If you’re considering breast implants, you may wonder how to choose between saline-filled and silicone gel-filled implants. With many rumors going around about saline implants always rupturing and leaking or silicone feeling too hard, its important to really understand the difference between the two implants and know the truth about each.
Saline and Silicone breast implants both have an outer silicone shell, it is the material and consistency that differentiate the two. Saline implants are filled with saline, usually at the time of surgery. While saline implants have been criticized in the past for feeling “hard” or “unnatural,” improved surgical techniques- such as placing the implant behind the chest muscle and slightly overfilling it- have lessened these complaints. Saline breast implants are an option for women age 18 and older for breast augmentation, or women of any age for breast reconstruction.
Silicone breast implants, on the other hand, are pre-filled with silicone gel. Some women feel that silicone breast implants look and feel more like natural breast tissue and hence go for that option over saline, although now a days it is hard to tell the difference between the two. Silicone breast implants are available to women age 22 and older for breast augmentation, or women of any age for breast reconstruction.
The main question many will ask when considering a breast augmentation is what happens if my implant ruptures? This is also where many worry that with saline, if the implant ruptures, they will be harmed by the saline leaking into their body. However, there is no health risk posed by this. If a saline breast implant ruptures, the implant will deflate- causing the affected breast to change in size and shape and the saline solution will be absorbed by your body. If this does occur, you will probably need surgery to remove the silicone shell and a new implant can likely be inserted at the same time during this process.
If a silicone breast implant ruptures, you may not notice right away, or ever for that matter. If your silicone implant does rupture, there is no evidence that leaking silicone gel causes serious, long-term health problems. It may, however, cause breast pain or changes in the contour or shape of the breast. If this happens, you will need surgery to remove the ruptured implant and a new implant can be inserted at the same time. Since a ruptured silicone implant can be hard to detect, it may be recommended to get routine MRI scans every two to three years, starting three years after the initial surgery in order to detect a rupture.
Based on your body type, Dr. Layke and Dr. Danielpour may recommend one type of implant over another for optimal cosmetic results. Either type of breast implant is safe, however. Ultimately, the choice between saline and silicone is up to you.
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