Saline Versus Silicone: Picking the Right Implants
If you plan to augment your breasts with implants, you will need to make some important decisions. Picking a competent plastic surgeon is one of the most significant decisions you will need to make. If you live in southwest Florida, the board certified and board eligible plastic surgeons of Naples Plastic Surgery have considerable expertise in breast implant surgery.
This decision should be made in consultation with your chosen surgeon and the breast augmentation surgeons—Drs. Paul Gardner, Leo Baccaro, Mark Walsh, and Andrew Bonett—at Naples Plastic Surgery always review the pros and cons of each with their patients. To help you better prepare for your breast augmentation surgery and choose the type of implant, we’ve detailed the differences and highlighted the pros and cons of each below.
Difference Between Saline and Silicone Implants
Technically speaking, all breast implants have outer shells made of silicone. The distinction of saline versus silicone implants is based on whether the implants contain a saline solution (sterile salt water) or a silicone gel for the filling material. Both are designed to mimic the feel, shape, and movement of a woman’s breast.
Silicone gel implants can be made with different degrees of firmness and most closely approximate the look and feel of natural breasts.
Pros and Cons of Saline Implants
From a medical standpoint, saline implants have a reputation for being the safer option. While it’s a rare occurrence, a potential complication with all implants is ruptuure of the outer shell. When this happens to saline implants, the sterile salt water is naturally absorbed by the body, leaving the deflated implant as the only remaining problem. When silicone implants rupture, it is sometimes necessary to remove some of the breast tissue around the silicone material.
Sometimes saline implants require smaller incisions for implantation because they are empty when inserted into the breasts. The saline solution is pumped in after the surgery through a remote injection port. This provides the added benefit of allowing for fine-tuning of breast size and shape for several months after the surgery until the injection port is removed. It also makes it easier to create breast symmetry.
Saline implants tend to be rounder, fuller, and firmer than silicone implants, which may make them look and feel less natural. This perception can be offset to various degrees using structured saline implants and implant placement techniques.
Pros and Cons of Silicone Implants
Despite structured saline implants and placement techniques, silicone implants are known to more closely simulate the shape, look, movement, and feel of natural breast tissue. Silicone gel is a thick, viscous material available in different textures that can be better matched to mimic a woman’s distinct natural breast tissue.
However, silicone represents a slightly greater health risk in the rare event of a rupture. While the U.S. FDA has determined that silicone from implants does not cause cancer or chronic autoimmune disorders, a silicone implant leak or rupture can cause other issues in the adjacent breast tissue. Because of the silicone’s viscosity, a woman may not know that her implant is leaking or suffered a rupture until it causes pain, tissue thickening, or a noticeable change to the shape of the breast.
Learn More by Consulting with Naples Plastic Surgery
Depending on your age, body type, shape of your breasts, and other factors, your plastic surgeon might recommend one type of implant over the other to secure the most aesthetically pleasing results. The saline versus silicone implant decision, though, is ultimately up to you. To learn more about your breast augmentation options, one of our cosmetic surgeons would be glad to speak with you personally. Contact Naples Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611 to schedule your initial consultation.