Breast Implants in Chicago, IL

The first and most important decision women have when considering a breast augmentation in Chicago is the type of implant to use. There are now more great options than ever for creating safe and stunning breast augmentation outcomes. During your consultation, Dr.s Epstein and Krochmal of MAE Plastic Surgery will discuss the benefits and the risks associated with each type of breast implant, and with your input, decide on the optimal implant.

It is important that you contribute to the consultation, so do your homework. Become familiar with each type so you have at least a basic understanding and you can be informed enough to substantially contribute to the decision. Your MAE surgeon will listen to you, make his recommendations from your goals and body type, and explain why it is important that you and your surgeon are on the same page with your aesthetic goals and process so that you can achieve the look you desire. The purpose of this page is to provide you with some basic knowledge to help you understand breast implants.

Types of Breast Implants

Saline breast implants – are silicone shells filled with a sterilized salt water solution. These breast implants are inserted deflated and then filled. This allows for a smaller incision which reduces the size  of the incisional scars. They are typically the least expensive type of breast implant.

Silicone breast implants – are silicone shells filled with silicone. Most women believe these have a more natural feel. They are inserted already filled, so they require a slightly larger incision than the saline counterpart. They tend to cost more than saline breast implants.

Form stable breast implants – are silicone breast implants also known as “gummy bear” implants. The silicone is of a thicker and more sturdy substance than their first-generation counterparts, making them slightly firmer and less likely to rupture or ripple. They can also come in natural form shapes where there is more projection at the bottom and it is tapered at the top.

What is the difference?

Both types of breast implants have an outer shell made of a soft silicone polymer. Saline-filled implants are placed inside the breast and then filled with sterile saline (salt water) until the desired size range is reached. Silicone gel implants are prefilled with a silicone gel material that cannot be changed in size for fine adjustments but the silicone is softer and more natural feeling.  The saline implants also have the downside of more potential rippling and more readily palpable edges.

Breast Implants – Shape

Round and teardrop (anatomic) are the two basic shapes available for breast implants.

  • Round breast implants – are preferred by most plastic surgeons because they’re easy to insert and have a lower revision rate. If the implant rotates after placement, the shape does not change due to it being round.
  • Teardrop (anatomic) breast implants – have a more natural shape. If these breast implants shift or rotate after placement, it could distort the symmetry and a revision would be needed. These shapes are popular with patients whose breasts have suffered from pregnancy, breast feeding, or massive weight loss. Teardrop implants have come a long way since their initial form. Texturing has been added to reduce rotation, which was the main problem with teardrop implants of the past.

What are High Profile Breast Implants?

Breast implants come in different shapes and variable amounts of projection (the amount of forward fullness the implant provides). With their experience of over 1000 breast implant procedures, and by using the Vectra 3D imaging system, Dr.s Krochmal and Epstein can help you choose the right implant size and shape for your breast proportions and body type.

Can I See What I Would Look Like with Breast Implants?

MAE Plastic Surgery is among a select group of Chicago plastic surgeons who can show you a simulated 3D image of your appearance with breast implants. By using our Vectra 3D imaging system, you can virtually try on different sizes and shapes of implants on a 3D image of your body for a better idea of the possible result.

Feel of the Implant

Silicone gel implants tend to feel more like the natural breast and are preferred by many plastic surgeons and patients. While the feel of the breast depends on many factors, a breast enlarged with a silicone-gel implant will tend to feel more natural, particularly in women with little natural breast tissue (an A cup or small B cup). Thinner women may also prefer a silicone gel implant for the same reason.

Breast Implant Removal & Revision

There are times when breast augmentation surgery may not be done correctly, or the healing process was complicated, or sometimes, an older breast implant needs replacing or a less than optimal breast implant was chosen. In these cases, a revision surgery may be necessary. MAE Plastic Surgery has extensive experience in breast implant removal and revision. Please watch the video below as Dr. Epstein walks you through a revision surgery.

What is Breast Implant Rippling?

For thinner women, the edge of the implant may sometimes be felt on the side and lower part of the breast. It may even feel uneven under the skin. In more severe cases, or when large implants are used, the implant edges may cause ripples to be seen under the skin. Rippling is less likely to happen with silicone gel implants.

What Cost Is Associated with Breast Implants?

Silicone gel implants are more expensive due to added production costs. While cost may be a factor in deciding the type of breast implant, it is important to consider the result provided by saline-filled and silicone gel implants when making your decision.

The cost of your breast implant procedure is determined by many factors including body type, desired outcome, and implants chosen. During your consultation, you will receive a detailed cost assessment.

Contact us today for your breast implant consultation in Northbrook, call 847-205-1680.  See why people from all over the Chicagoland area come to MAE Plastic surgery. 

