Saline versus silicone implants is a much debated topic, by both patients and doctors. Every woman wants to find the perfect breast implant style to meet her expectations and give her the body of her dreams. In order to make the correct choice between saline and silicone, it is vital to learn the facts about what benefits each style offers and how they differ from one another.
This article enlightens patients on the crucial differences between silicone and saline breast prosthetics and helps them to answer this vital question, in order to succeed in their own breast augmentation or reconstruction goals.
Saline Versus Silicone Implants History
Originally, the first breast implants were made of silicone gel. During the development of subsequent generations of silicone breast implants, manufacturing changes created weak outer shells, leading to a high incidence of implant failure, leaking and rupture. The silicone gel sometimes migrated from the implant and was linked to several possible dangerous health conditions. This led to the ban on silicone gel implants, by the FDA in 1992, although they continued to be available outside the US.
Saline breast implants were introduced later, as an alternative to silicone. The saline filler was safe and would not harm the woman, even if it leaked out of the shell. Saline implants changed the way surgeons performed breast augmentation surgery, since the flat-shelled implants were inserted empty and then filled inside the body. This allowed for far smaller surgical wounds and new and innovative entry incisions, such as the TUBA approach.
Eventually, silicone was vindicated through intensive research studies and made a grand reappearance onto the international cosmetic surgery scene. The latest incarnation, the cohesive silicone gel breast implant is thought to be the best artificial breast ever designed, in durability, appearance, feel and safety.
Saline and Silicone Breast Implant Complications
Saline implants and traditional silicone gel implants can both rupture and leak. Saline will not harm living tissue, but the implant will deflate rapidly and will need to be replaced almost immediately. At least replacement of saline implants is relatively easy and low cost.
Silicone gel leaks are not common anymore, since the shells are thicker and the filler material more viscous. However, they can occur. Surgery to replace traditional silicone gel implants can be a challenge, since all the migrating silicone must be located and removed.
Cohesive gel implants do not leak or rupture and will not change shape, even if the outer shell is compromised.
Saline breast implants are less likely to cause capsular contracture than silicone implants.
Saline are more prone to wrinkling and folding of the implant shell. This can lead to undesirable aesthetics or even implant rupture.
Silicone implants have a far more natural feel and most doctors and patients prefer the feel by more than a 4 to 1 ratio.
Saline implants are prone to sloshing noises, especially when the implants are new.
Saline Versus Silicone Implant Incisions
One of the main factors in deciding between saline or silicone breast implants is the desired surgical approach.
Saline can be implanted through many possible entry incisions, including under the natural breast fold, through the areola, through the armpit or through the navel.
Silicone implants are larger and must be placed through a longer surgical incision. This limits their placement through mostly inframammary incisions. Some surgeons perform silicone implantation using periareolar or transaxillary incisions, but these are more difficult and complex procedures and may be more expensive.
Saline and Silicone Breast Implant Comparison
Now that safely seems to be a level playing field, it is harder than ever to choose one style over the other.
For women with special needs, such as the desire for a disproportionately large size or resistance to any surgical approach which leaves a scar, saline is the one and only choice.
For women who desire a long lasting durable implant and do not mind a possible surgical scar, cohesive gel implants offer a great solution to achieve perfect breast shape and size, while maintaining a natural look and feel.
Talk to your doctor about which implant will be best to suit your tastes.
Selecting the correct implant is an important part of creating the body of your dreams. Do the research and make an informed choice.