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Breast Implants

Breast implants have three different types or qualities: the shape, the surface material texture and the filler. All breast implants have a silicone outer coating and breast implants of each type (shape, texture or filler) come in various different sizes.

Implant Shapes
Breast implants may be round or teardrop (anatomical) shaped. Both types of implants have their advantages and disadvantages and the shape of implants can be discussed at the time of the consultation.

Implant Textures
Implants can be smooth or textured. Textured implants have a rough surface and smooth implants have a smooth texture. Textured implants have a lower risk of developing capsular contracture, which is explained in the risks section.

Implant Fillers
Breast implants are commonly called silicone implants or saline implants and this refers to the fluid used to fill the implant. All breast implants have a silicone shell, but the filler material can differ. The most common filler materials we use nowadays are silicone or saline. Saline implants are filled with salt water at the time of the operation and a valve within the implant reduces the risk of saline leaking out of the implant causing deflation. Silicone implants have been extensively tested for safety and the independent government report on this can be found here. Different types of silicone are also available - some implants have thicker silicone within them, and the silicone will not leak out of the implant even if the implant ruptures. Other implants use softer silicone gel. These implants are more affordable and feel softer but can potentially leak silicone into your breast. You can see a few of the different implant types at your consultation.


Choosing the right breast implant size is a matter of balancing what you already have with what you want and what we can use. We will measure you during your consultation and these measurements will determine the size of the breast implant we should use, the pocket placement (ie below the muscle or over the muscle) the shape of the implant and the incision placement. The amount of nipple droop (or breast ptosis) will also tell us whether you need to think about any other procedures to reshape the breast at the time of implant placement or at some other time in the future.

Breast implants surgery is obviously designed to make your bra size bigger. One of the common questions at a consultation will be to find out what size you are just now and what size you would like to be. Although your surgeon will be able to give you a size which is roughly in keeping with what you want, there are usually never any guarantees of exact size. In fact, different bra manufacturers will have different sizes to fit the same person.

All this means that you will usually be able to have a breast size roughly within the region of what you are hoping to achieve.

Your surgeon may perform various measurements as part of the consultation. These may help you and your surgeon decide what implant sizes are best for you.

These measurements may include:

  • The distance between your nipple and the bone at the bottom of your neck
  • The width of the nipple-areolar-complex
  • The width of the breast itself
  • The distance between the two nipples
  • The distance between the nipple and the bottom of the breast
  • The amount of pull present within the skin of the breast
  • The thickness of the tissue at the top and sides of the breast
  • The height of the inframammary fold
  • The point along the chest wall where the breast begins to take off

All these measurements will tell you and your surgeon what size of implant to use, what pocket to use, what incision to use, whether the same implants need to be used in each side and whether there is already some degree of asymmetry between the two sides.

Breast implants don't come in cup sizes, but they do come in volume or weight sizes. The bigger the implant, the greater the cup size increase you can expect to see after your operation. The bigger your bra band width that you currently use, the bigger the implant size you will need to increase your cup size by one letter.

Different surgeons will use different ways of deciding together with you what's best for your requirements. One way of deciding is to talk about implant dimensions. In other words, if we know how wide your breast already is, and if we know the measurements of the implants, then we can match this to how much of a size increase you want. If you do not have enough pull of skin within your own breast, you may not be able to have as large an implant inserted as you may want. In these cases, you might need two operations to go bigger in stages. The vast majority of women, though, will be able to have a single operation for breast implans that achieves their aims.


Most women want a very natural look and one that is in harmony and balance with the rest of their body shape and size, often wanting to look as if they haven't had an operation, and also looking as if they don't need an operation.

Some women, however, want a very enhanced look with large breast implants. In these cases, there are limits to what we can achieve with the standard ranges of breast implants that we use in aesthetic surgery. There are some other options available that can be discussed at a consultation but, generally, silicone breast implants of different sizes are used for breast augmentation surgery. Breast implants surgery is also known as breast augmentation, breast enhancement, breast enlargement, or having a boob job. Currently the most common means of breast augmentation is by inserting breast implants into the chest to make the breasts appear larger. In the future, plastic surgeons may be able to grow fat cells and implant them into the chest wall, but currently this is not performed for thin women who are looking for cosmetic enhancement. Usually both sides are but sometimes only one side needs to be treated if someone has two breasts that are very different in size. For a consultation on breast implants surgery contact us today.