Breast Surgery Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sophie Bartsich on Breast Implants and the IDEAL IMPLANT

Ask Dr. Sophie Bartsich why she chose to become a plastic surgeon and she’ll tell you it’s because it unites everything she likes to do: medicine, surgery, working with her hands, and art. Dr. Bartsich practices in New York City, where she aims to restore form and function for each of her patients while seeking an intuitive balance. She is recognized by her patients as a kind, caring doctor who is passionate about her work.

What is unique about your practice compared to others in the New York area?

“I really feel like aesthetic surgery should be a ‘fake out.’ You should not know that someone had work done, it should just look natural. The majority of my patients are looking for something natural, low maintenance, low worry, and very high impact. They don’t want other people knowing exactly what they did, they just want to look and feel great. I try and give that to my patients. During a consultation, I also give my patients a lot of information because I want them to be educated about their choices. I have a very information-driven and natural result-driven practice, and I don’t think that represents most other plastic surgeons.”

Why did you become interested in breast surgery in particular?

“As a resident in training, my program was in the 99th percentile for breast surgeries. I didn’t even realize that that was unique to our program, so for a very long time I thought breast surgery was 60, 70 percent of all plastic surgery. It never occurred to me that it wasn’t! I became very well trained in breast surgery, but it’s also something that I just responded to. I think every surgeon has their tissue, and every surgeon has their body area, and they just respond to some and not to others. I just instinctively responded to breast surgery.”

How is your approach to breast surgery different from other plastic surgeons?

“Whether it’s reconstruction or cosmetic, I think there are a lot of things that you can make unique within breast surgery. There are a lot of ways you can technically approach things that limit post operative pain. I think it’s really important that the nipple be shaped exactly right, instead of considering it as an afterthought. It’s the focus of the whole breast.

“I put a lot of emphasis on symmetry and balance. I think as a woman, I can understand things that maybe a male surgeon might not. For instance, if you go to buy a bikini and you have to purchase two really expensive separate pieces because you can’t just buy a set, it’s really annoying. To me, that defines you not being balanced. If you were balanced, you could buy a set. Balance and harmony are really, really important to me. My goal with each patient is to find that balance.

“The breast tissue is also a tissue I’m very familiar with and comfortable operating on. I enjoy performing breast surgery because it’s a very high reward for my patients and a very high reward for me. I believe it’s important to listen to my patients and understand what they want, and then apply some very basic principles of aesthetics and balance. When you do that, I think you get a great result.

“The other thing I really love about breast surgery is it’s ‘undercover difficult,’ and I like things that are undercover difficult. It might seem really easy to take an implant and pop it in. Any surgeon could take an implant and pop it in. But it’s actually very challenging to get just the right size, just the right shape, and put it in just the right place. It’s very deceptive, because it sounds easy. Everyone knows that a rhinoplasty is difficult, they know that doing a nose is hard and every little thing shows and everyone sort of sweats it out when they’re going to do a nose.

“When it comes to breasts, I think a lot of people are like, ‘Eh, that’s no problem,’ and they send their patients home with a bunch of sizes. They tell them to choose one and they pop it in and they just expect it to be fabulous and it’s not like that at all. You have to understand a lot of things about how tissues reacts, how much breast tissue you have, how stretched it is, babies, no babies, future plans, level of activity, etc. I think there’s so much that goes into it. It takes a certain level of intuition and experience and it’s actually really hard to get a great outcome. If you really know what you’re doing you can get a great result with the satisfaction that what you did was difficult.”

Has the selection of breast implants changed over time? What is your experience with silicone gel and traditional saline implants vs. IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants?

“I’ve never really liked traditional saline implants. For me, the natural look is very important and I found it very difficult to get it with those implants. The way traditional saline implants feel has also been a problem for me and my patients. It doesn’t feel natural. I always had a bit of a hesitation with silicone gel implants, because once you’ve cleaned up a few ruptures, you get a little nervous about it. But the look and feel was so great, and so disproportionately better that I felt like it tipped the balance.

