The Types of Breast Implants Women Can Choose From

Breast augmentation is a common plastic surgical procedure that alters the size or shape of the breasts.


While many patients seek breast augmentation for aesthetic benefits and the boost it can provide to confidence and self-image, the procedure may also be used for reconstructive purposes in patients who have undergone a mastectomy or congenital asymmetry. The most common form of breast augmentation involves the placement of breast implants underneath the breast tissue.


There are several types of commonly used breast implants, and the choice of implant will largely depend on the patient’s desired outcome and specific anatomy. Here is a quick guide to the different types of implants and their usage.

There are several types of commonly used breast implants, and the choice of implant will largely depend on the patient’s desired outcome and specific anatomy. Here is a quick guide to the different types of implants and their usage.


Saline breast implants

Breast implants are usually filled with either saline or silicone.


A saline breast implant consists of a silicone outer shell filled with sterile saltwater, also known as saline. Saline implants are filled after the empty shell is inserted into your breast pocket during the breast augmentation procedure.


One benefit of saline implants is that they make leaks easier to detect. When a saline implant leaks, the sterile fluid contained in the implant will quickly escape, leading to a noticeable “deflated” look in the breast. Since the solution contained in saline implants is the same as IV solution, it is harmless and will simply be absorbed by the surrounding tissue with no effects on the patient’s health.


Saline implants also tend to require a smaller incision than silicone implants, making the incision site easier to hide once the procedure is complete.


Saline implants look and feel less natural and less aesthetically pleasing than silicone implants. Saline implants are also more likely to develop noticeable rippling or wrinkling as they and the surrounding anatomical structures age.

Silicone breast implants

Another common material used in breast implants is silicone. Silicone implants are filled with silicone gel rather than saline, and many patients prefer them because they more closely resemble the look and feel of natural breast tissue. Silicone is viscous and form-stable and, hence, outward imperfections in the implant, such as rippling, are less obvious. Implants filled with silicone are also less likely to lose their shape over time.


However, the use of silicone implants does make leaks more difficult to detect without the use of an MRI—while silicone is non-toxic, it will not be absorbed by the surrounding tissue and will instead form into “clumps” within the breast pocket that will remain until the implant is replaced or repaired.


Silicone implants also tend to require a larger incision, making it slightly harder to hide the incision site.

Round breast implants

Breast implants also come in two common shapes: round implants and teardrop implants.


As their name suggests, round implants have a rounded shape and are filled with either saline or a fluid silicone gel that will move and flow freely throughout the implant.


Round implants are the more popular choice because they tend to create more fullness at the top of the breast and allow for the implant material to move more naturally. They are also less likely to rotate or drift over time and become misplaced.

Teardrop breast implants

Unlike round implants, teardrop implants are thinner at the top and wider at the bottom, creating a “teardrop” shape that mimics the natural shape of the breast. Teardrop implants are usually filled with a firmer silicone gel that flows less freely within the implant and helps the implant retain its shape.


Teardrop implants can often achieve a more natural look for slimmer individuals and individuals who have less natural breast tissue to work with, most commonly in the case of post-mastectomy breast cancer reconstruction. However, teardrop implants also come with a greater risk of becoming misplaced, as they may rotate within the breast pocket over time. The more rigid material of most teardrop implants may also cause the breast to move less naturally, as the silicone gel will not flow with gravity to the same extent. For this reason, teardrop implants are made with a textured surface that acts like Velcro inside the newly created breast pocket.

Which Type of Implant is Best?

All of the above types of implants also come in a range of sizes, gel viscosities, fill pressures, projections, and diameters. There is no single answer as to which type of implant is best for every patient. It is always good advice to trust a qualified surgeon’s recommendation regarding implant type and size, as they are familiar with the variables and how they will interact with your anatomy to ensure the best aesthetic outcome based on your goals.


If you are considering having a breast augmentation, you should first request a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon who has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Your surgeon should also have a reputation for excellent patient care and a full portfolio of before-and-after photos so you can view their past results.


A qualified board-certified plastic surgeon will have the knowledge and experience to walk you through your options and help you find the best type of implant for your body and aesthetic goals. They will also be able to help you set realistic expectations for your procedure and offer you guidance to help you achieve the quickest possible recovery.


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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the Owner of TWL and Co-Owner of a Influencer Facebook Group Influential Mamas.  Along with blogging + freelance writing and selling Zyia Activewear, she is a mom, army wife and full-time teacher. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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