Your Guide to the Different Types of Breast Implants

  • There are multiple types of breast implants to choose from depending on your desired results and needs
  • Breast implants options differ in appearance, shape and feel
  • Saline, silicone gel and gummy bear implants

Breast augmentation surgery offers women the ability to create a new, customized silhouette through a variety of types of breast implants. Advanced Cosmetic Surgery offers a number of FDA-approved, high-quality implants that can be personalized to fit your exact needs. 

When deciding between breast implants, it’s vital to understand the pros and cons of each and how they differ–and that’s what we’re covering in today’s post.

Still have questions? Our experienced staff is dedicated to creating a supportive environment providing high-quality care in the greater Greenville, SC area. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. 

Breast Implants at Advanced Cosmetic Surgery

Your natural breast tissue can change due to aging, breastfeeding, or weight loss. At any stage of life, you can experience asymmetry or a smaller-than-desired breast size. At ACS, we understand the multitude of reasons for wanting breast implant surgery–and that you should feel well-informed in your choices throughout the process.

We perform endoscopic breast augmentation, meaning a small incision in the armpit is used to place the implant behind or in front of the chest muscle. Once the implant is centered, your surgeon carefully closes the incision. 

Whether you’re getting implants as part of a breast lift, mommy makeover or post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, our surgeons will utilize the most up-to-date, precise methods to minimize scarring and achieve high-quality results.

Types of Breast Implants

Saline implants

Saline breast implants are empty silicone shells that are placed in the body, then filled with sterile salt water to increase your bust size. They create a rounded look and are firm to the touch.

One benefit is that should an implant rupture occur, the saline solution is safely absorbed into the body. The incision for this procedure is typically quite small and easy to hide, and saline implants are typically the least expensive of the various types of breast implants. 

However, saline implants are prone to rippling, meaning the edges of the implant can become visible through the skin over time.

Saline implants are FDA-approved for women 18 years or older.

Structured saline implants

This updated version has a silicone outer shell structured to more closely resemble the natural shape of a breast. Because it still contains a saline solution, it’s safe in the case of rupture or leaking.

Silicone implants

Standard silicone breast implants are gel-filled implants that mimic the appearance and feel of natural breast tissue. They’re soft to the touch and can be round or anatomical (teardrop) in shape. Silicone implants can last up to 40 years and are ideal for women with little body fat, as they won’t become visible due to rippling.

In the case of leaking or rupture, silicone can cause swelling, soreness and structural changes to breast tissue as well as more serious side effects. 

To be considered for this type of implant, women must be 22 years or older.

Teardrop implants

Cohesive silicone gel breast implants, commonly known as teardrop or gummy bear implants, are a new type of silicone implant. These implants are firmer than standard silicone gel implants, which helps them hold their shape and lowers the chance of leaking or rupture. The most realistically shaped of the implants, they can even be customized to the desired shape of your breast. 

Like other silicone implants, they’re available for women aged 22 and older.

Round vs. anatomical

Both saline and silicone gel implants can be round or anatomically shaped. Round breast implants have a spherical look, whereas anatomical implants imitate the natural teardrop shape of typical breast tissue. Both add volume and symmetry to the bust; the shape you choose is simply a matter of personal preference.

Smooth vs. textured

Smooth implants have a glossy, slippery outer wall, whereas textured implants have a rougher, pebbled surface. The latter are designed to attach more easily to the patient’s surrounding tissue, preventing the implant from slipping out of place. These implants are best suited for placement beneath the chest muscle, as their surface may otherwise become visible. 

Textured breast implants are supposed to reduce the risk of capsular contracture, which occurs when tissue around an implant tightens and hardens–although there’s only limited evidence that this is true. They’ve also been linked to breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a cancer of the immune system. To date, this lymphoma has not been found in women with smooth breast implants.

Are Breast Implants Safe?

As with all types of plastic surgery, getting implants is not without its risks. Our board-certified plastic surgeons use only FDA-approved silicone gel and saline breast implants and the safest surgical methods for augmentation. We’ll combine your cosmetic goals and our expertise to help you make the safest choice and achieve beautiful results. 


Today, there are many types of breast implants to choose from when considering breast augmentation. While all implants will increase volume, add firmness and correct asymmetry, the type you choose will influence the look, feel and shape of your new breasts.

Saline implants are filled with a salt water solution that’s usually harmless if it leaks into the body. Standard saline implants are round and firm; structured ones are firm with a more natural shape.

Silicone implants come in a variety of shapes; the newer gummy bear implants are less likely to rupture and thus considered safer than previous iterations. 

However your breast implant is filled, you can choose between a smooth and textured version. 
If you are in the Greenville, Spartanburg or Anderson, SC area and have questions about the different types of breast implants, contact us at ACS to discuss your options.

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