Choosing Between Silicone and Saline Breast Implants for Breast Augmentation

breast-implant-options-at-atlanta-plastic-surgery-pcThe size and volume of the breasts can be a source of constant frustration and dissatisfaction for some women. This is a big reason why breast augmentation was the most commonly-performed cosmetic surgery procedure last year. Breast augmentation provides women with an opportunity to improve their self-confidence by altering the size and shape of their breasts to create a more proportional silhouette. I normally recommend breast augmentation procedures for women who desire larger breasts, those who have experienced a change to their breast size or shape due to weight loss or pregnancy, or women who are dealing with breast asymmetry. One of the most important decisions facing prospective breast augmentation patients is choosing between saline and silicone gel-filled breast implants. I have answered a few common questions I have received about these different types of breast implants that will hopefully help.

Q1: Which type of implant is more likely to rupture?

While it is very rare for either saline or silicone implants to experience a complication like an implant rupture, they can both be subject to potential rupturing. The difference lies in what happens after a rupture in each case. With saline implants, the body can safely absorb the saline after a rupture, so the result is just a deflated breast with no physical harm. When a silicone implant experiences a rupture, the free silicone can remain trapped in the fibrous tissue (capsule) that forms around the implant, which can potentially lead to pain or changes in the contour or shape of the affected breast. However, it’s important to reiterate that the chances of experiencing a rupture are very low regardless of which type of implant is used.

Q2: How do the results from saline and silicone implants differ?

Both saline and silicone breast implants can provide excellent, natural-looking breast augmentation results, but there are a few differences for patients to consider. Saline implants tend to be firmer, whereas silicone implants typically feel softer and more similar to natural breast tissue. Tear drop-shaped “gummy bear” (or cohesive gel) silicone implants can provide patients with an alternative to traditionally round silicone or saline implants. Saline implants are more likely to experience rippling over time, especially for thinner patients.

Q3: Are certain women good candidates for one type of implant or another?

When determining which type of breast implant is best for their aesthetic needs, it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Although, it’s important to remember that silicone implants are unavailable to routine breast augmentation patients until they reach 22-years of age. During breast augmentation consultations, I use Vectra® 3D Imaging to help patients see a projection of what their results may look like with a variety of implant size and type options to help them find the right implants for them.

Women considering breast augmentation have more options than ever when choosing which breast implants are right for them. Remember that this decision is a personal one that doesn’t necessarily have a “right or wrong” answer. It’s important to work with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who will help guide you towards the most helpful choice for your needs. For more information on breast implants, please contact me, Dr. Allyson B. Maske, today to schedule your plastic surgery consultation. Don’t forget to follow along with me on Facebook and Twitter for more plastic surgery tips, news, and updates.