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What Are Breast Implants?

Breast implants are medical devices which are used to increase the volume and enhance the shape of the breasts. They are used during various breast surgeries including cosmetic procedures such as Breast Augmentation and Augmented Mastopexy, as well as being used in procedures to reconstruct the breast following injury or surgery to treat breast cancer. Breast Augmentation is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the UK, around 7000 procedures were carried out in the UK in 2022.

There are two types of implants, made from silicone or saline. Saline-filled implants are silicone shells filled with sterile salt water (saline). Silicone gel-filled implants are silicone shells filled with a plastic gel (silicone).

Silicone implants are the most common type used in the UK (and the only type we use at Cadogan Clinic). They look and feel more natural than the saline option and are less likely to wrinkle or ripple. Saline implants are more likely to fold, rupture or go down over time, leading to an unnatural result.

Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime and will need to be replaced, usually within 10-15 years of being inserted. Implants can also be replaced to change the size or shape of the breasts if your preferences change. 


How Do Different Breast Implants Look?

There are several different kinds of breast implants depending on the result you are looking for. Your surgeon will recommend the most natural looking breast implants to address your concerns during your consultation. They will discuss various elements of the breast implants and explain why they are the most natural breast implant type for you. Many patients are looking for natural looking fake boobs and Cadogan Clinic’s surgeons are proud to create natural looking results. 

Breast Implant Shapes 

Breast implants come in two shapes: 

Round 

Both saline and silicone implants are available in a round shape. This is the most popular breast implant shape, and many people feel it gives the most attractive result. Round implants result in a well-balanced, proportionate breast with an equal amount of volume at the top and bottom. Round silicone breast implants are available in a huge range of sizes and saline breast implants can have their size adjusted by the amount of saline they are filled with by your surgeon. 

Teardrop 

Also known as anatomical implants, only silicone implants are available in a teardrop shape as the silicone filling allows them to hold their form. As the name suggests, they are shaped like a teardrop with more volume at the bottom of the implant than at the top. This can result in a more natural looking breast enlargement, however as a firmer silicone is needed to hold the shape of the implant, they may feel less natural than a softer round implant. 

The best shape of implant to create a natural looking breast augmentation will depend on your desired result and the shape of your natural breasts. Your surgeon will discuss this with you during your consultation. 

Breast Implant Sizes 

Breast implants are measured in cubic centimetres (cc’s) rather than in cup sizes. The size range is usually from around 100cc up to 800cc with implants of 300-500cc being the most popular choice. Typically, one cup size is around 175cc – if you are an A-cup and want to increase to a C-cup, you can expect that breast implants around 350cc will be the best fit. 

Breast implant sizes are relative to your natural breast size. 300cc breast implants will result in a much more natural looking boob job on someone who is naturally a D-cup, than someone who is an A-cup, for example. Your surgeon will remind you to not worry too much about the numbers as each size will produce a different result on different patients.  

Breast Implant Profiles 

The profile of a breast implant describes how much it will project forward. Implants in both round and teardrop shapes are available in a range of profiles.  

  • Low profile breast implants: These implants usually look flatter and result in minimal projection from the chest. They are most suited to patients who have a wide chest with naturally wide set breasts. 
  • Moderate profile breast implants: Implants with a moderate profile result in more projection than low profile breast implants, but less projection than high profile breast implants. For most patients, this will offer the most natural looking boob job. 
  • High or extra high profile breast implants: This is generally the highest projection available from a breast implant (different brands of breast implant may have their own classifications). This will result in a very full appearance, which in some cases can look very unnatural. However, high profile breast implants are often suited to patients who have a slim build with a narrow chest wall. 

Usually, breast implants that look natural have a lower profile, but this depends on the shape and proportions of your body. 

Breast Implant Texture 

Another factor your surgeon will discuss with you, is the texture of your breast implants. This can impact the feel of your breasts following surgery and may also affect the placement.

  • Smooth breast implants: These implants are very soft, with a smooth outer layer which allows them to move slightly within the breast pocket. Their soft feeling and movement mean they can look and feel very natural. However, smooth implants are more likely to ripple, which may show through the skin, and reposition, which can lead to them needing to be removed. 
  • Textured breast implants: Breast implants with a textured outer shell are the most popular option and come in two varieties – textured and nano-textured. These implants adhere more securely to the inside of the breast pocket than smooth implants, meaning they are less likely to reposition. However, they can feel slightly firmer which may feel less natural.
Your surgeon will consider your preferences and body proportions when helping you to decide which are the most natural looking breast implants for you. They will take into account the shape, size, texture and profile to select the most realistic breast implants to achieve your desired results.

Are There Natural Breast Implants?

No manufacturer has developed breast implants made from natural materials. It is much more challenging to create a consistent result using only natural products and this would negatively impact surgical results and patient satisfaction.

All breast implants used in the UK must pass strict safety criteria and are regularly tested to ensure they are maintaining their standards. Cadogan Clinic only uses approved and licensed breast implant manufacturers. Our surgeons use breast implants from Sebbin, Motiva and Mentor. 


What Are the Natural Alternatives to Breast Implants?

Some patients are seeking enhanced size and shape for their breasts but aren’t drawn to breast implants. This can be for several reasons, including the unavailability of natural boob implants. In these instances, our specialist surgeons may suggest Fat Transfer to Breast. This involves excess fat being removed from different areas of your body using Liposuction and reinjected into your breasts to increase their volume and revise their shape. 

Natural Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer, has a number of benefits including: 

  • A natural looking Breast Augmentation 
  • Areas of stubborn excess fat can be treated at the same time resulting in an enhanced appearance across the body 
  • No implants to remove or replace in the future 
  • Almost infinitely customisable as your surgeon will inject the fat into the most suitable areas to create your desired result 

It is important to remember that there is a limit on the size that it is possible to achieve through Fat Transfer to Breast, with most patients seeing an increase of around one and a half cup sizes in one procedure. It may be possible to increase this with further surgeries, however if you are looking for a significant size increase, real looking breast implants may be a more suitable choice. 

When considering Breast Enlargement, it is important to know the results you are hoping to achieve before you speak with a qualified, specialist surgeon. Your surgeon will be able to explain how to achieve the most natural looking breast augmentation and discuss the most realistic breast implants that are suitable for you as well as talking you through the surgical journey and your recovery


FAQs

Selecting an implant with a higher profile, with a steeper edge, can make breasts look false and less natural. The placement of the implant, behind the breast or behind the breast muscle, can also affect the natural appearance of the breast. 

A woman’s size and body shape and the volume of the chosen implant are very important factors in determining whether surgically enhanced breasts look fake or not. For example, a petite woman whose breasts jump in size from an A cup to an E or an F will look less natural than a woman who only gains one or two cup sizes as a result of breast augmentation surgery. 


Treatments mentioned in this article



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