Difference Between Breast Augmentation and Breast Implants

Quite a lot of confusion exists amongst women when it comes to the terms breast augmentation and breast implants. This article will clear all the queries. To begin with, both of these are broader terms where one is a process of breast enhancement surgery and the other is the product used in surgery. Let us see in detail each one of these to get a clear cut idea of both these terminologies.

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is a surgical process to increase the size of breasts.

Reasons to Get it Done!

This can be done for a number of reasons.

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    Few women do it to enhance their feminine charisma to boost their self confidence while others get it done out of a necessity such as after breast cancer surgery to get breast reconstruction in order to make up for the lost breast tissue. 
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    Sometimes, one breast is comparatively smaller in size than the other and so in order for them to look similar in size, this surgery is done. 
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    After pregnancy, few mothers wish to get their breasts size altered so they opt for this procedure. 

Whatever the reason may be, it is a highly personal choice of a woman and so she has the right to make a decision for herself.

Risks of Breast Augmentation

The possible risks of breast augmentation must be kept in mind by anyone who plans to get this done. There is a chance of:

  • Infection
  • breast tenderness 
  • capsular contraction (change in breast shape due to scar formation)
  • Implant leakage 

These conditions may require further management or surgery.

How It’s Done?

The procedure is quite straightforward. Here is the step by step brief description of how breast augmentation is done.

  • An incision is made at lower breast crease, in underarm or around the nipple. 
  • A pocket is created in between the chest wall muscles and connective tissues. 
  • An implant is placed right behind the nipple, in the center. The implants are of varying types which are used in this procedure. These could be saline or silicon.
  • The implants are first placed and then filled with saline if they are Saline Implants, whereas in case of Silicone Implants, the implants are prefilled and are only to be placed.
  • With the help of sutures, the incision made is closed. 

There might be some discomfort, swelling or soreness post operatively but a few weeks is what it takes to recover. However, follow up with your surgeon is very important to makes sure there are no complications and that you’re satisfied with the results.

Breast Implants

Breast implants, by definition according to FDA, are

Medical devices which are placed behind the nipples under the chest wall muscle in order to add up to the breast size.

Why Breast Implants are Used?

These could be used for either breast augmentation or breast reconstruction depending on why the surgery is being performed.  

Types of Breast Implants

There are  three types of breast implants:
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    Saline Implants
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    Silicone Implants
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    Gummy bear Implants

These types differ in shell material, shell thickness, its shape and size. Saline implants give smooth, uniform and firm feel whereas silicone implants tend to be more natural in feel. This is because they contain silicone gel whose consistency mimics natural breast tissue whereas, saline implants are merely filled with sterile saline that gives breasts a firm hold. Gummy bear implants are more firm than silicone implants because they contain silicone gel, just more thicker than the usual one. These maintain their form even in case there is leakage of the gel. This means they remain stable if there is leak unlike the two other types.

Risks of Breast Implants

Weighing the risks of the two kinds of implants, it is quite logical that in case of implant leakage, saline in saline implants get absorbed within the body whereas, in case of silicone gel leakage it may put the body to potential hazards. No matter what kind of implant, frequent follow ups are a must. Best options and longevity of your breast implant must be discussed with expert plastic surgeon of your choice during consultation.

Comparison Between Breast Augmentation And Breast Implants

Breast Augmentation

Breast Implants


‘Surgical procedure to increase the breast mass.’

‘Medical device inserted in breasts to achieve increase in breast mass during breast augmentation procedure.’


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    To enhance feminine beauty
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    To replenish lost breast mass after breast cancer surgery
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    To maintain symmetry of both breasts
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    During breast augmentation surgeries
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    During reconstruction surgeries
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    During revision surgeries


Type of breast augmentation depends on types of breast implants

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    Saline implants
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    Silicone implants
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    Gummy bear implants
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    Round breast implants
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    Smooth breast implants
  • 6
    Textured breast implants


  • Risks of anesthesia complications
  • Bleeding
  • Implant leakage
  • Infection
  • Change in sensation of breasts/nipples
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma formation)
  • Leakage or rupture of implant etc.
  • More surgeries that may or may not involve removal of implant
  • Pain in breasts
  • Changes in sensation of breasts
  • Implant leakage
  • Rupture of implant that may or may not cause the implant to deflate and deform. This could be symptomatic or silent rupture. 

Main difference

It’s a breast enhancement procedure

It’s a breast enhancement product used in breast enhancement procedure.


Breast augmentation is ranked 2nd among all cosmetic surgeries and is performed on daily basis as women from different parts of the world choose to make their breasts bigger and fuller. The difference between breast augmentation and breast implants is now clear from the above-mentioned comparison table. Once you decide you need to get breast augmentation done, you can choose which breast implant is best for you with the help of your plastic surgeon. In case, you’re not into breast surgery, natural breast enhancement options are our first recommendation for your well-being.

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