When you hear about silicone breast implants in NYC and elsewhere, they’re often discussed in relation to the other option: saline implants. The choice is personal. During your consultation, Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Edmund Kwan, will discuss the differences between these options and other aspects of breast enlargement, including answering one of the most commonly asked questions, ”Will silicone breast implants feel real?”
Boost your knowledge about breast augmentation
To start, all implant shells are made from silicone. The shell’s surface may be textured or smooth. Smooth implants mimic how natural tissue moves. They roll subtly within the breast pocket. They also offer the softest feel. Their textured counterpart promotes the development of soft tissue for enhanced stability, and was designed to address the risk of capsular contracture that arises when scar tissue constricts and hardens the implant.
Beyond the shell, the inside of the implant generally falls into one of two categories:
- Saline – After the empty silicone shell is inserted, Dr. Kwan fills the shell with saline fluid. This sterile salt water’s consistency means saline may sometimes be seen or felt under thin skin, an effect known as “rippling.” If a leaking saline implant collapses, your body absorbs and eliminates the fluid naturally.
- Silicone – Dr. Kwan inserts shells pre-filled with silicone gel, a material that is safe for patients with allergies and has no known sensitivities or reactions. The material itself can be compared to a gummy candy; thicker and more cohesive than saline, silicone also moves differently in its shell. This feature contributes to silicone implants’ reputation for replicating the appearance and texture of natural breast tissue.
Unlike leaking saline, silicone implants don’t collapse. Instead, the leaked gel remains contained to the shell or migrates to the breast pocket. Dr. Kwan regularly monitors the condition of silicone breast implants to make sure that they’re functioning properly.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Implants vary by base width, projection amount, and fill volume. Implants must be carefully selected to suit your unique characteristics, preferences, and goals. Keep in mind what may be comfortable to one patient, may not feel the same to another. There are many variables to consider when selecting implant type, as well as technique, including attributes like body frame, and desired proportions. Even sports or hobbies of choice can play a role in your decision; for example, a serious long-distance runner may express greater concern over the implant staying put through years of high-impact activities, than a patient engaged in lower-impact exercise.
These are not “yesterday’s” implants
Dr. Kwan stays on the leading-edge of technological and scientific advancements related to cosmetic enhancement. Much has changed since the first silicone implant was developed in the 1960s. Several improvements have occurred to the silicone gel for a lifelike appearance and feel. Many of these advancements have occurred within the past two decades; for instance, seventh or eighth generation implants have 96 percent fill, versus 85 percent fill for earlier generation devices. Fill ranges may be associated with a higher, rounder, and perkier appearance.
Today’s silicone gel implants also have more “cross-linking” for heightened firmness or cohesion that adds up to a more natural experience with your new breasts. As this suggests, there is no single type of silicone implant or saline implant, for that matter. Silicone implants vary in their degree of firmness, ranging from particularly “liquid” ones that are super-soft and flow easily, to those with the highest cohesion. They tend to feel the stiffest, but hold their shape well.
Rethink what you think you know about implants
Claims of health risks with silicone implants in the 1980s and 1990s contributed to saline’s popularity in the following decades, as women replaced older implants. But, extensive U.S. Food and Drug Administration-directed research has confirmed no relationship between silicone implants and chronic autoimmune diseases.
Regardless of the type of implant you choose, you’re in skilled and trusted hands at Edmund Kwan, MD. During your consultation, he’ll also discuss ways to ensure you get the beautiful, natural results you desire and to promote healthy healing after surgery. Contact us (212) 734-4488 to schedule your appointment at the Manhattan, Flushing, or New Jersey office.