“So, for a really long time I was very pro-silicone gel. I never really subscribed to the form-stable implants that much. To me they felt a little too firm. I also really didn’t like the idea of them rotating. I don’t like having the potential for an additional complication in an elective procedure on a young, healthy person. I felt that was an unnecessary added risk. The textured implants also made me a little bit uneasy. I was never that into using them. When the overfilled silicone gel implants came out, I liked them because they gave women a little more upper pole fullness.

“Most women who are getting a breast augmentation want to finally wear something that’s low-necked that shows off their cleavage. I mean, that’s the whole point. You don’t want to overdo it, but you need something there or there’s nothing to show. I always felt like the silicone gel implants sagged a little and the form-stable ones were skinnier up top, which is exactly where you want more.

“In addition to that, in the last couple years I’ve had several patients who’ve had MRIs done because there was a question about their existing silicone gel implant. 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.

“I became frustrated with the constant monitoring of the silicone gel implants, but they looked and felt good so I just dealt with whatever other issues came up. I wanted an option for my patients that felt psychologically and physically healthier and didn’t have these other concerns or challenges attached to them

“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. Plus it will make management and monitoring easier and calm a lot of my concerns.’ So I did a few IDEAL IMPLANT cases and my patients were very happy. Then I did a few more and those patients were also very satisfied. When a patient comes in and I discuss all their implant choices, they’re excited to see that there’s something like that. People like the structure, the stability of the shape, and the feel. I’ve had no one complain it didn’t feel normal or natural. The IDEAL IMPLANT has been a very welcome addition to both my practice and my patients.”

What kind of changes have you seen in the last few years of what women want or expect out of breast surgery?

“I’ve seen changes in both the patients and the surgeons, but I’ve seen more changes in the patients. When I was in training, we were taught the most frequent complaint among patients after breast augmentation was, ‘I should’ve gone bigger.’ I think this was very much the teaching a while ago. A lot of the surgeons in practice who are maybe five or ten years ahead of me still have that sort of indoctrinated. So, there was a time when surgeons were putting in as big an implant as they could because they really didn’t want the patient to come back and say, ‘I wish I had gone bigger.’ I think those days are over. Celebrity trends and general lifestyle trends are moving more and more towards the natural look. People are getting plastic surgery earlier on but they’re doing less drastic things. I tell my patients, ‘Listen, no one will know they’re fake unless you feel like showing them,’ and they really like that.

“In my personal opinion as a woman, there’s also a fine line between wanting to be noticed, but not necessarily wanting too much attention. Most women don’t want to walk around broadcasting that they had a breast augmentation. They want to look good in a dress, they want to look good in a T-shirt and jeans. It’s not just about the bikini. They want to feel comfortable. They don’t want to wear an orthopedic device which calls itself a brassiere, because that’s sort of the point we’re at with underwear now. Women are doing this for themselves, they’re not doing this for other people. I think sometimes that also gets misunderstood.”

“Today’s patient is very educated, very sophisticated. There’s also a lot of concern about health.
In the last couple of years, my patients have become more concerned about silicone gel in particular. More and more people are coming in and saying, ‘I really don’t like the idea of silicone gel in my body.’ Patients have access to information on a scale that never existed before. Things are very different than they were ten years ago. If there’s a potential problem or complication a patient is worried about, they will look it up and find out more about it. Women in today’s world want to have peace of mind. These are women who are working and have children and have lives and marriages and households, and the last thing they need is something else to worry about and monitor all of the time.”

How do you help women determine the best size of breast implants for them?

“That’s an important question, because the way most people think about size is A, B, C, D. Those are not exact measurements. The sizing system for bras is actually not anatomic. It’s not based on anything real. Most people have no idea where these sizes even came from. In actuality, bra sizes are a leftover of the old school corset sizing system.

“All your cup size really measures is your projection, or how far from the chest wall your breast goes. If you are narrow and short breasted and perky, you might go pretty far out of the chest wall and have a tiny little breast. If you are wide and high and saggy, and things are sort of all over the place, you might go that same distance from the chest wall and measure the same letter but be five times bigger breasted. That’s why those sizes don’t really mean much.

