problem or process with a leaked silicone gel implant.”
How can you detect an implant rupture? The answer depends on your breast implant option. Again, Dr. Desman explains, “With IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants, it’s easy to detect a leak because the breast will just start to get a little bit smaller as the saline leaks out. If that does happen, then it’s a fairly straightforward operation to replace that implant.”
With silicone gel implants, however, it can be more difficult to detect a rupture because the silicone gel is thicker and is not absorbed by the body. The FDA recommends women with silicone gel implants get an MRI every few years to detect what is known as a “silent rupture.” These MRIs, which are often not covered by insurance companies, can be expensive and unfortunately do not always detect a silent rupture. Dr. Bartsich tells us,
“I’ve found that sometimes MRIs are not actually very reliable. In some instances, a patient’s MRI said the silicone gel implant had ruptured, and then when I went in to operate on it, it actually hadn’t. I’ve had one or two patients where an MRI showed the implant wasn’t ruptured, but based on my clinical exam I really thought there was a concern, so I went in and it turned out it was ruptured.”
Prepare for Your Breast Augmentation by Finding a Surgeon
Whether you choose saline implants, silicone implants, or IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants, you need to educate yourself on the benefits and compromises of your choice. No woman should feel forced into a choice that she is not comfortable with, so be sure your surgeon offers every breast implant option. Start your cosmetic surgery journey by choosing an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should be willing to educate you, listen to your concerns, and answer any questions you have. Look at their before and after pictures and read reviews on websites like Realself. To find a surgeon near you, use the IDEAL IMPLANT surgeon finder. There has never been a better time for a breast augmentation. With the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant, you can finally achieve beautiful results with peace of mind.