Let me talk to you a bit about implant selection in breast augmentation. We have a number of different types of implant available, and a number of different brands. As you probably all know, the main two varieties are ones with saline fill and those with silicone gel fill. I’m a big fan of the silicone implants. I don’t really like using saline. I don’t think it gives as natural a result.
Silicone gel is a very safe, biologically inert product. The companies that make breast implants have been improving their procedures over a number of decades in order to achieve a product which is minimally invasive and minimally damaging to human tissue. I’m confident in the implants that we use now. I mainly use Mentor brand implants. I think it’s an excellent company, and they have a very good product.
Once we’ve made that decision, we also have to think about the size. We have to think about whether we’re going to use round or teardrop implants. We have to think about whether we’re going to use smooth or textured implants. That refers to the surface treatment of the implant. There is actually a third variety of implant that uses a polyurethane microfoam coating on the outside. These are commonly known as the Furry Brazilian implants because the first company to offer this product were actually a Brazilian manufacturer.
How do we go about selecting implants? It’s a very complex thing. I go very much by the measurements that I’ve taken at the time of the consultation and the examination. The measurements will give me a very good idea about the base diameter of the implant. Now, I’m going to show you what I mean by that. Let me just grab an implant.
Okay. Here’s our basic implant. This is actually a teardrop, as you can see, it has that teardrop shape. It’s not round, but it does have a round base. This width from here to here is the base diameter. This is really the single-most important thing to get right in breast augmentation is the base diameter of the implant.
If the implants are too wide, we’re either going to have them sticking too far out on the chest wall, or we’re going to have them too close together. If they get very close together, they can actually end up merging, and … Let me just get that right. You get a mono-boob, which is a … It’s a complication that we really don’t want our patients to have.
This is a big thing for me, is to get the base diameter of the implant right. After that, we can start talking about whether we go round or teardrop, and there are various indicators for what’s going to be more appropriate for each patient. Then, finally, we also have the issue of the projection or profile. Now, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about what this actually is. Profile is the degree of sticky outiness of the implant, so in other words, how far it projects from your chest wall.
You can get quite a low projection implant, which is going to give you more width and fullness, or you can get a high projection implant, which will give a more projected, probably a bustier look, I guess. Obviously, patients who’ve got a very narrow chest wall are probably going to need a higher profile implant in order to achieve the volume that they’re after. Ideally, though, we must get the base diameter right. After that, everything else falls into place.