“A patient might come in and say, ‘Well, I’m a B and I want to be a C,’ or, ‘I don’t want to be a D.’ The first thing I have to dispel is the fact that those letters are actually anything to hold onto. I know what they mean when they say that, and it’s sort of a guide and a concept, but it’s not a measurement. The most important measurement of the breast is its width. Unless the fit model has the same width breast as you, the foundation of the bra is wrong and you’re just trying to squeeze things either narrower or wider depending on how things measure out. So the most important thing is that the implant has to be the same width as the breast. It’s like a foot in a shoe. If you go into to a shoe store and you just pick whatever shoe you think looks nice but you don’t actually pay any attention to size, it’s not going to fit.

“A lot of my breast augmentation patients will show me a picture and say, ‘I really don’t like this,’ and the first thing I say is, ‘It’s not the implant’s fault.’ With implants, (in terms of size), there’s sort of a range. I tell all my patients, ‘There’s a range that will fit you. There is some wiggle room within that range, and you can go on the lower end or the higher end.’ Once you know what that range is, then the patient can give you feedback. Patients can tell you they want to be higher up or lower down within that range. Sometimes people will come in and say, you know, ‘I’m getting married in six months and I want to look classy in my wedding dress. I want to fill it out and not have to worry that I’m not wearing a bra, but I don’t want it to be weird.’

“I understand a woman’s perspective. I know what having breasts means and how the world responds to your breasts and how you feel about your breasts and how you wear them. Because, basically, you wear them. Breast implants are just like anything else you wear. If they’re sized right and proportionate and fit your lifestyle, then they’re going to work great and enhance everything and make you feel awesome. Size is important and the patient can give you guidance, but they can’t pick it because it has to be chosen with training.”

Do you have a preference on placement of breast surgery incisions? What do you say to women who are concerned about scarring?

“A lot of plastic surgeons like to use the trans-axillary technique for breast augmentation. That places the incision in the armpit (axilla). I don’t like that approach. I never really understood why anybody would think the armpit was hidden on a woman. If you go to a black tie dinner, your armpit’s open. It’s not just on the beach or in the shower. It’s shaved and it’s open and everyone can see it. The minute you reach to get your champagne glass, everyone’s going to see it. So that’s not hidden, and if it doesn’t turn out well, you’re stuck with a scar on your armpit. On top of which, technically it’s a difficult surgical approach. So I never really understood the benefit of that either. It makes the surgery much more difficult for a potential scar in a really bad place.

“I also don’t like to make incisions around the nipple, because the areola transitions to skin as a fading rather than a definite line. I’ve done a lot of research on the bacteria that live in the breast. Many people don’t know that bacteria can cause you to get infections when you’re nursing. They’re all in the ducts and they all converge on the nipple where all the ducts meet. So if you do that approach, you’re potentially contaminating the implant and you have a higher risk of contractures. You also have less area to work with, and what if the breast tissue that you just went right through doesn’t line back up again? Now you have an additional problem.

“In my professional opinion, the incision under the fold, or the inframammary approach, makes the most sense. Even if you don’t have a fold, once you have a breast augmentation you’re going to have a fold. That, to me, is the most hidden spot. When my patients come in for post op, for me to see the scar they have to be completely undressed and lift their breast for me. If they’re just standing there, I don’t see it. If my patients have an issue with the scar, that’s about as hidden as you’re going to get. It’s also an area that lends itself to revision if you ever have to cut the scar out for some reason, which is really not very common. You can do that in that spot, but you can’t do it around the nipple. I prefer to make my incisions under the fold. You have the most visibility during the surgery, you have the most control over the surgical field, and the scar is as hidden as you’re going to get.”

What specifically do you like about IDEAL IMPLANT?

“I don’t want to do anything to someone else I wouldn’t want done to myself. I think a lot of the implants I’ve used in the past gave me excellent results, patients were happy, I think that they’re still very reasonable alternatives to use, and I still offer them to my patients. But when I first started using IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants, I thought to myself, ‘I’m sure there’s going to be a couple of patients who just really like the idea of this,’ but I was shocked at just how many patients started requesting it once I introduced it to my practice.

