Silicone v/s Saline Breast Implants | Dr. Robert Peterson

Silicone v/s Saline Breast Implants

Are you confused between silicone gel implants and saline-filled implants? This article will help you to evaluate the differences between two major types of breast implants. If you are considering breast augmentation, it’s important to know the difference between implants and to figure out the implants, which will suit your body type. In this progressive era, new inventions and techniques have brought new ways to perform breast augmentation surgery.

There are several implants such as gummy bear implants, ideal implants, round implants, smooth breast implants, and textured breast implants. Fat transfer breast augmentation is also a new way of transferring your body fat into your breasts. However, the most popular implants are saline and silicone breast implants.

Therefore, here are the differences between the two major breast implants.

Silicone VS Saline Breast Implants:

Every breast implant consists of an outer shell made out of an inert polymer called silicone. Breast implants differ in widths, projection amounts, and volume. The silicone and saline breast implants differ in the filling material in silicon shell and consistency. “One size fits all” is not applicable in breast implants. The breast implants are selected according to the breast space and goals of a person to achieve the desired results.

Saline Implants

Since the 1960s, saline breast implants have been used to enhance breast size. Saline-filled implants are permissible for women above the age of 18. The procedure involves the silicone shell implanted into the body and then filled with saline fluid (Sterile Salt Water) to get the desired volume by the surgeon.

The incision size is usually less noticeable and small in saline implants, and they are less expensive than silicone implants. The folds of saline implants can be seen or feels, sometimes under the thin skin. It is referred to as implant “wrinkling” or “rippling”. The saline implants feel more firm than natural breast tissues, according to the reviews of people. They can be overfilled to avoid problems as rippling and wrinkling.

Silicone Implants

Silicone implants consist of silicone gel, which is an inert polymer with no human allergies, sensitivities, and reactions. Their material looks similar to human fat in feel especially, and they are more viscous in consistency than saline implants.  FDA allows women 22 years of age or above to get silicone gel implants for breast augmentation. The molecules of these implants are closely packed together in a cohesive matrix, due to which they look and feel more natural than saline implants. However, in the case of rupture, they are riskier therefore, they require constant screenings and MRI according to the doctor’s prescription to avoid any risks.

Improvement and changes in the Breast Implants over the years

Silicone gel implants were formed in the late 1960s. They have undergone various changes due to technological developments. Saline implants are an alternative to silicone implants; they were also created in the 1960s but became popular later in the 1990s and early 2000s. From the duration of 2000 until now, silicone implants have gone through several significant advancements. Nowadays, 7th and 8th generations of silicone implants are being used, and these implants have a bit higher filling with more cross-linking of silicone which increases the cohesiveness in breasts implants.

What happens when an implant ruptures?

Both Saline and Silicone implants can rupture and cause complications. However, in the first few years after implants, there is less risk of ruptures, but the risk increases over time. The silicone implant ruptures rate is 2% to 12% approximately.

Saline Rupture (Leakage & Deflation)

The saline implants rupture is quite noticeable right after the rupture because your breasts will look and feel deflated. As saline has a water consistency, the body will absorb it. This leak can take days to end, and sometimes it can happen all at once. After the body absorbs all of the saline solutions, the affected breasts will look out of shape. They will lose their size completely. The surgery will be needed to remove silicone shells.

Silicone Rupture (Silent Rupture)

Silicone ruptures are also called silent ruptures because they are difficult to detect. Silicone gel can be confined in the fibrous capsule that forms after the surgery around the implants. You will also notice hardness in breasts and slightly changed breast size. It can also cause breast pain or it might constantly change the shape of your breast. You will need surgery to remove implants, and you can get new implants during the surgery if you want.

How do we know breast implants are safe?

Silicone implants were criticized and they received negative media attention back in the 1980s and 1990s. There were several claims of health problems. That is when saline-filled devices took place. From that time, FDA engaged in prospective clinical research with long-term follow-ups, which confirmed that they do not cause any chronic disease. If any problem is caused due to implants in any condition, it is treatable. Either silicone gel implants or saline-filled implants are sage if you go to a certified and experienced surgeon for consultation, surgery, and scheduled checkups.