We asked San Antonio plastic surgeon Dr. Constance Barone to explain what options women have when choosing breast implants. Dr. Barone is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 30 years of experience. She is a respected member of the medical community and known for her work as an innovator in plastic surgery, an author, and a teacher. Her extensive background, training, and work has resulted in her designation as one of America’s Top Doctors by multiple professional organizations, patient review sites, and media outlets. Recently she was named an IDEAL IMPLANT Premier Surgeon because she is one of the most experienced surgeons performing breast augmentations with the IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implant.
Dr. Barone is dedicated to providing the safest and most efficient procedures for her patients. She also believes each patient should have access to a variety of choices in order to reach their goals. She offers every type of breast implant at her plastic surgery center and works to educate each patient about the benefits and compromises of each. Read below to learn what Dr. Barone has to say about choosing the best breast implants for you.
What Breast Implants are Available?
The FDA has approved 3 types of breast implants: saline breast implants, silicone gel breast implants, and IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants. At Dr. Barone’s plastic surgery center, you can see and feel each implant to help you make your choice. Before and after pictures are also available so you can see what the final results will look like.
- Saline implants are filled with saline (saltwater), which is naturally and safely absorbed by the body if the implant ruptures. Saline has many medical uses, including filling IV bags to keep patients hydrated. A rupture can be detected immediately because the implant will deflate as the saline flows out of it. These implants tend to visibly ripple and women complain that they feel unnatural, especially if they do not have much breast tissue or fat covering the implant.
- Silicone gel implants have silicone gel inside the shell for a smooth and attractive result, but can give some women anxiety about potential complications. Silicone gel is not absorbed by the body, and it can be difficult to know if the implant has ruptured. Silicone gel has more recommended maintenance and a higher rate of complications than some other breast implant types. Many surgeons recommend replacing silicone gel breast implants every 10 years to avoid complications.
- The IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant is the newest breast implant type. Dr. Barone tells us, “it consists of a saltwater-filled structured breast implant. There is an outer fill valve, which covers the outer area, and then there’s an inner fill valve that covers the inner. So, there’s two actually fill sites, which allows this implant to have a very natural feel, as opposed to the saline implants, which felt hard and like a balloon.” The saltwater inside gives women peace of mind in the event of a rupture. It also has a low rate of complications such as capsular contracture and the lowest rate of rupture found in any breast implant.
How Does the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant Compare To Silicone Gel?
The IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant was created to address common concerns with saline and silicone gel breast implants. Women should know about these concerns before they choose their breast implants. Dr. Barone explains the benefits and compromises of silicone gel breast implants, and how the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant compares.
“We like the feel of silicone gel implants. We just don’t like the fact that we should be getting MRIs at three years and every two years thereafter. That’s an out- of-pocket expense, which can be quite expensive. The other thing is, sometimes there’s silent ruptures. What’s that mean? That means it ruptures without you knowing it, and silicone gel leaks out. And what happens when that happens? Well, you can get a hard, calcified capsular contracture, and silicone gel can migrate. There have been studies that show silicone gel has been found in the livers of people who’ve had a silicone gel breast implant augmentation. The IDEAL IMPLANT is called a structured implant because it has little sleeves in this little shell, which allows it to have a buoyancy to it, so it feels more natural. It comes with a lifetime warranty. It also comes with a warranty for capsular contracture. We like the fact that this is a very, very user friendly implant and do you have to exchange it out? No. If you’re having no problems, it’s intended to be kept in place for a lifetime.” Overall, Dr. Barone believes the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant has many advantages over silicone gel breast implants and recommends them to women who want beautiful, natural looking results with peace of mind.
What Happens If a Breast Implant Ruptures?
What exactly is “implant rupture,” and how does it affect women? An implant can develop a small hole in the shell and begin to leak. In silicone gel breast implants, women may not notice a difference in their breasts, meaning the rupture is “silent” as Dr. Barone described above. Or they may feel a hardening or tightening, or feel lumps. As Dr. Barone mentioned, the silicone gel may migrate out of the breast capsule and into other parts of the body. In a recent survey of over 900 women 98% reported they would be somewhat concerned to constantly concerned about silent rupture with silicone gel implants. Before the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant was introduced many women felt they had to make the difficult choice between constant concern with silicone gel breast implants, and the unnatural feel of saline breast implants.
The IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant can also rupture, but there is no risk of a rupture being silent. The saline inside begins to leak out of the implant and is safely absorbed by the body. A saline implant will deflate completely, leaving just the shell behind. Dr. Barone explains what happens when an IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant ruptures, “one of the advantages of the IDEAL IMPLANT is that, if you get a deflation, it probably just deflates the outer sleeve so it’s not as obvious of a deflation.” This means that although you will notice a difference in your breasts, it will not be as obvious as with saline breast implants. You have the ability to plan a revision surgery around your life and your schedule.
