Breast Augmentation: A Guide to Implants

With bikini season at hand, getting into beach-ready shape is at the forefront of the minds of many women staring at summer on the calendar. Breast augmentation surgery, otherwise known as a “boob job,” remains the most frequently performed cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States, according to recent studies and statistics. Still, despite the procedure’s popularity, deciding on the most suitable breast implant may seem confusing or overwhelming, especially for first-timers, as there are many variables involved.

Of course, having a board-certified plastic surgeon by your side to guide you through the semantics is always a wise choice when it comes to breast augmentation. In the Philadelphia area, Dr. Scott Chapin routinely answers questions from women who want to know their options so they can make an informed decision that maximizes both safety and cosmetic results.


All breasts implants have a silicone shell on the outside. However, there are different materials that fill the various implants, and each has unique pros and cons. During the surgery itself, an incision is made in one of four areas: beneath the fold of the breast (inframammary), under the arm (transaxillary), around the nipple (periareolar), or at the navel (transumbilical). Implants are generally placed behind the breast or the chest muscle.

·      Silicone

Silicone implants have been through many technological advances since their first introduction in the early 1960s. Women typically choose silicone implants, as many patients believe that they feel the most like natural human fat. They also don’t have as high a risk of rippling as saline implants.

  • Saline

These implants consist of solid, silicone shells that are filled with a simple solution: a sterile mixture of salt and water that is used in medical applications and found in the human body in similar concentrations. Saline devices typically have a firmer feel.

·      Gummy Bear

Gummy bear implants are a newer innovation in the industry and are one of the strongest, most long-lasting options for breast augmentation. These devices are filled with a highly cohesive, form-stable silicone gel that will stay in its desired shape, even if shell were to be cut in half. This consistency and stability makes them more resistant to gravity and leaks than other implant options.


More than a tool for adding volume for a bigger cup size, breast implants are also used to craft a more desirable breast shape or make uneven breasts more symmetrical.

  • Round: These are ideal for preserving a natural look, even if they rotate, and usually look fuller than other options.
  • Anatomical: These are teardrop-shaped to follow the natural contours of the body and are ideal for filling out areas with little breast tissue.


  • Smooth: Many implants have a smooth covering all over and feel softer than their counterparts.
  • Textured: The rough, sandpapery feeling of these implants allows them to better “adhere” to surrounding tissue, retaining symmetry and stability while also lessening the risk of capsular contracture.

Results and Safety

Some patients are concerned about possible complications associated with breast implants. Studies have shown that there aren’t significant differences in the risks associated with the various implant types. Ruptures are rare and aren’t believed to cause health problems. Generally speaking, the risk of a leak or tear increases by 1 percent with each passing year after surgery.

Saline is a naturally occurring, sterile substance that will be absorbed and processed within a few days in the event of a leak. However, the loss of fluid from saline implants can cause them to lose their intended shape and size. Ruptures to silicone-based implants usually go unnoticed, though patients may develop discomfort. Silicone is prone to becoming trapped in the surrounding tissue, which is termed as a “silent rupture.” The consistency of gummy bear implants makes them more likely to remain in one piece in the event of a deflation. Due to challenges in detecting a ruptured silicone device, women who choose this type of implant are encouraged to get routine check-ups that can reveal problems that would otherwise go undetected.

Dr. Scott Chapin and the team of experienced practitioners at Chapin Aesthetics can answers questions and alleviate concerns related to breast augmentation surgery. Call (267) 880-0810 or send a message via the practice’s online contact form.


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Categories: Lifestyle