Since I started using IDEAL IMPLANT, I’ve had almost no patients choose anything else. That’s not because I’m pushing one implant over the other, and it’s not because I say to them, ‘Well, this is the one that I want you to use, and also there’s this other stuff.’ I don’t think that’s fair. I think that silicone gel implants are still fine and I’ve gotten amazing results for years. I’ve had many patients in the past who have chosen silicone gel that are happy, they like the feel, they like the look. But, I think there’s something IDEAL IMPLANT offers that I’m responding to and that my patients are responding to.

“So, for me, IDEAL IMPLANT has been a very welcome addition to my practice, and for my patients it’s been wonderful. I’ll tell some of my existing patients who need a revision for whatever reason, ‘Two years ago I didn’t have this option, but just so that you know, this is a new implant I’ve been working with,’ and the majority of them say, ‘Oh, I think I want that instead, I like the idea of that.’

“Also I’ve had a lot of patients who come to me who’ve had silicone gel implants placed many, many years ago and they’re sort of at a loss of what to do. These patients will say, ‘Some people say I should take them out, and some people say leave them alone, and it’s been 15 years. What do I do?’ I’ve had some changes in my approach to that question as well. Now I’m leaning towards the opinion that after a certain amount of time maybe that patient should think about switching them out.

“A lot of those patients say to me, ‘If I’m going to do it, now that I have another option, I think I might actually do it with IDEAL IMPLANT instead. I just don’t want to have to worry about these things again, and it’s really challenging to monitor something all the time. Since we’re going back, let’s just go to something simpler.’ The results have been great and the patient satisfaction is very high. Overall, IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants are a wonderful addition to my practice.”

Considering breast implants in New York City? Contact Dr. Sophie Bartsich today to discuss your options. Simply call 516-773-9200 or visit Dr. Bartsich’s office is located at 960 Park Avenue, New York City, NY 10028. Call today for more information on IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants.

What Makes the IDEAL IMPLANT Unique? Dr. Paul Leahy Explains

What makes IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants different from traditional saline or silicone gel implants? Dr. Paul Leahy, a board-certified plastic surgeon located in Kansas City, KS, discussed these three options and more about the breast augmentation process in a recent interview.

Describe your practice and what procedures you offer?

“I am one of currently five plastic surgeons in our group here in Leawood, Kansas, called Monarch Plastic Surgery. It has a lot of history to it. It’s been around for coming up on 25 years. Some of the core members are still part of our practice, so I really enjoy being able to walk down the hallway and say to one of my partners, ‘Hey, look at this case. What do you think about this?’ I can bounce ideas off them, and we really enjoy the collegial atmosphere that we have at Monarch.

“We have a full service range of things that we do, ranging from breast surgery of all kinds. We do a lot of breast cancer reconstruction in our practice, which helps me get a lot of experience using different kinds of breast implants. We do a lot of breast reduction surgery, and certainly a lot of cosmetic breast surgery as well. That’s where my focus is. I’d say the biggest focus in my practice is any kind of breast surgery involving plastic surgery. I really enjoy the cosmetic component but also the reconstructive breast surgery that we do for people that have had breast disease.”

What can your patients expect throughout the breast augmentation process?

“We have several choices and decisions to make together as a team. There are a few things you have to decide as a patient, and first is what incision you’d like to use. The most common incision is directly underneath the breasts in the crease there. It seems very reproducible and controllable, as opposed to, for example, going around the nipple or in the armpit. I usually highly direct patients to that incision. I think it works well.

“Then we have to decide if we should go above the muscle or underneath the muscle in the chest. I think the vast majority of people, at least in our practice here in Kansas City and the midwest area, are going underneath the muscle. There are a couple of situations in which going above the muscle might be useful. But by in large, I think for most people, the implants tend to do a little bit better and look a little more natural underneath the muscle. I present things that way, and then we can make a decision about that.

“Then the last choice comes down to what implant we’re going to use. I like to have a series of different companies, styles, and implants available, and just take a look. I’ll try to give you the pros and cons, and talk you through the advantages and disadvantages. We have a huge range of implants here. We take a non-padded sports bra, and play with the different sizes. I insist that they come in at least twice to do this. I don’t want them to just pick one size and that’s it. I like for them to confirm at a second appointment, after they’ve been able to think about it and bring in different clothing. I really feel strongly about doing that, and even then, it’s hard to know exactly how this is going to look. How are my clothes going to fit? What cup size am I going to be? Those are all questions that are so hard to answer. I really focus on how do you like how this looks. We put a tight fitted top on you and ask, ‘Does that look pretty to you?’ Then we just go left and right, and switch out implants, until we arrive at a size.”

