What Are the Different Types of Silicone Implants?

Im going to my pre-op appointment in a few days and my breast augmentation surgery/tubular breast correction is in a couple weeks. I have decided that i want silicone (but am still deliberating whether i want 350 or 375cc's). What are the different kinds of silicone implants? what brands make implants and which one is the best?

Doctor Answers 7

Types of Silicone Implants

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There are two manufacturers that sell FDA approved silicone gel implants in the U.S.  They are Mentor and Allergan.  Both of these companies make high quality implants.  The implants made by both manufacturers are filled with cohesive gel.  This means that if you were to cut the shell of one of the implants, the silicone gel fill material will not leak out but will for the most part stay within the shell of the implant.  

Just like saline implants, silicone gel implants come in a wide variety of sizes and profiles.  The profile refers to the ratio of the height or projection of the implant in relation to its diameter.  This allows your plastic surgeon to pick the right implant for you based on your breast dimensions, chest circumference, as well as your desired breast shape and size.  

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

What are the different types of silicone implants

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Whether you think there are different types of silicone implants depends on whether you are a "lumper" or a "splitter".  There is basically one type of silicone implant currently being used in the United States.  Allergan and Mentor manufacture and sell silicone implants of this type.  There are some minor differences in the implants produced by the two manufacturers.

There are also different profiles: higher profile (more like a baseball) and lower profile (more like a pancake).  Also, implants come in smooth surface and rough surface.

Also, there are shaped implants available in other countries, but not currently in the United States.

James Nachbar, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

Different Types of Silicone Implants

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There are two major manufacturers of breast implants in the USA. While these two manufacturers (Allergan and Mentor) supply the vast majority of implants used by US surgeons, there are other smaller manufacturers, as well.

Most surgeons regard the quality of implants from Allergan and Mentor as equivalent.

The newer implants are all a more cohesive gel than the implants of 10 years ago. This means the gel sticks to itself: cutting through an implant is like cutting a marshmallow, the contents don't "run."

The other difference among gel implants is the profile: for a given width,the implants will vary in height.

This gives surgeons greater control and options in shaping and sizing for different women's anatomy and preferences. During consultation, inquire your surgeon's recommendations for the best profile to fit your chest and best achieve the shape and size you desire, while minimizing risks of an undesirable cosmetic outcome.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

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Types of silicone implants.

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That is a great question.  There are a number of different types of silicone implants on the market.  Mentor and allergan are the 2 main brands, but they each have multiple options for implants.  First of all, the implants can be smooth or textured.  The also can be round or tear-dropped shaped.  The cohesiveness or how well the silicone holds its shape can also be different.   While there are multiple implants available, a board certified plastic surgeon can walk you through these choices to find the one that meets your desires.  I feel that the most important factor is picking a plastic surgeon that has good augmentation results because all of these implants can give excellent results when done by the right hands.

Hope that helps.  Good luck.

Samuel Maurice, MD
Des Moines Plastic Surgeon

Silicone Gel Breast Implants

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Thank you for your question.

At this time, there are 2 companies that make FDA approved silicone gel implants - the companies are Mentor and Allergan.  There are many sizes, profiles, etc. and so your plastic surgeon needs to know what your goals are to determine what implant will give achieve your goals.

Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.
I use  intraoperative sizers and place the patient in the upright position to evaluate breast size. Use of these sizers also allow me to select the breast implant profile (low, moderate, moderate plus, high-profile) that would most likely achieve the patient's goals. The patient's goal pictures are hanging on the wall, and allow for direct comparison.
I have found that this system is very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible. 

I hope this helps.

Types Of Silicone Breast Implants

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At this time there are essentially only two major manufacturers of silicone breast implants in this country.  Neither is necessarily better than the other.  Most surgeons tend to use one based on other things such as service from the salesperson.  The differences are only related to sizes and profiles.  If you feel strongly about one or the other, most surgeons will use your preference.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Silicone implants - many choices

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Currently, there are two FDA-approved brands of breast implants in the US.  They are: Mentor and Allergan/Natrelle.  There are several different styles, shapes and surfaces.  Each has its own specific advantages.  When you meet with a board certified plastic surgeon, he/she will review these options with you.

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.