There are two main types of breast implants. They are either silicone or saline (filled with salt water). Dr Lim and Dr Somia use both types – cohesive silicone gel and saline breast implants. Most breast implants used here in Australia are silicone gel as the silicone filled implants are known to achieve a more natural result. The shell or membrane of these implants are made of silicone and have either a smooth or rough surface. The current belief is that rough surfaced implants minimise the scar tissue that forms around them. The scarring may cause hardening or “capsular contracture”.
While breast implants may be either silicone or saline to give the implant volume, they all have an outer shell made of silicone. This outer shell is classified as either smooth or textured (rough). Textured implants are further classified according to the surface roughness and the surface area. Over the last 5-10 years, some types of textured breast implants have been associated with the development of a very rare form of lymphoma called BIA-ALCL – Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. It is important to highlight that this is very rare – with about 600 patients reported worldwide in 2019 from an estimated 40 million women with breast implants.
While the research in understanding this relatively new condition is early, there are some factors that seem to be relevant. Firstly, the surface of a breast implant has an impact on the development of this rare cancer. It is associated with rough, highly texturised breast implants (macro-texturised) such as salt loss reduction and polyurethane surfaces. Smooth or very low texturized (nano-texturised) implants have not been formally linked and micro-texturised implants rarely associated. Dr Lim and Dr Somia now use either nano-textured (Motiva) or micro-textured (Mentor) breast implants with low surface roughness as these have been shown to be the safest implants available on the market worldwide. These implants have TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approval.
The latest information including advice for patients can be found here on the TGA website.
Breast implant shapes vary from round to anatomical (also known as tear-drop shape). Round breast implants are available in low and high profile, while the tear-drop shaped breast implants are available in various widths, heights, projections and sizes. Generally, round implants are more suited to patients that are happy with the breast shape and are looking only to increase in the size of their breasts. Round implants give more upper-pole fullness to the woman’s breast. On the other hand, tear-drop implants give much more natural shape to the breast. The more projected lower half of the breast may lift the nipple and may suit those patients with slightly droopy breasts, such as post-pregnancy, breastfeeding or with weight loss.
Different factors affect the selection of the breast implant shape and size. In general, women prefer to have their breast size in proportion with their body which can be proportionally large, medium or small. Dr Lim and Dr Somia are very experienced in the use of both implant shapes and will assist you in the decision making process. They will discuss this in great detail during your breast augmentation consultation. Choosing the size of your desired implants is a very important personal decision. Dr Lim and Dr Somia will help you select the optimal implant depending on your chest size and your breast base measurements.
Breast implant placement depends on the amount of breast tissue available to hide the implant to ensure it cannot be seen or felt. Generally, those with minimal breast tissue benefit from sub-muscular (sitting under the muscle) placement to provide more cover above the actual implant thereby preventing visible rippling of the implant. Sub-muscular placement also can reduce the risk of capsular contracture. In some cases, a dual plane position of the implant (partly above and partly behind the muscle) is recommended for slightly droopy breast. We will advise which is best at your consultation.