What Are the Main Types of Breast Implants?

types of breast implants

Written by Michelle

May 3, 2021

So you’ve done the pros and cons lists and consulted with your doctor.

You’ve made the decision that breast augmentation is right for you. Before you buy new bras and prepare for post-op, you have another decision to make.

After you decide to get breast implants, you have to decide which kind to get. Each implant provides a different option for placement, shape, and feel, and what the incision will be like.

Before your procedure, it’s a good idea to do some research on the types of breast implants available so you can make an informed decision. Here are the main breast implant options you’ll have available.

Silicone Implants

For a feeling like natural tissue, you’ll want to choose silicone breast implants.

These implants are filled with a silicone gel and look the most natural. Silicone implants also tend to fold and wrinkle less than saline implants.

Since silicone implants aren’t filled inside the body, they require larger incisions than a saline implant. In the case of an implant failure or rupture, the silicone is contained by the periprosthetic capsule that forms around the implant.

It’s recommended to get MRIs of your breast every few years to test the integrity of your implant.

Saline Implants

Saline is a sterile salt-water solution used throughout the medical field. Many patients like saline implants because the saline will easily absorb and cause no harm if the implants ever leak.

Surgeons will fill the saline implants after they’re placed inside your body. This means you’ll probably need a smaller incision and that these implants are placed easier.

Saline implants can easily wrinkle or ripple. This means patients will need to have enough natural breast tissue so that the implants aren’t visible under the skin.

A cosmetic surgeon can tell you if saline implants are right for you.

Gummy Bear Implants

Gummy bear implants are the latest type of silicone implant.

The silicone gel in these implants is extra thick, providing a firmness that other implants can’t offer.

These implants are also less likely to rupture or deflate and maintain their shape well even if there is damage or a tear. The name derives from the popular candy that can remain firm even after cut.

Though, their firmness may come with a downside. Shaped gummy bear implants can make breasts look malformed and misshapen if they change positions.

Their firmness can be less desirable to some patients.

Smooth Breast Implants

Smooth breast implants can mimic the look of natural breast tissue because these implants can move freely.

Surgeons carve a space in the breast tissue, which allows them the freedom to move.

Frequently referred to as smooth, round implants, these implants are usually the softest due to a shell that isn’t as thick. These implants are common for many breast augmentations and a popular choice for many patients.

Textured Breast Implants

The opposite of a smooth implant is a textured implant. These have a thicker shell that has a roughness similar to sandpaper.

The thicker shell creates a firmer feel after the implants are filled.

Teardrop-shaped implants need a textured shell to better adhere to the breast tissue and prevent implant rotation. Rotation is not a concern for others like a smooth implant because it will look the same no matter the angle.

For some patients, textured implants may be necessary. If you have a convex breast bone, the texture will help the implant stay in the desired area. 

Other Breast Implant Details to Consider

Beyond choosing what material your breast implants are made of, you have to consider a few other details that will determine the look of your implants.

While many of these decisions are preferences, you should always consult your doctor to make sure you’re making the right decisions.

Size and Shape

Getting breast implants doesn’t always mean going up three cup sizes. So, if you want to have a breast augmentation with natural results, you’ll want to consider the size and shape early on.

Keep your body in mind and how your breast implants will look in proportion to your other features.

A patient who is petite will require a different size than someone who is taller. Even patients with similar body types can vary in what breast implant size and shape looks best.


The spacing of your implants can make a significant difference once your surgery is finished. Too much space can create an unnatural gap, while too little space can create the look of artificial cleavage.

Spacing depends a lot on your anatomies, like the width of your breast bone, the shape of your chest wall, and other factors that can’t be changed with breast augmentations.

Be sure to consult your surgeon about the spacing and placement to get the look you want.

Over or Under the Muscle

Traditionally, over-the-muscle procedures were much more common.

However, today’s surgeons generally agree that placing the implants under the muscle gives the most natural-looking breast shape.

Placed under the pectoral muscle, these breast implants enhance the breasts’ natural shape and feel. With an under-the-muscle placement, there tends to be less visible scarring and less risk of rippling, stretching, or breast drooping.

But not everybody will work with an under-the-muscle placement. It depends a lot on your breast size and how much breast tissue you have.

Your surgeon can give you a better idea of which placement is right for you.

Deciding What Types of Breast Implants Are Right for You

You’re probably already looking forward to your life post-operation. You might be imagining the new clothes you can wear or the new confidence you’ll feel once you’ve recovered.

But before going under the knife, you have a few big decisions to make. 

All of the different types of breast implants have their own pros and cons. There’s no one type that’s better than the other; the decision is wholly up to you.

Have more questions about breast augmentation? Contact Dr Aslam for a consultation on your cosmetic surgery.

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