Textured Vs Smooth Implants: Differences, Benefits and Drawbacks

When you decide to get breast augmentation surgery done, there are a few decisions that you need to take. Of course, you will need the help of a certified plastic surgeon for the right choice, who can explain all the pros and cons of the different kinds of implants. Besides dealing with decisions regarding the incision location, implant size, over or under the muscle positioning, you need to also think about choosing between a textured breast implant and  a smooth breast implant.

However, you need to know the difference between textured and smooth breast implants, since there are plenty of dissimilarities between the two. Both are used under different circumstances and as per the health and physique of the patient.

Smooth Breast Implants

These are a special kind of implants which offer a soft feeling and are available with a smooth texture. Women love these because of their softness and natural effect. They tend to move within the implant pocket, which offers quite a natural movement. However, these implants often come with a visible or palpable rippling right under the skin.

Textured Breast Implants

Textured breast implants have a rough surface which is quite similar to sandpaper. The surface of these implants adhere to the breast tissue which surrounds it. Thus, the implants stay firm within the implant pocket. These usually develop a type of scar tissue that tends to stick to this implant. Thus, the implant doesn’t move much inside the breast pocket. It doesn’t get repositioned and stays positioned firmly. Textured breast implants are often used in patients who have gone through mastectomy.

There are many differences between textured and smooth breast implants which are worth considering. Surgeons usually explain the difference to the patients so that they know what to expect from their breast augmentation process. So, let us delve into some details and compare briefly – breast implants smooth versus textured.

difference between textured and smooth breast implants

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Textured Vs Smooth Implants: Key Differences

Surface and Structure:

Breast implants have an outer silicone shell. This shell contains and surrounds the saline or silicone gel. Smooth breast implants usually have an outer silicone rubber shell and have a smooth surface. Smooth implants are not attached to the body tissue. Such a smooth implant moves in the tissue membrane or within the sack which forms around the implant, which is known as a capsule. On the other hand, the textured breast implants have a rough, irregular and pebbly surface which is quite like a soft rubber sandpaper. All textured breast implants are available with a rubber shell made of silicone. Textured implants do not move much as they remain attached tightly to the tissue capsule.

Capsular Contracture:

During the process of breast augmentation, it is often noticed that the membrane or the tissue capsule that surrounded the breast implant becomes quite tight. This condition is known as capsular contracture and it makes breasts hard. As textured breast implants were developed, they were given a rough surface, since the rough surface would cause less capsular contracture.

Difference in How They Feel:

Whenever any smooth or textured breast implant is placed right under the chest muscle using the adequate quantity of breast tissue overlying this muscle, it might be tough to understand or feel the difference. Here we can feel the difference between the smooth and textured implants. It is seen that textured breast implants usually have a thick wall around them. Thus, they do feel a lot firmer. Besides this, as they usually have ripples and palpable folds, they can be felt. In the case of thin women who have very little breast tissue, if a textured implant is right above the muscles, it will definitely be felt. This is one of the reasons for selecting such a kind of implant.

When Are Smooth Breast Implants Used

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Textured vs Smooth Implants: When Are Smooth Breast Implants Used?

Today, the popular smooth-walled saline and silicone breast implants are the top choice of plastic surgeons. This specially designed silicone gel smooth breast implant was approved by the FDA in  2006. The product available now is an improved version.  If possible, the breast implants are now placed just beneath the chest muscles. This provides better coverage and lesser chances of visibility. It also means a less associated risk of capsular contraction. Today, with the combined use of modern surgical techniques and improved smooth walled implants, the chances of capsular contraction have reduced a lot.

When Are Textured Breast Implants Used?

Despite the popularity of smooth breast implants, textured implants are still used throughout the world. If you compare textured vs smooth breast implants, you will find many takers for the textured breast implants. In fact, the teardrop-shaped implants which are also known as new anatomic shaped implants are made with a textured shell. A textured shell is stiff in nature which gives them a much-appreciated thickness and provides stability to the breast. It is able to hold the shape of a breast a lot better. Thus, women who require a shaped breast implant need to select a textured implant.

Textured implants are also needed when the breast bone of the patient is convex or concave. In specific situations when the breastbone is convex, there is a risk of a round or smooth implant to slide down and move away from the desired area. In the case of a textured implant, it stays firmly in the position and removes any chances of a problem.

Besides, other situations where the textured implants are popularly used include sagging breast condition or where there is a risk of ‘bottoming out’.  All these intricate details can be explained only by a qualified surgeon after a thorough examination of the patient. The majority of women choose textured breast implants for a variety of reasons.

When Are Textured Breast Implants Used

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Textured vs Smooth Breast Implants: Are Textured Breast Implants Safe?

The safety of textured breast implants is often a concern. Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma is a kind of lymphoma tumor has been reported in the recent times. This tumor is known to be present or grow just around the outer shell area of the textured breast implants. In fact, there is no evidence of such a tumor occurring in women who have undergone smooth wall breast implants.  It is also seen that the tumor tends to appear between 4-8 years right after the textured implants are positioned. Women need to be aware that the first sign of such a tumor is the buildup of fluid.

Whenever such cases of tumors have occurred, it has been treated by doctors. The textured implant along with the tumor is removed as a part of treatment.

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Are Textured Breast Implants Safe

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Textured Breast Implants Vs Smooth: Which One To Choose?

Your cosmetic surgeon can help you in selection by explaining the differences between the two implants. Also, health factors are taken into account before deciding on the type of implant. Most often women looking forward to a standard round breast implant select a smooth implant type. When a teardrop implant is chosen, the textured implant is the usual choice.

Textured Vs Smooth Implants FAQs

  • Are gummy bear implants smooth or textured?

Yes, gummy bear implants have a smooth texture. Saline, as well as silicone implants can be quite smooth, which includes the gummy bear implant which is available with a cohesive gel. The smooth implants do not ripple around the ages much, which is an advantage.

  • Are smooth implants safer?

Though it is quite rare, it is seen that rare and treatable cancer is associated with textured implants when compared to rare implants. Most such patients are found to be associated with textured implants or implants of the older generation.

  • Are saline implants smooth or textured?

Saline implants are totally smooth. A saline breast implant is available with a silicone shell which has a smooth surface. This shell is filled with saline and many women feel that such a texture is quite like natural breast tissue.

  • Are cohesive gel implants textured or smooth?

There are different kinds of cohesiveness associated with breast implants. A cohesive gel is found in smooth and textured round implants. A lot of experimentation is being carried out on the highly cohesive form implants and to find out the probability of any potential problems.


There are several breast implants options available  now. To make sure you are making the right choice when it comes to choosing an implant, do your research and listen to a surgeon who is experienced and can provide you the right guidance on different kinds of implants.

Keep in mind all the pros and cons of implants and base your decision on the advice of doctor and your preferred look and feel of implants.

Last updated on December 16th, 2019

aaom.org Team

Academic Association of Medicine is the go-to resource for all health-related issues. We are an independent body that seeks to offer general information on various health topics and unbiased reviews on health products.

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