BREAST AUGMENTATION - IMPLANT COMPARISON
Silicone Vs. Saline: Which is Right for You?
Breast implants are something many women consider getting to enhance their natural breasts or correct their appearance after mastectomy surgery. There are different options when it comes to implants: silicone or saline. Which option is right for you depends on a number of factors. You can discuss the options with your surgeon to find what works best for you and the look you want to achieve.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline implants are made of a silicone shell and filled with a saline solution. If the implant ruptures, the shell stays in the breast but the saline is absorbed by the body. They are approved for women 18 or over and anyone looking to have reconstructive surgery done following mastectomy or other medically necessary surgery involving breast tissue. There are risks with any breast augmentation procedure- such as infection, capsular contracture. You can discuss any and all concerns and risks with your surgical team prior to your procedure. With a Saline implant, you would need to change them after 10 years as they would most likely deflate after 10 years and you would want to change them before they rupture.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone implants are made of the same silicone shell and filled with a silicone gel substance inside the implant. If these implants rupture, the silicone gel will either stay within the implant or potentially leak out into the breast pocket depending on which generation. This may not cause any health concerns- but it could also lead to an infection if not caught in time. If you notice any changes in your implants, get them checked by your doctor. You may need to have an ultrasound or MRI to get a better look at the implant and to see if it has in fact ruptured. If it has, you may need additional surgery to replace the implant.
All breast augmentation procedures have a similar surgical plan. Your surgeon will place you under general anesthesia and determine where to place the implant- either over or under the pectoral muscle. Depending on the implant you chose- that will determine how your overall breast shape will look once the implant is in place. There’s a variety of options- gummy bear implants, round, smooth, and textured. Which implant is right for you depends on the overall look you want. Your surgeon will discuss the different styles of the implant with you and determine the best course of action for the overall aesthetic you desire.
Breast implants and augmentation are not a lifetime guarantee. Many implants need routine screening to check for implant rupture and any other abnormalities. You may need an ultrasound or MRI every few years to look at the integrity of the implant and ensure they have not ruptured or caused any other major problems. This will also make mammograms more of a challenge. If you are scheduled for a routine mammogram, make sure you tell the radiologist that you have breast implants. This will allow them to adjust the procedure accordingly and possibly take more scans and adjust for more angles of the breast tissue to get an accurate scan for cancer. You may need your implants replaced after a decade or so.
Breast implants do not prevent the aging of the breasts. If you are concerned about sagging, consider doing a breast lift after or during your augmentation procedure.
Cost varies depending on the depth of the procedure, implants you choose, etc. Insurance won’t cover the procedure unless it is deemed medically necessary- so you will need to take that into account. You also will need time off work to recover from the procedure.
Whether you choose silicone or saline implants, you will receive the same result of an altered breast appearance. Depending on the look you are going for, this could mean anything from bigger breasts to a slightly different shape. Your surgeon will consult with you prior to the procedure and see exactly what you are wanting in order to determine the best course of action.