Information on Breast Implants: Silicone vs Saline - Whats Right For You
When considering breast implants there are many factors to take into consideration. One such factor is choosing between saline and silicone breast implants. The following is a comparison between saline and silicone breast implants and the potential advantages and disadvantages of each.
Saline breast implants contain an outer shell of silicone within which the saline solution is placed. The new and improved silicone breast implants have the same outer silicone shell within which is a new cohesive silicone gel. Unlike the old silicone implants, which were more like a liquid, the new cohesive gel act more like a solid than a liquid holding together uniformly while still retaining the natural give and feel of natural breast tissue. This gelatin is much less likely to leak, rupture or tear as compared to the older traditional silicone breast implants and, the breast implant does not leak even when cut in half.
In terms of how they look and feel, silicone implants are considered to be a better option compared to saline implants. Many women believe that silicone implants offer a much softer feel and look more like natural breasts, and are less likely to produce rippling, while saline implants tend to feel hard. Saline implants also are more likely to appear wrinkled or rippled, especially among women who have very little breast tissue of their own. Therefore, silicone implants would be a better choice for women who have undergone a mastectomy or for women who are rather thin.
Saline and silicone breast implants also differ in how they are filled. Saline breast implants are filled only after they have been placed inside the breast tissue and can be filled to whatever size breasts the patient is interested in. This is an advantage of saline breast implants since it requires a smaller incision to implant them, which will also lessen the chance of any noticeable scarring after the surgery. A further advantage of saline implants is that doctors can adjust the size of each breast to ensure that they are the same size. Silicone implants are already filled before they are implanted and the size cannot be adjusted after they are placed inside.
While both silicone and saline implants have a chance of rupturing, a saline implant deflates after it ruptures and the patient will be able to tell when their implant has ruptured. This is not the case for silicone implants, as many patients cannot tell when their implant has ruptured. This has been called a silent rupture and in this case, the silicone will either stay inside of the implant, or it may move to another part of the body. For this reason, it is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration that patients with silicone implants have an MRI done within three years of the surgery and then every two years after to check for any signs of implant rupture. It is relatively harmless if a saline implant ruptures, since saline is only a salt solution and will be absorbed by the body without any problems.
If cost of the surgery is an issue, patients should be advised that silicone breast implants are usually more costly in comparison to saline implants.
Silicone and saline breast implants also vary depending on the age of the patient. If you are interested in implants for purely cosmetic reasons, you must be at least 22 years old in order to have silicone breast implants. For saline implants, you must be at least 18 years of age. However, if you need reconstructive surgery, you can receive either implant at any age.
Shapes, Sizes Available For Silicone and Saline; Round or Anatomical Implants
Saline breast implants and silicone implants come in a variety of shapes, surface textures, and sizes. Allergan Medical, the makers of Natrelle Breast Implants offer 143 shapes and sizes. Depending on the desired shape you wish to achieve, you and your local plastic surgeon may choose a round or shaped implant. Generally, the larger you want your cup size, the larger the implant the plastic surgeon will consider.
Profiles Range From Moderate to High - You have a Selection for Implants
Three distinct profiles also exist ranging from moderate profile to moderate plus/mid range to high profile. The moderate profile breast implant has a wider diameter with the least forward projection whereas the high profile implant has a narrower base diameter and the most forward projection. The moderate plus/mid range profile has, for most, the best in diameter and projection. Your plastic surgeon will help each patient choose the most appropriate size, shape and profile best suited for that individual patient.
Textured and Smooth Breast Implants - Whats the Difference? Read about advantages and disadvantages.
The surface texture may also vary from smooth to one of a variety of textured or rough surfaces. Textured implants were originally designed to reduce capsular contracture (firmness and hardening of the tissue which heals around the implant). The textured surface allows tissue in-growth which fixes or adheres the breast implant to the surrounding tissues in a steady position. Since the tissues adhere to the breast implant, it is more likely to feel the ripples or waves which are natural in any breast implant. The smooth implant however does not adhere to any tissues and is free to move inside the implant "pocket." With a proper size and the proper creation of the implant "pocket," there is less chance of feeling and seeing the implants and a more natural feel and movement of the breast. Each type of surface seems to have certain possible advantages and disadvantages.
While both silicone and saline breast implants offer their own advantages and disadvantages, it is not a decision that should be made alone. Only a board certified plastic surgeon can help a patient to determine the right type of implant for their needs, as well as inform them about any possible risks or side effects.
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