Which Type of Breast Implant is Right for Me?
If you are less than satisfied with the shape and size of your breasts, you aren’t alone. A large global study of women published in the journal, Body Image, discovered that nearly 71% of those surveyed were dissatisfied with the size of their breasts, with the majority desiring them to be larger. Fortunately, breast augmentation surgery makes it possible for women to achieve this goal. In fact, breast augmentation remains one of the most popular of all cosmetic surgery solutions.
Breast augmentation is usually carried out using implants. These are silicone shells, filled either pre or post-insertion depending on the type that you choose, which is placed inside the chest cavity in the area of the breast in order to increase their size and shape. However, there are two different types of breast implants to choose from. These are silicone and saline. Here’s what you need to know about each of them so that you can determine which type of breast implant is right for you.
Silicone Breast Implants
As their name suggests, silicone breast implants do not only have a silicone shell but are actually filled with silicone gel too. These implants are pre-filled with specific volumes to reflect increases in cup sizes. The benefit of this is that it enables patients to ‘try on’ breast sizes to help them find the size implant that gives them the new, larger breasts that they have been dreaming of. Silicone breast implants are also considered to be more natural and realistic in terms of how they feel to the touch. This is because the silicone gel has a similar sort of texture to naturally-occurring breast tissue.
Since silicone implants have to be inserted whole, the incision needed to place them is reasonable in length and often a little larger than that needed for saline implants. Where possible, the incision will take place in the natural fold under the breast to minimize any visible scarring. Even though scarring is normal, with the right care these nearly always fade over time.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline implants still have a silicone shell, but they are filled with sterile salt water. However, unlike 100% silicone varieties, saline implants are inserted empty and then filled with a saline solution once in place. This means that they can be inserted through smaller incisions than those needed for silicone implants. It also makes them ideal for patients who currently have asymmetrical breast sizes and who are looking to create enlarged and perfectly balanced breasts. Your surgeon will be able to show you some examples of sizing before your surgery so that together you can decide just how much saline will be inserted to help you achieve the breast size that you are looking for.
Are breast implants safe?
Many patients have expressed concerns over the safety of silicone breast implants in the past. However, modern silicone implants have received approval for use from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are considered to be extremely safe for use in breast augmentation surgery. Saline breast implants have also been approved by the FDA for use in breast augmentation surgery. However, it is important to bear in mind that no breast implants are designed to last forever. Most will be in place for approximately 10 years before they require replacement in a surgery that is nearly identical to the procedure to place them.
There are risks associated with both silicone and saline breast implants. These include but aren’t limited to:
Excess scar tissue. This distorts the shape of the breast implant, causing a condition known as capsular contracture.
Implant rupture or leakage. Any leaks or rupture in saline implants are usually noticeable fairly quickly and the breast will start to visibly deflate. Meanwhile, the saline can be safely absorbed by the body. However, you will still need to have the shell of the implant removed and replaced. If you have silicone implants it will be much harder to detect a leak. This is because any free silicone typically remains trapped in the capsule of fibrous tissue that forms around the implant. If any silicone enters the body can eventually lead to breast pain or change the contours of the breast.
If you would like more advice to discover which breast implant type is right for you, our dedicated cosmetic surgery team would be delighted to help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.