One of the many decisions you and your plastic surgeon will be making on your Boobie Journey is whether smooth or textured breast implants are right for you.
Don't feel overwhelmed! Learn the basics here and as always, trust your surgeon.
Whatever breast implant you choose will have an outer shell made of silicone, and that shell will be either smooth, or textured!
Each breast implant shell feels different to the touch and your plastic surgeon will have their reasons for suggesting one or the other.
First off, there is one general concept to breast implant outer shells:
An anatomical (teardrop) implant always has a textured shell, and a round implant can have either a smooth or textured shell.
Once you've chosen breast implant shape, that will help determine your options for outer shell. Here's a brief run down of what each outer shell choice might mean for you...
Smoothl Breast Implants
A smooth breast implant outer shell is... well... smooth! The surface looks shiny and slippery.
Smooth breast implants are the most common choice of breast augmentation patients and plastic surgeons today.
They have a few key features:
Smooth implants tend to be the softest (and feel more natural) because the outer shell is thinner
They can be placed through a smaller incision
There is less chance of implant palpability (feeling the breast implant) and visibility
Because of the smooth surface, once these breast implants are placed in your body the surrounding tissue will not attach to the breast implant. So, smooth breast implants can move around inside your breast freely.
Many women like this feature of smooth breast implants as it can simulate the movement of natural breast tissue.
But the mobility of a smooth breast implant does mean they have the potential downside of breast implant displacement (when your implants move too far out of place - like bottoming out or lateral drift, which is when implants move out to the edges) over time.
Textured Breast Implants
A textured breast implant has a second layer of textured silicone which feels (before it goes in your body!) a bit like sandpaper.
Textured breast implants were created back in the 1980s to minimize the risk of capsular contracture. Although the evidence isn't conclusive, so the main reason a textured implant is used it to ensure the overlying breast tissue sticks (or 'adheres') to the implant.
The rough surface of a textured breast implant encourages the tissues in your breast that surround the implant to form a fibrous capsule (this is totally normal!).
This adherence means the breast implant position can be stabilized and reduce the chances of breast implant displacement.
And when you have a shaped breast implant you DEFINITELY want adherence to happen because it keeps the implant in the right position... no one wants a rotated anatomical breast implant!
Some plastic surgeons think textured breast implants may not feel (they have a stiffer shell) or move as naturally as smooth breast implants, so they're used more selectively. They do tend to be used for revisions after capsular contracture.
Which Breast Implant Choice Is Best?
In all things breast implants there is no 'best' anything! There will be what's right for you though. So, knowing which breast implant outer shell type is the right choice for you will depend on a few things:
Your before breasts, skin and tissues
What your lifestyle is like
What your boobie goals are
AND it depends on what shape (round or anatomical) breast implant you choose. So, you can only make a meaningful choice once you've consulted with a Board Certified plastic surgeon who is very experienced in breast augmentation. THIS is the only way to take the guesswork out of breast implant selection!
There's no magic rule to breast implant outer shell choice.
The bottom line is, that each has subtle trade-offs and no one type is better than the other. And if you're ever not sure... it's okay to step back and rethink. That way, you'll be able to make the right choices for a positive boobie journey :)
Thoughts from Dr. Jeremy PyleSurgeons are starting to move away from the Smooth Vs. Textured discussion because of the new information we are constantly learning about ALCL.
This rare Lymphoma seems to only be associated with textured implants. However, it seems to be one manufacturer that is most closely linked.
That's because texturing is on a spectrum and it may be that one type of texturing is problematic and others are not. For the time being, textured implants are far less common in the US than smooth and far more common than smooth in the rest of the world.