Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants

Saline vs. Silicone Breast ImplantsConsidering breast augmentation in Phoenix, Arizona? Then you’ve probably wondered whether saline or silicone implants are best for you. Because both types of breast implants are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, and made from different materials, each type offers advantages and drawbacks. Understanding the pros and cons can help you to make an informed decision and ensure the best outcome when choosing breast implants.

In the United States, saline breast implants are a popular choice. This type of implant is comprised of a silicone shell filled with saline (salt water) during your breast augmentation procedure, after the implant has been placed in the pocket, so as to achieve your desired size. This type of procedure allows for reduced incision size and minimal scarring, making it a popular alternative to silicone implants.

Silicone breast implants were removed from the market for a period of time by the Food and Drug Administration, and this has caused confusion among women as to the safety of silicone implants. Today, silicone implants are perfectly safe, in the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon who can properly assess your needs. Silicone breast implant manufacturers pre-fill the implants with a cohesive gel, which remains inside the implant if rupture occurs. While modern silicone implants are praised for their natural appearance and aesthetic superiority, it can be difficult to know if a silicone implant has ruptured. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration has set guidelines encouraging women with silicone implants to undergo regularly scheduled MRIs.

While the risks of both saline and silicone implants are similar, the main difference is that the saline from a ruptured saline breast implant is absorbed safely into the body, whereas a ruptured silicone implant may remain trapped in the fibrous tissue that forms around the implant. This type of “silent rupture” is not believed to cause long-term or systemic health problems, but could cause some pain or changes in breast appearance undesired by the patient. For this reason, our plastic surgeon, Paul Angelchik, would remove the ruptured implant, replacing it with a new implant, if you wish.

For women with too little breast tissue, the saline implant can create unwanted aesthetic issues, such as a rippling effect at the implant’s edges.

Capsular contracture is another concern. This condition occurs when the capsule within which your implants rests closes and tightens, squeezing your implant and creating an unnatural appearance. Historically, capsular contracture occurs less frequently with saline implants.

Dr. Angelchik will discuss all of the benefits and disadvantages of Phoenix breast implants during your office consultation. Our practice serves patients in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas of Arizona. Please call us at 602-375-8888.

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