Once you have decided that breast enlargement surgery is right for you, there are a few decisions you must make regarding breast implants. At his practice in Birmingham, AL, Dr. Michael Beckenstein will take the time to carefully review each of these options with you during your consultation appointment.
To find out more about your choices for breast implant options, breast enlargement surgery, or any other cosmetic procedures, request a consultation online or call the office at (205) 933-9308 today. Women visit Dr. Beckenstein in Birmingham for breast implants from Montgomery to Hunstville, AL and beyond.
Choosing Breast Implant Size
The first decision most women make when planning their breast augmentation procedure is choosing the size of their implants. Determining the “right” breast implant size for you is a highly personal matter that depends on many factors, starting with your reasons for wanting to have breast augmentation. Questions to ask yourself include:
- Do you feel that your breasts have always been too small?
- Do you want to return your breasts to the size they were before you had children or lost a lot of weight?
- Do you want to even out breast size because one is smaller than the other?
- Do you want to look natural, or would you like a more noticeable enhancement?
It is helpful to try on implant sizers to get an idea of how you might look with different breast sizes. You can also show Dr. Beckenstein photos, brought from home or selected from his patient photo gallery, of women whose breasts look like your desired size.
Dr. Beckenstein uses the Crisalix 4D digital imaging system to help you choose the right implant size. This amazing system gives you a 4D image of your actual chest after augmentation so you can compare sizes. Augmented reality images are also used for you to see a simulation of yourself with implants in!
Once you’ve decided on the look you want to attain, Dr. Beckenstein will take care of the science that goes into choosing the size of your implants. Many patients think in terms of increasing bra cup size, such as going from an A to a C. Breast implants, however, are sized by volume (cc). Implants of a certain size, for example 350 cc, will not look the same on every patient. This is because the patient’s build, breast dimensions, and amount of natural breast tissue — in addition to the implant size — contribute to their new breast size. Dr. Beckenstein considers all these factors when determining the implant size for you.
Breast implants are available in two shapes: round and anatomical (often called “shaped”). Round implants increase fullness in the upper breast, and when chosen properly, can create results that look very natural. Shaped implants more closely reflect a natural breast contour, with a gradual slope and increased fullness in the lower breast. Dr. Beckenstein provides beautiful results with both round and anatomical implants, and will help you select the shape that best fits your body and desired look.
Choosing Saline or Silicone
Today, breast implants are made with a strong, flexible silicone shell that is either smooth or textured. Implants may be filled with either saline or silicone; each has its own distinct attributes (see table).
Breast Implant Comparison
|Sizing||Pre‐filled and available in hundreds of sizes.||Volume can be adjusted after placement.|
|Feel||Soft, doughy, similar to natural breasts.||Firmer than natural breasts. May slosh.|
|Appearance||Retain shape with movement.||May show wrinkles or ripples.|
|Cost||More expensive than saline implants.||Less expensive than silicone implants.|
|Fill Material & Examples||Highly cohesive silicone gel: Allergan Natrelle® 410.
Cohesive silicone gel: Natrelle INSPIRA®.
|Sterile salt water: Natrelle Style 60.|
Silicone implants are the choice of most of Dr. Beckenstein’s breast augmentation patients and are available to those who are at least 22 years old. Dr. Beckenstein uses the most current, FDA‐approved silicone gel options, including:
- Natrelle 410 breast implants are anatomically shaped, highly cohesive silicone gel implants. Sometimes called “gummy bear” implants, they contain a cohesive silicone gel that maintains its shape when you are in any position. This durable material helps reduce the likelihood of gel bleed or leakage from the implant. The anatomical shape has more fullness at the bottom, like a natural breast.
- Natrelle INSPIRA breast implants are round, cohesive silicone gel implants that give the breasts a full, round look and feel softer than the gummy bear implants.
Dr. Beckenstein offers Natrelle saline implants, both round and shaped, upon request by patients who are at least 18. These implants are rolled up while empty, inserted into the breast pocket, then filled through a tube with sterile saltwater. While these implants come in various sizes, the final amount of saline can be adjusted after the implant is placed. Once the size is right, the fill tube is removed and a valve in the implant seal is closed.
There are several available breast implant profiles that affect how far the breast projects from the chest wall. Available profiles range from “low profile” for women who desire more fullness and less projection to “high profile” for slender women who desire mostly projection. Dr. Beckenstein will discuss the profile options with you at your comprehensive consultation to help him give you the most satisfying results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are silicone implants safe?
After 14 years of study, the FDA approved silicone gel implants in November 2006 for cosmetic use in women who are at least 22 years old, and to rebuild breast tissue (during breast reconstruction) in women of any age. More recently, in February 2013, the FDA approved Natrelle® 410 highly cohesive anatomically shaped silicone breast implants. This advanced generation of silicone breast implants gives women an alternative to saline implants that looks and feels very natural.
Will I need to have my implants replaced in the future?
Breast implants are not designed to be “lifetime” medical devices, but they can last many, many years with proper care. While it is immediately noticeable when a saline implant leaks, the salt water solution is harmlessly absorbed by the body. The implant can be replaced through a simple surgical procedure. The gummy bear silicone gel implants available from Dr. Beckenstein are made from a strong, durable silicone gel that will not leak or cause the breasts to change shape if the implant is ruptured. Because it is not apparent when a silicone implant has failed, an MRI or an ultrasound can be used to detect this.
Can I “upgrade” my breast implants if I want a different size or fill material?
Yes. This procedure, called “elective implant exchange,” is becoming more common at our practice as advancements in breast implants are made. Many women choose to have their saline implants replaced with the latest highly cohesive silicone implants because they feel that these implants look and feel more like natural breasts. Others choose to increase or decrease the size of their implants as their preferences change. Recovery is typically quicker than for a first-time breast augmentation, however, this depends on the specifics of the surgery.Back to Top