Breast augmentation surgery is a popular procedure that has helped millions of women achieve their desired look and feel more confident in their bodies. In general, breast augmentation is a surgical procedure performed to enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breasts. It involves the placement of breast implants or fat transfer to increase the volume and improve the overall appearance of the breasts.
Although its prevalence can vary from year to year, breast implant surgery is still one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. According to the Plastic Surgery Statistics Report released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons®, around 193,073 breast augmentation procedures were performed in the United States in 2020.
One of the most important decisions women face when considering breast augmentation surgery is choosing the type of breast implant they want. There are two main types of breast implants available: saline and silicone. Each type has its pros and cons, and it is important to understand them to make an informed decision.
In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of saline vs. silicone breast implants to help you decide which type of implant is best for your individual needs.
What Is the Breast Implant Procedure?
Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breasts. It usually involves the placement of breast implants under the breast tissue or behind the pectoralis major muscle to increase the volume and improve the overall appearance of the breasts.
Breast augmentation is commonly sought by women who desire larger breasts, have experienced a loss of breast volume after pregnancy or weight loss, or wish to restore symmetry to uneven breasts. It can also be performed for reconstructive purposes after breast cancer surgery or other medical conditions.
The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia. During the surgery, an incision is made in a discreet location, such as under the breast crease, around the areola, or in the armpit. The plastic surgeon then creates a pocket either under the breast tissue or beneath the chest muscle, and the breast implants are carefully inserted and positioned.
Breast implants used in augmentation can be filled with saline solution or silicone gel. Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water and are inserted into the pocket empty before being filled by the surgeon during the procedure, while silicone implants come prefilled with a cohesive silicone gel. The choice of implant type and size depends on the patient’s preferences, body anatomy, and the surgeon’s recommendations.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline breast implants are made of a silicone outer shell that is filled with a sterile saline solution. Saline implants can be inserted empty and filled after they are placed in the breast pocket, which allows for some adjustability in terms of size and symmetry. Saline-filled breast implants typically cost less than silicone implants.
Advantages of Saline Breast Implants
One of the main advantages of saline breast implants is the ability to know quickly if there is a leak or rupture. In the rare event of a breast implant rupture or leak, the saline solution is harmlessly absorbed by the body accompanied by a noticeable difference in breast size.. This means that any potential risks associated with a ruptured implant are minimized.
Another advantage of saline breast implants is their adjustability. Since saline implants are filled after they are placed in the breast pocket, the cosmetic surgeon can make adjustments to ensure that the breasts are symmetrical and the desired size is achieved. This can be particularly useful for women who have asymmetrical breasts or who want to achieve a specific size and shape.
Disadvantages of Saline Breast Implants
One disadvantage of saline breast implants is their tendency to ripple. Saline implants have a higher risk of rippling than silicone implants, which can result in a less natural look and feel. The rippling can be particularly noticeable in thin women with less breast tissue to cover the silicone shell of the implant.
Another disadvantage of saline breast implants is that they may feel less natural than silicone implants particularly in thin women. Saline implants can feel firmer and less like natural breast tissue. This can be a drawback for women who want a more natural look and feel.
Patients Who Might Be Good Candidates for Saline Breast Implants
First of all, patients must be good candidates for breast implant surgery in general. This means that they have the desire for breast augmentation, are in good overall health, have fully developed breasts, and have realistic expectations of the results.
A good candidate for saline breast implants might be a patient with asymmetrical breasts or who already has some significant breast tissue. They could also be someone looking for a less expensive option for breast augmentation surgery. Additionally, patients who want a more adjustable implant may also be good candidates for saline breast implants.
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants also have a silicone outer shell, but they are filled with a silicone gel instead of saline. Silicone implants come in different shapes, including round and anatomical (teardrop), as well as different profiles, allowing for customization to achieve the desired breast shape and projection. Silicone gel implants typically cost more than saline-filled implants.
Advantages of Silicone Breast Implants
One of the main advantages of silicone implants is their feel and appearance. Silicone implants are known for their soft and natural feel, closely resembling the texture of natural breast tissue. They have a lower risk of rippling than saline-filled implants. This means that they can provide a more natural look and feel, even in thin women with less breast tissue to cover the implant.
Another advantage of silicone implants is the cohesive silicone gel, which has a thicker consistency that allows it to maintain its shape and integrity even if the implant shell is compromised. This reduces the risk of gel migration in the event of a rupture or leakage.
Furthermore, silicone gel implants offer shape and sizing options to accommodate different body types and desired outcomes. The size is measured in cubic centimeters (cc) and can be selected based on the patient’s goals, existing breast tissue, and chest dimensions
Disadvantages of Silicone Breast Implants
One of the main disadvantages of silicone breast implants is the need for regular MRI screenings. The FDA recommends that women with silicone breast implants receive an MRI screening every two to three years to check for silent ruptures. This can add to the overall cost and inconvenience of the breast implant procedure.
Another disadvantage of silicone breast implants is the potential for rupture. While rare, silicone implants can rupture, and the silicone gel can leak into the body. This may require the removal of the implant.
