It’s always interesting to look at the latest plastic surgery statistics when they’re released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons® to see whether the trends I’m noticing are reflected nationwide. That certainly seems to be the case with breast augmentation patients in New Jersey, who, like women across the country, overwhelmingly prefer silicone breast implants over saline.
The most recent statistics, released earlier this year, show that nearly 8 out of every 10 breast augmentation patients chose to get silicone implants in 2014. That percentage is increasing every year, and there seems to be no reason to expect that trend to reverse. As a breast augmentation specialist and past president of the ASPS, I’m not surprised by the increasing popularity of silicone implants.
Although saline breast implants remain an appropriate choice for certain patients, the development of silicone gel implants, including the “gummy bear” style that retains its shape even if it ruptures, represents a new era in breast augmentation.
There are essentially 3 reasons behind the surge in silicone’s popularity:
- A more natural look and feel: One of the primary goals for the majority of breast augmentation patients I see is to have breasts that are larger but still look and feel like natural breasts. Most patients who handle both the silicone gel and saline-filled implants agree that silicone feels softer and more realistic. Silicone implants are extremely durable, but they still retain a feeling similar to breast tissue.
- Appropriate for placement both under and over the chest muscle: Among the choices a patient makes before undergoing breast augmentation surgery is whether she wants the implants inserted in front of or behind the pectoral muscle. Because saline implants are prone to having visible rippling and don’t feel as natural as silicone implants, I usually recommend placing them behind the muscle. Silicone gel implants, however, can be placed just behind the breast tissue (called a subglandular placement) and achieve beautiful results. Physically active women concerned about implants interfering with chest exercises benefit from the above-the-muscle placement.
- An impressive variety of shapes and sizes: The choices women now have when it comes to breast implants is remarkable. That’s primarily because of the ongoing development of new generations of silicone gel implants that come in numerous shapes and sizes. Breast augmentation is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. With the range of choices available, I can customize each patient’s procedure to make sure she gets a beautiful, well-proportioned result that’s in harmony with the rest of her body.
Whether you decide to get silicone gel or saline breast implants, the most important choice every patient makes is selecting a plastic surgeon. Getting great results depends on having a surgeon who is board-certified, well-trained, and experienced in the procedure you’re considering.