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Reader Question: Silicone versus Saline Breast Implants?

Posted Jun 24 2009 12:00am

Reader Question:

I am trying to choose between silicone and saline breast implants. Can you help me?

Silicone gel implants are filled with a “jelly like” silicone substance to which the body reacts more over time. They come filled at one size and are not adjustable in the operating room. Saline implants are more adjustable and this allows better sizing during surgery. Long term capsule development (scar formation with hardening) is more commonly a problem with silicone gel implants. The FDA recommendations are that patients with silicone gel implants have breast MRIs every two years to watch them. Insurance usually doesn’t cover these and patients rarely get them. There is likely more long term RISK with silicone gel over your lifetime.

On the other hand silicone gel implants FEEL more natural than saline filled implants particularly when placed “over the muscle.” They ripple less when placed under thin soft tissue cover. Early on at least, they look more natural.

Women need to do their research and decide what is most important to them and proceed accordingly. Moderation in sizing with saline implants under the muscle is probably safer.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

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