The FDA recommends every type of implant be removed and replaced if a rupture occurs. The IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant can easily be removed and replaced by your plastic surgeon. Silicone gel breast implants can be more complicated to remove after a rupture, especially if the silicone gel has migrated away from the breast capsule. The FDA explains what happens if silicone gel begins to travel outside the breast capsule, “The leaked silicone gel may cause lumps to form in the breast or in other tissue, most often the chest wall, armpit or arm. It may be difficult or impossible to remove silicone gel that has traveled to other parts of the body.”
How Do Breast Implants Compare Aesthetically?
Saline breast implants are often compared to water balloons because they are simply a silicone shell filled with saltwater. They are not as dense as breast tissue, and tend to ripple under the skin. This can be a problem especially in women without much breast tissue or fat to cover the implant. Dr. Barone tells us “I was very excited when the IDEAL IMPLANT came out because one of the things I hated, and most women hated, about the saline implant was just the unnatural feel. They felt like balloons underneath the chest wall.” The internal structure of the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant gives it a smooth, natural looking result that many compare to the look and feel of silicone gel breast implants.
Dr. Barone tells us about the aesthetic benefits of the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant as compared to silicone gel breast implants. “One of the other advantages of the IDEAL IMPLANT is the fact that it’s got a nice contour to it. It’s not super high profile, so you don’t get that real full upper pole, but it’s a more natural look. The other advantage is that there’s less rippling associated with IDEAL IMPLANT. I know everybody says that silicone gel implants don’t ripple, but guess what? They do. There’s rippling associated with both types of implants, but I feel far less with the IDEAL IMPLANT.” Aesthetically, the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant gives women the natural, beautiful results they want.
How Does Dr. Barone Present Choices to Patients?
Patient choice and education are very important. No patient should ever feel pushed into a decision they feel uncomfortable with. Dr. Barone tells us how she presents breast implant options to her patients. “When people make their selection in my office, I present all types of breast implants to them. I present to them the adjustable breast implant. I present to them the silicone gel breast implant. I present to them the IDEAL IMPLANT. And I present to them the saline implant. Why do I do that? I think that’s an important part of an informed consent. So, a woman can make their own decision as to what type of implant they want. I give them brochures on all different types of breast implants so that they can do their homework and they can study on it. I’m an investor in IDEAL IMPLANTS because I believe in this implant. I think it’s a great choice for women who want a breast augmentation. Because, if it does leak it’s only saltwater. I don’t try to influence my patients. I let them make the decisions as they feel, and look at the implants. But I also tell them the pros and cons of all the implants. For breast augmentation, I think the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant is the choice today.”
How Should Women Choose a Plastic Surgeon?
Women should know it is important to choose an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your breast augmentation. A board-certified plastic surgeon has spent years training and performing plastic surgery procedures, learning about every complication and how to get the best possible outcome. Additionally, to maintain board-certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery physicians must meet continuing education requirements and take exams periodically.
Dr. Barone is board-certified in plastic surgery, so her patients know from the first meeting that she is dedicated to providing safe and effective medical care. Her patient reviews reflect her level of professionalism and her compassion. Read what some recent patients had to say about their experiences below.
“I was very satisfied and comfortable discussing my options with the doctor. She was very attentive to my needs and met all expectations, always very friendly and professional. I love the new me and highly recommend her to make you happy.”
www.RealSelf.com user liviaodabachian
“Excellent doctor and staff! Very caring, they take time to answer questions and follow up. Would recommend to anyone! I have been coming here for years. What a difference it has made in my life and confidence.”
www.Google.com user Ruby Rupprecht
“Dr. Barone is the best of the best and I am very happy with my results. I highly recommend her to my family and friends. Go see her!”
www.Facebook.com user Carmen Pazmino
If you curious about plastic surgery, visit Dr. Barone’s website to see what procedures she offers in addition to breast augmentations. She is trained in “awake” surgical technique for patients who feel uncomfortable with full sedation. Dr. Barone’s office is a state of the art plastic surgery center and features a spa facility, a laser center, an outpatient center for cosmetic surgeries, and rooms for treatment and recovery. Her patients enjoy a relaxing environment that allows them to discover their full potential. Don’t wait to start on your journey to a new you, your only regret will be that you didn’t start sooner!
Considering breast implants in San Antonio? Contact Dr. Constance Barone today to discuss your options. Simply call 210-614-0400, or visit baroneplasticsurgery.com. Dr. Barone’s office is located at 9502 Huebner Road, Building 2, Suite 202, San Antonio, TX 78240. Call today for more information on IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants.