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Plastic Surgery Blog

Cohesive Silicone Gel Implants Hold Their Shape Longer


Many of Bancroft Feldman's patients have questions about different types of breast implants. Since Dr. Feldman frequently places cohesive silicone gel implants in his patients, here are a few questions about this type of implant, along with our answers.

What Are Cohesive Silicone Gel Breast Implants?

Cohesive silicone gel implants are implants that "are composed of a textured silicone elastomer shell and are filled with cohesive silicone gel. Cohesive gel is formed by increasing the number of cross-links between gel molecules, which results in an implant that has better retention of shape and is less likely to fold or collapse, especially in the upper pole."

All Silicone Gel Implants are Cohesive

While all silicone gel implants in the U.S. are cohesive by definition, there is a spectrum of cohesiveness that ranges from Gel to Cohesive Gel to Ultra Highly Cohesive Gel. At the Gel end of the spectrum, the breast implants are softer and feel more like natural breasts. At the Ultra Highly Cohesive Gel end of the spectrum, they are very firm and less natural, but this type of breast implant has less risk of rippling than the Gel type.

What Are the Benefits of This Type of Implant?

Two huge benefits of silicone gel implants are their natural shape and durability. Silicone breast implants feel more natural than saline ones do because breast tissue is primarily fatty tissue which feels quite different than water. Silicone mimics both the feel and consistency of fat better. It also looks more like natural breast tissue whether you're sitting, standing, or lying down.

Silicone gel implants hold their shape longer. Because they are made out of highly cohesive gel silicone and have a thick outer-layer silicone shell, they are more likely to maintain their shape than other types of implants and for longer periods of time. They are also less likely to rupture than saline breasts by 50 percent, although rupture is uncommon with breast implants. Silicone gel implants do not develop fold lines that strain implants and cause them to rupture. Even if there is a rupture, the silicone gel filling doesn't travel very far because of its stable nature.

Silicone gel implants also carry less risk for postoperative rippling. Rippling is "the wrinkling of the implant that shows through the skin of the patient." Silicone implants have far fewer ripples along their edges, so for women with thinner skin, this type of implant offers a considerable advantage. No one wants rippled looking breasts.

Finally silicone weighs less than saline does. This puts less of a strain on your back and also on the tissue that holds the implant. A heavier implant will cause the skin to sag more quickly, so the lighter an implant is, the less risk of sagging.

If you are concerned about the safety of breast implants, you should know that, having examined both data and personal experience, the FDA announced earlier this year that all breast implant options are effective and safe and will remain available to consumers in the United States. We are always happy to answer any questions from patients about the safety and the risks of any type of procedure we perform.

Are you interested in breast augmentation? Do you have questions about cohesive silicone gel implants and if they would work well with your body type? Dr. Feldman can perform a virtual consultation to ease concerns about what surgery and implant option is best and then follow up with you in this office with a full consultation. Dr. Feldman is a breast expert whose practice only involves breast augmentation. He has performed thousands of breast augmentations and is dedicated to safety, transparency, and good communication with his patients. For more information, follow him on his Instagram channel where he performs live breast augmentation surgery regularly.

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