Breast Implants materials and Surfaces – what types are there?

POLYTECH Health & Aesthetics GmbH 2022-09-14

Whether in augmentation or in reconstruction surgeries, surgeons use implants to enhance the breast, according to their patient’s personal preferences and medical needs. Alongside shape and size, implants vary in their filling and shell surface. This diversity of available breast implants helps surgeons meet the needs and desires of their patients. 

POLYTECH takes pride of having the largest available implant portfolio, offering surgeons and patients more than 2,000 implant options for greater personal choice, preferences, and medical needs.

Implant filling

For breast implants, there are two types of filling: 

  • Saline (sterile salt water) 
  • Silicone (medical-grade silicone, approved for long-term implantation)

Silicone implants are the preferred choice by surgeons and patients worldwide, with 84% of global breast augmentation surgeries performed with silicone implants1 in 2020. 

Today implant manufacturers use a more form-stable, highly cohesive and cross-linked medical grade silicone gel for breast implants, mimicking the breast natural feel. For Body implants, a firmer silicone gel is used, mimicking the feel of the muscle of the body part (gluteal or buttock, calf, pectoral, testicular).2

The most recent innovation in breast implant filling are the lightweight implants: a patented technology combining high purity microspheres bonded with the silicone gel. Up to 30% lighter than traditional implants, B-Lite® implants are the first and only lightweight breast implants in the world.

The breast implant shell

The breast implant shell is a silicone elastomer, a chemically and mechanically resistant material. Composed of different layers, the shell has a well-defined structure with a special barrier layer designed to reduce silicone migration.

The different shell surfaces

Breast implants are available in different shell surfaces. It is important to consult your surgeon regarding the characteristics of the different surfaces and what is recommended for your individual needs.

  • Smooth shell surface
    The first silicone breast implants had a smooth shell surface. Smooth surface is still in use today all over the world. 
  • Textured shell surface
    Textured surface is designed to deliver greater tissue adherence. it includes an ample range of surfaces, classified as microtextured, with a finer surface irregularity, and macrotexture.
  • Micro-polyurethane shell cover
    This shell is not defined by its texture but by its cover: a micro-polyurethane foam-cover. Following implantation, the contact area between this implant cover and the surrounding tissue provides a tissue favouring transition layer into which the natural healing process develops, creating high adherence between the implant and the tissue. Microthane® is POLYTECH's micro-polyurethane foam-covered implant shell.

Implants with textured surface and Microthane® implants reduce the risk of capsular contracture4,5, one of the more common complications3. Moreover, Microthane® covered implants contribute to an overall lower complication rate, also with regard to implant dislocation and rotation.6

The texturisation 

POLYTECH textured implants – MESMO® and POLYtxt® - are independently tested by the State Materials Testing Institute Darmstadt and are classified as micro-textured according to ISO 14607: 2018 – the only official and shared classification method.

What to read next:

The right size, shape and style read more >> 
Finding the right surgeon


4. Pompei, S., et al., “Polyurethane Implants in 2-Stage Breast Reconstruction: 9-Year Clinical Experience”, Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 37, Issue 2, 1 February 2017, Pages 171-176,
5. Pompei S, Evangelidou D, Arelli, F, Ferrante G. 2016. “The Modern Polyurethane-Coated Implant in Breast Augmentation: Long-Term Clinical Experience”. Aesthetic Surgery Journal 36(10):1124-1129.
6. Verpaele A., Tonnard P,, Experience with the new generation Micro Polyurethane covered Silicone breast implants,