Ideal implant vs. Silicone...is it worth waiting for silicone?

I am 20 years old, and have small breasts (34A). My goal is to have full, natural looking breasts after my augmentation. I want to have the surgery before I turn 22, but was wondering if waiting until I am 22 so I can get silicone is a better way to go, given the fact that my boobs are so small to begin with. I want a natural look and feel, so would I be compromising either of those by going with the ideal, or would I be able to achieve goal results with the ideal implant? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 11

Ideal implant vs. Silicone...is it worth waiting for silicone?

Thank you for the question.
In my opinion, there is no good reason why there is an FDA mandated age of 22 for patients to receive silicone breast implants. There are many patients under the age of 22 who would ( based on their body type and the advantages of silicone breast implants) benefit from the use of silicone gel breast implants. Therefore, I find that I DO use silicone gel breast implants for patients under the age of 22 frequently.  

Generally, much of the final look and feel achieved after breast augmentation surgery depends on several factors:
1. The initial shape, size (volume of breast tissue), symmetry of the patient's breasts. In general, the better the preoperative breast appearance the more likely the breast augmentation “look” will be optimal.
2. The experience/skill level of the surgeon is important in determining the final outcome. For example, the accurate and gentle dissection of the breast implant pockets are critical in producing long-term well-placed breast implants. I personally think that these 2 factors are more important than any others, including type (saline or silicone) or model (low/moderate/high profile) of implant.
3. The type of implant used may determine the final outcome, especially if the patient does not have significant covering breast or adipose tissue. For example, some surgeons feel that silicone implants have a more natural look and feel than saline implants because silicone gel has a texture that is similar to breast tissue. In other words, if a patient has very low body fat and/or very little breast tissue, the silicone gel implants may provide a more "natural" result.
4. The size and model of breast implant used may make a significant difference in the final outcome. Therefore, it is very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon. In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C or D cup” etc can be potentially confusing as they may mean different things to different people.
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup size may also be inaccurate.
Ultimately, whether you choose to proceed with breast augmentation surgery will be a very personal decision that should be made only after careful consideration of pros/cons/risks/complications associated with the procedure.
I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast augmentation concerns), helps. Best wishes.

Ideal implant vs. Silicone...is it worth waiting for silicone?

Thank you for your question.  Although you may use silicone implants off label under the age of 22, the new generation saline implants (Ideal Implants) are also an excellent option as they feel more natural than the old saline implants and they have lower 5 year rupture and capsular contracture rates compared to silicone implants.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

IDEAL implant vs. Silicone

Thanks for your question. Most BC-PS will feel comfortable using silicone implants in someone under 22yo as an off label use. I don't see any medical reason to have an age restriction. There used to be an issue with warranty of the implant when used off label, but I am fairly certain that has been resolved. The ideal implant is an excellent product that my patients have loved. It is far better than traditional saline implants in regards to feel, rippling and appearance. Your age, however, shouldn't be the primary factor for deciding between silicone and ideal implant. Hope that helps!

Breast Implants

You can have silicone breast implants now under the age of 22. That is a medical decision between you and your surgeon.

Silicone Breast Implants Under the Age of 22

Hello and thank you for your question.

Silicone implants are FDA approved for women 22 and older simply because when the study was designed for FDA approval it did not include patients younger than 22. As such, silicone gel implant manufacturers can only state that they are FDA approved for women 22 and older. That being said, plastic surgeons use many things "off label". There is no greater safety risk in using a silicone device as compared to a saline filled device in someone like yourself. You should just be sure to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who can discuss all risks and benefits of breast implant surgery with you and who instills confidence that they can deliver you a great result. Best of luck!

Ideal Implant Could Be Much Better Choice Than Silicone Gel

Each patient's situation is different and individual exam and discussion is needed by an experienced plastic surgeon in your area.  Consult the website for Ideal Implant to find a surgeon in your area.

My practice experience indicates that saline implant breasts have an excellent "feel" and look, and many advantages over silicone gel.  The Ideal Implant is a great option for women who want to avoid the problems of silicone gel, but have the texture or consistency of the gel implant.  Remember that your implants are temporary devices and will likely need replacement a few times during your life.  Replacement of leaking saline implants is differnet than thorough removal of leaking gel.

There is likely no reason for you to wait until the age of 22 to have natural look and feel with attractive breast enlargement. 

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Breast implant choices

Thanks for your inquiry and an excellent question.  A picture would be helpful and exam even more because if you have very little breast coverage there can be a significant difference between a silicone implant and a standard saline implant.  I cannot speak for an IDEAL implant, and you should speak to someone with a large experience with the device to comment. Good Luck.

Best implant

Great question. There are many different types of implants. All have their own advantages and disadvantages. Silicone implants have a natural feel, but per FDA rules, you should be 22 years of age or older to receive them. If a saline implant leaks, your body simply absorbs the fluid (unlike silicone). Either way, you would need a surgery to remove the implant. A "newer" shaped, cohesive gel implants give the most natural shape but also require a larger scar and come with other advantages and disadvantages. At the end, its really a matter of preference and what is most important for you.

I suggest an inpatient consultation so that your specific look, goals, and physical exam can be taken into consideration before your decision is made. Your plastic surgeon can guide you through a thorough review of implants and how they could match your goals.

Kiran Polavarapu, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Ideal implant can silicone

You do not necessarily need to wait until 22 for silicone implants. Based on your exam and history, you may be a candidate for "off-label" use of silicone implants prior to age 22.  This is something to be discussed with your board-certified plastic surgeon. 

Good luck!!

Jon Kurkjian, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Ideal Implant vs. Silicone

Each have their benefits. #SalineImplants is made with a #silicone outer shell that is filled with saline water during the surgery. It is filled with sterile saline (salt-water). Since saline is like normal body fluid, it is safe and easily absorbed if the implants were to leakThe #implant shell is ordered in a specified size which can be filled to a minimum or maximum fill amount. This allows the plastic surgeon some flexibility with sizing during surgery.

Often times a woman has breasts which vary slightly in size. If one breast is slightly smaller than the other, each implant can be filled to a different amount to create better symmetry. Saline tends to be a little less natural feeling than silicone, but it can also create a more dramatic upper breast appearance, which some women prefer. A new saline breast implants option called Ideal Implant™ was recently FDA approved and is now being offered at the Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery Newport Beach. The #IdealImplant was created for women who are not comfortable having silicone implants in their body, but desire a more natural feeling implant than traditional saline implants on the market. The unique structure of the Ideal Implant allows for a similar look and feel as silicone with the safety of saline.

#SiliconeImplants are made with a silicone outer shell and are filled with a gummy-bear consistency silicone on the inside. More women tend to choose silicone breast implants due to the natural feel and appearance. Silicone implants are now made of a cohesive gel which are anti-leak even when cut. Look and feel like natural breasts due to the cohesive silicone gel material. New generation silicone gel implants are far superior than those used in the past and have a proven track record of safety. Silicone implants have gone through more testing than any other medical device and are the preferred choice for over the muscle implant placement.

However, the FDA recommends women have periodic MRI testing to ensure their silicone implants are free from any defects. With both implant types there are choices when it comes to size, shape, and profile. This will be discussed in full detail at your breast augmentation consultation.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.