What do you tell your patients about IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants?

“I have a saline implant here, a silicone gel implant here, and then we meet in the middle with the IDEAL IMPLANT. It truly is a blend, and takes the best of both worlds. For cosmetic uses, I really like to use the saline filled implants, especially with the advantages of the IDEAL IMPLANT. It speaks tons in terms of safety. It has a documented less risk of it rupturing and less risk of a scar developing around the implant, a problem called a capsular contracture. I think the biggest selling point is the fact that if there’s a problem with it and it does leak, you know instantly. There is none of the guesswork involved in getting MRIs. Any of us that have gone and taken out ruptured silicone gel implants will tell you, it can be a mess and the silicone gel is very sticky. You have to get the scar tissue around it, and that sort of thing can lead to other sorts of issues. When you take out a saline implant that’s ruptured, it couldn’t be easier. It’s simple.

“We can use a little smaller incision to get the implant in there. And because you fill it during the surgery, you can make accommodations if someone’s left or right breast is a little bit different. Also, the IDEAL IMPLANT is really nice because if we get to surgery and the person shows up and says, ‘I’ve been thinking about it, and I think I’d like to be at the upper end of the range that we can put in the implant.’ I say, ‘Great, no problem.’ We can decide that there that day.

“So it’s come to the point where I’ve used the IDEAL IMPLANT enough and had enough exposure to it, I really think it is something women should be considering.”

What do you say to women that are concerned about how new the IDEAL IMPLANT is compared to saline implants or silicone gel implants?

I feel really confident in offering the IDEAL IMPLANT, even though it is relatively new. I’m just beginning my 11th year of private practice, and I definitely have seen some fads or trends in plastic surgery, including in breast implant technology. Sometimes you get a new device and you think, ‘Oh, this is going to solve all the world’s problems.’ As it turns out, issues arise that we simply couldn’t have predicted until we started using them more and more. However, because the IDEAL IMPLANT is sort of an extension of things we’ve already had, just reworked and re-engineered, I don’t think we’re going to see that. I don’t anticipate big problems with the IDEAL IMPLANT, especially with the seven-year data that we’ve got so far. When people come and they look at the different implants, I like to show them what data we’ve got. The numbers don’t lie. The data really is leading us to believe that everything about the IDEAL IMPLANT is better, including its stability and durability too. I’m really excited about it. I know it’s relatively new, but it’s not like the surgical techniques are all that different. It’s really just a different device that we’re using. Looking at the data that’s already been collected, and having done some of these cases already, it’s just so smooth and slick to work with that I have no reservations about offering it at all.”

After receiving a breast augmentation, what can women anticipate afterward during recovery?

“We try to put a limit on too much strenuous activity for the first week. Little by little, we’ll give you instructions about more things that you can do. I let people shower within 24 hours and wear a sports bra day and night. I don’t like people going underwater for about three to four weeks. You can go to the gym and do light things, but just no heavy, strenuous chest exercises for about three to four weeks. I’ve found yoga to be not so good. That’s a very stretching exercise, so we limit that too.

“Most people, within a few weeks, turn a corner. They’re feeling better. When you meet people a couple of days after surgery, some people think, ‘What I have done to myself? I wasted my money. I shouldn’t have. Why did I put myself through this?’ Then we say, ‘Okay, we know. We’ve seen this. It’s normal to have a little bit of the blues.’ A little depression sets in temporarily, but by three weeks, most people turn a corner and are feeling back to their lives. If you look at the well-done studies and even some of the more recent websites where people rate their experiences with surgeries, breast augmentation is almost at the top of that list in terms of patient satisfaction.”

What advice would you give women looking for a plastic surgeon?

