What Breast Implants feel the most natural?

Silicone or saline? Of each type (saline, silicone, gummy bear....), is there a implant or brand that feels more natural than others on the market? Are there any new and improved implants coming out in 2015 or in the near future?

Doctor Answers 9

Types of Breast Implants

Thanks for writing,
There is no question that silicone feels softer and more natural than the other implants. The newer "highly cohesive" implants have a firmer / harder feel. Saline / salt water implants fell weightier and can ripple.

Stephen M. Davis, MD, FACS
Green Hills Plastic Surgery

What Breast Implants feel the most natural?

Thank you for the question.  Generally speaking,  the type of implant used may  determine the final outcome for some patients undergoing breast augmentation, especially if the patient does not have significant covering breast or adipose tissue. Most 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 enough breast tissue to cover the implant, the final result will be similar when comparing saline implants versus silicone gel implants.  If a patient has very low body fat and/or very little breast tissue, the silicone gel implants may provide a more "natural" result.

Generally speaking, if I can see/feel a patient's rib cage clearly, I am very concerned about the potential for breast implant rippling/palpability, and will likely recommend the use of silicone gel breast implants.  Also, generally speaking, the best online advice I can give to ladies who are considering  breast augmentation surgery ( regarding breast implant type/size/profile selection) is:

1. Concentrate on choosing your plastic surgeon carefully.  Concentrate on appropriate training, certification, and the ability of the plastic surgeon to achieve the results you are looking for. Ask to see lots of examples of his/her work.  2.  Again, have a full discussion and communication regarding your desired goals with your plastic surgeon. This communication will be critical in determining which operation and/or breast implant size/type/profile will most likely help achieve your goals.

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 means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.

 Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.   Therefore, I ask that my patients not base their communication preoperatively OR  their satisfaction with the outcome of surgery postoperatively, on achieving a specific cup size. The use of computer imaging may be very helpful during this communication phase.

3.  Once you feel you have communicated your goals clearly,  allow your plastic surgeon to use his/her years of experience/judgment to choose the breast implant size/profile that will best meet your goals.  Again, in my practice, this decision is usually made during surgery.  The use of temporary intraoperative sizers, viewing the patient's breasts in the upright and supine position, are very helpful during the breast implant selection process.

I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast augmentation surgery concerns), helps.  Best wishes.

Most Natural Feeling Breast Implants

The two main types of implants are silicone and saline.  Silicone implants by far feel more natural.  "Gummy Bear" implants are a type of silicone implant that is more cohesive ( Firmer to the touch).  The newest implant on the market is the "ideal Implant"  which is a saline implant with multiple internal chambers which is claimed to make it feel more natural.  It is currently in clinical trials.  When you go for a consultation you should feel a saline, silicone and "gummy bear implant" at your visit.  Also the more breast tissue you have to cover the implant the more natural any implant will feel.  

Raymond Jean, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Silicone gel implants usually feel more natural than saline.

Gel implants have a better tactile outcome.  Some of the new implants with higher gel viscosity may be of benefit in some patients but that's not been decided yet.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Silicone Breast Implants, Saline Breast Implants or the Gummy Bear Implants?

This is a common question. Not many surgeons use saline implants anymore because of the problems of rippling and rupture. In addition, at least one manufacturer is no longer providing additional warrantee money for surgery for their saline implants like they used to just a few months ago.

The newest generation of implants is the gummy bear implant. It is made of a highly cohesive gel that is stronger and safer. In addition, in most cases the textured form of these implants significantly reduces the problem of capsule contracture. There are three manufacturers of these types of implants in the US.  Sientra makes the strongest implant and has the best or lowest capsule contracture rate according to the latest studies. Their implants also feel the most natural when they have been in place for a few months.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Types of Breast Implants

Thank you for your question.

As far as feel is concerned, smooth round silicone gel implants feel the most natural.

The gummy bear anatomical textured breast implants are more firm.

Saline implants are heavier and also have more implant rippling and implant palpability, meaning that you can feel and notice the edges of the implant more.

To be sure what is right for you, see two or more experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeons for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 151 reviews

Silicone vs. Saline

Silicone implants will feel more natural in most circumstances.  The difference is that silicone implants are filled with silicone gel, which feels more like a breast than a water filled implant.  All implants ripple to some degree.  This rippling can be seen in thinner individuals.  Silicone ripples less as the gel inside the implant is thicker.  Gummy bear or cohesive gel implants ripple less as they have a thicker consistency than a regular silicone implant, but this makes them less soft, in my opinion.  The implants we have to offer will likely be the same in 2015.  The brand of implant does not really matter, in my opinion. 

In women with more breast tissue and thicker skin, the difference between silicone and saline becomes less as the implant cannot be felt.  Said another way, the more insulating fat or breast tissue there is between the skin and implant, the less chance any artificial aspects of the implant can be felt or seen.

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

The softest most natural appearing breast implants to date are those from Sientra.

The Sientra are highly cohesive gel implants, which are gummy bears.  These are silicone implants.  They are softer and stronger than the Allergan and Mentor counterparts.  In fact, Allergan has a softer version of their own implant and its available around the world, but not in the United States.  Sientra implants give a one breast feel, which means that the implant and breast feel as one.  Many of my own patients say they cannot feel their implant, it feels so natural.  After 850 of these gummy bears, with all companies, I can say in my opinion, Sientra implants are the best, most naturally feeling implants out there in the U.S. market today.

Peter J. Capizzi, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Implants

The consensus is that the silicone implants are the most natural feeling implants. The shape of the implant has no bearing on the feel. Some patients prefer the firmness of the saline implants

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 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.