Gel Vs. Anatomical Breast Implants: Which One Should You Choose?
Each of our prospective breast augmentation patients attends two consultations before surgery. The first consultation is always used to assess and determine patient expectations, the cosmetic results each patient seeks, their medical history, and candidacy for surgery. If the patient’s goals and expectations are in line with what can be realistically accomplished, we will move on to a discussion about the different techniques available for augmentation (for example, placing the implant in front of or behind the muscle), as well as implant options.
We first show patients the types of breast implants that are available and then the types of implants that we tend to favor. At The Lotus Clinic, we favor soft smooth gel implants over textured anatomic implants, because soft gel implants feel more like natural breast tissue. In addition, when you hold up one of these implants, the gel actually moves toward the bottom of the implant to create the teardrop profile that patients desire when they are leaning toward the anatomic implants. Gel implants allow patients to achieve this same teardrop profile without the stiffness and the wrinkling that may sometimes be associated with other types of implants.
A further benefit of round gel implants is that, due to their round shape, if the implant shifts inside the breast pocket, the overall shape of the breast should not change. Gel implants also allow patients to thoroughly massage the breasts to control capsular contraction (a hardening of the implant caused by the formation of scar tissue), which I think a lot of practices do not encourage. Scars have a tendency to contract when they are fresh, so by massaging the implants against the fresh scars, patients can stretch the capsule, allowing the implant to slide a bit and to retain a soft breast. There are some technical details a surgeon needs to know in order to have a gel implant produce a natural anatomic shape, but when performed correctly, gel implants give the patient the anatomical benefit as well as the benefit of a soft breast.
Check back with our blog soon for parts two and three of our breast augmentation series. The next part of our series will detail what patients can expect during their second consultation. The final installment of our three-part series will outline preoperative, day-of-surgery, and postoperative procedures.