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Silicone vs Saline Implants

If you are considering breast augmentation, you have probably already weighed out all your pros and cons before you made the decision to get the procedure done. It’s always good to do your own research about breast implants and even finding a qualified doctor you feel comfortable with. Besides deciding how big you want your implants to be, you also need to choose the type of implants for your procedure. The two basic kinds of FDA approved implants that plastic surgeons use are silicone and saline implants. Below are some facts on each type of implant to clear up any confusion.

Saline

  • a silicone bag filled with a saltwater solution (saline); basically feels like a water balloon
  • the manufacturer provides the implants as empty bags, allowing the doctor to fill the implants to the appropriate size, as discussed with client, before or during surgery
  • almost always placed behind the pectoral muscle, also known as chest wall, in order to achieve a more natural feel
  • while it is more invasive to place the implant behind the muscle, it reduces the risk of a rippling effect on the surface of the breast skin after surgery and produces a more pleasant look and feel for the client
  • It is possible for the saline implants to leak and get absorbed in your body, while saline is not harmful, an implant can deflate within minutes. Luckily, most major manufacturers of saline implants will replace the implants free of charge at any time and also pay for the replacement for up to 10 years. Replacing an implant is much easier than the original breast augmentation procedure.

Silicone

  • Silicone implants are provided by the manufacturers pre-filled with a silicone gel in various sizes. You must order the right size prior to surgery because you cannot adjust the size of silicone implants during surgery. The implants are placed in your breast during surgery as is.
  • silicone implants have a feel and consistency very similar to real breast tissue. Due to the heavier nature of the gel, silicone implants are placed behind the breast tissue and unlikely to ripple after surgery.
  • In some very rare instances, silicone leakage may occur but the chances are low. If a leak occurs, the silicone usually stays inside the silicone bag or, at the very least, inside the opening created for the implant. Silicon implants will not deflate like saline implants. Most patients do not even realize that they have a leak until they go in for a mammogram. The FDA recommends getting a leaked implant replaced despite there being no evidence that it will harm a patient.
  • Silicone costs more than saline implants

Basically, choose silicone if a more natural feel is your priority, and choose saline if you would prefer a more “natural” substance in the implant and worry about having silicone in your body. When making a decision between these two types of implants, go with the one that makes you feel the most comfortable and talk to your doctor about any concerns.

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