Dr. Patti Flint

Which Implants Are Best? You Can’t Tell by Looking

Saline or silicone? What size fits my body best? Round or teardrop-shaped? If you are considering breast augmentation, you likely have many questions and may even have heard that one type of implant or another is the “best” option.

If you have been told that shaped gummy bear implants are your best bet for natural results, you’ll want to read on. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, even plastic surgeons typically cannot tell what shape breast implants are once they have been inserted.

The results: shaped implants don’t impact your final results

In the study mentioned above, 30 plastic surgeons and nurses were asked to identify if a patient had round or shaped breast implants, simply by looking at their before and after photographs. Each subject had an average of 300cc silicone breast implants placed under the muscle.

Of those surveyed, most had a difficult time differentiating the type of breast implant used in the postoperative photograph. Additionally, the surveyees disagreed with each other often and changed their minds frequently.

Does this mean that the surveyed surgeons are unobservant? That is unlikely. Rather, these findings suggest that the anatomical design of an implant does not necessarily impact final results in an obvious way.

The takeaway? What matters most when choosing implants is working with a highly qualified plastic surgeon to select a type, style, and size that will work well with your own body.

Some plastic surgery trends should not be followed

Over the past few years, anatomical, or “teardrop-shaped,” breast implants have gained a considerable amount of attention as a supposedly more natural-looking option. However, as I have mentioned in the past, the gummy bear implant fad is mostly hype. Not only do shaped implants fail to provide any real cosmetic benefit, but these implants have a textured shell, which in my experience results in a firmer, less natural feel compared to round silicone gel. In fact, around 80% of the surgeons polled at an aesthetic plastic surgery meeting I attended preferred to use round implants over shaped ones. This study is a perfect example of why.

Instead of coming into your breast augmentation consultation with an implant choice in mind, I encourage you to listen to your surgeon’s expertise in the matter. An experienced plastic surgeon will have seen hundreds (if not thousands) of patient outcomes and will be better able to guide you to the right implant than any online guide or forum. If you want to get more than one perspective on your options, book consults with another surgeon or two.

The most important choice you need to consider is who will perform your procedure

In sum, you do not have to, nor should you, decide which implant is best for you on your own. Instead, put your energy into choosing an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon who will help guide you with expert recommendations based on your individual anatomy and desired outcome.

If you are in the Scottsdale area, I invite you to schedule a private consultation by contacting my office. I would be happy to help you explore your options and find a breast implant that is the perfect fit for you.

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