Patients Who Might Be Good Candidates for Silicone Breast Implants
Again, patients must first be good candidates for breast augmentation surgery in the first place.
Patients who are seeking more natural-feeling breast implants may be good candidates for silicone implants. However, they must also be aware of the possible breast implant complications and be willing to undergo regular MRIs to monitor the integrity of their implants.
Ultimately, the decision to get breast augmentation, and which type of breast implant to choose, should be made in consultation with a qualified and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. We invite you to make your complimentary consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeons at the Physician’s Institute of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery
Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants
When comparing saline and silicone breast implants, there are several factors to consider, including cost, longevity, and appearance. Here are some key differences between the two types of implants:
Saline implants are typically less expensive than silicone implants, making them a more budget-friendly option for some patients. However, many patients feel that the benefits of silicone implants outweigh the higher cost.
Both types of implants are considered to be very durable
Silicone gel-filled implants tend to feel more natural than saline-filled implants, particularly in patients with small or thin breasts.
Saline implants can be adjusted during the surgery to achieve the desired size and shape. This can be particularly beneficial for patients with asymmetrical breasts or who want to achieve a very specific look.
Saline implants are considered very safe, with a low risk of complications. If a saline implant ruptures, the saline solution is simply absorbed by the body without causing harm.
There is a very small risk of implant rupture with silicone breast implants. While the risk is low, if a silicone implant ruptures, the silicone gel can leak into the breast tissue and may require additional surgery to remove.
Ultimately, the decision between saline and silicone breast implants will depend on a variety of factors, including personal preferences, budget, and medical history. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of each type of implant with your board certified plastic surgeon to determine which option is best for you.
Choosing the Right Breast Implant Type
Choosing the right breast implant type is an important decision that should be made in consultation with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. Here are some tips to help you select the right type of breast implant for your needs:
- Consider your desired outcome: Think about what you hope to achieve with breast augmentation surgery and discuss your goals with your surgeon. This can help you select the type of implant that will best help you achieve your desired outcome.
- Discuss your medical history: It is important to discuss your medical history with your surgeon to determine whether saline or silicone implants are the best choice for you. For example, patients with a history of autoimmune disorders may not be good candidates for silicone implants.
- Consider your budget: While cost should not be the only factor you consider when choosing breast implants, it is important to think about your budget and choose an implant type that you can afford.
- Think about follow-up care: Silicone implants may require regular MRI screenings to ensure that they have not ruptured. Make sure you are willing and able to commit to this follow-up care before choosing breast implants.
Breast Augmentation Surgery
Breast augmentation surgery is a surgical procedure that involves the placement of breast implants to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. Before undergoing this surgery, patients should carefully consider the risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as the different types of breast implants available.
The surgical procedure typically involves making an incision and inserting the breast implant behind the breast tissue or beneath the chest muscle. The incision is then closed with sutures or surgical tape.
Breast augmentation surgery is a complex procedure that involves a series of steps to achieve the desired results.
Preoperative preparation: Prior to the surgery, the patient will need to undergo a comprehensive evaluation to ensure they are a good candidate for the procedure. They may also be required to stop smoking and avoid certain medications in the weeks leading up to the surgery.
Surgical procedure: The surgery itself involves making an incision and inserting the implant into a pocket created behind the breast. The implant may be placed either under or over the chest muscle, depending on the patient’s individual anatomy and desired outcome.
Postoperative care: Following the surgery, the patient will need to wear a supportive bra and avoid strenuous activities for several weeks. They will also need to attend follow-up appointments with their surgeon to monitor their progress and ensure proper healing.
Consult the Experienced Plastic Surgeons From Physician’s Institute
The skilled plastic surgeons at Physician’s Institute are available to help patients select the right type of breast implant for their needs. Our surgeons are board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and have many years of experience performing breast augmentation surgery. All of our patients receive the highest quality care and expertise.
At Physician’s Institute, we use the latest techniques and technology to ensure that our patients achieve the best possible results. We work closely with each patient to understand their individual needs and goals, and develop a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to their unique needs.
Our state-of-the-art facility is designed to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment for patients, and our staff is dedicated to ensuring that each patient feels safe and supported throughout the entire process.
Contact Us Today
Choosing the right type of breast implant for breast augmentation surgery is an important decision that requires careful consideration of the pros and cons of saline vs. silicone breast implants. While both types of implants have their advantages and disadvantages, patients can make an informed decision by consulting with a qualified and experienced surgeon and considering their individual needs and goals.
Here at Physician’s Institute, we are dedicated to helping patients achieve their desired aesthetic outcomes through safe, effective, and personalized breast augmentation surgery.
Whether you are interested in breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast reconstruction, or breast lift surgery, our team can help you achieve the beautiful, natural-looking results you desire.
Contact us today by calling (954) 964-4113 or filling out the form on this page to schedule a consultation. If you are in South Florida or elsewhere and are looking for an experienced and reliable plastic surgeon, reach out to the Physician’s Institute today!