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Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants

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Posted August 14, 2017 in Blog, breast surgery

Once you’ve made the decision that breast augmentation surgery is right for you, there’s another decision you’ll have to make—whether to choose silicone or saline breast implants.

First, it’s important to note that silicone implants are no longer considered unsafe by the FDA. In 2006, the ban on the use of silicone implants, which was implemented in 1994, was lifted. At that time, there was concern over the safety silicone implants. However, studies failed to find a connection and the restriction was lifted. It was determined that even if in the event silicone leaked from the implant, it didn’t cause any bodily harm.

Pros and Cons of Silicone and Saline Breast Implants

Both silicone and saline breast implants contain a silicone outer shell, but the difference lies in their filling; saline breast implants contain a saline solution, which is basically sterile salt water. Silicone implants are filled with silicone gel that mimics the look and feel of natural breasts.

Silicone Pros

Many doctors and patients report that silicone implants have a more natural look and feel, and there’s less chance of a rippling appearance. Available to patients at least 22 years of age, they’re preferred by women who are thin and/or have less breast tissue.

Silicone implants are lighter in weight, and as a result have less chance of movement due to gravity. For this reason, women who have a slight drooping of their breasts might prefer silicone implants.

Silicone Implant Cons

Because they are pre-filled, silicone implants will generally require a larger incision. Even though the scar is well hidden, it will be larger.

If a silicone implant develops a leak, it’s harder to detect because the leakage and subsequent deflation is slower. Also, it’s difficult to repair a silicone implant leak so a leaking implant will just be removed and replaced. This removal and replacement could add to scarring on the breast, although a good plastic surgeon can minimize this. Periodic exams by your doctor will determine if there’s any leakage from the silicone implant.

Silicone implants are usually more expensive than saline implants. The silicone used is far more expensive to produce than simple saline solution.

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