In my many years of practicing cosmetic surgery in Chicago, I’ve learned a great deal about the importance of breast implant texture. Texture refers to the surface of the implant’s outer shell and it can either be smooth or grainy. Although the role of texture in breast implants is complex (and there are many implications we still do not understand), here is what we know now:
- Textured implants are thought to reduce the likelihood of capsular contracture. Capsular contracture is a condition in which scar tissue builds around the implant, causing the breasts to feel hard and appear misshapen. The coarse surface of textured implants helps massage the area around the implant, which reduces the formation of scar tissue.
- Smooth implants have a softer feel. Most women find that smooth implants feel softer and more natural than textured silicone implants. Smooth, round silicone implants are the most frequently chosen implant style among women undergoing breast augmentation.
- Textured implants help keep the implant in its exact position. A smooth outer shell enables the implants to rotate freely in the implant pocket, while a textured shell keeps the implant in place. This is important for women who choose anatomically-shaped implants since rotation could cause a distorted appearance.
- Textured implants can produce more rippling and wrinkling than silicone. There are many factors that influence rippling, including whether implants are placed under or over the muscle. Patients who prefer to have their implants placed over the muscle will want to choose non-textured implants since the abrasive texture can make the soft tissue stick to the implant surface, resulting in wrinkling.