Eric Mariotti M.D.

Breast Implant Options

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Breast enhancement patients have more options than ever. Women choosing breast implants, who visit from Walnut Creek, Danville, and the surrounding areas, can choose from a wide range of sizes, different filler materials, shapes, and textures. Decisions depend on personal preference and what best suits your physical characteristics. Dr. Eric Mariotti is happy to talk you through each factor and find the right option for your goals.

If you're considering getting breast implants near Walnut Creek, CA, Dr. Mariotti is a breast augmentation specialist and board-certified plastic surgeon. request a consultation online or call his office at (925) 685-4533.

Your Options

The decision-making process begins with your breast augmentation consultation. Dr. Mariotti listens to your aesthetic goals and then performs a physical examination, including taking various measurements, that helps determine the types of implants that will best meet those goals. Read on to learn about the various factors you'll need to consider.


breast side view

Picking the right size is usually one of a patient's big concerns. There are many different ways to try to achieve that look that a woman might be looking for, but it is a combination of methods that Dr Mariotti uses to decide what size implant to use. Cup size is a good starting point and Dr Mariotti uses that to determine if a patient is looking for something conservative or voluptuous, or something in between. However, women find that they fit into different size bras depending on the store or the manufacturer. Second, Dr Mariotti, after examining a patient, will use his before-and-after book to find someone with similar build and breasts and find which ones a patient finds too big, too small, or just right. Lastly, at a pre-operative visit, Dr Mariotti asks that a patient bring in a tight-fitting t-shirt. Using sizers in the bra, he will try to simulate different results. Dr Mariotti has found that the combination of all 3 methods works best in determining what results a woman is looking for.

Some patients bring in photos of models or specific before-and-after pictures to give Dr. Mariotti an idea of their desired results.

Saline or Silicone

The choice between saline-filled or silicone-filled implants is primarily based on your preference. There are certain advantages to each, and silicone implants are the most popular choice in the U.S. right now. The cost of silicone breast implants is slightly higher at our Walnut Creek, CA-area practice and elsewhere, but many women say they feel more natural than saline. In recent years, several advanced silicone breast implant options have been approved by the FDA, giving patients more choices than ever. Here's a summary of the different fillers available:

  • Saline: A saline solution fills the implant shell, which is made of silicone. Saline implants are filled after being inserted, allowing Dr. Mariotti to fine-tune the size and requiring shorter incisions. Although unlikely to happen, saline is safely absorbed by the body if the implant ruptures. Because they do not feel as "natural," these implants are a smaller portion of the implants used.
  • Silicone gel: The main advantage of gel implants is the way they feel. Patients often say cohesive gel implants feel the most like natural breast tissue. It is often difficult to tell what is the implant and what is your natural breast.
  • Highly cohesive, form-stable silicone gel: These relatively newer implants earned the nickname "gummy bears" because the consistency of the filler resembles that of the candy. The implant is soft yet remains intact even if it were to crack. These are often shaped or "anatomic" implants and can be good for women who do not want as much fullness in the upper portion of the breasts.


Breast implants are either round or shaped like a teardrop to resemble the natural slope of a woman's breast. Both saline and silicone implants are available in both shapes, although most saline implant choices are round. Round implants tend to create more volume in the upper part of the breast, meaning more cleavage, and teardrop-shaped implants have more volume at the bottom. Many women believe teardrop implants, also called "anatomical" implants, look more natural, but they run the risk of rotating within the breast and distorting breast shape.

Smooth or Textured

The silicone shell of breast implants is either smooth or textured. Anatomically shaped implants are usually textured to minimize the chances of the implants rotating after being inserted. The rougher texture adheres to surrounding tissue and tethers the implant in place. There is evidence that smooth implants are more susceptible to capsular contracture, the most common complication, but that is largely minimized by placing the implant behind the pectoral muscle.


breast front view

An implant's "profile" refers to how far it projects from the chest, as well as the width of its base. The most common breast implant profiles are low, moderate, moderate-plus, and high. The most appropriate implant profile for you depends on your physical characteristics and desired results. A person with a narrow chest, for instance, may be better suited for a certain profile than someone with a wider chest. Dr. Mariotti can help you make a decision that will be aesthetically pleasing based on your proportions.

Meet Dr. Eric Mariotti

Dr. Mariotti offers much more than beautiful results - he'll ensure that you feel relaxed and cared for. Discover why people from around Walnut Creek trust him for their plastic surgery.

Meet Dr. Mariotti   Meet Dr. Mariotti

Dr. Mariotti

More Questions

If you have other questions about breast augmentation, please visit our FAQ page.

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