Silicone Vs Saline Breast Implants: Choose the Perfect Breast Implants For You!
The breast is an important feature of a woman’s body and an external expression of femininity. Often, when a woman has a small breast in relation to the rest of her body, or if she is not happy with her breasts’ shape, she might think of having a breast augmentation.
The decision to cross the threshold of the plastic surgeon’s office is only the first step in the breast implants journey for an enhanced, toned and beautiful breast. Deciding on the type of implant step two, yet equally important for breast augmentation candidates.
To help you decide, we have gathered here the key characteristics of silicone vs. saline breast implants.
Silicone Implants For Breast Augmentation
How Do They Feel?
Silicone implants are soft to touch and lighter than saline implants, designed to feel more realistic, like the natural female breast.
Silicone implants give breasts a natural look, as they are similar to natural breast tissue. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Lifespan Of Silicone Implants
Most silicone implants are FDA-approved for 10-20 years, indicating that they are designed to be long-lasting. However, this does not necessarily mean that they need to be replaced within that timeframe. Many patients can safely go beyond the approved lifespan without experiencing any complications or issues with their implants.
Regular follow-up appointments with a plastic surgeon are important to monitor the condition of the implants and address any concerns that may arise. It’s worth noting that while silicone implants are durable, there is still a possibility of rupture or other complications over time, which may require implant replacement.
Are They FDA-Approved?
What Material Are Made Of?
Silicone implants are made solely from silicone, a material that looks and feels similar to human fat. They consist of a silicone case filled with silicone gel.
Type of Incision
Silicone implants require inconspicuous skin incisions made either in the inframammary fold, or around the areola (periareolar) or in the underarm area. Learn more about the incision placement here.
The site where the plastic surgeon will insert the implants should suit the patient’s anatomy and aesthetic goals. For patients with little breast tissue and thin skin, the sub-muscular implant placement – under the chest muscle – looks and feels natural as the patient’s natural tissue covers the implant. For women with thick skin and adequate tissue, the surgeon may choose to place the implant behind the breast tissue (sub-glandular), ensuring a fast and less painful recovery. Silicone implants are already filled when inserted into the patient’s body.
Implant Rupture Risk
It is not common for breast implants to rupture. But if they do, the fluid they contain seeps into the patient’s body and causes changes to the breast’s shape and size. It may also cause increased pain and extensive swelling in the breast area. The FDA suggests that people with silicone implants should receive MRI screening every three years to ensure there is no “silent rupture.”
Who is The Best Candidate for Silicone Implants?
Silicone implants are often considered a better option for women with less breast tissue, as they can provide a more natural look and feel. The cohesive gel used in silicone implants closely resembles the texture of natural breast tissue, allowing for a smoother and more realistic outcome.
Women who desire a fuller and more voluptuous appearance may also opt for silicone implants to achieve their desired aesthetic. However, it’s essential for individuals considering silicone implants to consult with an experienced plastic surgeon who can assess their unique needs and provide personalized recommendations.
Recovery After Silicone Implants
The recovery process after silicone implant surgery is similar to that of saline implants. Patients are advised to avoid strenuous physical activity and heavy lifting for several weeks following the procedure. Wearing a supportive bra is also recommended to promote proper healing and support the newly placed implants.
Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are common during the initial recovery period, but these symptoms gradually subside over time. It’s crucial for patients to follow their surgeon’s post-operative instructions, attend follow-up appointments, and maintain open communication throughout the recovery process for optimal results.
Cost Of Silicone Implants
When considering the cost of silicone implants, it’s important to note that they are generally more expensive than saline implants. The higher cost is primarily due to the manufacturing process and the materials used in silicone implants.
However, the specific cost can vary depending on various factors, including the surgeon’s fees, geographic location, and additional expenses such as anaesthesia and facility fees. Patients should discuss the cost of silicone implants with their plastic surgeon during the consultation to have a better understanding of the financial aspects associated with the procedure.
Health Risks Of Silicone Implants
There are some potential health risks associated with silicone implants that patients should be aware of. While these risks are rare, it is important to discuss them with a plastic surgeon prior to undergoing the procedure. Here are some of the possible health risks of silicone implants:
- Need for additional surgeries: In some cases, individuals may require further surgeries due to complications that arise after the initial implant procedure. This could include addressing issues such as implant malposition, implant rupture, or capsular contracture.
- Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL): Although extremely rare, there is a small risk of developing BIA-ALCL, which is a type of cancer that affects the immune system. It is important to note that BIA-ALCL is typically associated with textured implants rather than smooth ones.
- Breast Implant Illness (BII): Some individuals may experience systemic symptoms referred to as Breast Implant Illness (BII). These symptoms can include fatigue, joint pain, cognitive difficulties, and autoimmune-like symptoms.
- Capsular contracture: This refers to the formation of scar tissue around the implant, which can result in firmness, discomfort, and changes in breast appearance. While capsular contracture can occur with any type of breast implant, it may be more prevalent in silicone implants.
- Breast pain: Some individuals may experience breast pain or discomfort following silicone implant surgery. This pain can vary in intensity and duration, and it’s important to discuss any concerns with the plastic surgeon.
- Implant rupture: Although rare, silicone implants have the potential to rupture, which may require additional surgery to remove or replace the affected implant. Ruptures can be silent (asymptomatic) or accompanied by noticeable changes in breast shape, size, or firmness.
- Infection: Like any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection with breast implant surgery. Steps are taken to minimize this risk, such as administering antibiotics during the surgery and providing post-operative care instructions to prevent infection.
Breast augmentation surgery is a major procedure that carries risks and requires careful consideration before making a decision. It is important for individuals considering breast augmentation to consult with an experienced plastic surgeon who can provide a comprehensive evaluation, discuss the potential risks and benefits, and offer personalized recommendations based on their unique circumstances.
Saline Implants For Breast Augmentation
Saline implants feel firmer to touch and heavier than silicone implants.
Saline implants have a round and firm look, giving a look of fullness to the breasts.
How long they last
Saline implants are also quite durable. However, patients might need to replace them at some point in time.
Material Made Of
Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water and their outer shell is made of silicone.
Type of Incision
Saline implants require a small incision underneath the breast or in the underarm. They are inserted empty and filled with sterile salt water only once they’re in the right place.
Implant placement: Saline implants are placed into the chest area and filled after being set correctly into the breast area.
Implant Rupture Risk
In case of a rupture, the female body can safely absorb saline implants. The patient might need surgery to remove ruptured saline implants.