Silicone or Saline Breast Implants - Which is Right For You?
A renowned cosmetic surgeon with a 5 star reputation for high quality care and superior aesthetic surgery results.
Both silicone and saline implants are inserted as an outpatient procedure. An incision is made in which the empty saline implant is slipped, then positioned. Saline is then pumped into the implant to the correct size. Many surgeons place saline implants under the muscle which allows patients to have a more natural look and feel. The scar from saline implant insertion is usually small, about one inch long. Silicone implants are inserted in much the same way as saline, though silicone implants are pre-filled. This requires a larger incision which can lead to a larger scar than saline implants. Silicone implants are positioned under the breast tissue or partially under the muscle. Scars from the surgery are usually well hidden in natural skin creases. Women that need total reconstruction of the breast may prefer silicone due to the softer feel when less breast tissue is present.
Saline implants can be positioned in a way that provides a natural looking result. The shape of saline implants is typically round. When positioned under the muscle of a woman that already has significant amount of breast tissue – a B to C cup (or larger) – saline can be almost undetectable. Women with much smaller breasts and a thin body frame benefit more from silicone implants as the edges of saline implants can be easily seen and felt on this type of body shape. Saline implants may wrinkle or fold, leading to a noticeable shape and feel. Silicone implants are less likely to ever fold, especially the newer ‘gummy bear’ implants which are made form a silicone that is highly cohesive.
At our Chicago, Illinois center, Dr. Michael Horn understands that breast augmentation / implant surgery is a personal decision and that individual goals vary.
Some women prefer to use saline implants as they prefer having what they consider a more natural substance in their body. If a saline implant is broken then the saline is absorbed by the body. The only material left behind is the implant itself which can be removed. There is no guessing if a silicone implant breaks, as the saline is absorbed and the change in shape is noticeable as soon as the implant has lost saline. Silicone implants that break can removed and a new implant put in place. Silicone is not absorbed by the body. Fibrous tissue forms around the implants, known as encapsulation. The silicone may be held in place by this tissue and the break may not be detected. If changes in the shape of the breast are noticed and any inflammation present, a surgeon will remove the implant and silicone. A new implant can be placed.
Some women base their decision on the cost. Saline implants can be less expensive than silicone. Women that can accept a sub-muscle implant and wish to save money may decide to go with a saline implant. Silicone is typically more expensive due to the manufacture of silicone. Silicone needs slightly more attention to placement and larger incisions, which may add to the cost. Generally the end result with both implant types can be beautiful. The decision to go with one type over the other can be based on personal preference, body type, or cost. Performance and durability depends on the manufacturer, though no implants claim to last a lifetime. Most implants will hold up well as long as they are placed correctly and are cared for properly, much like the care of natural breasts. If you have other questions, consult Dr. Michael Horn in Chicago for knowledgeable answers.
If you’ve made the decision to alter your current breast cup size with a breast augmentation surgery, the next step is to decide between saline and silicone implants. When making this decision, it is important to understand the differences between the two implant types and the risk factors associated with each.
Discuss all of your options with Dr. Horn during your breast augmentation consultation, preferably with a computer simulated view of what the sizes will look like on your frame. Choosing a size and shape that you are happy with is important and may prevent unnecessary additional surgeries just to adjust volume.
Let your doctor allow you to feel the difference in the texture of the implants so that you can see how natural they feel. Walk around with them in a bra to see their variances before you decide on one. These preparatory exercises will help you make the best choice and give you a breast augmentation outcome you will be more than happy with.