Silicone vs saline implants: Explore your options

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A circle of debate continues around coffee table conversations when it comes to which type of breast implant is better: Saline or silicone. While there is no right or wrong answer, there might be a right or wrong option for you.

Breast augmentation should be a procedure specifically tailored to each unique body structure, and that includes the material used to augment each type. A one-on-one consultation with a board-certified surgeon will help determine which is right for you. And in the meantime, we have outlined some of the pros and cons to help answer some questions you might have about silicone and saline implants.

Silicone

Silicone implants have made leaps and bounds since their inception in the 1960’s. In the past, it was not uncommon for a gel-filled silicone implant to rupture and spill into the body. This was because of the thin outer shell used in second generation implants. Today, cosmetic surgeons use third-generation prefilled silicone implants, typically referred to as cohesive gel implants.

Patients who benefit the most from these types of implants typically have a smaller frame with little to moderate natural breast tissue, to begin with. This is primarily because of the rippling effect that can occur with the outer shell of the saline implant. Regardless of body type, some opt for traditional silicone implants because they tend to soften over time, giving patients a more natural look and feel.

Today, some surgeons are using a “gummy bear” implant. This is a teardrop shaped implant filled with a highly cohesive gel that will not spill into the body if the outer shell ruptures. It gives patients a firmer feel because of the dense consistency of the gel. The new gummy bear implant tends to hold to its anatomical shape over time and will help mask tell-tale signs of augmentation, such as excessive fullness.

Saline

Saline implants have been on the market almost as long as silicone, first appearing in bodies during the 1970’s. In the past, some patients preferred saline because it offered a softer, more natural feel than its first generation silicone predecessor. However, even today, some patients might experience a rippling effect in these implants because the outer shell can become deformed over time.

Although saline-filled breast implants also use a silicone outer shell, some patients prefer the advantages these offers. One benefit is that the sterile saline solution used to fill the shell is inserted after the outer shell goes into the body, which ultimately requires a smaller, less noticeable incision.

Another factor patients might enjoy in a saline implant is that the saline is essentially harmless if it leaks into the body. The solution is simply absorbed, although the outer shell must still be removed if leakage occurs. This is usually replaced for free under a warranty.

Finally, saline implants are less likely to cause scar tissue around the implant, making breasts feel hard and look distorted, a complication known as capsular contracture.

Conclusion

As the great debate over silicone and saline continues, it ultimately comes down to personal preference, but still requires some thoughtful decision-making.  A board-certified surgeon will review various physical factors along with your medical history before recommending the best options to help you achieve the self-esteem boosting, tailored look you desire.

Contact us today to schedule your one-on-one consultation.

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