“When trying to choose a plastic surgeon, my advice to people is to ask their friends. Ask some friends who have had some surgery, could have been reconstructive, it could have been cosmetic. Ask your doctor – your primary doctor, your OBGYN, you name it. They are going to have some idea about the community, who people have had good outcomes with and a good rapport with.

“Do a little homework. I think the most reputable site to research doctors is the American Society of Plastic Surgery website. There’s a listing there of all the surgeons who are part of that big society. You must be board-certified to belong to it. I think as long as you’re getting someone with good training, it’s really hard to go wrong.

“Go in for a consult. I think you will get a feel right away whether or not you’re going to be a good fit. I think it’s a good idea to probably see at least two doctors. I wouldn’t go and shop 10 though. I think that’s a bad idea. I’ve been a part of people who have done that. They get so lost in the details that they can’t remember who said what and why they were going to choose or make this decision. Don’t make it too complicated. But see two doctors, and ultimately, go with your gut feeling on which doctor you feel is going to get you to where you want to be.”

What is your goal as a plastic surgeon?

“I think the key to having a good result and a good outcome, and ultimately what you really want, is a happy patient. That’s what we’re all after. It doesn’t really matter if I like a patient’s choice or not. If the person is not happy with it, then we’ve not accomplished our goal. So, I think it all starts way back in the office when we meet for the first time, and the second time. We counsel people about how this is going to go, what to expect, and what I expect, plus the research we have patients do. All of that before you’ve gone to surgery is so important.

“None of us are born exactly the same, mirror image left to right, men or women. When we’re done with this operation, we’re just basically making the breast bigger. Yes, we can try to accommodate for little differences here and there. But in the end, if you’re the type of person that’s going to take a laser pointer across your breasts and obsess about something in the mirror, this is not a good operation for you. This is not how it works. There are more broad strokes in creating curves, and more beauty in the breast in the way of sizing, shaping, and profiles, as opposed to measuring my incision and making sure it’s exactly the same as on the other side. Mother Nature does not cooperate with us as surgeons. You can be as precise as you want to, and I am. I pride myself on trying to be that, but ultimately, things are just not that way. That’s not how we heal. Having said that, the vast majority of breast augmentation patients come back very happy, once you’ve healed.”

Considering breast implants in Kansas City, KS? Contact Dr. Paul Leahy today to discuss your options. Simply call 913-663-3838 or visit Dr. Leahy’s office is located at 4801 West 135th Street, Leawood, KS 66224. Call today for more information on IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants.

Breast Enlargement Testimonials

How do IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implant recipients feel about their breast implants? Hearing from real women will give you important insight into what life after breast augmentation will entail. Do they like their implants? Do they have better self esteem after a breast enlargement? Do they have peace of mind or do they feel anxious? Get these questions answered and more when you watch testimonials recorded by real patients.

Breast Implants and Self Esteem

Can getting breast implants increase your self esteem? Most women choose breast implants to improve their look, but how do women feel about their bodies after surgery? In order to know the answer, we need to ask real patients how they feel. Fortunately, research has been done on this topic. In a study published in the May 2013 issue of Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery researchers found that “breast augmentation improves self esteem and quality of life… Almost all patients would repeat the surgery.” In fact, 92% of women reported better self-esteem and 64% reported a better quality of life. Before surgery 86% of women were self-conscious about their breasts, reduced to only 13% after surgery.

Ashley, a process implementation consultant who received IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants, told us after her breast augmentation, “I’m more comfortable in my own skin and I’m a lot happier.” So the answer is, yes, breast implants can increase your self-esteem. Being comfortable in your own skin can help you become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Breast augmentation isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve ever felt self-conscious about your breasts, if you are looking for a way to boost your confidence and feel happier with the way you look, a breast augmentation is what you need.

Choosing Breast Implants

What do patients say about choosing breast implants for a breast augmentation? Do your research before choosing an implant type. Look at before and after photos, feel the implants at your surgeon’s office, and talk to women you know who have had breast augmentation. Below are some basic details about the three types of implants you will see at exclusive board-certified surgeon’s offices around the country.

