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What To Choose: Saline Or Silicone Breast Implants?

Both types of implants have advantages and disadvantages, and offer different gains for each woman’s unique physical make-up. Silicone implants come pre-filled and have a natural feel, so they work well for women who have less breast tissue coverage. They feel softer and more natural than saline implants, and are often recommended for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. On the other hand, saline breast implants are filled after they are inserted, so they are good for correcting asymmetrical breasts. Saline implants feel a bit more like water balloons than silicone implants, but they work well for women who are naturally a moderate or C-cup size before breast augmentation.

Choosing between these types of implants is important to achieving the look you want and maintaining it for many years. Read on to find out more about your options:

Silicone Implants

While there were safety issues with older silicone implant styles and they were no longer sold in the U.S. after 1992, in 2006 the FDA approved the new generation of redesigned silicone implants. These safer, more natural-looking implants were developed by doctors after more than a decade of additional research and clinical testing. Today’s silicone implants are filled with a cohesive gel that has a texture similar to gummy bear candy. The implants retain this feel after they are inserted, and tend not to wrinkle, staying closer to the firmness of natural breast tissue than saline implants.

The cohesive gel has been an important development in breast implant design, because these implants hold up much better to puncturing, and retain their shape very well over many years. When a silicone implant is ruptured through normal wear and tear or because of an accident, the gel does not leak within the chest like a liquid, but stays almost entirely within the silicone shell. Patients generally do not realize that their silicone gel implant has been broken until a routine mammogram or ultrasound shows the cracked shell, because it retains its uniform shape. Still, silicone implants are generally solid, safe, and are a popular choice with our patients. Silicone breast implants are usually inserted through incisions under the breasts, but can be inserted via an incision around the nipples or in the armpit.

Saline Implants

These implants offer a different approach to breast augmentation. Unlike the gel-filled silicone implants, saline implants require smaller incisions (for the bigger-sized implants) and can be filled and adjusted to achieve unique, custom sizes. Once inserted, saline implants tend to look more round, particularly in women who have less breast tissue before the procedure.

A major difference between the two implant types is how they react when punctured. In contrast to silicone implants which tend to retain their shape, saline implants immediately deflate when punctured. The saline fluid filling is released into the body and is safely and painlessly absorbed. It is important to keep in mind that these implants are heavier than silicone, so there is a greater chance of them drooping slightly over time. This is something to consider for women who already have more breast tissue or slight drooping before the procedure. Otherwise, saline implants remain a good choice, and can be more economical than silicone implants.

Final Thoughts

The introduction above is intended to familiarize you with the advantages of each kind of implant. For more information, and to determine which type of implant is best for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Edelstein Cosmetic online or by calling (416) 256-5614.


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