Breast Implant Options


Before undergoing breast augmentation surgery, decisions have to be made regarding breast implant options. Implants come in various profiles, sizes, widths, and heights. According to Seattle plastic surgeon, Dr. Shahram Salemy, determining the best implants includes many factors including the patient’s goals and anatomy. The surgeon will discuss the pros and cons of implant options and together with the patient formulate a plan. Two key considerations include available implant types and profile types.




  1. Silicone Breast Implants. Silicone gel within these implants mimic natural breast tissue and in general have a more natural look and feel compared to saline implants.  The silicone implants available int he US are cohesive, meaning they are not the thin liquid implants of old.  Silicone implants come in a variety of cohesiveness, from very softer to more firm or “form stable or often called gummy bear”, and each provides its own advantages and disadvantages.
  2. Saline Breast Implants. These implants have a silicone shell and are filled with sterile salt water (saline) that the body absorbs should the implant leak. They tend to offer a less natural look and feel and can ripple more easily.




Sientra textured round silicone implant


Round Breast Implants. These implants can provide a fuller look than anatomic or tear drop implants. Due to their round shape, these implants can “turn” without any visible change to the look or shape of the breast.





Sientra textured anatomic silicone implant



Anatomic or Tear drop Implants.  These implants are flatter at the top and fuller at the bottom, the goal being to mimic the natural shape of the breast.  They can offer outstanding results in many cases, but carry the risk of turning which may require secondary surgery.





Natrelle smooth round silicone implant

Smooth Implants. These implants are quite soft and movement of the breasts appears natural because the implants move with the breast implant pocket. These implants are quite popular particularly in the U.S.



Natrelle Textured anatomic (style 410) silicone implant


Textured Implants. These implants have a textured surface, the goal being the prevent implant movement and reduce the risk of capsular contracture.  These implants can often feel firmer and can show rippling more easily in some cases.






The profile determines how far the implants extend from the chest wall. For a given size (cc volume), varying widths will produce different extension or projection from the chest. Several profile types available and have different terminology )”low”, “low plus”, “high”, “full”, “ultra high”).  Every surgeon has a different method of selecting the best implant profile for each patient and this is something that is discussed at your consultation.