Hi! I am Dr Michael Szalay. I have performed about 1500 pairs of breast implants and about equal numbers of smooth, textured and polyurethane implants).
I have found that when I first meet a patient for a breast implant consultation, they are often unsure about the differences between the various implants so I will start by explaining the basics.
Most implants today are made of cohesive silicone gel which is contained within a soft outer silicone sac. The difference between the implants is simply the covering or surface coating of the sac.
Smooth implants have a smooth surface with no extra covering on the outside, so they feel smooth.Textured implants have fine micro-particles bonded to the outside, giving a rough feel to the surface of the implant. Polyurethane implants have a polyurethane coating bonded to the outside, giving their cover a fine, fur-like feel.
Having performed roughly equal numbers of the different types of implants, I feel that I am in a good position to explain their pros and cons and the different situations where I would recommend one over the other.
Before doing this, I think it is a good idea to explain why the implant manufacturers developed these different types of implants. The main reason they did this was to try to reduce the most common complication after breast implants, that is, capsular contracture.
WHAT IS CAPSULAR CONTRACTURE?
When a breast implant is inserted into your breast, the breast forms a membrane or capsule around the implant. Capsular contracture is when the capsule becomes overgrown and hard. This makes the breast feel hard and possibly painful. The breast shifts upwards into an unusually high position and might become an abnormal shape (Please see the image from the internet of capsular contracture). If this occurs, the only way to fix the problem is to operate and remove the capsule.
In a study I conducted at my practice the rate was about 4% after 3 years. It is possible this rate would have been higher if the study had been over a longer period of time as a study by Allergan (the worlds largest breast manufacturer) puts the rate at 19% after 10 years.
Polyurethane implants are the only implant proven to be able to minimize the risk of capsular contracture.
Studies show that the risk of capsular contracture with polyurethane implants is about 1%.
POLYTECH, the manufacturers of polyurethane implants offer a lifetime warranty against rupture and a 10 year warranty against capsular contracture. Other advantages of polyurethane implants can be found here.