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Exactly What is a Breast Implant?

Oct 16, 2007
Virtually all breast implants are made of a round or shaped silicone elastomer (rubber) shell, and are now commonly filled with a saline solution (salt water). Saline solution is used to fill the implant because it is similar to the fluids in your body, and will be absorbed by your body should the implant leak or break.

In 1992, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) greatly restricted the use of breast implants filled with silicone gel pending more information on their physiological effects. INAMED Medical saline-filled implants are FDA approved, and are available on a prescription basis from a licensed physician.

Are All Breast Implants Created Equal?
Generally, all saline-filled breast implants are made of a silicone elastomer shell with a filling valve, for filling with the saline solution. However, to better meet each individual womans needs, breast implants come in different shapes and sizes.

Breast Implant Shape, Texture and Style
Breast implants come in a variety of shapes, surface textures, and sizes. Depending on the desired shape you wish to achieve, you and your plastic surgeon may choose a round or contoured breast implant shape. Generally, the larger you want your cup size, the larger the breast implant the plastic surgeon will consider (measured in cubic centimeters, or cc's). All currently available INAMED breast implants have a self sealing (diaphragm) valve that is used for filling the device. Depending on the style, the filling valve may be located on the front (anterior) or the back (posterior) of the breast implant.

You should be aware that contoured breast implants that are placed submuscularly (under your chest muscle) may assume a round shape after implantation. Your plastic surgeon will also evaluate your existing tissue to determine if you have enough to cover the breast implant.

If you desire a breast implant size too large for your tissue, the plastic surgeon may warn you that breast implant edges may be apparent or visible post-operatively. You may even risk surgical complications. Also, excessively large breast implants may speed up the effects of gravity and result in earlier droop or sag.

Surface Texturing
Textured surface implants were designed to reduce the chance of capsular contracture (a hardening of the breast) Some information in the literature with small numbers of patients suggests that surface texturing reduces the chance of severe capsular contracture, but clinical information from studies of a large number of women with INAMED breast implants shows no difference in the likelihood of developing capsular contracture with textured breast implants compared to smooth surfaced breast implants.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery procedures. Learn more about breast augmentation and other plastic surgery procedures.
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