Breast Implants

There are a wide variety of breast implant options available today offering better, more natural-looking and feeling results than ever before. Women considering breast implants in Virginia Beach can now choose from a number of types, styles and shapes, allowing them to express their individuality and achieve the look they want.

The shape, size and type of implant are important factors to consider when making your decision, and an experienced breast surgeon like Dr. Thomas Hubbard can help guide you through the selection process to find your ideal match. Request a consultation online or contact our office by calling (757) 687-1900 to discuss your options.

Your Implant Options

At Hubbard Plastic Surgery, we offer gel, saline and Ideal implants. The latest generation of gel implants have been a quantum leap forward in the quest for a soft, natural feel and look with breast augmentation in Virginia Beach. Breast implants are available in a variety of profiles and the type you choose will depend on your priorities, shape and existing breast tissue. An especially detailed discussion of the many options is part of Dr. Hubbard's consultation.


Gel implants are the gold standard for natural feel among implants and a frequent choice of Dr. Hubbard's patients. Today's gel implants are vastly improved over past generations and clearly this has led to their increased popularity. Allergan introduced two more gel implant choices in their Natrelle Inspira line. There are now three choices for degree of cohesivity, which can be thought of as degree of firmness. They vary from quite soft to more like a "gummy bear" feel. Along with the many profiles and dimensions to choose from, women have never had so many excellent options for breast augmentation.


Most patients realize the implant decision is not always simple. Although gel offers the benefit of a more natural feel, it is accompanied by a higher capsular contracture rate and difficulty determining if there has been a rupture or leak. None of these issues lead to any type of disease threat, but can be expensive and for some women, a source of anxiety. Dr. Hubbard's rate of capsular contracture with gel is very low since he uses the Funnel and No Touch Technique. However, with gel implants, no surgeon can accomplish a rate less than 1% that is seen with saline. For this reason saline is still the choice of some women especially those who are not overly thin. They are aware that studies indicate a happiness rate with saline very close to that of gel. They also appreciate the lifelong peace of mind and long term lower cost.

The other concern about saline is the risk of visible rippling. From published results and the experience of Dr. Hubbard, this rate is usually exaggerated. Underweight women should be more concerned. A woman with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 18.5, such as someone 5'4" and 110 pounds, has an 11% chance of rippling. This risk goes down to 7% with a BMI of 24.9 (5'4" and 145 pounds). With a BMI greater than 24.9, there was no visible rippling in any of the patients in this 15 year study. (Codner et al. A 15 Year Experience with Primary Breast Augmentation, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery March 2011)

Ideal "Structured"

An excellent decision for some women is called the "Structured" or Ideal implant. It has managed to pull together the best of gel and the best of saline. No, it's not the natural feel of gel but maybe a little more natural than traditional saline with the wonderful long term benefits of saline: very low capsule contracture rate and never experiencing anxiety over whether or not a leak has occurred. Later studies indicate the leakage rate of these implants well less than 1/3 the rate of other saline implants.

Chest Evaluation

Evaluation of the overall chest shape and symmetry is a very important part of the breast augmentation consultation. At times, the underlying rib contour influences the final result of breast augmentation with both gel and saline implants. In some women, the ribs on one side may be more prominent and this should be accounted for during the planning process. The sternum or breast bone may be more or less prominent as well, which can also alter the shape of the breast. These are all very individualized factors that Dr. Hubbard takes into account when planning your procedure.

Breast Implant Placement

It is no longer theory but proven that capsule contracture rate is lowered with use of a sleeve. This is a methodology or tool used by surgeons interested in the lowest possible capsular contracture rate. It shields the implant from contact with tissue during the placement process. Dr. Hubbard uses the funnel with every gel implant and a sleeve with every saline implant.

Only in recent years has there been this new method of placing gel implants during surgery that can have profound benefits following breast augmentation, both in the short term and long term. This tool, referred to as "The Funnel" is a way of greatly limiting contamination due to contact with skin and breast tissue as the implant is inserted into the pocket.

A recent article in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal (Flugstad et al) compared over 1000 patients who had silicone breast implants placed using the Funnel and over 1000 that had surgery without use of the Funnel. The difference was dramatic. This study found that the rate of revision surgery due to capsule contracture was 54 percent less when the Funnel was used.

Dr. Hubbard began using the Funnel as soon as it became available and he continues to incorporate this added measure of safety and assurance to give his patients the best possible result.

Why does Dr. Hubbard have such a concern about capsular contracture? He practiced almost 6 years with the worldwide originator of the "no touch" technique, Richard Mladick, M.D. Capsular contracture was rarely seen. It became a "hardly ever" event for Dr. Hubbard and he still practices with that attitude. Everything is done that will lower capsular contracture rates.

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