  • Saline Breast Implants: Saline implants are FDA approved and available to women ages 18-years old and older. They consist of a silicone shell filled with saline (sterilized salt water). Saline is the same liquid used in IVs. Women who choose these implants enjoy the peace of mind they bring because they are filled with saline. If the implant leaks the patient will know immediately because the implant will deflate. The saline is also naturally absorbed by the body leaving only the shell for a simple removal surgery. The compromise women must make with these implants is that they tend to look unnatural under the skin and are prone to rippling.
  • Silicone Gel Breast Implants: Silicone gel breast implants are silicone shells filled with thick, sticky silicone gel. The FDA approved them only for women ages 22-years and older. Women enjoy the natural look and feel these implants give them. However, the FDA recommends women with silicone gel implants get an MRI three years after having a breast enlargement, then every two years for the life of the implant. This is because silicone gel implants can have a “silent rupture,” a rupture that occurs without the patient’s knowledge. Silicone gel can begin to leak out of the implant and into surrounding tissue. Some women are not comfortable with the idea that silicone gel can come into contact with their breast tissue. Additionally, depending on the severity of the leak, removal surgery can be complicated and messy. Dr. Eric Desman, a board-certified plastic surgeon, says after a silicone gel implant ruptures patients need “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.”
  • IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants: IDEAL IMPLANT was created by a board-certified plastic surgeon who wanted a different option for his patients undergoing breast augmentation. Dr. Robert Hamas developed this new technology which consists of nested silicone shells filled with saline. The shell layers allow movement in the implant, but the internal structure gives it stability resulting in a smooth implant and natural looking results. The FDA approved them for women ages 18-years old and up. Because this implant is filled with saline there is no need for repeated MRIs, the saline is naturally absorbed by the body in case of a rupture. One IDEAL IMPLANT recipient, Heather, a plastic surgery practice manager, told us “saline based is a smart decision” because there is no fear that silicone gel is leaking while you remain unaware. Heather’s statement is consistent with a 2017 survey which asked 933 women if they would feel concerned about a silent rupture in silicone gel implants. 98% of women reported they would be somewhat concerned to constantly concerned about silent rupture with silicone gel implants. With the IDEAL IMPLANT women can get the peace of mind of saline with the beautiful results of silicone gel.

Benefits and Compromises of Breast Enlargement Surgery

We’ve already covered some of the benefits and compromises each breast implant type offers. But what else should you know before seeing your surgeon? Ruth, a certified medical assistant and IDEAL IMPLANT recipient, tells us that choosing the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant is a no-brainer because “you get the softness, you get the safety, and you don’t have to worry.” While the FDA has approved all three types of breast implants as safe for women in the approved age groups, the 2017 survey data shows us that silicone gel implants still cause some women anxiety. Women should be aware of these findings so they can make an informed decision between saline, silicone gel, and structured breast implants.

One way to reduce anxiety after getting a breast enhancement with silicone gel breast implants is by getting the recommended MRIs. The FDA writes, “MRI continues to be an effective method of detecting silent rupture of silicone gel-filled breast implants.” Unfortunately these MRIs are not usually covered by insurance companies, and are not 100% effective at detecting a silent rupture. Dr. Sophie Bartsich, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York, 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.”

Despite the compromises, women have still chosen silicone gel breast implants because of the beautiful results. Now, with the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant, women don’t have to compromise beauty for peace of mind. In the 2017 survey mentioned previously 91% of women surveyed reported that if the overall performance of the implant is similar, they would prefer saline coming into contact with their tissue in case of rupture over silicone gel. This includes 73% of women who already had silicone gel breast implants. Dr. Bartsich tells us when she uses the IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implant in her practice, “people like the structure, the stability of the shape, and the feel. I’ve had no one complain it didn’t feel normal or natural.”

Choosing the Right Implant for Your Breast Enhancement

If you’re considering breast augmentation it is important to do your research before choosing an implant. Research the benefits and compromises of each type, talk to other patients about how they feel after their breast enlargement, look at before and after pictures, and talk to your board-certified plastic surgeon. Your implants could be with you for the rest of your life so you should choose one that gives you beautiful results and peace of mind.

Considering breast implants? Contact a board-certified plastic surgeon today to discuss your options. Simply visit to find one near you. Visit today for more information on IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants.