Making the Choice between Silicone Implants and Saline Implants
Posted Jul 26 2012 10:06am
When it comes to breast implants, women have two choices: silicone breast implants and saline breast implants. Although each implant is filled with different substances, each type of implant has the potential to help the patient achieve the breast size and aesthetics that she desires, making the choice that much more difficult.The decision to have silicone breast implants rather than saline breast implants and vice versa is one that can only be made after determining how you want your breasts to ultimately look and feel, after understanding how you personally feel about silicone vs. saline, and of course, after having an honest and thorough discussion with your Boston Plastic surgeon about the similarities and differences between the two implants as well as the implications of a breast implant procedure in general.One of the main differences between silicone and saline implants, of course, is that the silicone implant is filled with a silicone gel and the saline implant is filled with a sterile saline solution. (Silicone is a rubber-like, heat-resistant polymer and saline is basically saltwater.) You probably didn’t know, though, that the shells of both silicone and saline implants are composed of solid silicone, technically known as silastic, which is used in a variety of other medical devices, such as heart valves, artificial joints, and artificial lenses for the eye. You may have heard about the supposed risk of contracting an autoimmune disease in the case that a silicone implant ruptures, but fear not since this is not the case- there has yet to be a study showing that silicone is even capable of causing such diseases to develop.The other main differences between silicone and saline implants lie in their unique aesthetic factors and their individual monetary costs. Saline implants, while less expensive than silicone implants, have been said to be too hard to the touch to feel like real breast tissue and have a higher chance to cause rippling when in comparison to the look and feel of silicone implants. However, these downsides have been remedied by inserting the saline implant behind the breast muscle and overfilling it just a little bit, creating a softer look and feel.Saline implant procedures require a smaller incision than silicone implant procedures, and in the case of rupture, are easier to detect. Also, saline implants have the added advantage in that the size of the implant can be adjusted during the Boston Breast Augmentation procedure- silicone implants are inserted after already being formed in a preset size (hence the larger incision associated with it) while saline implants are typically inserted in a deflated form, being filled with saline only after the plastic surgeon has inserted the empty shell into the patient.