If you have been considering breast augmentation, it can be hard to make sense of all the choices and options you have. One of the first decisions women often make is what type of implant makes the most sense for their cosmetic goals and lifestyle. Typically, this choice comes down to either saline or silicone gel implants, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Breast implant technology continues to advance, and at my practice we have been chosen for a study of an entirely new implant type – adjustable gel implants. One of the common concerns I hear as a plastic surgeon is that once the surgery is complete, the final breast size cannot be adjusted without additional surgery. This implant type addresses that concern while continuing to offer the natural look and feel of the gel implants that are currently widely available. The adjustable gel implants also allow us to correct for differences in breast size that many women have and not sacrifice the great feel and look of gel implants.
The new adjustable gel implant, which is offered by only 30 select surgeons in the US chosen for a clinical trial study, essentially combines the two common implant types and capitalizes on the advantages of each – the look, softness, and feel of gel implants and the adjustability of saline implants. These implants have a soft outer layer of silicone gel that gives the breast a natural shape and consistency, and an inner chamber that can be adjusted with more or less saline solution through an external port. Once the patient is satisfied with her breast size, her surgeon removes the port and surgically seals the site.
Women who visit our practice for breast enlargement appreciate these new implants for a variety of reasons, including:
- Ability to change breast size for several months after surgery
- Greater ease in correcting asymmetry between breasts without giving up the advantages of gel implants
- Potential reduction in complications at incision sites with breast lift / enlargement combination, because breast size can be increased after breast lift is able to heal
- Ability to perform breast reconstruction after mastectomy with only one surgery, expanding the implant gradually as the external skin and surrounding tissue stretch
At The Wall Center for Plastic Surgery, we are pleased to have been chosen to participate in the clinical review of this exciting new option in breast implants. I expect to see increased satisfaction and safety of our breast augmentation patients through the use of adjustable gel implants over the coming months.