Both types of implants may be placed through a small opening under the breast (inframammary), below the nipple (periareolar), or through the armpit (transaxillary). Only saline-filled implants can be placed through the belly button (transumbilical, also known as TUBA). Your MAE surgeon will typically recommend the inframammary incision placement because it has a lower risk of internal scar formation—also known as capsular contracture. In some cases, a very large silicone gel implant can be difficult to place through a periareolar or transaxillary approach and may result in a larger scar than if a saline-filled implant was used.

Breast Implant Breakage

Since no medical device is considered permanent, at some point the outer shell of a breast implant may break. This is unlikely to happen within the first ten years after placement, but may happen at any time. When a saline-filled implant breaks, the salt water inside is absorbed by the body and the breast returns to its original (smaller) size over a few days. The implant is then typically replaced by a new implant during a procedure that typically has little discomfort and a fast recovery. It is less clear when a silicone gel implant breaks; when it does, the breast typically does not become smaller. As an added assurance to patients, the breast implant manufacturers offer warranty programs in case the implants break. Current recommendations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourage women to have MRI examinations of their implants after 3 years and every 2 years thereafter to see if there is any break in the shell.

The Breast Implant Procedure

Although some patients in Chicago elect to stay the night, breast augmentation is usually an outpatient procedure. You will receive a monitored deep sedation anesthesia and the surgery usually lasts no more than one hour.

During surgery, incisions are made around the nipples, underneath the breast crease, in the armpit, or in the navel. Your surgeon will be careful to create and place the incisions in a way to minimize any visible scarring.

A small pocket will be created for the implant between the pectoral muscle and the breast tissue or underneath the pectoral muscle. The implants will be positioned within the pocket and the incision will be closed with sutures. A support garment will be placed around the breasts to aid healing.

Breast Implants Recovery

You can expect soreness, swelling, bruising, and changes in nipple sensation for a short period. Most women return to normal activities in just a few days, although strenuous activities should be avoided for a few weeks.

After several weeks, the breast implants will settle into place and soften. The final positioning of your new breasts may take up to three months.

Post-surgery appointments will be scheduled for follow-up care at prescribed intervals so your progress can be evaluated.


Women who have breast implants need to have regular mammograms performed just like women without implants. Occasionally, additional mammogram views may need to be done to image all the breast tissue.

Breastfeeding can normally be accomplished after having breast implants; however, it is impossible to predict how these implants will affect a mother’s ability to breastfeed until she is ready to do so.  Dr.s Epstein and Krochmal can offer a surgical technique that does not affect the breast tissue and therefore not interfere with the ability to breast feed.

Breast implants generally maintain the size and shape of the breast but they do not stop the aging process. Changes in weight may also affect the results and at times additional procedures may be considered. Implants may need to be replaced if they break or leak.

Potential Complications

As with all other surgical procedures, especially those that involve placing a man-made device inside the body, there is a small amount of risk. Both saline-filled and silicone gel implants have similar risks. However, in rare cases, a broken silicone gel implant may cause pain and swelling in the area around the break.

The final choice of implant type depends on your current breast size and shape and your desired outcome. It is important to consider your personal body and breast characteristics as well as the other factors involved in breast enlargement. At MAE Plastic Surgery we  guide patients through these options and will help you make the best choice during a one on one consultation at our Northbrook office.

Choosing your Chicago Breast Implant Surgeon

Having breast implant surgery in the Chicago area is not a small decision. It includes many factors with the choice of surgeon being the most important. When it comes to considering a surgeon, you must be informed about their qualifications and experience. Is your surgeon board-certified? What is their level of experience? Where will the surgery take place? What about the support staff, are they caring and professional?

Why MAE Plastic Surgery?

Both MAE surgeons are highly trained and experienced with breast implant surgery. Please visit the personal profile pages of Dr. Michael Epstein and Dr. Daniel Krochmal.

Dear Dr. Epstein – As the anniversary of my surgery past in December, I just really wanted to say from the bottom of my heart how amazing you and your staff are. Thank you for changing my life in a way that no one could ever do. Not a day goes by where I don’t stop to think about how blessed I am. You are my hero. ~ More reviews…

Our Fully Accredited Surgical Center for Chicago and Beyond – Our MAE surgeons perform our surgical procedures at our state-of-the-art, fully accredited surgical center in Northbrook. Northbrook Plastic Surgery has a team of board-certified anesthesiologists to provide the highest standard of care and ensuring the safest and most comfortable experience in Chicago. Read more…

Schedule Your Chicago Plastic Surgery Consultation

Our board certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Epstein and Dr. Krochmal, perform plastic surgery for patients all over Chicago and the surrounding areas. Our office is only 8 miles east of Wheeling and 12 miles north of Evanston IL, so you can easily set up a plastic surgery consultation at your convenience. Call us today for scheduling.

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