When women consider breast augmentation, one of the big decisions is whether to go with silicone or saline breast implants. This is a big decision — one of the most important in breast augmentation.
Implant Contents and Shells
Saline implants are filled with saline and silicone implants are filled with liquid silicone gel, which has the consistency of molasses.
Solid silicone, or silastic, has been implanted in millions of people in pacemakers, artificial joints, heart valves, penile implants, and artificial lenses for the eye. Solid silicone is a very different substance than silicone gel, which fills silicone gel implants.
It might be helpful to think of breast implants as being similar to balloons. A balloon may be filled with water, helium, or air, but has the same pliable plastic outer layer regardless of what is placed inside.
Silicone Gel Implants: Pros and Cons
Silicone gel implants feel and look natural, and generally, you can’t tell the difference from breasts without implants to ones with silicone implants. They also have a lower rate of wrinkling and rippling.
If a thin woman with modest breast tissue choose saline implants, she would probably be advised to have the implants placed in the subpectoral plane to minimise the risk of rippling. Since silicone is lighter than saline, the potential for downward displacement due to gravity is lower.
There are also disadvantages of silicone gel breast implants. They impose a longer scar and higher cost. The longer scar is unavoidable as silicone gel implants are pre-filled by the manufacturer, so they must be able to fit into the incision. Generally, larger implants require longer scars. Also, the risk of capsular contracture may be slightly higher with silicone.
Gummy Bear Implants
Silicone gel breast implants are made with cohesive silicone gel. Because they’re cohesive, the gel has a tendency to stay together rather than disbanding in the event of a rupture. They have been compared to Gummy Bears, the soft candy that feels as though it is filled with liquid, but which has contents that do not run out if cut open.
Saline Implants: Pros and Cons
Saline implants have different advantages than silicone. The overall rate of capsular contracture is lower for saline than silicone. The scar is shorter, as saline implants can be filled after they are placed, allowing a smaller incision. Finally, the cost is lower, and there is no need for MRI, as silent rupture is not a concern. If a saline implant shell ruptures, the saline generally leaks out and is absorbed by the body within a day or so, resulting in an obviously smaller breast.
The main disadvantage of saline implants is that they tend to feel stiff and look round and unnatural, particularly in thin women with modest breast tissue.
Further, large saline implants have a higher rate of downward displacement than silicone, as they are simply heavier than their silicone counterparts. For more information on silicone and saline implants visit http://www.drterrencescamp.com.au/cosmetic-surgery/breast-surgery/augmentation/.