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Breast Implants Texture

Breast implants can be smooth or textured. Smooth breast implants have the feel of a balloon while their textured counterparts feel more like fine sand paper. There are benefits and drawbacks to both surface types that a prospective patient may wish to discuss in detail with her breast augmentation surgeon.

Smooth Breast Implants

Smooth breast implants move freely in their pocket and usually have thinner shells than textured implants. Their benefits include:

  • longer implant life
  • lower patient cost
  • less risk of rippling

Textured Implants

Textured implants were originally designed to reduce the risk of capsular contracture.  Capsular contracture occurs when the scar around the breast implant grows and squeezes on the implant, causing the breast to harden. The claim that textured implants do, in fact, reduce the risk of capsular contracture has not been conclusively proven in medical studies. Textured implants have been found to have a higher rate of leaking and rippling of the breast after surgery.

Availability of Texture Based on Shape

Anatomical or contoured implants are only available with a textured surface, because their textured surface prevents the implant from flipping or turning in the pocket. This is important because movement can cause distortion of the breast's shape. Because round implants do not change their shape with movement, they are available with the smooth surface.

Standard vs. High Profile

Along with the shape and texture of an implant, there are different profiles that can be achieved. Standard breast implants are designed so that as the volume of the implant increases, the diameter and the projection also increase. High profile implants increase the projection of the breast by reducing the diameter. Choosing one or the other varies among women based on the overall appearance desired.

Standard Implants

Standard implants have been designed so that most women who seek a larger volume implant will be able to physically accommodate the diameter and projection of the implant. The idea follows the assumption that women with smaller frames will benefit most from a smaller implant, whereas women with bigger frames will need a larger volume implant and will be able to accommodate the related increase in diameter.

High Profile Implants

In 1991 the high profile implant was made available, giving cosmetic surgery patients options in choosing the projection of their implants. The profile, or projection, of the implant is measured by how far the implant sticks out from the body. The high profile implants were made by maintaining the same volume as the standard implant, but reducing its diameter or base size.  This makes the high profile implants stick out further than the standard implants of the same volume.

Some studies have shown that the high profile implant may have a lower risk of rippling compared to its standard counterpart. For aesthetic purposes, high profile implants may be beneficial for women who wish to have a larger volume implant with a smaller diameter than the standard implants. High profile implants may provide patients seeking large breast enhancement a more natural looking implant option.

Acheiving a Natural Look

Some experts believe that the high profile implants provide a more naturally looking result when viewed from the side. Other individuals feel that the high profile implants are not as natural looking as the standard implants. Unlike other standard implants, high profile saline implants can only be filled at the initial time of surgery. To some patients who seek expandable implants, this may be a drawback to high profile implants.

Round vs. Anatomical

Breast implants come in two general shapes: round and anatomical. For prospective patients, there are benefits and drawbacks of each shape of implant that you may wish to discuss in detail with your plastic surgeon prior to determining what type of implant in right you.

Round Implants

Round breast implants are shaped as their name suggests. Round implants are able to shift and move while in position without distorting the shape of the breast. Round implants are generally less expensive than the anatomical implants. Available in both smooth and textured styles, round implants are a good option for many reasons.

Some people claim that round implants produce a less-natural looking result than anatomical implants. This is because anatomical implants were designed to more closely resemble the shape of a natural breast. Critics of this claim state that round implants take the natural shape of the breast when held vertically into position in the body. Some x-ray studies have been conducted to prove this point.

Anatomical Implants

Anatomical implants, also known as contour implants, were originally developed for reconstructive breast surgery patients. Anatomical implants have also become very popular for cosmetic breast augmentation surgery. The tear-shaped, or bottom heavy, design of the anatomical implant was designed to create a more natural look.

Anatomical implants must be placed precisely into their pocket by an experienced surgeon to prevent the risk of malpositioning or other complications. Due to the shape of anatomical implants, it is very important they are positioned appropriately in the body. The shifting or flipping of anatomical implants is much more likely to distort the shape of the breast. To mitigate this risk, manufacturers of anatomical implants have made them with textured surfaces only. Textured implants will adhere to the capsule where they are placed to reduce the risk of movement.


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