Women choose to get breast implants for many different reasons; luckily, there are options to suit different needs and desires. Women have many choices available to them when they decide which implant they want to use: options range from the material used (saline or silicone) to the texture of the implant surface.

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Most implants used in the United States have a smooth surface while other implants are slightly textured and feel like a fine-grained sandpaper. While surface texture may seem like an unlikely factor in choosing what type of implant you receive, it may determine the shape of your implant, and the way the implant looks after surgery. Additionally, it may help you avoid some of the complications associated with breast augmentations

Surface Texture And Implant Shape

The surface texture of the implant may determine what shape the implant is and how it looks after it has been inserted into the breast.

Two popular shapes for breast implants are round and tear drop. If you desire a smoothly textured implant, you will only be able to choose a round implant. Smooth implants may rotate after they have been inserted into the breast; a round implant, because of the nature of its shape, will not necessarily be affected by the implant’s movement.

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If you choose a tear-drop shaped implant, however, you will need a textured implant. Tear-drop implants are not symmetrical, so if a tear-drop implant rotates after insertion, the breast will look misshapen. The texture on the implant provides traction between the implant and the muscle wall, helping the implant stay in the correct position.

Surface Texture And Wrinkling

After implants have been inserted into the breasts, they may wrinkle, causing the surface of the breast to look and feel bumpy. Textured implants are more likely to stay in place than smooth implants, but they are also more likely to cause wrinkling or “traction rippling” in the breast. This is especially a concern for thin women or those women who have had their implants inserted above the muscle wall.

Surface Texture And Capsular Contraction

A study published in the British Journal of Plastic Surgery (now the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery) concluded that textured implants may be more likely to prevent or reduce the development of capsular contraction than are smooth implants. A follow-up study three years later found that those women who had received textured implants were still less likely to have suffered from capsular contracture.  

Textured Or Smooth: What’s Better?

Some things to consider:

  • Smooth implants come only in the round shape. Textured implants are available in both round and tear drop.
  • Smooth implants may look and feel more natural than textured implants, especially in women who are thin or have little natural breast tissue.
  • Smooth implants tend to last longer than textured implants.
  • Textured implants are more difficult to remove because of the friction caused between the implant and the muscle surface.

Carefully consider your needs when deciding which kind the surface texture for your breast implant. Be sure to ask your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about a specific kind.