Breast augmentation has never been better than it is today. Surgical technique has improved to the point that recovery for many is 24 hours long, with many patients able to go out to dinner the same day. When it comes to results, the new array of implants available are helping provide natural-looking augmentation, fulfilling the growing aesthetic.
Textured and Smooth Implants
Many patients are familiar with the term “gummy bear implants.” These are a group of implants that are form stable, meaning their gels are stiff enough to maintain a tear-dropped shape, providing a major shape and feel component to augmentations. This has helped many patients who have breast shape issues acquire volume and shape during breast augmentation. The caveat is these implants were all textured on the surface, rather than smooth. The newest excitement surrounds smooth implants with thicker gels, combining the pros of form stable implants with the advantage of a smooth, non-shaped implant.
“Typically in the United States it’s a smooth implant world,” shares Dr. Colville. “Yes we’ve had textured and yes we’ve had shaped. It depends on what the patients want.”
The textured vs. smooth debate ignited recently with an FDA report regarding Breast Implant-Associated ALCL, a very rare form of lymphoma caused by the body’s response to implants. The report was very concerning, and put textured implants in the crosshairs as they were more likely per the study to be associated with BIA-ALCL. The truth, however, is the occurrence of the issue is very, very rare, orders of magnitude less than the chance a woman may develop breast cancer – with or without ever having had plastic surgery and implants.
“There’s a lot of information out there and it’s hard to interpret,” explains Dr. Nyame. “I was in Australia where I used almost exclusively textured implants – textured round implants and textured shaped implants.”
Even in the US, many surgeons utilize textured implants as they have many advantages in the right patient. With the advent of the latest line of stiffer gelled smooth round implants, textured implants haven’t been replaced so much as the breast augmentation tool chest has grown. “In most hands, as long as the size of the implant is reasonable, you can get a very natural result,” shares Nyame.
What’s the Most Natural Implant?
There is a growing new aesthetic in breast augmentation for natural-looking and natural-feeling results. Instead of days past where patients wanted a large result with upper-pole fullness (where the implant exhibits volume at the top of the breast, too), patients want a result that will give them shape and volume, but not unnatural size.
“In the United States women ask, ‘What’s the most natural?’ ‘What feels the most natural?’,” shares Dr. Colvile. “Part of that is the patient’s tissue, and part of that is the implant. A lot of it comes down to the gel, and we have more cohesive gel now.”
The newest line of modern breast implants offer what the textured, form-stable implants do in a smooth, round implant. This has allowed the benefits for the textured variety to extend to the non-textured, the latter being a more “universal” implant for breast augmentation patients. At the end of the day, there truly is no “right” implant for breast augmentation patients. The growing variety simple offers surgeons more and better tools to craft a unique procedure for unique patients.
“Previously, in order to get a firmer gel implant, you had to have a textured shaped implant,” explains Nyame. “bow there are a whole new line of implants that have some of these same form stable gels that are actually round, smooth implants. So you can achieve that same natural look and same feel with those implants. Some of those are probably the most innovative devices that have come out recently.”
Patient Takeaway: Select an Experienced, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon For Best Results
With the growth of technologically-superior ,modern breast implants, patients are excited. They hope to find natural results in both look and feel, and see that these new implants offer that result. No matter the implants, the best results will always come down to technique and surgeon experience. Perhaps a patient does her research and decides that one of the newer, stiffer-gelled smooth round implants would be her ideal. Perhaps that is true, but only with a thorough consultation with an experienced surgeon will an implant be decided upon.
All patients are different and have unique characteristics that need to be addressed. Instead of being forced to craft results around a handful of implants, surgeons can now focus on the specific results a patient desires, based on their anatomy, and then select one of the more nuanced implants to meet these goals. In this sense, there has never been a better time to look into breast augmentation for would-be patients.