Breast Augmentation: Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants

When you decide to get breast augmentation surgery, you need to make some important decisions. One is the choice between silicone and saline implants. The two implant types offer a different feel, look, and size. Like other women, your preferred look and personal preferences should guide your decision. Most women opt for silicone implants, but this may not be the best choice for everyone.


The Feel of the Implants


The main reason silicone implants are more popular is that they are softer to the touch. When it comes to how they feel, saline implants tend to be firmer. In some cases, the fill valve or outer edges of a saline implant can be felt through the skin. Silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue and are better suited for women who want over-the-muscle implants.


The Look of the Implants


Silicone breast implants are filled with a pliable gel material that creates a more natural look. Wrinkling and rippling effects are less of a problem for silicone implants than for saline implants. Silicone offers better results for women with less breast tissue or those who have had a mastectomy. On the other hand, saline implants produce a more dramatic look. The breasts appear more structured and remain unaltered by gravity. Saline implants are a good choice for women who want large breasts.


The Implant Incision


Saline and silicone implants require different types of incisions. A saline implant is empty when inserted into the body. The saline fluid is then filled into the empty sac. This means that a smaller incision is needed during surgery. This also means that the post-surgical scar is relatively small. Silicone implants come filled with gel-like material. Accordingly, a larger incision will be required to insert the implant. Silicone implants are inserted into the breast crease to hide the incision.


Size of the Implants


Both silicone and saline implants come in a variety of sizes. Silicone implants come in a set of fixed sizes that cannot be altered during surgery. If you have any asymmetry issues, you can select two different sizes of silicone implants to compensate.  Saline implants come in size ranges and can be filled to the desired volume within a designated range. Because saline implants are filled after being inserted into the body, the surgeon can adjust their sizes as needed.


Implant Ruptures


The potential for an implant to rupture is a significant concern for women seeking breast augmentation. Saline implants deflate quickly when ruptured. The loss of volume occurs as the saltwater leaves the implant and is absorbed into the body. Fortunately, the sterile saltwater does not harm the body. Silicone implants can also rupture, even though this is quite rare. Silicone implants do not deflate, and it can be difficult to detect whether the implant even has a problem. If the gel remains in the body for a while, though, it can create health complications.

If you are considering breast augmentation, it is best to consult a specialist to determine the best option for you. The plastic surgeon will help you identify the breast implant most suitable for your body and lifestyle. During the consultation, you will also see photos from previous breast implant patients. 

To learn more about breast augmentation, visit the office of Aron Kressel, MD in New York, New York. You can also call 212.772.6968 to book an appointment today.

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