Yes, certainly! Your surgeon will discuss the options with you but it is always ultimately the patients decision.
There are different materials for implants, so patients can choose the ones that work for them. The only limitation is shape: some materials are better suited for particular shapes than others.
Here is a handy guide to the materials options available for breast implant patients.
Silicone gel is a viscous and inert fluid. It does not react with any chemicals in the body, is not toxic, and does not affect health in any way.
Most importantly, it has a texture similar to human breast tissue, so silicone gel is often chosen in order to give breasts a more natural feeling.
Unfortunately, it cannot also be used to give a more natural look. Silicone gel must be inserted into the prosthetic before the prosthetic is implanted. This makes it difficult to implant more natural, teardrop-shaped silicone gel prosthetics.
Instead, round implants are usually used. They are inserted in the underside of the bust, pushing out and plumping the upper breasts. This looks great, but sometimes looks slightly too sexy to be true.
The other major option, saline, works differently.
Saline is sterile and salted water. It is completely safe in the body.
The advantage of saline is that it is added to the prosthetic after implantation. This means a less invasive procedure done through a smaller incision, because the implant is going in empty and is filled onside the body.
The downside is the water texture, which is noticeably different from breast tissue. Saline prosthetics can feel like a bag of water and ripples may show through the tissues. Both saline and silicone gel have the disadvantage of being fluids: this means that a rupture in the implant can cause a leak. Leaks are not dangerous to health but may require additional surgeries.
A newer type of prosthetic, cohesive gel, has been developed to address this problem.
Cohesive gel implants, sometimes called “gummy bear implants,” are made up of a squishy solid instead of a fluid. They’re harder than silicone gel but softer than saline, and can be folded or damaged and still return to their original shape.
Their stronger shape also makes the teardrop possible. Cohesive gel is a long-lasting alternative that finds a compromise between the natural shape of saline implants and the natural feel of silicone gel.
With breast implants, there is no wrong answer! The material you choose depends on how you want your breasts to look and feel after the operation.