silicone implants vs saline implantsWomen preparing to undergo breast augmentation have many difficult choices before them, not the least of which is selecting between saline and silicone implants. Both these options in breast enhancement have been used for many years and have a long track record of safety and efficacy. However, choosing the one that will give you the most beautiful shape, look and feel can be easier said than done. To help you in your decision-making process, Lickstein Plastic Surgery has a few basics about both types of implants that you need to know.

Saline Implant Basics

Saline implants were the first type of implant to be offered and are approved by the FDA for use in women age 18 and over. The saline option consists of a silicone shell that is filled with a sterile saline solution once the implant is placed into the breast tissue or underneath the pectoral muscle.

Saline implants offer a variety of choices that allow us to tailor your augmentation procedure to your precise aesthetic goals:

  • Shape – saline implants come in both round or anatomical (teardrop) shapes
  • Size – implants vary in size so we can accommodate any body proportions
  • Profile – implants also fluctuate in terms of how they project from the chest
  • Surface – both smooth and textured shells are available for saline implants

There are also some implants that can be adjusted for up to six months after they are placed in the breast to ensure women get the exact results they want from their augmentation procedure.

Benefits of Saline Implants

There are some advantages to filling the implant after it is put into place. First, the implant size can be meticulously created with the saline solution to achieve a precise fullness and ensure symmetry between the breasts. Because the unfilled implant does not require as long of an incision to place it in the breast, post-operative scarring is also smaller. Other potential advantages to saline implants include:

  • Implants are FDA approved for patients younger than 22 years of age (silicone are not)
  • The cost of saline is usually a bit less than their silicon counterparts
  • More choices in incision placement with saline implants
  • If the implant ruptures, it becomes apparent soon after the rupture occurs
  • In the event of a rupture, harmless saline solution is safely reabsorbed by the body

Many of our patients that choose saline implants are happy with the results of their procedure for many years. However, there can be some disadvantages associated with these devices as well.

Cons of Saline Implants

The primary drawbacks of saline implants are:

  • Implants don’t always feel and look as natural as silicone
  • Ruptures in the implant will distort the appearance of the breast
  • There may be a higher risk of a painful complication known as capsular contracture
  • Rippling, which can be seen on the outside of the breast, is more common with saline
  • Women with saline implants may be more likely to see breast drooping over time

At your initial consultation, Dr. Lickstein will discuss your concerns and cosmetic goals at length to determine whether saline implants might be the right choice for you. With extensive experience with these devices, Dr. Lickstein will ensure the results you achieve are natural and meet your expectations as closely as possible.

Silicone Implant Basics

The FDA has approved silicone implants for women age 22 and over, which include both the traditional silicone devices and the newer cohesive gel implants. Silicone implants also consist of a silicone shell, which comes pre-filled with a silicone substance. Traditional implants contain a filling similar in consistency to jelly, while cohesive gel implants have a filling comparable to gummy bear candies – hence their nickname, gummy bear implants.

Like saline, silicone implants offer a host of options so you can tailor your new look to your desired results and your specific body proportions:

  • Size – pre-filled implants come in an assortment of sizes
  • Shape – both round and anatomical shapes are available in silicone products
  • Profile – choose from low, moderate or high profiles, depending on your body contour
  • Surface – smooth and textured shells are both available

Traditional silicone and gummy bear implants are both available to our patients so you can choose the look and feel that you like best.

Benefits of Silicone Implants

There are many good reasons why a patient might choose a silicone implant over saline:

  • Implants hold their shape even in the event of a rupture
  • Lower risk for rippling and capsular contracture
  • Tend to look and feel more like natural breast tissue
  • Silicone is lighter than saline, reducing the odds of breast drooping
  • Silicone implants may be more durable than saline

Silicone implants are selected by most of our patients today. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind is you are thinking about silicone for your breast augmentation.

Cons of Silicone Implants

The disadvantages of silicone implants might include:

  • Longer incision needed to place pre-filled implant
  • Regular MRIs required to ensure no rupture occurred to the implant
  • Silicone implants are more expensive than saline

Dr. Lickstein will help you weigh the pros and cons of silicone implants at your initial consultation to help you choose the best option for your augmentation.

Helping You Make the Best Choice

While the choice of implants may seem like a challenging step in the breast augmentation process, keep in mind that women have been happy with their choice at Lickstein Plastic Surgery, whether they opt for saline or silicone implants. The most important decision you will make is the plastic surgeon that will perform your procedure, and Dr. Lickstein has both the experience to perform your procedure well and the compassion to walk you through the process so you are comfortable with your choices and happy with your results. To learn more about breast implants, schedule your consultation with Lickstein Plastic Surgery today by phoning us at 561-571-4000.

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