The human body's immune response to a surgically installed foreign object—breast implant, cardiac pacemaker, orthopedic prosthesis—is to encapsulate it with scar tissue capsules of tightly woven collagen fibers, in order to maintain the integrity of the body by isolating the foreign object, and so tolerate its presence. Capsular contracture—which should be distinguished from normal capsular tissue—occurs when the collagen-fiber capsule thickens and compresses the breast implant; it is a painful complication that might distort either the breast implant, or the breast, or both.
There are two main types of implants for you to consider: saline and silicone. Most people say the silicone implants feel and look more natural than saline, but they cost more. Silicone implants are typically about $1,000 more than saline, but if you’re interested in gummy bear implants—a type of silicone implant—expect to pay even more. In a RealSelf Q&A, Omaha, Nebraska plastic surgeon Dr. Richard J. Bruneteau says you should expect to pay “about $500 more than standard silicone implants.”
Structured implants were approved by the FDA and Health Canada in 2014 as a third form of breast implant. Structured implants incorporate both saline and silicone gel implant technology. The filler is only saline solution in case of rupture and has a natural feel like silicone gel implants. The implant uses an internal structure which consists of a series of nested shells that support the upper pole with the two lumen being filled with only saline. The implant is inserted empty and then filled once in place which requires less of an incision than pre-filled implants. If one of the lumen of the structured implant ruptures, it leaks and empties. The other lumen remain intact and the implant only partially deflates, allowing for ease of explant and replacement.
The current lifetime risk of BIA-ALCL in the U.S. is unknown, but estimates have ranged between estimated to be between 1 in 70,000 to 1 in 500,000 women with breast implants according to MD Anderson. Certain geographic locations have demonstrated variable risks. For instance, a December 2016 update from the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia and New Zealand reported a risk of 1:1,000 to 1:10,000 for textured implants.". To date (2017), there has not been a case of BIAL reported where the patient had only implantation of smooth shell breast implants or a textured tissue expander that was exchanged for a smooth implant. The paucity of cases reported in Asian populations has raised the possibility that there may be a range of genetic susceptibility to the phenomena, or alternatively merely reflect differences in how cases are identified and reported.