Choosing Between Silicone and Saline Implants

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health checklist

Why go for breast augmentation?

In breast augmentation, an implantable breast implant which is also known as a subglandular placement is placed behind the breast and the chest muscle. The purpose of breast augmentation is to increase the breast volume in women who have small breasts.

A breast implant can be done for several reasons, either the lady lost a lot of breast volume during breastfeeding or most of the breast volume was lost after a major weight loss program. Additionally, breast augmentation can be done when a woman wants to change the shape of her breasts to create better symmetry if the breasts seem to be of different sizes.

Silicone vs saline implants

All breast implants have silicone, which is commonly an inert polymer shell. The surface of the shell has two types of forms, a smooth surface, and a textured surface. The textured implants promote the ingrowth of soft tissue into the interstices of the small surface to make it rigidly locked in one place; while smooth implants allow for free navigation of the fluid inside the breast pocket.

Breast implants have different fill volumes, projection amounts, and base width, and there is no standard size for breast augmentation. Selection and matching are done on the right implant that will fit the space to suit the objective of the patient.

Differences between saline and silicone implants

Saline

Implants that are filled with saline are available to women over the age of 18 years. During the insertion of the implant, a silicone shell is placed in the body of the woman, and a board-certified plastic surgeon fills it with the desired volume of saline fluid which has the same consistency as water. Once the breast implant is in play, it can be easy to see or feel the saline implant under a very thin skin.

It is also possible to adjust the saline implant after operation using a remote injection port to fine-tune the volume of the implant over months before removal of the implant port.

Silicone gel

The inert polymer silicone gel has no reactions and sensitivities. The molecules in the silicone gel are like a gummy bear candy; they are stuck together to form a cohesive matrix. In contrast to saline, silicone is more viscous; this means that it flows in its shell differently and it can create a natural feel and look to the breast. For any women to be offered the silicone gel implants, they have to be 22 years or older, according to the FDA regulations.

The development of breast implants over the years

In the 1960s, the first silicone gel implants were created, and ever since then, technology has played a big role in its development over the last few decades. In the 1990s, saline implants were created as an option to the silicone implants, and they grew in popularity in the 2000s. There have been significant changes over the last few years in silicone gel implants. Actually, the current versions of the silicone gels are in their 8th generation. The current generation has about 96% fill compared to the 7th generation that has 85% fill. Additionally, there have been more cross-linking of the silicone molecules which has increased the cohesiveness of the breast implants.

Variants of silicone and saline implants that are available.

Variable cohesiveness of silicone implants

The cohesiveness of different degrees is now available in silicone gel implants. The softest is the most liquid ones, and they flow easily, and they are used for breast augmentation. Silicone implants that are cohesive are the ones which are stiff and hold their shape. It is possible to have a stiff implant available which can benefit the patients of breast augmentation who wish to use the new silicone that has a much better feel than the less cohesive devices that were used.

Saline implants

Saline implants are also referred to as baffled implants because they have an internal channel structure in the implant that looks like the layers of a shelf. The channels are theoretically used to allow saline to flow freely in different ways to stimulate the feel of a silicone implant reducing the effect of rippling and the movement of the liquid in a slooshy manner.

Effects of ruptured breast implants

Ruptured saline implant

When a saline breast implant ruptures, deflation will occur that causes the breast that is affected to change in shape and size. The body will absorb the leaking saline solution, and no health risk will be done. The next step will involve surgery because the silicone shell will have to be removed. In case you need another implant, it will be inserted when removing the deflated one.

Ruptured silicone implant

It is not easy to notice a ruptured silicone breast Implant because the fibrous tissue or the capsule will trap the free silicone; this is commonly referred to as a silent ruptured. There are no long-term side effects like reproductive issues, breast cancer or rheumatoid disease caused by leaking silicone gel. Although it might not cause any health issues, it can be painful if the ruptured silicone implant is not removed.

To remove the shell, surgery will have to be done to remove the implant. If an MRI scan is done and the ruptured implant does not show any signs of rupture, your doctor will have to determine if its safe to keep the implant, or extraction will have to be done.

Are breast implants safe?

To start us off, silicone gel implants are by far the most widely researched medical devices in medical history. In the 1980s, silicone gel implants received bad publicity which made them a sensation in that decade with claims of adverse health implications that prompted the removal of older silicone implants with devices filled with saline.

Ever since then, FDA directed research on the device’s effect on the health, and nothing came about to support that argument.

If you’re looking for a breast augmentation surgeon in Naples, you may contact the Aesthetic Surgery Center. The practice is owned by Anurag Agarwal, M.D., F.A.C.S., who also serves as the organization’s medical director. Joining the staff is Kiranjeet Gill, M.D. and Richard W. Maloney, M.D., F.A.C.S.. They specialize in a variety of  surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures for the face, breast and body.