Types of Breast Augmentation

May 15, 2021

Breast augmentation – also referred to as breast enlargement or augmentation mammoplasty – is a cosmetic surgery procedure that is performed in order to increase breast size. This is the number one most popular cosmetic surgical treatment in the US. If you have naturally small breasts and are looking to enhance their size and volume so you attain an attractive and sexy feminine appearance, Taylor Theunissen, MD has two main options.

1. Augmentation With Breast Implants

The majority of breast enlargement procedures are completed using artificial implants. During surgery, the plastic surgeon inserts the selected implant either under the chest muscle or below the breast tissue in order to achieve the desired breast size and volume. There are several considerations that need to be made if you choose to go ahead with this approach.

Types of breast implant

There are e main types of breast implants that can be used during your augmentation mammoplasty:

  • Saline implants – saline implants are basically a saline shell that is filled with sterile water. These implants are FDA-approved for women who are aged 18 and above. Should this type of implant rupture, the solution is naturally expelled by the body, leading to a noticeable, deflated breast appearance.
  • Silicone implants – these are silicone shells that are filled with a silicone gel solution. The majority of implant-based breast enlargement procedures are completed using silicone implants as these tend to be soft and feel like natural breast tissue. Silicone implants are also less prone to some of the problems associated with traditional saline implants – such as wrinkling and rippling. A key disadvantage of this type of implant is that should there be a leakage, the implant does not collapse. Women who receive silicone implants will therefore need to undergo regular MRI screening to ensure that everything is in good shape. Silicone implants are FDA-approved for use by women who are aged 22 or above.
  • Gummy bear implants – also referred to as gummy bear implants, these are a special type of silicone implants that tend to be firmer than traditional implants. This is because the consistency of silicone gel in the implant is thicker compared to typical silicone implants. A longer incision is however required when placing this type of breast implant.

Implant shape, size, and texture

Implant shape, size, and texture are important considerations that women need to make before undergoing breast enlargement surgery.

  • Breast implant shape – there are two main breast implant shapes available: round and teardrop shaped. The right implant shape will be determined by your body type and preferences. Round implants tend to be more common and provide a fuller look for women who are looking to achieve a size increase while also correcting sagging. Teardrop implants – while not as common – tend to result in a more natural look with a tear-dropped shape. They are common with women who want their breast to look as natural as possible These implants are more expensive than rounded breast implants.
  • Breast implant size – breast implant sizes vary a lot to suit the needs of different patients. The most common size used in augmentation procedures range from 200 cc (cubic centimeters) to 850 cc. Your plastic surgeon should help you choose the right implant size based on your body shape and individual preferences.
  • Breast implant texture – breast implants may be either smooth or textured. The majority of breast augmentation surgeries rely on smooth-surfaced implants. Textured implants tend to have a rough surface that adheres to the tissues around them and thus prevents the implant from moving around within its pocket.  

2. Autologous fat transfer

Some women may opt to have a natural fat transfer breast augmentation. This technically means that the plastic surgeon will use excess fat tissue extracted from other parts of the body to complete the breast enlargement procedure. The fat (to be relocated to the breasts) is acquired via liposuction via areas such as the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. The surgeon will then process it and carefully injected it into the breasts to achieve the desired increment. This procedure may not be ideal for slim women who do not have enough stores of excess fat in the abdomen or other donor areas to achieve the desired size increase.

Advantages of natural fat transfer breast augmentation

This procedure uses a woman’s own fat for a natural outcome

  • The enlarged breasts look and feel natural
  • Natural fat transfer breast augmentation procedures are generally safe as long as they are completed by a competent surgeon
  • There are no artificial implants used and the augmentation procedure usually results in very small incisions
  • There are relatively low complication rates

Disadvantages of natural fat transfer breast augmentation

  • Up to 25% of the fat relocated to the breasts may be reabsorbed by the body
  • There is no standard technique for completing this type of breast enlargement surgery
  • This technique is only suitable for women who have enough spare fat
  • Fat necrosis (tiny, hard masses that may be interpreted as cancer) may persist temporarily or permanently.


A good plastic surgeon should help you understand the exact differences between these two techniques and help you choose one that will yield the most benefits for you.