Breast Enlargement with Breast Implants

Treatment information

Implant types

There are several types of breast implants available. These differ in size, material, shape, and surface.

Implants for breast surgery are required to be CE-approved, before they can be used within Europe.

The size of the implants is not measured in cup-size as bras are, but in ml (milli-litres). As a rule, it is up to the patient to decide how big she would like her breasts to become. However, her height, weight, and the shape of her chest will set natural limitations for the implant size, for the result to become aesthetically pleasing. The surgeon will counsel the patient in finding the right size, during the consultation.

Silicone or salt water

Today, breast implants are made from salt water or silicone.

In Britain, silicone implants are more common than salt water implants. A silicone implant has a silicone shell, which contains a more or less solid silicone gel.

The newer silicone implants contain a silicone gel which is so firm that it cannot escape the implant, even if the shell was to crack. In return, the implants feel a bit firmer, and they need a larger incision when inserted.

Salt water implants are not as popular as silicone implants, because they feel less natural to touch. Salt water implants feel firmer and harder than silicone implants, and they have a tendency to fold/wrinkle. On the other hand, they feel more naturally warm than silicone implants.

Another benefit of salt water implants is that, unlike silicone implants, these do not shade as much when having a mammogram done (screening for breast cancer). They are also easier to replace than silicone implants.

Aside from the pure salt water or silicone breast implants, there is also an implant type, which contains both salt water and silicone. The implant consists of a silicone bag in a saltwater bag. Surrounding these is a 3-layered membrane, another layer of salt water, and outermost another protecting 3-layered membrane.

Round or anatomic (drop-shaped) implants

Round implants
Round implants
Drop shaped implants
Anatomic implants

Round implants are completely round, as a reversed bowl or deep plate - hence the name. The anatomic implants are drop-shaped, meaning they are flatter at the top, and wider at the bottom, resembling the natural shape of a breast.

There is the choice between a high, medium, or low profile, which refers to the profile of the implants when viewed from the side. The higher the profile, the rounder and more perkier the breasts will become.

The anatomic implants are usually recommended for patients who do not have much breast tissue as it is - usually very slim women. With round implants on a very slim patient, there will be a tendency for the top of the implant to be visible, so that everyone will be able to see, that the breasts are not real. With patients, who already have a lot of breast tissue, round implants can be able to provide perkier breasts.

Textured or smooth implants

Breast implants are available with 2 different kinds of surfaces; smooth and textured.

The textured implants are supposed to make it easier for the surrounding tissue (breast tissue) to grow attached to the implant, than if the implant had been smooth.

Which type of implant is best for me?

As a patient, you are not expected to decide by yourself, which type of implants that are best suited for you.

Use this article to get an overview of the different possibilities, what the different expressions mean, and what the general benefits and downsides of the different options are.

During the initial consultation with a surgeon, you will be examined, and according to the doctor's findings you will be counseled in finding the best suited option for a person with your body type and specific wishes.

Source & illustrations: Sundhedsstyrelsen.