In today’s world, many women wish to change the shape or size of their breasts. Patients may choose to undergo a breast augmentation procedure in order to make their breasts appear larger and fuller and achieve a more aesthetically pleasing shape. This procedure is also commonly used to restore volume following weight loss or pregnancy.
There are two common types of breast implants offered by plastic surgeons: saline and silicone. Many women have a hard time deciding which shape and material of implant to go with. There are pros and cons to each type and it is important that you do your research and discuss the options with your board-certified plastic surgeon to determine the best fit for you.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline implants are silicone shells that are filled with sterile salt water.
Saline implants can be inserted through a wider range of surgical techniques as they don’t require as long an incision – an empty shell can be filled with saline after its insertion. If the implant ruptures, a saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body.
Saline breast implants provide a uniform shape, firmness and feel, and are FDA-approved for augmentation in women age 18 or older.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants are filled with silicone gel. The gel feels a bit more like natural breast tissue. If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into the breast implant pocket. A leaking implant filled with silicone gel will not collapse.
If you choose silicone implants, you may need to visit your plastic surgeon regularly to make sure the implants are functioning properly. An ultrasound or MRI screening can assess the condition of breast implants.
Silicone breast implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women age 22 or older. Many women claim that silicone implants feel more like a “real” breast than saline.
What To Expect
Patients should always be realistic in their expectations and never assume that undergoing breast augmentation is a one-time procedure. While breast implants may be long-lasting with very low risk of their shells rupturing, they are not lifetime devices. Modern implants typically last for more than a decade before they need to be replaced. Saline implants used to be more popular, but this has changed dramatically with the newer generations of silicone gel implants that can give an increasingly natural feel and contour, and a much lower risk of rippling and wrinkling deformity.
It is possible for either type of implant to rupture. If a silicone implant should leak, the leak may stay inside the implant shell or leak outside of the shell. Silicone breast implants may cause no obvious symptoms when they rupture. However, when a saline implant ruptures, it will deflate, making the rupture known. Always pay attention to your body, and the shape and feel of your breast following surgery.
Don’t be afraid to ask your surgeons any questions you may have in order to make the most informed decision. To set up your complimentary cosmetic consultation, please call us at 732-741-0970 or visit our consultation page.