There are many decisions you will need to make regarding your breast augmentation procedure. One of the most important decisions involves whether to use saline or silicone breast implants. Both of these options have their benefits and drawbacks. At your initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will discuss these pros and cons with you to help you make the best decision for your unique individual needs.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline breast implants are FDA-approved for use with women over the age of 18. They have a silicone shell that gets filled with a sterile saline solution. Saline implants are generally filled after being placed in the breast pocket created to house the implant. This allows your plastic surgeon to achieve the exact size you desire.
Saline breast implants offer the following advantages:
- Smaller incision results in a reduction in the size of the scar created
- In the event of a rupture, the saline solution is safely absorbed by your body
- Implant deflates when it ruptures, alerting you to the fact that a rupture has occurred
However, there are also some important drawbacks to saline breast implants. They do not look or feel as natural as silicone implants. This is particularly true for women with minimal natural breast tissue. Saline breast implants also are more prone to rippling.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants are FDA-approved for use with women over the age of 22. In the early 1990s, they were pulled from the market due to safety concerns. However, after nearly 15 years of research, the FDA reapproved them in 2006. Today’s silicone breast implants are very safe and deliver beautiful, natural looking results.
Silicone implants have a silicone shell that is filled with a cohesive silicone gel. They come pre-filled, which gives your plastic surgeon a little less flexibility regarding the size of your breast implants. The cohesive gel material maintains its shape very well, so in the event of a rupture, your breast implant will not deflate and your breast will maintain its form. For this reason, it is recommended that you get an MRI periodically to detect the presence of a rupture or a leak.
There are several important advantages to silicone implants:
- More natural look and feel
- Less prone to rippling
- Maintain their form in the event of a rupture
However, because they come pre-filled, you will have a slightly larger scar.
Which Choice is Right for Me?
Ultimately, the decision to go with saline or silicone breast implants is highly personal and must be made in conjunction with your plastic surgeon’s recommendations. Many women prefer silicone implants due to their more natural appearance and feel. But when your breast augmentation is performed by a highly skilled and experienced plastic surgeon, you can achieve beautiful results with either type of implant.