Textured vs. Smooth Implants: Which Option is Best for You?
When undertaking breast augmentation surgery, there are several key choices to consider. Two of the main decisions you'll need to make include the implant filling (saline vs. silicone) and the implant outer shell.
Understanding the difference - Textured vs. smooth implants
There are two implant shell options currently on the market - smooth and textured.
Smooth implants are made of a soft silicone shell that is shiny and slippery. The smooth surface does not attach to the surrounding scar tissue, allowing the implant to move freely within the tissue membrane.
Textured implants are made of a thicker, rougher shell similar to soft, rubber sandpaper. The textured outer surface allows the implant to attach to the breast tissue and prevent movement, and the thicker silicone can hold a specific shape, making it the only option for patients seeking a teardrop implant.
Which type of breast implant feels the most natural?
If your implant is placed correctly underneath the chest muscle and covered by adequate breast tissue, then it should be almost impossible to feel the difference between textured vs. smooth implants. With this in mind, many women and surgeons will opt for smooth implants to seek the most natural feel.
Many believe smooth implants feel more natural due to their softer shell and ability to respond to gravity. When you stand, the implant will drop slightly to a more teardrop shape, and when laying they can flatten and shift to the sides, just as natural breast tissue would do.
Alternatively, textured implants have a thicker, firmer wall and are more likely to have palpable folds and ripples that can be obvious if you have a petite frame with limited breast tissue. If you opt for a teardrop-shaped implant, the thicker, textured shell will not change shape when laying down, which can look and feel more unnatural.
Implant safety - Are textured implants safe?
Textured implants have been linked to a rare form of cancer called Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, a tumor around the textured shell. While no cases have been linked to a smooth implant, the tumors are incredibly rare, with an estimated risk of only 1 in 30,000 patients.
Risk of capsular contracture smooth vs. textured implants
Once the implant has been inserted into the breast, a capsule made of soft, fibrous scar tissue will begin to form to help keep the implant in place. This scar tissue can be unusually dense and hard for some women, tightening around the implant to cause chronic pain and a distorted breast shape. This condition is known as capsular contracture, and recent data shows that textured implants have a slightly lower incidence rate than smooth implants.
Are smooth implants safe? The answer is yes, as are textured implants, providing you work with a highly trusted surgeon that has a detailed understanding of your medical history and surgical goals.